G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clear, Cold, Small and Fun

Paddled out this morning at dawn. It was cold and clear with a light but steady offshore wind. I was in full rubber as I knew it would be cold until the sun came up. I got my first wave in about ten minutes. In 30 minutes my fingers on both hands were numb.

I surfed Gdubs alone until 7AM when Greg paddled up for about 20 minutes. I surfed alone again until an Angulonian posse made up of Scott, Mash and MikeyB paddled over from Sarge's. We had a great time trading waves, talking story, trading boards and enjoying the now warming morning.

It was small and pretty inconsistent but it isn't hard to keep busy on a SUP and have fun whether you're surfing, paddling, hanging out with friends or all of the above. Scott got one of the waves of the day (sequence shots) and was stoked. I was stoked that the Olympus continuous frame shooting was stable and in good focus although I wish Scott filled up the frame a bit more. According to K1 you're better off without the zoom as you lose a lot of clarity so I'm glad I didn't zoom in. I also changed the ISO setting from "auto" to 400. I think that helped.

The red tide appears to be gone. Water visibility has been restored to what looks like normal to me.

The kelp was absolutely brutal today. I had a kelp induced wipeout on an inside section that just dragged the nose of my board under water for the pearl. When I came back up I was bummed to see what I thought was a paint scratch on my right rail. No big deal, a little touch up and we're done. Not exactly. When I got home I put the board on the saw horses to attend to the touch up when I noticed air bubbles and water leaking out of the "scratch." In addition I noticed a pretty gnarly 4" crack on the bottom rail. Needless to say I was stunned. This board was in a violent crash on a four foot wave with another Angulo about a month ago and sustained almost no damage. The wave that forced the current ding was no more than 12 inch high white wash, encountered in a section that was petering out. I've got a call in to Andy to get the scoop on how to make the ding watertight. Hopefully I don't have to take it to a specialist.

Anyone who surfs has to expect some damage every now and again unless one is just sitting or standing around. When I'm out I surf pretty hard and I'm not easy on my equipment, or I'm off for a long paddle somewhere, even if it's just in circles. I invested in the pvc sandwich construction to avoid the kind of damage I got today. I hope the repair is a relatively easy one and I'm wondering (what with all the hype about hi-tech, Tuflite-like pvc construction) if the rails on these types of boards are not particularly vulnerable to damage. Stay tuned...
November 29, 2007 (Th)
In: 0635
1st Wave: 0651
Out: 1015
Wave count: 20+
AT=42 - 55
Wx: Clear and crisp with some high clouds
Tide: 3.34 Falling to 3.813 Rising to 3.75
Wind: Steady light offshore switching to westerlies at 0920
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples to glassy to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0600: 8.2 @ 12.1 WNW
0700: 7.2 @ 13.8 WNW
0800: 6.6 @ 10.8 NW
0900: 6.6 @ 12.1 WNW
1000: 6.2 @ 8.3 NW
1100: 6.9 @ 9.1 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 4' @ 12 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Too Busy to SUP

What a pitiful least I got out on Sunday afternoon/evening. Monday and Tuesday was totally lost in is prep for EMT lab this afternoon and getting the students ready for the final and their national registry certification. Maybe tomorrow morning or definitely in the afternoon evening. May be my only shot this week.

The buoy data bar graph shows the uptick in the swell. 'Sposed to be bigger tomorrow anyway. Bad thing is the future looks a little slim with low level winds diminishing in the gulf and not much in the way of fetch. But hey, let tomorrow worry about tomorrow.

No worries is still good. Hoping to SUP still stirs the stoke!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Evening Session

As surprised as I was to find good waves yesterday, is as disappointed as I was today to find smaller, inconsistent waves. And it was much more crowded. Still, I SUPed for over two hours, caught a ton of small waves, had fun, got some exercise, practiced quick turns, warded off the evils of aging, got the longest ride of the two contiguous days and was treated to an amazing sunset. I can't help but feel blessed.

Oh yeah...Genesis 1:31.

