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

Saturday, April 25, 2009

South Swell Day 3 and Starting to Fade

I finally made this morning's dawn patrol after missing some good waves yesterday. The angle on the south isn't really optimal for the Reefs, which is perhaps one of the reasons it's been so inconsistent, although inconsistency is a hallmark of the south swell. I almost didn't even make the attempt 'cause the data on the buoys and CDIP looked pretty dismal. But all the forecasts were solid...there had to be some more waves this morning. As I drove up to the overlook and got out to check it, I was greeted by a nice set of small waves peeling over the kelpy low tide reefs. Game on!

I paddled out at 0618 and Sarge's was just section after section in shallow water filled with kelp. Jamie and John were already on YH, so I headed there and shared some small ones for the first part of the session. After a while Greg paddled out and joined us on his 10-10 Angulo.

Eventually I headed over to the stairs, being lured there by a couple really nice six wave sets. Even though the rides there were short, there was some size to the waves and I got a little adrenalin going which helped with my wave jones. Sam was out on his (old) PSH 9-2 AA stand up, and he got the wave of the day that I saw anyway, picking up a nice head high bomb with a long sloping shoulder that took him way inside before it closed over the shallow and unmakeable reef section. Sam's cousin Allan was taking some good waves on his SUP.

It was cold this morning. Air temps stuck at 49/50 degrees, and all the solar gain we picked up in the water has disappeared. Water temp at paddleout was 49.8F. More than one surfer said it felt like winter again. Especially after the southwest winds started up soon into the session.

But all in all even though the waves were inconsistent, there were some really fun ones when the sets came through. As usually YH was smaller than Sarges. Joanna said she had a two session surf on Friday and the wind went offshore for a while around noon. Still, she said today's session was more fun overall, and she thought the waves were just a bit better. I'll go with that.

Again, I didn't get much in the way of pics with the Oly, just a shot of John on his 11' Munoz (big man, big board) on a very small insider at YH. I just didn't seem to be in the right place at the right time, or if I was, I played major fumble fingers getting the cam out of my wetsuit.

Apr 25, 2009 (Sa)
In: 0618
Out: 0915
AT= 48.1 - 51.8F
WT= 49/50F
Wx: Cold, broken overcast with clearing
Tide: -.5' Rising to 2.6'
Wind: Calm to light to moderate southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy to light to moderate wind ripples
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
0600: 1.6 feet @ 15.4 SW (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0630: 1.6 feet @ 15.4 SSW
0700: 1.6 feet @ 15.4 SW (1 - 3 ft. faces)
0730: 1.6 feet @ 15.4 SW
0800: 1.6 feet @ 15.4 SW (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0830: 1.6 feet @ 15.4 SW
0900: 2.0 feet @ 14.3 SW (1 - 3 ft. faces)
0930: 1.6 feet @ 14.3 SSW

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vacation Destination = Home

Paddled out into the last of the blast furnace wind and weather at 3:08PM. By the time I got out of the water at 5:15, the wind had changed direction 180 degrees and the temperature had dropped 16 degrees. Heat wave at the coast is over. Glad I got some.

Again, I just went to enjoy the warm weather and a relaxing paddle workout. And again I encountered some fun waves. Shot some pics of a contingent of wetsuit-less longboarders at Gdubs having a great time in the small, clean surf. Surfed by myself twice at Scimi's on my way up to, and back from, the Point. Grabbed a few at the Point and picked off a really nice (and surprising) set wave at TresEight's on the way back down coast. The downwind run from the Point back to Sarges was a fun, haul ass paddle, but as I paddled into Gdubs the wind did that one-eighty shift in a matter of moments...from down wind to head wind. Wow...what a difference.

The three-fin thruster set-up continues to work very well in the small waves and kelpy conditions. The Angulo custom continues to amaze as it nose rides so easily, even with the shallow draft fins. On one wave the tail broke loose for a quick second but when I eased off the nose it locked right back in. Very stable and no loss of speed or stability. Great board!

