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

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Storm Dodging

I didn't think this clear spot in the storm chain would be so brief, or the session so short, even with a dawn patrol paddle out. But I was able to get in two hours of good exercise in some fun but inconsistent and lumpy waist/chest high waves.

Only Jamie and Tim out at 0715 when I paddled into the line-up. Jamie had to head to work pretty quick, leaving me and Tim out to trade a few. As I watched three SUPs launch from the beach I told Tim not to turn around lest he crap his wetsuit. His comment..."I wish it was like five years ago, when there weren't any!" Oh well, times change.

Mash was out on his not so new anymore Tim Stamps 9'2" X 29" SUP "shortboard," and I immediately made him give it up. It's definitely different surfing a short SUP board. I caught about six or seven waves, but not really enough to get a comfortable feel for the board. It's just way different than my 10-2, or any other SUP I've had the chance to try. My first impressions: paddles well, not much yaw (he's running a 2+1 set-up with a 7.5" center and two Future 450 quad sides); catches waves remarkably easy; is VERY light epoxy/EPS construction; will definitely turn on rail when I figure out how to do it better; punching through waves was a surprise in that it just scooted over the top of the whitewash, leaving me flat on my back once...my bad. I had a hard time keeping the nose down while surfing (more rocker than I'm used to and a bit of an offshore). I never felt like I had "control" of the board, but I think this is due to the fact that in my opinion it is a different feel and one surfs it in a different way. (Mash said I was too far back on the board, and needed to move my stance forward.) The biggest negative I experienced wasn't "tippiness" in the sense one would expect of a short, relatively narrow (for it's length) SUP, rather it was a disconcerting side to side sliding feeling, like an exercise balance board almost. Again, this is something one would get used to, and develop the additional strength and stamina needed to be "on it" physically at all times. I spent a lot of time adjusting to changing sea surface conditions, which left less time to "rest" in between waves. Also, I was more susceptible to side chop while paddling for waves, But I need to spend some more time on it, and seeing as how Mash wants to hit the beaches more often, I've got a feeling I might get some of that in the future. Imagine...a shortboard SUP? What a concept! One thing about which there is no doubt, Stamps builds beautiful boards!

Steve was out on his longboard, Kevin on his Kazuma SUP and surprisingly few others, 'cause the surf was for sure good enough to be out with so few people in the water. Fellow SUP surfers Mash, MikeyB and Scott headed in after an hour or so, but I wanted to get my fill as more storms are coming and I've got to teach or substitute all next week, so I stayed out. But the tide swamped it, waves got fewer, quality dropped, and the storm freakish lumpiness just got worse.

The buoys all up and down the coast were all double digits late last night and this morning, NWS issued a high surf advisory, the whole 9 Yards, but generally it sucked. The swell definitely didn't live up to it's publicity. I'm sure the top spots were bigger, and probably better, but all in all, it was a disappointment (mirroring the totality of this winter season's surf so far). (Scimi's looked good and there was a crowd of shortboarders on it, including a bunch of sponsored surfers who were being videoed from the beach by two photogs.)

But, putting a Happy Face on it, I'll take what I got over not getting any at all.
Feb 12, 2009 (Th)
In: 0715
Out: 0930
AT= 40F to 49F
WT= 54F
Wx: Partly cloudy and sunny
Tide: 1.3' Rising to 3.3'
Wind: Offshore to calm to light easterlies, north and south
Sea Surface: Glassy to lightly wind rippled with lumps
10-2 Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail carbon fiber paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin (fourth mark up from back) and Future Fiberglass YU (actual fin not shown)
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0700: 5.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0730: 5.9 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0800: 6.2 feet @ 14.3 WNW
0830: 5.9 feet @ 14.3 WNW
0900: 5.9 feet @ 13.3 WNW
0930: 5.6 feet @ 14.3 WNW
1000: 5.6 feet @ 10.5 WNW

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