November 25, 2007 (Su)
In: 1440
1st Wave: 1451
Out: 1700
Wave count: 15+
Wx: High broken clouds
Tide: 0.04 Falling to -1.84
Wind: Light to moderate steady westerlies calming at dusk
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples to glassy with lots of kelp
Buoy: NWS
1400: 7.9 @ 14.8 WNW
1500: 6.9 @ 13.8 WNW
1600: 6.9 @ 13.8 WNW
1800: 6.2 @ 13.8 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 4' @ 13 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Low Tide Evening Session

Saturday November 24, 2007 (Evening Session)

Swell jumped up during the day, but not enough to overcome the morning low tide. I wanted to get in the water and practice step-back quick turns on the SUP because I want to learn this skill. Getting out Sunday may be marginal, and Monday and Tuesday even worse. I thought if I had any chance at all of getting some waves the reefs would be good, and I could find some quiet water to practice on.

I was pleasantly surprised to find some swell lines reaching into the spots. I paddled out through an eight-wave set and managed to get the last one...a short ride heading right into the pier pilings before kicking out.

I spent the rest of my short session time riding various reef peaks, practicing quick turns and battling with the kelp.

I set the Oly up with "cloudy" setting, and near dark changed the ISO to 800. The 800 pics did come out grainy, but kind of "arty" looking.

November 24, 2007 (Sa)
In: 1610
1st Wave: 1616
Out: 1710
Wave count: 10+
Wx: High somewhat broken cloud cover
Tide: -1.7 Rising to -1.37
Wind: Calm
Sea Surface: Glassy with lots of kelp
Buoy: NWS
1500: 4.3 @ 16 WNW
1600: 4.9 @ 14.8 WNW
1700: 5.2 @ 19 WNW
1800: 5.2 @ 14.8 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 4' @ 17 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Clear, Cold and Flat

Massive high pressure sits ensconced over the Western US and Pacific. There has been a slow but steady offshore flow of dry, cold air. Relative humidities are so low a red flag fire alert has been issued for Napa County with hazard alerts in effect for all the North Bay counties.

Temps have consistently dipped into the mid-30's each night this last week with frost making it's first fleeting appearances of the season.

What the NPAC giveth on Thanksgiving, the NPAC taketh today. Such is the cycle of life. Surf is flat today but forecast to come up some on Sunday. SE Papa is currently 13' @ 14 seconds after hitting a couple of hours worth of 20 second swell periods last night. The California buoy started showing 16 second periods with 5 foot waves yesterday at 5PM. By my calcs we could see some waves from this data today about 9AM. Just in time for the 6.5 foot high tide. Tides that high will be wave killers for sure. I don't think the swell will be big enough to overcome the high tide. But if the swell fills in during the day then at the lower tide it could be good.

Anyway, no waves, high tide? Get out and paddle!

Friday, November 23, 2007

SUP Quiver?

I thought I would try and start a conversation re SUP design and whether or not SUPing was getting so sophisticated and advanced as to need more than one in one's possession, i.e. a quiver.

Just about everyone I know who is an avid surfer has more than one the very least a longboard and a shortboard. These two types of wave craft both surf waves but in a different way thus adding to the enjoyment of the sport. Why should it be different with SUPs?

The Quiver
As a beginning SUP practitioner I initially invested in one SUP, one paddle, and one leash, thinking that this would serve all my SUPing needs. As I have progressed in the practice I realize that as in lay down surfboard surfing, one size (surfboard) does not fit all conditions. In SUPing one could easily have a SUP for surfing, a SUP for distance paddling and cruising, a SUP for racing, and a SUP somewhere in between. The "in between" model would be the closest one could come to "one size fits all" but it could have serious shortcomings when compared to a SUP built and ridden for a specific purpose.

On this blog we have a pretty good discussion going re fins on SUPs. Over at Pono House, Bill is making plans for a multi-SUP comparison test and study to be accomplished in Maui. I hope he does his testing and review with the "one size fits all" notion in mind, and gives us his results and opinions.