Apr 21, 2009 (Tu)
In: 1508
Out: 1720
AT= 84.7 - 68.2F
WT= 53F
Wx: Clear, hot and sunny
Tide: 1.0' Rising to 2.2'
Wind: Hot south westerlies at 1-10 mph changing to cool easterly winds at 1-7 mph
Sea Surface: Light to moderate wind ripples
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
1500: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 W
1530: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1600: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 WNW
1630: 1.0 feet @ 13.3 SW (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1700: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 W
1730: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Record Temps/Small Waves

I love it when it gets like this...about seven days a year. It's hot. The wind is hot. It's sunny. The water temperature increased over four degrees before cooling down a couple. I paddled and surfed in board shorts, long sleeve rashie, rose colored dark glasses and full brim hat. I set out from a crowded family beach full of kids and adults of every ilk who were just enjoying an unseasonally rare day at the beach together. I paddled just to paddle, expecting no waves, but I got a load of 'em at other revelers but me surfing the small lines into the kelp. Spent every wave practicing tip riding...this board makes me better than I am. I love soaking this is so good.

Postscript: Oly water cam resurrected. When I took it in for warranty it worked just fine. Consensus among the reps was sand or another small piece of debris in the sliding lens cover. Used it for some of today's pics and they look OK.

Apr 20, 2009 (M)
In: 1515
Out: 1720
AT= 88.1 - 81.7F
WT= 53F
Wx: Clear, hot and sunny
Tide: 1.0' Rising to 2.5'
Wind: Hot south westerlies at 2-6 mph with sporadic gusts up to 10 mph
Sea Surface: Light to moderate wind ripples
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
1500: 2.0 feet @ 11.8 W
1530: 2.0 feet @ 11.1 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1600: 1.6 feet @ 11.1 W
1630: 1.6 feet @ 11.1 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1700: 2.0 feet @ 10.5 W
1730: 1.6 feet @ 11.1 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Westerly Ground/Wind Swells Back Down

I'd forgotten how cold it can get around here in April. 37 degrees F when I got up to crack it this morning for what I figured would be the last of this three-day swell event. Fortunately it warmed all the way up to 40 degrees when I paddled out at 0620. Again, Jamie, Johanna and Sean were out, cleaning up the last of the remnants.

The strong offshores reamed everything out and there were no clouds in the sky, just cold, clean air. Water temp was a brisk 50 degrees. With air at 40 and sea at 50, and not much swell energy left in the water to take us over and past the low tide kelp challenge, I only lasted two hours before calling it a day. As I write this an hour and a half later, my toes are still numb.

Sarge's was only a shadow of it's yesterday self, putting up low energy walls in the slowly dropping tide. I rode there for a while then paddled over to Gdubs and took down about a dozen waves. One other guy out besides me and plenty of waves, just not real high quality. Not a lot of long rides this morning, very sectiony.

Finished up at Sarge's with Greg and Andy on their SUPs. Compared to yesterday the kelp was a lot worse. I think the reason is that yesterday there was plenty of energy to drive fast through the stalks. Not so today.

Winds are supposed to die down later today and then go calm for the rest of the work week and into the weekend, but they were still pretty cranked up on the Westside this afternoon. Hopefully as they moderate, the ocean will warm up a little, something like a nice toast 54 degrees would be great.

Apr 15, 2009 (W)
In: 0620
Out: 0820
AT= 40 - 46F
WT= 50F
Wx: Clear, cold and sunny
Tide: 1.5' Falling to .5'
Wind: Light south westerlies increasing
Sea Surface: Light to moderate wind ripples
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
0630: 6.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0700: 6.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW (2 - 4 ft. faces)
0730: 6.2 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0800: 6.2 feet @ 10.5 WNW (2 - 4 ft. faces)
0830: 5.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0900: 4.9 feet @ 11.8 WNW (1 - 3 ft. faces)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Westerly Swell Ramps up with Raging Winds

The westerly swell that started filling in yesterday, jumped up today, sending in consistent chest/head high waves (occasionally overhead) from first light on. The south swell has backed down for now. Winds, which the NWS predicted to be near gale force, started out light from the north, and pumped up as the day wore on. I thought they would swing around and turn side shore at some point, but they never did. They blew like a hurricane straight offshore starting around mid-morning.

I paddled out at 0615 and was fourth at Sarges main peak. Jamie, Sean and Johanna were already out, taking down some nice, fast peelers in the draining tide. Tide was pretty low to begin with and as it dropped it got shallower, faster and steeper. It never really got crowded until just before I got out of the water after a six hour session. It was the best waves I've had all year without question, and probably the best lower tide waves I've ever had at Sarges. Definitely classic because it very rarely blows hard offshore like it did for hours on end this morning, with a good swell in the water.

