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

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve Early AM Session

Paddled out early into an incredible sunrise. Only one other guy out at Gdubs, and he left after half an hour, giving me plenty of chest to occasionally head high solo waves for the next forty-five minutes. The bigger waves were holding up much better over the inside reefs than the small waves which were closing out in the kelp beds. I stuck two late take-offs for nice drops in fast sections. That felt good.

High pressure over the Great Basin is producing strong easterly offshore winds that are creating lots of small wind waves in between the longer interval waves that are being generated by the winds further out in the NE Pacific. Still, there are a lot of fun waves that remain rideable. Scimi's was crowded, even early in the 30 degree weather, but there were some great waves to be had there this morning.

I took Michael D out this afternoon for his first SUP session and it was tough. The east wind has not relented all day long and the sea surface was very bumpy with small wind waves. He did well for his first session and is looking forward to future sessions. Go Michael!
December 31, 2007 (M)
In: 0714
1st Wave: n/a
Out: 0915
Wave count: n/a
AT= 35 - 46 degrees
WT= 53 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Sunny and clear
Tide: 3.6 Falling to 1.9
Wind: Calm to East/ENE at 4 mph
Sea Surface: Mildly bumpy with nearshore wind waves
Buoy: NWS
0600: 11.5 @ 13.8 NW
0700: 10.8 @ 13.8 NW
0800: 10.8 @ 12.9 NW
0900: 11.5 @ 13.8 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Rock reefs
Waves: 6' @ 13 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunny Respite From the Storms

With storm clouds clearing, NorCal should see a few days of sunny and warm weather prior to the next series of storms arriving which are slated to bring abundant rain. That's good...we need the rain and we need the sand to fill in and create more viable surf spots. This will also be a welcome counterpoint to the dismal, cold and bleak gray weather we've been experiencing for the last few days.

So far the winds and swell are cooperating with eight foot waves at 15 seconds coming in from the WNW. The satellite pictures are showing brisk NW winds at the dateline and a long fetch extending from the Gulf to the west coast.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are looking like very nice dawn patrol opportunities.

Life is Good!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Series of Storms Moving Through

The swell jumped back up in the pre-dawn darkness showing 10.5' at 16 seconds NW. This was also the last, best time to get a few waves in decent conditions. By 1030 the offshores starting shifting to easterlies. By this afternoon frontal winds were steady out of the ESE crumbling the wave tops and making it seem even colder than the 49 degree air temperature.

The NWS is considering the issuance of a coastal flood alert based upon the midnight high tide and the persistent 12' to 15' westerly swell. But once again, storm related weather conditions could neuter the waves for surfing.

Me? I'm over the hill every morning through Saturday for the contract ratification meetings. Perhaps it's good timing? I won't have time to SUP and the weather's lousy. That's what I keep telling myself.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Day After Christmas

The Christmas day swell didn't last long. One big bang and it was gone. I was jonesing for a morning session so paddled out early into a beautiful dawn. A set came through while I was paddling out which made me glad. I paddled over to Gdubs and spent an hour and a half catching sporadic waist high waves by myself. It was cold this morning and I was in full rubber, gloves, booties and hood. I stayed out until the tide moved the take-off zone into the ubiquitous kelp bed.

The new paddle and paddling technique is going well. The twist at the hip and reach with the high hand (while keeping the paddle shaft as vertical as possible, i.e. "stacking the hands") short stroke works amazingly well and I am able to hold a straight line and paddle on the same side for many more strokes. I like the versatility of the otter tail blade, it really shines with a high repetition stroke cadence. But I can dig deep too and use a more leisurely, slower stroke when desired or needed. The high rep cadence can wear you right out but it's good to use in exiting the surf line asap. Then you can "stroll" back out to the line-up with a slower rep, deeper draw stroke.
December 26, 2007 (W)
In: 0715
1st Wave: n/a
Out: 0845
Wave count: n/a
AT= 40 - 48 degrees
WT= 53 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Sunny and clear
Tide: 3.54 Rising to 4.82
Wind: W to to calm to NNE at 2 mph
Sea Surface: Glassy to offshore wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0600:6.6 @ 13.8 NW
0700: 5.2 @ 12.9 WNW
0800: 6.9 @ 13.8 WNW
0900: 6.9 @ 12.9 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Rock reefs
Waves: 3' @ 13 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Swell Right On Time

Christmas day dawned bright, clear and cold. The farshore buoy read the peak of the swell at 4AM, registering 15 feet at 16 seconds WNW. The big question this morning...would the gains of the swell be wiped out by the deficits brought on by the quickly rising high, high tide? It depends upon where you decided to surf.

