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

Monday, May 25, 2009

The New Wave: Short and Fat

While we often take pride in coddling ourselves with the notion that we are rational and linear beings, more often than not, our thoughts and our lives are shaped like the aftermath of rocks thrown into a quiet pond. One thought, action or event creates a series of concentric circles which collide with the next thought, and the next series of concentric circles, all blending and banging up against one another, creating non-linear, uneven, seemingly random patterns. This is how stand up paddle surfing has affected my laydown surfing perspectives, not only on means of locomotion, but on surfboard shapes. Is a short and very maneuverable SUP possible? Yes. Can those design elements be translated into a shortboard surfboard? Again, the answer is yes. While the wisdom of Solomon imparted that there is nothing new under the sun, I say, "Let's hear it for recombinant evolution."

After surfing my current Angulo custom SUP, my suspicions were confirmed that a brilliant designer/shaper can go beyond what exists in a changing and emerging genre, and make something that is different, that works, a new creation. Ed's custom SUP's surf like longboards. Period. Gone are the "point and shoot" days of the old, heavy stand up paddleboards. Now, instead of having a paddleboard I can surf, I have a surfboard I can paddle.

Oddly in some way, this led me to believe that I could have a "big" shortboard, i.e. one that would maneuver like a shortboard, but truly paddle like a bigger board, like a longboard. Not a hybrid, but a "big" shortboard. Thus was my new Ward Coffey 6-10 conceived. Ward gave it life by shaping elements from my stand up paddleboard into the 6-10. This has enabled me to enjoy SUPing, and laydown surfing on a much shorter board, because after all, SUPing, longboarding and shortboarding are all different genres of the same general sport, with emphasis on the word "different."

While I now have in my possession the hard copy of my original thesis, I couldn't let go of the idea of how well intelligently designed short and fat surfboards work, even though they are considered highly unconventional in today's mainstream shortboard culture, where most shortboard sales are driven by 45 guys on the ASP circuit.

Somewhere in the hazy recollections of my mind I remembered an article about a very short and fat shortboard that had drive, glide and lift and was insanely loose and skatey. TSJ ran a story last Dec/Jan about a "new" idea, given life by Richard Kenvin, Joe Bauguess and John Elwell. If you read the story, it will give an idea of what I'm talking about, and it just might stoke your imagination like it did mine.

I had the good fortune of communicating with Kirk G., one of the mainstays of this revo/evo/lution via his website Foam and Function, which is a great browse and full of interesting "new" and radical designs and boards. Kirk lives in SoCal, but was in my area on a book signing tour with Patrick Trefz, so I was able to hook up with him and check out his working edition of the mini-Simmons.

An extremely affable "Kiwi" (his nickname) and people person, we talked about a lot of things. But Kirk was quick to tell me, more than once, that all three men in the article were the main players in the rebirth of the mini-Simmons. John Elwell was a contemporary of Bob Simmons himself in the late 1940's and early 50's, and John brought to the table a working knowledge of Simmon's designs. Joe is a master shaper, and RK has the passion to bring this "new" idea to the surfing world. The complete primer on the mini-Simmons can be found on RK's blog, Hydrodynamica. He is also the driving force (and primary funder) of the independent film project, Hydrodynamica Project.

As a contemporary surfer, former pro surfer, and articulate observer, Kenvin is on familiar ground vis a vis modern surf culture. Why then, dig into the past? What could possibly be gained from looking at such a strange and frankly odd design? I mean, look at that tail! Look at the dimensions! But surf culture veterans who are open minded surfing moderns, bring creative and practical sensibilities based upon their natural bent and life experiences. And almost all moderns have deep experiences with skateboarding. In the evolved and enhanced mini-S, RK presents a blending of the shortboard with the immense dexterity of the skateboard, and the drive and glide of the longboard. All this in a 5'4" to 6' package.

If I hadn't already purchased my 6-10 I would have taken a much harder look at the mini-Simmons...even at my age and skill level this board is doable. Consider the (rough) dims of the board pictured here: 5-10 X 20 X 23 X 19 X 2 7/8. The caveat for me is that I just no longer have the flexibility to quickly pop-up and get my feet under me on a really short board (read anything under 5-10 or 6'.) But for younger surfers, raised on shortboards and skateboards, this is not a problem. The longest mini's don't usually exceed 6-4, at least for now. Beyond 6-4 I'm told, one starts to lose the efficacies of the Simmons inspired shortboard/longboard/skateboard synthesis. To get an idea of how the board works, scroll through RK's blog. He has a lot of videos posted that demonstrate how well the board performs under the guidance of a competent ripper.