The wind was really interesting to deal with. Many times I just sat on my knees, maneuvering with the paddle to stay (try anyway) in one place. Several times the wind just blew me off the wave as I struggled to drop in. Paddling back out was a "breeze" (sorry, had to do it), as all I had to do was stand still and the wind blew me out the back at about 3-4 knots. Then the work began to try and stay on the line-up. But I'll take the wind any day. Usually at low tide the reefs are just section after section, usually a short ride then kick out as the next section comes over. But today the wind held up a lot of sections which made for screaming rippers into the next wall and section.

Today, I again surfed the circuit from Sarges to Casa's, outside Gdubs to YH and back again. I finished up at Sarge's in fast and steep zippers that yielded long rides from either the Main Peak or the Wall, to past the nudie beach, almost to Prow Point. What an incredible day!

The biggest hassle was the kelp which was almost all encompassing. But I only got tied up badly once, when I got caught inside on a pretty big wave. When I came up I was completely tangled in kelp and couldn't move my legs or the paddle. It took a couple minutes to free myself. Maneuvering was tedious so what everyone was doing was either trying to find a clear spot in the forest, or sit on the edge of the kelp line. That worked great except for the waves that broke in the kelp bed. Those were tough to catch because they just stop you in your tracks mid-paddle. A shallow fin set-up, or a fin with a lot of rake is highly desirable in this stuff. No one expects it to get better, and almost everyone wants to form a kelp cutting party. But because we live in a marine sanctuary and many are environmentalist types, I kinda doubt it will happen. James at Freeline says we need a giant West swell to clean it up. Come on big West!

Really a cold April day today with low temps and wind chill aided by the heavy offshores. Because of the wind the water is cooling down again. It looked and felt like a sunny winter day.

Wouldn't ya know it my camera stopped working I got zip, zero, nada in the way of visual images. Too bad because I saw some great, great rides. By the time I got out I was almost late for a meeting so I got no land based shots either.

The Angulo 10-0 custom worked it's magic, trimming through section after section with waves pounding on my shoulders and back, but the Angulo was having nothing to do with wipeouts. Nothing but fast and well controlled surfing. What a magic board this is!

Postscript: Thanks to Big Al who sent me some pics of a few waves I got which he took from the landing.

Apr 14, 2009 (Tu)
In: 0620
Out: 1220
AT= 40.7 - 59F
WT= 51.3-50.5F
Wx: Low clouds to the east with high thin clouds above to sunny with some cumulus
Tide: .9' Falling to .1', Rising to 2.0'
Wind: Light offshore to heavy offshores up to 13 mph with gusts up to 17 mph
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples to heavy chatter
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
0600: 8.5 feet @ 11.1 WNW (3 - 6 ft. faces)
0630: 6.6 feet @ 10.5 WNW
0700: 7.9 feet @ 12.5 WNW (3 - 6+ ft. faces)
0730: 7.2 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0800: 8.5 feet @ 11.8 WNW (3 - 6+ ft. faces)
0830: 7.5 feet @ 10.5 WNW
0900: 7.9 feet @ 10.5 WNW (3 - 6 ft. faces)
0930: 7.9 feet @ 12.5 WNW
1000: 7.2 feet @ 11.1 WNW (3 - 6 ft. faces)
1030: 6.9 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1100: 6.9 feet @ 11.1 WNW (4 - 6 ft. faces)
1130: 7.5 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1200: 9.8 feet @ 11.1 WNW (4 - 6 ft. faces)
1230: 8.2 feet @ 11.8 WNW

Monday, April 13, 2009

New South/NW Combo Fills In

An anxiously anticipated, but relatively weak energy combo swell filled in last night, bringing some fun peelers to the reefs. South swell sets were the most inconsistent, but when they came, they came in sets of 6 to 9 waves each. The NW sets were smaller, and more thinly populated.

I paddled out at 0615 for a five hour session at Sarges, Casas, Gdubs, Yellow House, Sarges, Casas, Gdubs, Casas and that order. In actuality, the lowest tides of the morning made surfing everywhere but YH almost impossible. There was no clear water, free from kelp to stand/sit in, and the kelp beds would literally drag you off the wave. Still, rides were plentiful, and the scene so delightful with combo swell waves gracing our shores, I didn't want to get out. Michael and Priscilla surfed with me early, then I surfed with Ron, Barry and Gary later in the morning. Crowds were light in the morning because of the low tide/kelp condition, and grew during the day as the sun rose, but never got too bad.