It was either feast or famine. My usual spots were too swamped to be rideable. Everything was large amounts of water and currents pushing but the waves were too fat to be anything but mushburgers. Meanwhile, down the line it was pumping...but only a couple big wave spots were working. And even there the line-ups and take-off spots were moving around and sketchy. Not that many people were actually riding because you couldn't cover the distance necessary to set-up well very quickly. And with so much water moving up the face of the wave it took a Herculean effort just to drop in.

The crowds while thin, were more populous than any Christmas day I can remember. Guys were running up the beach after their session, hot footing it home so the kids could open their presents. I can hear it now..."Mom, where's dad?" Gone surfing babies...

If the swell holds (the faraway buoys are all still going off) then this afternoon holds promise with a lower tide.

(Fast forward...) This afternoon I surfed over at Beginners and the Arena near Ma and Pa's so that I could meet them at their place for Christmas prior to heading out to the Hind Quarter for dinner. Swell was showing nicely and the reefs were lined up and holding up from the point to the inside. The lack of sand on the inside is making the place half of what it could be. No rain, no sand.

Got a few waves in super crowded conditions before paddling in for yet another Christmas celebration. With my new paddling technique my quads and hips are really getting a workout and they are sore! It was pretty bumpy out there and on top of yesterday's session and workout I got tired and weak legged after an hour. My 34th Christmas in our earthly paradise...
December 25, 2007 (Tu)
In: 1445
1st Wave: unk
Out: 1545
Wave count: n/a
AT= 53 - 52 degrees
WT= 53 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Sunny and bright with light high haze in the morning, sunny with high clouds in the afternoon
Tide: 1.15 Falling to -0.37
Wind: W 4 mph
Sea Surface: Bumpy with wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
1400:12.8 @ 14.8 NW
1500: 13.8 @ 14.8 WNW
1600: 12.8 @ 14.8 NW
1700: 12.8 @ 14.8 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Rock reefs
Waves: 7' @ 13 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Christmas Starts...Today!

Poor Jesus! For on His birthday we give earrings to Mother and slippers to Dad and a bicycle to Junior, but nothing to Him. We yearn for possessions, and not for Him. We seek out appropriate gifts for all our loved ones except for Him for whom we can shop without money or credit cards or lay-away plan. Some of us no longer even give Him lip service, lest someone think we are too religious. Ken Collins

Christmas, as observed in our secular and commercialized culture, falls far short of the true celebration of Christmas as it is known in the Christian culture from where it originated. For non-Christians this holiday, which in large part drives the economic engine of America, will all be over after the last of family and friends has left and the huge pile of dinner dishes, pots and pans has been cleaned, dried and placed back where they belong. Of course there will be the day after Christmas when you may have to stand in a long line to return that pink flamingo print on black aloha shirt that your Aunt Edna sent from Des Moines, but you may be happily plugged into the iPod that was under the tree, so the wait may be, at least tolerable. And then you will return home to face the somewhat daunting task of taking down the decorations, unstringing the lights, and reboxing it all for storage until next year.

On the other hand, we Christians have a perfectly good reason to procrastinate in putting away all our Christmas decorations because for us, Christmas starts today!

So if eternal salvation and the notion of surfing heaven's most perfect tubular swells isn't enough motivation to consider who Jesus really was, then perhaps the justification that you can leave all your stuff up another two weeks is!

Merry Christmas one and all!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another Swell(s) Enroute - Update

Monday afternoon - 2:45PM...The second swell arrived two hours later than I calculated. At 4PM the farshore buoy was showing 9.5' @ 17.4 seconds NW. I had been watching the faraway buoys and they were looking pretty good so I paddled out at 2:45PM. The wind was offshore out of the NNW at 6 mph. Skies were sunny and bright.