As for me, who knows what the next year will bring. But I can tell you that my now empty but slowly refilling surfboard piggy bank may be the monetary means to bagging one of these boards in the future. If so, you can be sure you'll hear about it.

In the end, I have mixed feelings about new designs like the mini-Simmons, or designs that should emerge from highly evolved shapes like the mini-Simmons. If you have the float that makes it possible to catch a lot of waves in variable conditions from crappy to epic, but your board's float doesn't impede your surfing performance, shouldn't that translate into more waves caught, while still capturing the stoke of airborne, tail sliding, tube riding, high energy surfing? Well, in fact it does. So why don't they get it? Slaves to fashion I guess. Bottom line...less mini's in the line-up mean more waves for me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Small, But Better Than Nuthin'

At least this gray and overcast May Gray morning dished up some light offshores at the 8 o'clock paddle out. It stayed that way for about 20 minutes before it went dead calm and glassy. The small, but weak nearshore wind swell driven waves perked up and delivered a few fun shoulders before the south easterlies came up and it went to crumbles with light chop. But I'm not complaining. It was miles better than a week ago today.

I surfed the Coffey 6-10 with quad set-up again, only this time I was able to put it on rail in some surfable faces. The board goes good, and the quads allow for smooth rail to rail surfing, with stability. The double fins on the rail really do add drive to the board's performance. The fins I'm using now are straight forward and generic. No mysto foils based on the NACA airfoil playbook. (No knock on NACA, I just have no idea how they work.) But my Future quads work good, even without the lift the NACA foils are supposed to provide. I've got a set of Pavel quads (Futures not LocBox) from a previous life that I think I'll slap in for my next surf. It'll be fun to compare the two sets. Changing fins is almost like changing surfboards. Amazing!

This is my last surf for a few days. I teach tomorrow and administer the final on Saturday. Anyway, this is Memorial Day weekend, the tourists will be thick as fleas on a dog's belly. M will get the bbq goods tomorrow and we'll lock down for the weekend. Beer, bible and bbq...sounds good to me.

And finally, thanks. Thanks to the thousands who have served, and who have bled and died so that I can spend my time here on earth, in this country, in my town and home, with the people I love and who love me. Your sacrifice cannot be repaid. Your actions were not in vain, your lives were not wasted. We will honor you forever.

"According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed in 1865 by liberated slaves at the historic Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston. The site was a former Confederate prison camp as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died in captivity.

The freed slaves re-interred the dead Union soldiers from the mass grave to individual graves, fenced in the graveyard and built an entry arch declaring it a Union graveyard. This was a daring action for them to take in the South shortly after the North's victory. On May 30, 1868, the freed slaves returned to the graveyard with flowers they had picked from the countryside and decorated the individual gravesites, thereby creating the first Decoration Day."

May 21, 2009 (Th)
In: 0805
Out: 0940
AT= 49-52F
WT= 51F
Wx: Low clouds and overcast
Tide: 3.0' Rising to 3.3'
Wind: Offshores to calm to moderate south easterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy to Light to moderate wind chop
6-10 Ward Coffey EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster/Quad with Future Fins AM1 and Future 350 sidebite quad set-up.
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0730: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 WNW
0800: 1.3 feet @ 10.5 WNW (1-3 ft. wave faces)
0830: 1.3 feet @ 10.5 WNW
0900: 1.3 feet @ 10.5 WNW (1-3 ft. wave faces)
0930: 1.3 feet @ 10.5 WNW

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunny Paddle Day With Some Surfing Too

Great weather for a paddle. Temps in the 80's just inland. Easterly sea breezes keeping it cool at the beach, i.e. the low 70's. Water temps still frigid: low, low 50's.

Hopped in mid-afternoon in boardshorts, l/s rashie, hat and glasses, ready for a paddle down to NB's and back up to GDubs. Hoping for some surf along the way.

Surprised and disappointed to feel the easterlies. That usually means it's going to be colder than warmer. And in fact it was. Temps dropped about 8 degrees in less than two hours during my paddle/surf.

First leg was against the wind, 1.5 miles down to NB's. Always fun to come back down wind. Big party, and decent band on the pier. Somebody must'a got hitched. Really choppy around the end of the pier. Lots of backwash in the incoming tide off the cliffs. Tons of nudies at the nudie beach. Good day to roast your nuts I guess, for those so inclined.

Spotted some peelers at GDubs so I thought I'd check it out, even though I wasn't dressed for it. I was paddling with the Mikey DeTemple MD3 fin in today, trying it out in the kelp. It's better than the Pivot, but not as kelp resistant or loose as the tri-fin set-up. Lot's of drive off the thick base, but stiff, and much harder to turn than the tri. Not hard to get up on the tip, but how much easier was it than with the tri-fin set-up? Hard to say, need more time on it.