Winds stayed light all morning, starting offshore and then gently shifting onshore around 0900. It's too bad the kelp situation is so rapacious. It literally hurt to see a five wave set pour through Gdubs going unridden because the take-off was packed with non-negotiable kelp. We need to hire a kelp cutter, like the one that harvests off the point for the up coast abalone farms.

My Olympus waterproof cam took a dump again, this time refusing to close the lens cover and making whirring electronic noises while it displays cryptic error messages on the screen. Glad I got the extended warranty. I may be enroute to getting a new camera. Therefore, I didn't get many shots this morning. I headed back over later in the day to check the afternoon surf at the higher tide, and snapped a few with my land based unit.

Apr 13, 2009 (M)
In: 0615
Out: 1115
AT= 46.4 - 52.8F
WT= 51/52F
Wx: High wispy clouds with low clouds moving in mid-morning
Tide: .2' Falling to -.8', Rising to 1.8'
Wind: Calm to light offshore switching to NE then variable SE/S
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
0600: 2.6 feet @ 16.7 WNW (3 - 5 ft. faces)
0630: 2.0 feet @ 15.4 WNW
0700: 3.6 feet @ 16.7 WNW (3 - 5 ft. faces)
0730: 3.0 feet @ 16.7 WNW
0800: 2.6 feet @ 15.4 WNW (3 - 5 ft. faces)
0830: 3.3 feet @ 16.7 W
0900: 3.0 feet @ 16.7 W (3 - 5 ft. faces)
0930: 3.6 feet @ 16.7 W
1000: 3.3 feet @ 15.4 WNW (3 - 5 ft. faces)
1030: 3.6 feet @ 15.4 WNW
1100: 3.3 feet @ 14.3 WNW (2 - 4 ft. faces)
1130: 3.0 feet @ 14.3 WNW

Friday, April 10, 2009

Low Energy West Ground Swell

Note: Due to an almost 24-hour internet outage this post is for Thursday, April 9.

I've been tracking this swell for a few days and it started to show on the reefs Wednesday afternoon late. Quality was pretty poor, with lots of sections, and there was still a lot of southwest wind from the passing rain storms. I figured there might be a window of opportunity at the dawn patrol Thursday morning to get some real ground swell waves before the forecast southerly winds and the next rain storm blew through.

I was finally able to drag myself out of bed early enough to make the first light dawn patrol. (Always a tough transition when we switch to daylight saving time.) The internet was down when I got up to check the surf and conditions, but I decided there was enough evidence of swell in the water and decent wind conditions to suit up and take a chance on getting a few good waves. I was right.

I paddled out at Sarge's at 0640, tide .2 ft. and rising. Because the kelp has grown so thick in this area of the reefs, and the swell wasn't putting up enough wave energy and water to lift one over the kelp carpet, it was unrideable. The main take-off was in a kelp bed so thick that catching the wave and riding it was impossible. So I paddled up reef to check Casa's and Gdubs.

Casa's wasn't putting up anything as consistent as Gdubs so I paddled there and found a clear spot of ocean to launch from. I surfed there for three hours, the first hour by myself in fairly consistent, waist to shoulder high fast breaking peelers. Max there were only two or three surfing with me for the entire session. It wasn't real high quality surf. Most waves would section after a fun and zippy ride in two to three feet of water. but it was clean and uncrowded and I got a ton of waves. Overall, the waves were smaller than earlier this week, but more consistent. Therefore more waves, more surfing, more fun.

As the tide filled in the reefs started to swamp with water, and the waves got fuller and lumpier. Crowds were thin and I wonder if it was because of the internet outage. People couldn't check it and decided to go back to bed. Also the weather was looking foul. Scimi's, up-reef from Gdubs, is usually always packed with surfers. At it's peak this morning, when the waves were best, there were only five people out at the main peak. There were so few people that I never did get any shots of people on the waves. Lack of people, lack of serendipity...either I was in the wrong spot to shoot, or they were.

Wind was calm to light from the east at paddle out, then got progressively sideshore/onshore. By 0900 it was blowing pretty well onshore, causing the waves to crumble. I was out at 0930.