I paddled and surfed my way up the reefs to Sarges. Only about five people out. A couple guys and their sons riding longboards. Bob was going to town on the low tide screamers that were standing up smartly in the wind. He spent so much time on the nose I thought he was going to get a parking ticket. And fellow SUP brother Dave C. paddled out after a while and surfed a bunch of good little waves in the mega-low low tide. Full moon is tonight and the tidal swing was in full regalia. Buoys are still showing a decent swell. If it holds then dawn patrol tomorrow for a Christmas day gift.

Today I wore my golfers elbow brace on the outside of my wetsuit and that seemed to work pretty well. Tendons aren't very sore this evening.

I also practiced a new paddle technique after discovering a way to take the load off my trapezius muscles. The idea is to rotate the shoulders from the hip towards the side you are paddling on. The rotation should leave your top hand and bottom hand holding the paddle shaft in a vertical position with the blade placed in the water in preparation for the stroke. The paddle blade is automatically angled at approximately 45 degrees when this is done properly. After energy is applied by pulling the paddle back (or pulling yourself forward...take your pick), the paddle should be removed from the water near the back foot. This stroke takes the pressure off the traps and removes undue stress from that muscle group. It also has the added benefit of keeping your board going in a straight line because of the angle of the blade as it enters the water. Ideally the paddle shaft travels in a straight line parallel to the rail from start to finish of the stroke.

This does take practice and feels awkward at first. But the more I practiced the better it felt. The workout today was vigorous as it included several miles of paddling and lots of wave catching. All this in a brisk offshore wind that kept me paddling just to stay near the line-up.
December 24, 2007 (M)
In: 1445
1st Wave: unk
Out: 1645
Wave count: n/a
AT= 63 - 58 degrees
WT= 53 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Sunny and bright with light high haze
Tide: -.2 Falling to -1.73
Wind: NNW 6 mph (offshore)
Sea Surface: Wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
1400:8.5 @ 10.8 NW
1500: 9.2 @ 10 NW
1600: 9.5 @ 17.4 NW
1700: 9.5 @ 17.4 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Rock reefs
Waves: 4' @ 11 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model
Monday morning...the first of the several Christmas swells didn't last very long. It diminished in size as it played out, leaving residual windswell in the small range to deal with the maximum low and high tides.

But the second swell appears to be right on the first one's heals and started registering on the faraway buoy at about 2AM. At consistent 14-17 second intervals it should arrive by 2PM or so. A cold front passing through our district has kicked up northerly, offshore winds. Conditions look pretty good, it would be nice to have clean waves too. I'll definitely be out there for a paddle at the very least.

I want to continue using my new Infinity paddle as well as to work on paddling techniques I've been researching the past few days.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another Swell Enroute

Even the newspaper picked up on the surf forecasters predictions of another big swell on the way and set to arrive around Christmas day. The original hoopla was trumpeted by the surf prognosticators and then toned down as the models didn't quite deliver what the storms were actually doing.

The NOAA sat-pic shows two wave makers out there though and we should have some Christmas goodies from Ma Nature in our collective neoprene stockings just as if Santa's fictional sleigh had dropped in at the mile buoy. The far away northerly buoys are showing some sporadic swell in the 16 to 20 second period range which started about 9PM last night (12-22-2007). We may see some of those forerunners this morning. (Interesting to note is that Buoy 46004 Middle Nomad CAN is currently showing 41' at 16 seconds with winds from WSW at about 50 mph.) Note also the buoy location in relation to the storm and the direction the wind vanes are pointing...aimed well into our swell window.

Weather looks good too so conditions when the swell makes landfall ought to be righteous. High tides in the morning (as is the winter tidal pattern) may fatten the combers but there should be sweetness for all this holiday season.

Updates forthcoming...Forerunners arrived at the farshore buoy at noon (6.6' @ 17.4 WNW) and 1PM (5.9' @ 17.4 WNW) delivering chest to shoulder high waves at the best spots.