My SUP History
My first SUP is an 10'4" Angulo Ohole. At $1700 for the board and $300 for the Kialoa Kole paddle it was a considerable investment and at least one of the big reasons why most SUPers at this stage are older men (that is to say, not kids) who are well off enough to afford gaining entry into this new way of enjoying the ocean and the surf. I wanted a board I could handle in everyday conditons, paddle for exercise and surf (which was a primary requirement). At 150 pounds the 10'4" Angulo fit just right. Although the 10'8" is meant for both surfing and paddling, and the 11''9" for paddling and some surfing, the 10'4" is for mostly surfing. Another reason I bought Angulo is that it was a "bird in the hand". It was the only SUP brand I could find that was available to demo, and it was in stock. I could have it now! And that's what I did...paddled it, surfed it, got hooked, bought it.

Now that I've surfed it pretty extensively for a little over two months, I know some of it's limitations as I perceive them and I wonder how other boards like it (SUPs meant for surfing) perform based on their design and fin set-up.

SUPs Meant For Surfing
So I'd like to start the discussion with SUPs meant for surfing. I've posted four pics here that I downloaded from the Becker Surfboards website. The primary reason I downloaded these four boards is the photo perspective...the plan shape and the rocker are clearly distinguishable. These boards also give us a general frame of reference but all designs and brands are welcome. I'm not pimping any particular shaper or manufacturer.

What do you think are the primary design elements that make for a good surfing SUP? What are the trade-offs? Are those trade-offs inevitable? Is there a "one-size-fits-all" SUP?

I'd be interested in talking about anything on topic that you've got to offer. Thanks.

SUP Dimensions - Top (Board #1) to Bottom (Board #4)
Board #1 - Laird 12’1" Standup Paddle Board
Price : $1660.00
Length: 12’1" 368.30 cm
nose: 21.00" 53.34 cm
mid: 31.00" 78.74 cm
tail: 19.25" 48.90 cm
thick: 4.13" 10.49 cm

Board #2 -
Ron House 10' Stand Up Paddle Board
Price : $1550.00
H: 10’
W: From 28-29”
T: 4 ¼”
*Exact dimensions may vary slightly

Board #3 -
Ron House 11' Stand Up Paddle Board
Price : $1620.00
H: 11’
W: From 28-29”
T: 4 ¼”
*Exact dimensions may vary slightly

Board #4 -
Ron House 12' Stand Up Paddle Board
Price : $1685.00
H: 12’
W: From 28-29”
T: 4 ¼”
*Exact dimensions may vary slightly

Thankful for Thanksgiving Day Swell

Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2007

Today the NPAC served up a Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. I SUPed many of the reefs from GW's to the pier for three and a half hours before heading home to join the family for the gastronomic pleasures of this already pleasurable and surf blessed day.

There is a full moon with very high and low tides working (6.1 high to -1.0 low). I waited until the tide hit the four foot mark before paddling out at Sarge's. The tide was still too high and I caught a couple fat ones with lot's of backwash and face bump before paddling down to GW's to surf the insiders and sets. I picked off two insiders right away before the first six-wave set came through, shoulder high and glassy. It just got better from there as the tide dropped and the swell size increased.

Because it was Thanksgiving holiday lot's of people had the day off and it was pretty crowded. But with the SUP I could find all the places where I could surf waves the lay down surfers couldn't catch or couldn't get to in time. If a spot got too crowded I just paddled to another less crowded or empty peak. Such is the mobility and efficiency of a stand up paddler when there are multiple spots to choose from.

I caught three or four long, fast walls at Tweeners that closed out at Sarge's main take-off peak. Easily a distance of 100 yards or more. After two hours I was thinking about calling it a day when I paid more attention to the reefs east of us that were breaking because of the lowering tide. Batrays looked surfable and no one was out. I paddled over and surfed another hour there by myself taking long rides from the point to the tree on waist to chest high beauties. Finally a couple came out and I surfed with them, and took their pics until I headed back to Sarge's to end my day.