Apr 9, 2009 (Th)
In: 0640
Out: 0935
AT= data unavailable
WT= 52F
Wx: Low clouds and overcast with some sporadic light rain
Tide: .2' Rising to 3.1'
Wind: Calm to light easterly switching to brisk southeasterlies (onshore)
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples to wind scallops
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
0630: 2.3 feet @ 16.7 W
0700: 2.3 feet @ 16.7 W (3 - 4 ft. faces)
0730: 2.0 feet @ 15.4 W
0800: 2.6 feet @ 16.7 W (3 - 4 ft. faces)
0830: 2.0 feet @ 16.7 W
0900: 2.0 feet @ 16.7 W (3 - 4 ft. faces)
0930: 2.3 feet @ 16.7 W
1000: 2.0 feet @ 16.7 W (3 - 4 ft. faces)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Angulo 10-0 Custom Stand Up paddle Surfboard Review

Before I launch into my review of the Angulo 10-0 Custom stand up paddle surfboard (SUpS), a few essential points must be made, firstly about me. I am a 62 year old, life long surfer, having started at age 16 in Southern California. I am in excellent physical condition and work at it. I have owned and surfed all kinds of surfboards, and I have never advanced beyond the skill level of advanced intermediate recreational surfer. I am an amateur student of surfboard design and production and most things related to the sport of surfing.

Second, all surfboard/paddleboard reviews are personal and subjective and should be viewed with a skeptical eye. Not all reviews are without bias or an agenda. (In the interest of full disclosure it must be stated that I produce and maintain the Angulo SUP blog. Other than that, I have no other affiliation with the surfing industry.) No review can ever take the place of your own good judgment and needs. Needs are personal and change with time, therefore what you think of a SUP or SUpS now, may change in six months based upon various conditions and facts (like you are a lot better at stand up paddle surfing after doing it for a while than you were when you started).

Finally, when considering the purchase of a SUpS, Try Before You Buy if you can. Most reputable dealers, and those who are in it for the long run, will have demo days, or boards you can try. Some sellers will even take you out paddling or paddle surfing. Getting your feet on the board, and paddling/surfing it in the water is always the best way to do your research on any individual board you are considering. After all, these things are expensive!

Angulo 10-0 Custom EPS/Epoxy Stand Up paddle Surfboard (SUpS)

Keeping the first three paragraph disclaimer in mind, it isn't going to be easy to write an unbiased review of this stand up paddle surfboard, mainly because I love this board! I've owned three Angulo SUPs. My first was the 10-4 Olohe production board; second the 10-2 Perfect Wave production board; and my current board which was custom built for me by Ed Angulo at his shop on Maui. What I've learned in the almost two years I've been stand up paddle boarding is that I love to surf primarily, and I love to surf on a stand up paddle board. Therein was the "problem."

I had the great good fortune of hanging out and surfing with Ed last October during the Sacred Craft Expo in San Diego. We surfed together at San-O, Cardiff Reefs and some spots outside of Santa Barbara on our way back up north. Little did I know that Ed was noting and logging for future use, my surfing skills, and "likes and dislikes" about this that and the other thing. As a smaller guy, I often grumped about how hard it was for light guys to turn big heavy SUPs, even if they were relatively short in length. I'd go on and on about swing weight, and trying to redirect a board that just wanted to keep going due to it's weight. It was much harder to "hot dog" most SUPs, because after all, that generation of SUPs were paddleboards you could surf. What I wanted was a surfboard I could paddle, without having to expend all my energy just standing and balancing on the board. That, was the holy grail, a stand up paddle board that surfed like a surfboard, and was stable to paddle.

When Ed came to the mainland from Maui for the Expo, he brought one of his custom eps/epoxy prototypes as a demo board. Long story short, after I paddled and surfed it, there was no turning back...I wanted one! (So did two other guys who tried it.) So we ordered three boards which Ed made for us in Hawaii, and then shipped over to our homes on the mainland.

This prototype custom shaped board seemed to solve the problems of heavy production models that were difficult to move around if you didn't weigh in at around 190 plus. They were light, often lighter than a custom polyurethane board of the same length. They surfed like a good all-around long board. They were fast, loose and good noseriders. And the holy grail part? They were stable to paddle. What was there not to like?