Updates forthcoming...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me - New Paddle

Santa brought me a new 6.5" Infinity fiberglass otter tail paddle for Christmas. Santa's a shrewd guy...he's got the same credit card as me!

I ordered the paddle from the Infinity website after making an inquiry through the contact link on the site. I got the man himself (Steve Boehne) answering back and after five or six back and forth emails re blade size, paddle length, price, etc. we sealed the deal and he shipped the paddle to me last Monday. Out the door I paid $320. Steve picked up the tax and the paddle comes with clear plastic paddle edging already installed. I got it Thursday in time for my session yesterday. That's great service!

I think it's a given that just about everything re SUPing is expensive when compared to prone surfing. Boards are more money, and in addition to that, one needs a paddle. Therefore when I decided to try the otter tail I initially inquired about the much less expensive ($165) wood model. But Steve informed me that his supplier was no longer able to get the wood otter tails, and that he only had two left in inventory, a 70" and 75" model. I needed an 82" paddle. So I bit the bullet and ordered the slightly cheaper fiberglass shaft (as compared to carbon fiber), 6.5" blade model recommended for surfing.

One of the primary reasons I wanted this particular paddle is that it is refuted to be a bit easier on the joints. At my age, easier on the joints sounds pretty good. I've developed a mild case of medial epicondylitis aka golfers elbow in my left elbow. This condition is easily treated but can linger, so I thought I'd try preventing further inflammations from occurring by reducing the stress on the tendon at the joint in question. The general wisdom re low surface area paddle blades states that paddlers can stroke at a higher rate of repetition, thus reducing stress injuries. Larger surface area blades make for a slower cadence with reduced ppm's (paddles per minute).But there are other reasons for the paddle purchase too.

The shape of the blade allows the paddler to get a quicker start from a dead stop because there is less resistance in the water. The blade is narrower at the tip and one can adjust the amount of water flowing past the blade by the depth at which the blade is inserted into the water. I immediately noticed the difference yesterday between my Kialoa Kole paddle and the Infinity otter tail. There was so much less resistance with the Infinity that at first I thought I was going to have trouble paddling into a wave. But that didn't prove to be true.

I like the less resistance quick start characteristic of the otter tail. On several waves I had to work hard to drop in because of my positioning, but I don't think I missed anything due to the paddle. Conversely I found that I could work up a pretty good head of steam by digging deep with the paddle blade and widening my grip on the paddle shaft. This gave me the full area of the paddle blade for propulsion and the wider hand placement provided the necessary leverage to power the blade.

The Infinity paddle shaft itself is a bit larger in circumference than the Kialoa and the shape is different. The otter tail shaft is round while the Kialoa shaft is more elliptical. The carbon fiber Kialoa is much more slippery when wet while the fiberglass retained a more "grippy" feel. I don't think I will need to install a paddle shaft grip pad like I did with the Kialoa.

Like always it takes a while to get used to something new and/or different. While I miss the more full bodied response of the wider blade Kialoa, I like the finesse of the otter tail. Whodda thought I'd have a quiver of paddles? But that's what it is. Just like one has different surfboards in their quiver, and various fins in their fin quiver, different paddles respond differently. Longterm I'm thinking the Kialoa would be a good distance paddle. I'm sure I'll switch back and forth just for fun. And that, along with physical fitness, is what it's all about!

Mele kalikimaka Santa.

For more info on this here's a pretty good review of the otter tail paddle. (Click here.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

High Surf, Low Temps

This morning's massive high tide wasn't even enough to offset the results of a double digit jump in swell numbers. Large waves were rolling through all the best spots promising some good surf later in the day if conditions hold...and they should. The low pressure storm system is heading east and being replaced by high pressure accompanied by light offshore winds and cold temperatures.

I've got yet another meeting this morning (final candidate interview for the 22nd Assembly District) and I'm really hoping that's it for the rest of the year except for the ratification meetings on the 27, 28, and 29. Then I'll be done and happily ensconced on my side of the hill for a long time.

I'll be back over in time for the low tide rising and I'm thinking the reefs could be the place if the swell doesn't get too big. More later...