Kelp is still mega-thick and I did my share of falling off in it. The water is so cold that boardshorts and a rahsie is hardly protection against it. Definitely takes your breath away, and fast. Each tumble was a sprint for the board. Hypothermia and death set in within 20 minutes of exposure to 50 degree water. Pleasant thought. I coulda used a toasty nut roasting myself after this session.

May 16, 2009 (Sa)
In: 1445
Out: 1615
AT= 74 - 63F
WT= 51F
Wx: Sunny and clear
Tide: 2.6' Rising to 3.4'
Wind: East-south easterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy in the kelp to light wind ripples to choppy in some sections
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom SUP with Infinity Ottertail carbon fiber paddle
Fin set-up: Single fin - Rainbow DeTemple MD3
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
1400: 1.3 feet @ 15.4 SW (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1430: 1.3 feet @ 13.3 WSW
1500: 1.3 feet @ 10.5 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1530: 1.0 feet @ 10.5 W
1600: 1.3 feet @ 11.1 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)
1630: 1.3 feet @ 11.1 W
1700: 1.3 feet @ 11.1 W (1 - 2 ft. faces)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yeah Right, Just Horny

Teach tomorrow, weekend coming, haven't surfed for a week...just horny.

Paddled out at Rey-Rey's at 0814 into nothing...nothing. The weakest of background south swell and the nothingest of northwesterly windswell was creating mushy, gutless, foldovers that went nowhere, and did no thing. Really.

Surfed the 6-10 'cause I wanted to practice pop-ups. Also, put the quads in and wanted to see how they felt. Surprisingly I got a little taste of the tri-fin to quad change, and I like it. More stable, fun rail acceleration (when there's enough meat to get it on rail that is).

Forty-five minutes and it was over. If it was sex, I'd be ecstatic, but for a surf....barely enough.

May 14, 2009 (Th)
In: 0814
Out: 0900
AT= 53F
WT= 50F
Wx: Sunny and clear
Tide: 0.0'
Wind: Light to moderate southeasterlies
Sea Surface: Light to moderate wind chop
6-10 Ward Coffey EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster/Quad with Future Fins AM1 and Future 350 sidebite quad set-up.
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0730: 1.0 feet @ 14.3 SW
0800: 1.0 feet @ 14.3 SW (1-2 ft. wave faces)
0830: 1.0 feet @ 13.3 SW
0900: No data (but basically the same)
0930: No data (but basically the same)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gulf Swell Slowly Fading

Truth is the tide was a bit too low for GDubs (and most everywhere else) when I paddled out at 0604. But, I love the dawn patrol and being able to surf for a little while without too many people, in this case this morning, zero. Just me and Big Mama sea otter, along with her son Always Hungry. Felt a lot like Summer, sitting in cold water, with cold fog all around.

Waves were probably about a third to half the size of yesterday, and far less consistent. Along with that the low, low tide and continuing westerly direction of the swell were causing the waves to section into short little rides, close-out, short little ride, close-out etc. But I got a ton of quick and fun rides on the 6-10 before succumbing to the "greener pastures" one peak up coast.

I kept seeing this nice peak and shoulder at the next peak up. When I finally paddled over I realized it wasn't the next peak up that had the really nice peak, it was the second peak up, and that was pretty well covered by about seven guys. Just a handful of chest high sets came through in the next hour and a half, and I didn't get any of the good ones. I was sitting off the good peak, waiting for the loners to swing wide through my peak. It happened once and I was too far inside to catch the wave. Kelp was pretty bad due to the low tide and I was constantly untangling my legs. Oddly enough, as the tide came up, instead of getting cleaner, it just got fatter and more swampy.

A couple of the good riders (I know one of them but couldn't remember his name) were taking down all the best set waves. One guy was just killing it on a quad which I think was a Pavel Speed Dialer. Those boards are fast! I watched him negotiate one particular speedster from inside. I had the front row seat at the live surf movie. Sick!

I almost put the quads in this morning, but thought I'd stick with the tri-fin setup since I was having such a good time on it. I'll put the quads in later today.