But on the way back I was waylayed by an inside set, and after that saw an incredible eight-wave set fire into and through Sarge's. One friendly guy on a 12 foot Laird lay down board got absolutely backside pocketed as he pigdogged his way from the main peak to the shallows inside. I was so mesmerized by the real life movie I just stared and hooted.

With all the activity, wave size and energy I fell off more than usual today. I can take a little solace in that I only botched one wave which resulted in a wipeout. But there was a lot of sideways and following sea type bump in the water which caught me by surprise and which I couldn't adjust to in time on several occasions which resulted in more than one ignominious dunking. I also paddled back out through a lot of whitewash and while I can handle a foot or two, anything over that and my percentages of staying on my feet are very low.

There were four other SUPers out today. Quite a few compared to most days. Meeting someone you don't know is like meeting a long lost brother. I wonder if this is what it was like in the early days of surfing when lone surfers met other like-minded souls, practicing their avocation? There is a nice camaraderie amongst we SUP practitioners and it's a lot of fun to talk story. I'm beginning to see more variation in the boards people are riding too. I had a great talk with a guy after surfing about his Infinity Ku Ku Hoe 11-footer. Sweet board.

Even though there was a plethora of waves and riders on all types of surf craft, I didn't get many good pics today, or pics at all. Too busy surfing I guess. As of this writing (0600 Friday November 23) the WNW Thanksgiving swell is fading (7.5'@13.8 seconds). Good thing...I need the rest.
November 22, 2007 (Th)
In: 1016
1st Wave: 1026
Out: 1346
Wave count: 20+
AT=54 to 59
Wx: Clear and sunny
Tide: 4.0 Falling to -0.5
Wind: Light offshore to calm to light-to-moderate WNW
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
1000: 9.5 @ 17.4 WNW
1100: 11.8 @ 17.4 WNW
1200: 11.8 @ 17.4 WNW
1300: 10.8 @ 17.4 WNW
1400: 12.5 @ 17.4 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 6' @ 17 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Small Consistent Waves

The big swell that came ashore over the weekend has dropped down to a whisper of it's former self, but it is still delivering small, fun waves to the local breaks.

Skies were clear and warm and I was back in my lighter wetsuit, no hood, no booties. The solar gain kept me nice and toasty...too toasty and I enjoyed my first wipeout and the cool down it brought. Red tide is still with us, water a rusty brown color. Visibility is a bit better though, instead of six inches it's about twelve inches.

I paddled out late as tide was high at dawn. Gdubs was empty and I surfed it alone for about 40 minutes. It was a complete merry-go-round almost the whole time. There were a couple nice sets and I picked off three or four shoulder high walls that broke into and across Tweeners. Wind came up about 1030 but before that it was glassy with light offshores...near perfect.

I changed a couple camera settings on the Olympus based upon several email conversations I had with K1 of the Daily Bread blog. I think it was helpful and the image clarity has improved. But it was sunny and bright today so the light situation was vastly better. Still have to try the low light stuff but there is a "cloudy" setting I'll use next time in addition to the "fine zoom on" setting. Also downloaded the manual and have started to read it! Duh...

Met Sakato and her husband who had the week off from Apple. Nice! And also met Pat a SUPer from Foster City who makes the trek two or three times a week. He got the SUP bug in Maui this summer and as they say, the rest is history. He was on a 11' Jimmy Lewis. Good to see another old guy like me out there learning something new. He said he just cashed his first Social Security check a few months ago and the first thing he did was buy a SUP. Go Pat!
November 20, 2007 (Tu)
In: 0840
1st Wave: 0847
Out: 1050
Wave count: 20+
Wx: Clear and sunny
Tide: 4.1 Falling to 1.9
Wind: Light offshore to calm to light WNW
Sea Surface: Glassy
Buoy: NWS
0800: 8.2 @ 9.1 NW
0900: 7.5 @ 9.1 NW
1000: 8.5 @ 10 NW
1100: 8.5 @ 12.9 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 5' @ 12 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Sunday, November 18, 2007


The swell jumped to double digits Saturday morning at 4AM. It has stayed at WNW except for a few blips of NW. On average it looks about 11'@14 seconds, big and raw, moving lots of water. Fog was heavy early, to burning off around 10 or 11AM. On Sunday dense "pea soup" type fog hugged the coast all day long, while conditions one quarter to half mile inland was cloudless blue skies.