Here's the later...The swell dropped dramatically during the day. MikeyB called me about at noon to say that he'd gotten some great waves mid to late morning. By the time I got into the water at 3:15PM there wasn't much left. The south/southeast wind was blowing onshore at about 5 mph. I surfed one of my favorite spots at the reefs by myself for two hours. I got tons of low quality waves, and a heck of a good workout as I was almost always in motion.

I was hoping that the incoming tide would juice up the waves but it didn't really happen. As soon as the south wind died down about 4:30, so did the waves. Since there was a lot more north in this swell, I figure that the energy just wasn't refracting into some spots. I happened to be at one of those spots.
December 21, 2007 (F)
In: 1515
1st Wave: 1530
Out: 1715
Wave count: n/a
AT= 54 - 47 degrees
WT= 54 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Partly cloudy
Tide: -1.0 Rising to 0.85
Wind: SE 6 mph to Calm
Sea Surface: Moderately bumpy
Buoy: NWS
1500:10.2 @ 12.9 WNW
1600: 12.1 @ 12.9 NW
1700: 11.2 @ 11.4 NW
1800: 11.5 @ 12.1 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 6' @ 12 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Late Afternoon Session

December 19, 2007 (W)
I got home earlier than expected after successfully concluding our new contract negotiations. I swung by the reefs and was pleased to see that there were surfable waves. I scooted home, geared up and returned to paddle out for an hour and a half before it went dark on me.

Got some fun waves at several different spots on the reefs with few people out and got in a real good paddle workout from the Pier to Sarge's and back. Waves ranged in size from knee high to slightly overhead. I swapped back in the 9" RFC and really enjoyed it.

Fin Report. Of all the center fins I've tried (I have consistently used the FCS GL side bites) I think I like the one pictured here below the best so far. It gives me great speed, drive, and snap off the bottom. Much to my surprise, it doesn't hang up in the kelp much worse than my 5" RFC. Re-directs on turnbacks and cutbacks feel comfortable and solid and I'm able to tip the board over on rail from the tail section without fighting that sluggish, boggy feeling I'm getting with the other fins. I'll keep this one in for a while, but I still like experimenting around. I am constantly amazed at how a board's performance can be so radically affected by a fin change. It simply adds another element to the fun.

The next rain storm is due tonight so this is the last chance for a surf and paddle before conditions deteriorate for awhile. This has been an excellent season for waves so far. Rainy season is just starting up but so far the wind and rain have still left plenty of open days to surf. I hope it stays that way.
December 19, 2007 (W)
In: 1550
1st Wave: unk
Out: 1725
Wave count: n/a
AT= 52 - 50 degrees
WT= 55 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Partly cloudy with frontal clouds moving in
Tide: 1.8 Rising to 3.0
Wind: SSE 1 mph to Calm
Sea Surface: Smooth with very light bump
Buoy: NWS
1500:11.2 @ 12.9 WNW
1600: 9.5 @ 13.8 WNW
1700: 9.8 @ 12.9 W
1800: 9.5 @ 13.8 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 6.5' @ 12 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Monday, December 17, 2007

Skunked in the AM, Scored in the PM

The rain drops banging in my gutter gave testimony to the light rain that fell from 11PM on last night, and into the morning. I thought the light easterlies that were blowing wouldn't affect the spots. Wrong. The sea surface this morning was rough like 60 grit sandpaper. Conditions were generally messed up. But there were waves, just not worth a paddle out. So, disappointed I abandoned my mission and headed back home, thinking conditions would continue to deteriorate. Wrong again.

About three o'clock I check the webcams and the sea surface in all locations looked relatively smooth, managable even. So I thought I'd take a chance and headed out. When I rounded the long curve at NB's I got a good look. Pretty smooth. Very nice. Life is Good!

Surfed for an hour and fifteen in consistently fun shoulder to head high plus waves. Only two to four guys out. Semi merry-go-round. Lots of aloha in the water. Calling out sets, sharing and giving away waves. It doesn't get any better. Made two new friends, Don and Mike. Good guys both.