We all ordered the same prototype board and design, except that Ed knew more than I (from his observations surfing together) exactly what I wanted and how I surfed. So he tweaked mine just enough to make it a perfect fit for me. At first I wasn't sure if this was going to work, now I'm so thankful that he put his insights and master board builder skills to work, to make me a magic board, that is really more than I expected.

You can get a pretty good idea of the boards plan shape and foil from the pictures. The dims are: 10-0 X 19 X 29 1/4 X 19 X 4 1/4. Rocker is 5 7/8" at the nose, and at the tail, 3 3/8". Those specs give a rough idea of how the board is proportioned, but what you can't tell from them is how well the board is foiled out, including the "surfboard" rocker that Ed shaped into the board, as opposed to the flatter paddleboard rocker.

Another key design feature that works so well for me is the rail and bottom shape. The board has a single concave at the nose that blends into a double concave about a third back and runs out the back of the board with some vee shaped into the tail. The rails hold a very hard to hard edge from the tail up through the boxy midsection for about 70% of the length of the board, before going soft out the nose. The board's wide point is slightly forward of center.

Another feature that I've liked in all the boards I've owned for the last 10 years or so is the tail, a rounded pin with wings. For me this tail surfs fast while allowing for maneuverability. I favor surfing off my back foot, with pivot turns off a thruster, or 2+1 fin set-up. I also like to pump the board and carve the wave face, climbing and dropping, turning off the bottom and then back off the top. I love the motion and feel of that kind of surfing.

I've surfed this board for about 25 hours in small to head high waves, in reef breaks, point breaks and beach breaks. It is a performance board and works extremely well in all conditions surfed so far. I haven't taken it out in bigger waves (double overhead is about my personal max) because we haven't had any big waves since last November. But I fully expect the board to be stable and fast in bigger surf. One of the reasons I think this, is the fin set-up.

The prototype board we all rode was set-up as a single fin. But being the fin freak that I am, I ordered my 10-0 with Future sides and a 10" center box. Riding the prototype as a single fin was impressive because of how easily the board would turn, hold and noseride. But since I like having the option of surfing at least three configurations, I asked Ed to install the side fin boxes. Having the option to install larger or smaller fins, in single or multiple fin configurations, will either stiffen and stabilize a board, or make it looser. I've had a lot of fun over the years playing and experimenting with fins. Just changing fin configurations is like having two or three boards in one.

I bought a RFC Pivot Fin (same as in the prototype) because it worked so well. And it works just as well in the 10-0. Amazingly well, I've had it in fast beach break and made some very steep and late drops with the single fin, drops I never thought I could have made with a longboard. And they call it the Pivot fin for a good reason. It pivot turns on a dime and redirects on a dime too. This is possible due to the design of the fin, and the board, and above all, due to the light weight build of the custom sandwich construction. And this is the heart of the review.

Ed is a master craftsman who has been building boards for many years. He began working with expanded polystyrene in the 80's. He has used it to build a variety of types of boards including wind surfing, surfing and stand up paddle surfing. He has the same experience with epoxy resins. But above all, he has developed a proprietary vacuum bagging process that he just calls, "custom sandwich construction." This is what makes the board light and extremely strong, which is important for anyone flailing around with a paddle near their board. The weight savings to be gained by a custom over a production board is at least four to six pounds. My board weighs in at an amazingly light, 19 pounds. If you are currently surfing a 10' longboard, weigh it and see how it compares. You might be "way" surprised.

My Angulo 10-0 has simply solved the problem of how to blend stand up paddling with lay down surfing. My stand up paddle surfboard surfs as well or better than any lay down longboard I've ever owned. Therefore, no need to have a regular longboard in my quiver. Since I still like to lay down paddle every now and again, I'm going to get a 6-10 "short"board. I've got longboard surfing covered, now I'll be able to cover shortboarding, which is a different "genre" of stand up surfing.

All this isn't to dis production stand up paddleboards. I'm keeping my Angulo 10-2 Perfect Wave as a back up, and because I like to paddle surf it too. It worked so well in the double overhead waves of last November's one and only big Winter swell, that I wouldn't hesitate to use it again. There is something to be said for a heavier, flatter board with enough rocker to surf big waves. The Perfect Wave is insanely fast, and catches anything in it's path. For big waves where paddle power, stability, speed and a little extra weight are desirable, the 10-2 is "Perfect."