I didn't SUP or surf as I usually save Saturday for chores, Sunday is church and church prep. I also usually don't surf on the weekends as it's a little more crowded and it gives me some recovery time. I had lots of chores Saturday and then M and I celebrated our anniversaries with Stephen and Leah and took in a one-act local play in town.

I'm fighting off, again, the sinus infection I had last week. Started a second course of antibiotics. What with the wave size and ocean conditions some wipeouts are almost assured and that inevitably would lead to a sinus douching or two with water that is still contaminated with the red tide and it's concomitant bacteria.

Andy left the westside for a spot further south and got some fun longboard waves with about five other guys who were into sharing and the aloha spirit. He said it was a mellow and fun session. Good for him. He works long hours all week long, and a cleansing surf was satisfying and well deserved. Too bad there hasn't been any rain to wash the necessary sand into Beginners. If there was it would be outrageous fun with 200-300 yard rides to the inside.

I should be back in the water by Tuesday. Monday is a long day over the hill starting with negotiations in the morning and finishing with labor/management in the afternoon.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fins, Fog, Red Tide & Consistency

Visibility out my bedroom window this morning at 0430 was about 50 feet. So I readjusted my paddle out time by about a half hour. I don't see all that well in the low light and when you add fog and overcast I'm even more blind. (I hate getting wiped off my board by a four-wave set that just didn't look like it was going to break.)

The red tide is still with us even though I keep telling myself it looks like it's clearing up. It isn't. A friend told me that the shape of the bacteria that grows with the algal bloom is what irritates the sinuses. Also heard that the bacteria can be toxic and that causes sinus infections. Whatever it is (all of the above?) I am definitely susceptible to sinus infections. When it gets like this the first thing I do when I'm headed for a dunking is grab my nose and pinch my nostrils shut. Effective, and it also makes for very graceful surfing...

There was a raft of about eight otters in our general area, with two feeding right in the line-up. I saw one eating a sea star...yeech! Greg said he was watching the two surface with crabs, eat the legs off and then throw them back. Fine dining sea otter style.

When I changed out my 9" fin for the 5" RFC I set it up so that the fin would be all the way back in the box. I wasn't sure how the board would surf, or hold in so I gave myself the benefit of the doubt. With the fin all the way back I figured the Ohole wouldn't "slide-ass" as the old timers used to say. It didn't, so today I decided to go all the way the other direction and slide the fin all the way forward in the box. I didn't notice a big difference in take-off and initial turning performance, but the board seemed much looser on the wave face. It didn't take as much effort to climb and drop, and the board was more receptive and responsive to less pressure on the rails when turning, and to place or position the board where I wanted us to be on the wave. I think I'll keep it this way for a while. I've really only had one occasion when the tail popped out and I think I was just too high and steep anyway. Also wasn't trimmed up.

The really nice thing about today's waves was their consistency. At the beginning of the session it was just a merry-go-round with plenty of waves for everyone. When the tide change it slowed a bit, then picked up again about 20 minutes after low tide. Even though buoy numbers are starting to decline the waves were good. Buoy data also indicates west and west northwest swell direction. That could be why it's more sectiony than the other day. Most people were not hooking up the sections so taking off at the peak meant kicking out at the first section. But people were sitting on that second section for a nice take-off and ride too. On good days the sections hook up for long, long rides to the inside. On the best days the waves break from outside Scimitars all the way in to Tweeners. Those days are rare though.
November 16, 2007 (F)
In: 0655
1st Wave: 0708
Out: 0858
Wave count: 20+
Wx: Overcast with fog
Tide: 3.69 Falling to 3.6, Rising to 3.61
Wind: Moderately breezy from the east/southeast
Sea Surface: Glassy with some light backwash bump
Buoy: NWS
0600: 7.2 @ 12.1 W
0700: 6.2 @ 12.1 WNW
0800: 7.5 @ 12.1 WNW
0900: 7.9 @ 11.4 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 5' @ 11 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Swell Slowly Dropping

A little tired this morning from not sleeping too well last night. My sinuses plugged up in reaction to the red tide douching they got yesterday evening. Hoping it clears as I'd rather not have another sinus infection this early into Fall/Winter. Again this morning the red tide was in effect. Visibility about six inches but it didn't seem to be slowing down the two sea otters who were actively dining for the entire session.