Installed the blue RFC 7". It felt a little slow to begin with, but I made some fast waves with it. Also the Ohole was pretty maneuverable. It just seemed a little unstable in the hard turns. Fin hummed a bit too. (A little sand paper on the trailing edge should take care of that though.)
December 17, 2007 (M)
In: 1549
1st Wave: 1553
Out: 1705
Wave count: n/a
AT= 53 - 54 degrees
WT= 55 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Cloudy with storm clouds forming in the distance
Tide: 3.45 Rising to 3.46, Falling to 3.3
Wind: ESE 1-3mph to Calm
Sea Surface: Smooth with very light bump
Buoy: NWS
1500: 9.2 @ 12.1 WNW
1600: 11.5 @ 12.9 WNW
1700: 11.8 @ 12.9 WNW
1800: 12.1 @ 12.9 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 8' @ 12 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Leo Goes SUPing

I hate to use this cliche (actually I don't!) but 23 year old shortboard surfer and surfing columnist for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Leo Maxam, took to SUPing like a fish to water. Read Leo's article here.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dang Ding Repair

"But life is for learning." - Crosby, Stills and Nash, Back to the Garden.

I'm not the Board Lady. As my longtime brother firefighter MikeyC would say..."you're not even a pimple on the butt of the Board Lady." That being clearly understood I refer back to my opening sentence.

By way of review, the above picture is the original ding.

I solicited the help of my friend Andy who is handier than I but who had never worked with the situation, i.e. a ding in a pvc foam sandwich eps core construction surfboard. He had some materials but I didn't want to bum everything off him so I bought the above materials for this repair and for future repairs.

Prior to going to Andy's house I sanded and prepped the damaged areas and filled them with Surftech ding dough. It took much longer to cure than stated on the packaging. Once cured I sanded the excess. The ding dough is brown and ugly. I thought I had all the cracks and voids filled, but I discovered water leaking out of one of the pin holes so I decided it needed more "patching," therefore the trip to Andy's house.

At Andy's we cut a piece of cloth to cover the bottom ding. The top ding was small so all we did with that one was to "paint" a layer of sun cure epoxy on it. Later we sanded and painted it. For the bottom ding we used the epoxy repair kit and mixed resin and catalyst. We taped off the work area and saturated the cloth with a small brush. It took a long time to cure because it was a very cool day with cloud cover. We waited for it to harden, sanded it, taped the area off again and painted it with white Surftech spray paint.

The above pic shows the results after painting and finish sanding with 3200 wet sandpaper. Not very pretty and it still leaked a drop of water after surfing. Andy and I think that we did not adequately wet the cloth with resin, and that it did not cure properly because of the weather.

I was concerned that water was going to penetrate the eps core but NC Paddle Surfer said that the water was from "the void left by the dent." But I didn't want any leakage at all so I decided to repair the repair. Because I didn't like the Surftech ding dough I bought a tube of Brudda Brand ding dough after reading about it on the Stand Up Zone forum. I used a very small amount and pressed it into the uneven surface of the repair. I thought I had pushed material into every crevice and hole.

When finished I sanded it smooth and prepped it for painting. It looked smooth and entirely sealed when I noticed that there were two pin holes that had not been filled. Being the meticulous craftsman that I am, I said, "screw it!" And proceeded to the painting step.

I taped off and painted the area. I used Surftech spray paint in a can and hoped for a good color match. Up close you can see that the colors don't match. A real repair person would probably mix their own color and apply it with an airbrush. The first time we painted the surface we had trouble with paint runs. So this time, I actually took my time and put a "dusting" of paint on in six or seven successive layers.

No runs and it looked pretty good except for one pin hole. I thought, it can't possibly leak...The garage was cold by then so I closed the overhead door and set up a propane heater about six feet from the board and repair area. I thought a little heat would help the paint set up faster.

Much to my unhappy surprise, a couple air bubbles caused by off gassing (I think) developed in the repaired area. At first I thought it was water, but since eps off gases so easily I think it must have been the application of heat too close to the board. In fact the underside of the board trapped some heat from the propane heater and it was very warm to the touch.