May 7, 2009 (Th)
In: 0604
Out: 0755
AT= 53F
WT= 53F
Wx: Fog
Tide: .3' Rising to 2.0'
Wind: Calm to light southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy in the kelp to light wind ripples
6-10 Ward Coffey EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster/Quad with Future Fins AM1 tri-fin set-up.
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0600: 5.2 feet @ 11.1 WNW (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0630: 3.9 feet @ 11.8 W
0700: 4.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0730: 4.6 feet @ 11.8 W
0800: 3.9 feet @ 12.5 W (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0830: 5.2 feet @ 12.5 W
0900: 3.9 feet @ 12.5 W

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Main Gulf Swell Gives It Up

As I paddled into a gray and "fugly" morning seascape, I was beginning to wonder if this "main body" of the swell was the real deal. The wind was light, and dead onshore. I had my doubts until I saw the first set of head high waves pour through with perfect symmetry until it got to the inside section. As it closed out there, it formed a second, perfect take-off peak for another long ride down the line. Sweet!

Lot's of folks on it, even at 0604 hours. The usual suspects all in the water and riding: Sean, Joanna, Jamie. It really didn't get crowded because the tide was low enough, and the swell westerly enough to bring two peaks into play. About six sat outside on the point peak, and I chose to ride the wall peak most of the time, with Michael and Priscilla. Rides were long and sections were fast.

(My Oly water cam is acting up again and I missed the best waves of the day due to camera malfunction. I guess I'm going to have to send it in again, which means no water shots for at least a month.)

About 0715 the wind shifted north as the last of the low pressure system (and the end of the rain) passed through our area. Five consecutive days of gray is unique (especially this year), and we need the rain, but so much of it has me looking for the Prozac. I need sun, which I got. The cloud cover burned off somewhere around 0745, revealing a sun cast winter-like day. The morning light brought forth a rich, deep royal blue to the surface of the water which was a joy to behold. (Too bad I couldn't get a pic, because it would have shown a delicious contrast to the early dawn gray, which felt like it was suffocating the day.)

As the crowd grew I headed up to Casa's, rode a few; and then over to Gdubs where I sat wide and picked off a couple large ones. But again, with so much west in the swell, the larger waves were sectioning so the drops were tall, but the rides were small.

Rode a few with Andy before calling it a day in the rising tide, which was swamping the waves to the point where most of the sets were about half size over the lower tide sets.

All of us enjoyed talking about how tired we all were from so many days in a row of surfing. Not that it's been epic, it hasn't, but there have been a lot of fun, rideable waves. We'd all like to see this last a while longer as we know the doldrums are coming.

May 6, 2009 (Tu)
In: 0604
Out: 0845
AT= 55F
WT= 59F
Wx: 100% overcast clearing to mostly sunny
Tide: 1.1' Rising to 3.5'
Wind: Light south to northerly
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples turning to rippled glass
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: 7.2 feet @ 11.1 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0630: 7.5 feet @ 11.8 WNW
0700: 6.9 feet @ 14.3 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0730: 7.5 feet @ 11.1 WNW
0800: 7.2 feet @ 12.5 WNW (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0830: 8.2 feet @ 11.8 W
0900: 6.2 feet @ 11.1 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0930: 7.2 feet @ 13.3 W

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lull Between Pulses

It's beginning to look a lot like Seattle around here. Low clouds and rain for the last three days. So far we've had three times the normal rainfall for May. Need it though, after three straight drought years in a row. (La Nina go away!) Maybe they'll cancel water rationing.

I knew the swell was going to back down, but today waves were a shadow of what they were yesterday. I arrived early in the just lightening dawn, looking forward to my second go on the 6-10 WC Winged Biscuit. But the swell had dropped so much over yesterday (I wasn't expecting THIS much of a lull!) that I hesitated and almost backed out. Which is one of the reasons I always present myself to the waves already suited up...much harder to backslide.

But there were what looked like some rideable little angles down at GDubs. I warmed up in the drizzling rain and was paddling out by 0620. Surfed alone until Greg knee paddled down from Scimi's. Then one other guy late in the session, but really, there wasn't much this morning. Lot's of sectioning walls in very little energy. I did hook into a couple longer walls where I could put the 6-10 through some paces though.

This board is really fun. Even though the board is wide (23") and thick (2 7/8") for a "shortboard," it is very, very light (styrolite eps) and there is almost, literally, no swing weight. Isn't that what we all want? (I mean, the part of the board you don't use for paddling is just excess weight and bulk for surfing. Right?) But the 6-10 moves almost effortlessly from the primary standing position. So once you train your body to think and remember ("muscle memory") then you can concentrate on the wave and think your way through the ride. (Of course I'm not poo-pooing training and technique, that would be short sighted and an incomplete part of the overall equation. But everything has it's genesis in the brain.) While riding boards with swing weight is fun, and different, there is always the time lag between thinking it, applying it, and it happening. That time lag or gap is much less distinct on a lighter board without (or with less) swing weight.