Swell is quite obviously missing Gdubs, Sarges and Scimitars. Plenty of whitewater at the Point and the beaches are going overhead and sectiony with glassy conditions. No matter really, still got in a good workout/paddle and surfed 10+ waves on the SUP. Gdubs was pretty crowded this morning. No one out when I paddled over but shortly thereafter there were eight of us. I got some pics of Josh and Robert, that's Josh surfing his longboard here.

I can't get over how peaceful and tranquil it feels to paddle out at dawn with no one else around. The pictures are nice but it doesn't really do the entire experience justice. In Qi Gong there is a practice called standing meditation. This early morning paddle is like it...a standing meditation comprised of a slow and mindlessly thoughtful physical practice of paddling, and balancing, and wordlessly experiencing. Not very articulate but it's the best I can do for now. I need a nap.

Class this afternoon, then the PERB hearing tomorrow all day in Oakland. Will there be surf on Friday? It looks kind of doubtful...but the ocean will be there.
November 14, 2007 (W)
In: 0618
1st Wave: 0625
Out: 0758
Wave count: 10+
Wx: Clear with some clouds
Tide: 3.65 Falling to 3.86 Rising
Wind: Calm
Sea Surface: Glassy
Buoy: NWS
0600: 8.5 @ 12.9 WNW
0700: 7.2 @ 12.9 WNW
0800: 6.6 @ 12.9 WNW
0900: 6.9 @ 12.1 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 4.5' @ 12 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Evening Session

At 0700 hours I was driving over the hill for a union meeting thinking about how I was missing out on the double digit swell. I consoled myself by promising to score an evening session upon my return. I got a text from MikeyB, he was just getting ready to hit the water. "Good waves" is what I sent back. No reply...he was getting his.

I paddled out about 4PM. It's starting to get dark so early that I knew I only had about an hour, hour and a half to SUP. No big, it felt good to get out on the ocean and paddle...I knew I'd get some waves.

In addition to the big oil spill in SF, we are experiencing some kind of "mystery" spill/pollution here. This on top of an algae bloom that has exploded resulting in ugly, red rusty water. I put in at the pier in hopes of surfing the reefs. The water had a film of wax like scum on it, white in color. It could be the same stuff that is killing the birds by taking away their water proof coating, the result of which is that the bird drowns. Water visibility was about six inches. I was really glad to be paddling through it all standing up instead of laying down.

I ended up at Sarges where I caught a bunch of little insiders, staying out of the way of the old school longboarders who had taken over the break. There were a lot of fun waist high waves, lot's of nose rides and a decent aloha spirit with some minor league stink-eye and rudeness. But overall, a good session. Big Dave was out on his SUP when I paddled out, and another SUPer at Tweeners. Things were cool.

I got a humungeous (for this swell) set wave getting near dark and used it to shorten the distance between me and the Pier. Got out in the dark.
November 13, 2007 (Tu)
In: 1610
1st Wave: 1625
Out: 1725
Wave count: 10+
Wx: Clear with some clouds
Tide: 0.98 Falling to 0.1
Wind: Calm
Sea Surface: Glassy
Buoy: NWS
1600: 9.2 @ 10.8 WNW
1700: 8.9 @ 12.9 WNW
1800: 9.8 @ 13.8 WNW
1900: 8.5 @ 12.9 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 6' @ 13 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model
(Thanks to MikeyB for the sunrise pic.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Cold and Gold

Although overcast and fog has it's benefits (it tends to be more glassy than not), there is nothing like a richly hued morning sunrise to inspire and make the heart glad. I paddled out a bit late (o625) but into a spongy morning softness broken only by the biting offshore breeze. I was out through the shore break in the hazy dawn light and heading to GW's where I picked up the first of 15 plus waves for the day.