After the air bubble collapsed and everything cured I waited a couple days before final sanding with 3200 wet sand paper. In those several days I surfed for about four and half hours. The repairs are water tight and I haven't seen any water leaking out. In this final picture you can clearly see the big pin hole, some satellite pin holes and the paint color differences. C'est la vie. (I refer back to my first sentence again.)

I'm glad I got the chance to work with the material and learn more about it. If I had it to do all over again, I would just make sure all the water was out of the damaged area. Knowing that there was no core penetration, I would sand and prep it and fill it with Brudda ding dough. After that was cured I would sand and smooth and take it surfing. If no leaks developed I would prep and paint it. There was really no need to use the cloth for this job, but it was interesting working with it. I would be more careful about using heat.

Summary thoughts: 1) It's too bad the ding dough isn't white then I could just use the dough for most repairs and go on my merry, lazy way. But the second you sand to prep, you get right down to the carbon gray color under the paint. 2) While pvc foam sandwich construction makes for a very durable board and undoubtedly is tougher than p/u or epoxy construction (especially when it comes to reducing dings from your paddle bashes), it does receive damage. The worst aspect of repair is having to paint it. 3) Dings that penetrate the eps core would necessitate extra work and more research, but repairing them could be done by an amateur. 4) If the repair restores the structural integrity of the board then all is well. Unless I get a lot better at the cosmetics, before I sell the board I'd take it to a professional to clean it up and make it pretty.

Swell Improves, Rain Coming

Andy and I paddled out together this morning at 0715. It was considerably warmer than yesterday morning. Air temp today was 42 compared to yesterday's 34. Water temp is still at 52.5 measured at the farshore buoy.

Although the swell has been putting up good numbers, direction at our location was still not right. Set waves were in the head high range but very few were lining up and the fast sections were gobbling people up as well as just stopping them in their tracks. A lot of guys were getting pitched on take off. I had a hard time getting water shots with the Oly because there were very few safety zones, i.e. places I could safely stand to take pics and still be out of the way. After surfing I went down to Craptown and took some shots of the longboarders having fun.

I paddled all over the place picking up waves at several different spots from Gdubs to Sarges. Wind blew offshore the whole time. One great improvement today was the sea surface. It was smooth for the most part with just the offshore wind ripples. And the double waves of yesterday had disappeared. Jamie sat on the Tweeners peak and picked up the wave of the session. A sweet little speed line into a backdoor peak and half-pipe cover up. Nice!

Following up on yesterday's post, I installed the 9" Harbour HP fin. I didn't like the effects it produced in the Ohlohe's performance as compared to my Harbour WingPin performance longboard. The two primary objections are that the fin catches in the kelp and the exaggerated rake seems to hold me too high in the wave face. I like riding high but I felt like I was constantly fighting to push the board down the wave face. Andy suggested that I remove the FCS GL side-biters, because I used the fin as a single fin in the WingPin. That's a good idea but I would still have to deal with the kelp issue. The RFC 9" didn't hang as badly in the kelp.

Both the 9" RFC and the 9" Harbour improved the speed performance of the Angulo by giving me the drive that the smaller 5" RFC couldn't deliver. I also have a 7" RFC fin that I haven't tried yet. Perhaps that will give me the full benefit of a shallower draft for the kelp, but increased drive for speed. More on that after I try the 7". So far, on anything with some juice I would use the 9" RFC fin.
December 15, 2007 (Sa)
In: 0715
1st Wave: 0730
Out: 0915
Wave count: n/a
AT= 42 - 48 degrees
WT= 52.5 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Clear and moderately cold and partly cloudy
Tide: 3.2 Falling to 3.1 feet, Rising to 3.2
Wind: Steady moderately light NW offshores switching to northeasterlies
Sea Surface: Smooth with light offshore wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0600: 6.6 @ 16 WNW
0700: 6.6 @ 16 WNW
0800: 6.9 @ 16 WNW
0900: 6.6 @ 16 WNW
1000: 6.2 @ 16 WNW
1100: 6.6 @ 16 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 5' @ 17 seconds (Nearshore buoy approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model