For anyone who wants to surf their stand up paddleboard like a surfboard, a surfboard you can paddle; the custom, hand built epoxy construction (SUpS), especially as built by Angulo, is a guaranteed winner. One of Ed's boards will keep the discriminating surfer satisfied wave after wave after wave. You will get MORE than your money's worth. And that's saying a lot given the state of today's economy and the overall prices of stand up paddle surfboards....that really work!

Monday, April 6, 2009

W/WNW Gulf Swell Fun But Inconsistent

I've been tracking this swell for almost a week. There have been so few real ground swells to track this Winter/Spring that I definitely needed the practice. I put it in our area at 9PM last night, and that's just about when it arrived.

First light was showing 4-6 ft. waves at the Point and the Arena. But the swell didn't really have enough juice to overcome the tide. So while the peaks and first drops looked good, the waves were mushing out on the inside. It got better on the lowering tide.

I paddled out at Sarge's at 1140 and surfed for a little over two hours. Sarge's was small, everything was pretty small on my reefs, but there were a few fun ones. Mostly waves were in the knee to chest high range. But some sets pushed in a few shoulder high waves, and some even had long walls to work, which were rare, but super fun.

Weather was good. Sunny with high cirrus clouds, prefacing the incoming rain storm which is supposed to fill in tomorrow. Wind wasn't bad at paddle out, but got increasingly strong and gusty as the day wore on. Waits for good waves were long, and in the gusty wind, I spent all my time slowly stroking on one side, then the other, just to stay in one spot. To rest I'd get on my knees and paddle, or sit straddling the board...and paddle.

All in all it was a fun day of surfing, and it may be the best day all week if the conditions deteriorate as the forecast predicts.

Apr 6, 2009 (M)
In: 1140
Out: 1355
AT= 61F to 60F
WT= 50F
Wx: Clear and sunny with some high cirrus clouds
Tide: 2.6' Falling to .3'
Wind: Moderate to light then increasing to winds and gusts of up to 14 mph
Sea Surface: Wind ripples to light wind chop
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom 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)
1130: 3.6 feet @ 13.3 WNW
1200: 4.6 feet @ 15.4 W (2 - 4 ft. faces)
1230: 3.9 feet @ 14.3 W
1300: 3.9 feet @ 15.4 W (2 - 4 ft. faces)
1330: 3.9 feet @ 14.3 WNW
1400: 3.9 feet @ 15.4 W (2 - 4 ft. faces)
1430: 4.6 feet @ 15.4 W

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Small But Improved in Dying Wind Swell

Surfed Eric's 6-6 again this morning, actually with Eric who was just getting ready to paddle out when I arrived at Platty's. Surf was a little better than a couple days ago, but no "real" sand bars to be found. With very little wind and sunny conditions it made for a fun morning with a lot of waist/chest high walls.

I checked the down coast beaches first (posted pics) but there was really only one peak working and bunch of guys already on it, so I decided to motor the short distance up coast to Platty's for the session. The waves were smaller there, as is usually the case.

Today's waves were the fading progeny of yesterday's wind swell, put up by blustery, Springtime north westerly winds. Water temps are down there due to the upwelling and the winds. Eric has a thermometer in his watch (what a lucky guy!) and it was registering 52 degrees. The nearshore buoy has it at 49.3F, but that's a little further from shore than in the beach break. Either way it was freakin' cold! My hands went pretty numb at about an hour, and I knew it was time to come in when I couldn't keep my fingers together when paddling.

Just another advantage of SUP surfing. You stay a lot drier and warmer on top of the water instead of in the water.

Apr 4, 2009 (Sa)
In: 1015
Out: 1130
AT= 49.5F to 50.2F
WT= 49.3F
Wx: Sunny and clear
Tide: 2' Falling to .5'
Wind: Calm to light from the southwest
Sea Surface: Calm to light wind ripples with light wind swell chop on top
6-6 Randy French Surftech TL2 Swallow Tail
Fin set-up: Standard Thruster with Future Vector II R2 435 sides and F4 437 center.
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
1000: 3.6 feet @ 11.1 WNW (2 - 4 ft. faces)
1030: 3.6 feet @ 14.3 W
1100: 3.9 feet @ 11.8 WNW (2 - 4 ft.)
1130: 3.9 feet @ 10.5 WNW