The northwest/WNW swell has filled in but the swell period falls short of any real energy like we experienced with 17 to 20 second intervals during last week's south swell. Still, there were enough waves to go around on this surprisingly empty Veterans Day morning. I surfed alone for about a half hour until Greg joined me. He got the wave of the morning and after he paddled in and Bob paddled out, I got another "wave of the morning."

Andy and Dave came over when I was almost done and had more fun than legal age adults should be allowed...but that's the nature of SUPing.

A dad and his daughter were out on a tandem board, he introducing her to the lifestyle no doubt. There is also no doubt that these two belong on a magazine cover somewhere, photographed by a real photographer.
November 12, 2007 (M)
In: 0625
1st Wave: 0639
Out: 0830
Wave count: 15+
Wx: Clear with some clouds
Tide: 3.6 Rising to 4.6
Wind: Light offshore
Sea Surface: Smooth with light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0700: 7.9 @ 11.4 NW
0800: 8.2 @ 12.9 WNW
0900: 7.9 @ 11.4 WNW
1000: 8.2 @ 11.4 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 6.5' @ 12 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Andy Gere's Wood SUP & Paddle

"If Giapetto would have been a stand up paddleboarder, Pinocchio would have been a paddle." SUP Brother John Ashely made that "Twainian" observation on his excellent SUP blog which is where I first heard about Andy Gere and his home project. I was somewhat surprised to learn that Andy lives in Santa Cruz, and stoked to learn that he lives only about 20 minutes from my home.

We hooked up at his house Saturday morning where I spent a very pleasant and enriching three and a half hours learning about Andy, meeting his family (wife Nancy who also surfs, SUPs, kayaks, etc., etc., eat our hearts out fellas; and his two gorgeous little ones, Jillian age 5, and very energetic and cute little guy, Bob, age 3) and talking about all kinds of things related to surfing, SUPing, and the ocean, all related to our lifestyle as waterpeople.

Andy is as hospitable and generous as he is intelligent, articulate, analytical, energetic, positive and skilled. He learned his woodworking skills in the best possible way, under the watchful guidance of his Dad when he was a youngster. Andy isn't at all intimidated by taking on a project from scratch (this isn't a kit). He's got the confidence and the skills. He showed me a "cradle" he made for his daughter which is a complete dinghy (which you could actually use in the water, i.e. it's a real boat) hung on risers and tied into place as if it were on a ship ready to be launched...of course it rocks (in every meaning of the word).

While he may not be intimidated by a first time project of this scope, he isn't cavalier about it either. His analytical mind, thoughtfulness and past experiences all play a part in his thorough exactitude when it comes to thinking out everything before putting his skills into action. Prior to meeting on Saturday Andy asked me to bring two things; my Angulo SUP and a piece of the Clear Grip material so he could 1) take fin placement measurements and take pics of the bottom and rail configurations on the Olohe, and 2) check out the Clear Grip for use on his wood SUP as he doesn't necessarily want to cover up all that pretty wood with a deck pad.

This is actually a two part project. The SUP and the paddle. The paddle is complete and is testament to his wood working skills and ways. Like most all good wood workers, nothing goes to waste. His paddle was made from left overs and scraps. Total cost? $30! He doesn't really know what the final cost on the SUP is going to be, but you can bet it will be significantly less than a production or custom PU or EPS SUP, and way, way less than a custom wood SUP.

I'm excited about and looking forward to tracking Andy's progress and I hope I can be with him in the water on his maiden voyage. I will no doubt selflessly offer to paddle it around or at least get in line to do so as I'm sure Nancy will have first bid on that honor.

Andy sent me a couple links to a website where he is posting re this project. I include them here for those who want to follow his progress also. Link 1. Link 2.