I surfed for almost two hours, catching a lot of small ones, but getting the occasional longer ride too, especially when I paddled down to Simi's and got my last wave of the morning. It's really fun throwing this board around, and dancing all over the wave face. Although Fred Astaire I ain't.

May 5, 2009 (Tu)
In: 0620
Out: 0815
AT= 56F
WT= 53F
Wx: Low clouds with light rain
Tide: 2.3' Rising to 3.8'
Wind: Calm to light to moderate southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy in the kelp to light wind ripples
6-10 Ward Coffey EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster/Quad with Future Fins AM1 tri-fin set-up.
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0600: 3.6 feet @ 11.1 W (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0630: 3.0 feet @ 11.8 W
0700: 3.6 feet @ 11.1 W (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0730: 3.6 feet @ 11.8 W
0800: 3.3 feet @ 11.8 WNW (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0830: 3.6 feet @ 11.8 W
0900: 3.6 feet @ 12.5 W

Monday, May 4, 2009

First of Two Spring Swells Makes Landfall

The first of two pulses of relatively long period WNW swell made landfall early this morning. I paddled out in the overcast morning gloom at 0614. First stop, Sarges. The tide was moderately high and rising to somewhere around 4 ft. Sets were consistent, made up of chest/head high waves. I took a couple, one for a long ride past the nudie beach. But the higher tide and larger waves were causing a backwash off the point that put a lot of bump and chop onto the wave faces. Even though I was the only one out, and there were decent waves without kelp interference, I decided to head up to GW's, which looked pretty good. It felt good to be riding without having to worry about getting caught up in the kelp.

Greg and Steve were in the water when I arrived and consistent head high sets started pouring in. Steve had been out for a half hour all alone, taking down wave after wave. Scimi's was off the hook with pretty, a-frame overhead bombs pouring through, with even more consistency than GW's. Only a dozen guys out. The three of us surfed for another hour and a half before Greg and Steve had to go in. I surfed another half hour before I got tired, paddled back to Sarges and took a chest high closeout into the beach. Finally, some good Winter, high tide waves. Too bad Winter is over.

Greg got a nice one for one of the waves of the day. I hooked into a couple myself. Click HERE to see it full screen.

May 5, 2009 (M)
In: 0614
Out: 0845
AT= 54F
WT= 53F
Wx: 100% overcast with some light misting
Tide: 3.4' Rising to 3.8': Falling to 3.4'
Wind: Light southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy to very 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: 6.2 feet @ 11.8 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0630: 5.2 feet @ 12.5 WNW
0700: 4.9 feet @ 11.1 W (3 - 5 ft. faces)
0730: 5.2 feet @ 12.5 WNW
0800: 4.6 feet @ 10.5 W (4 - 6 ft. faces)
0830: 4.3 feet @ 10.5 WNW
0900: 5.2 feet @ 13.3 W (3 - 5 ft. faces)
0930: 4.3 feet @ 10.5 W

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Surfing the New 6-10 Ward Coffey "Power Biscuit"

I have no real idea what to call this board. All boards have names right? "Power Biscuit" was all I could come up with. Feeble, I know.

First off, here's the dims: 6-10" X 16" X 23" X 16" X 2 7/8". Marko Styrolite's really light and strong. Glassing sched: 6 and 4 on top, 6 on the bottom. Bottom config: single concave into double barrel concaves with VEE out the back.

Click HERE to open the slideshow in a new window.

I was totally chomping at the bit to get this new board in the water. This was a design I've been thinking about for a while. It evolved from the revelation that came with the 10-0 Angulo Custom SUP I've been riding for the last several months. This Angulo SUP is a big, thick, wide, stand up paddle surfboard, and it surfs better than any longboard I've ever owned. It's more versatile, stable, fast, maneuverable, nose does it all, and it does it better. If Ed can do this with a SUP, can larger dimensions be shaped into a "short" board in the right blend and balance to create a laydown surfboard that would do what I want it to do as a "shortboard?" That was the question I hypothesized, and the answer was, "Yes!"

It works! I surfed it today in decent waist to chest high waves that gave me the opportunity to put the board through it's paces. Today was a good test, because if it could perform in surf like today's, it could perform in really good, high energy surf too. (And I'm going to get a chance to try that out in the next several days.)

I first paddled out at Roots, which is a spot that breaks only when there is swell and at a minus low tide. Eric said it was working good yesterday, today it wasn't all that good. But I got a couple take-offs that let me know the board was stable, a good paddler, and a good wave catcher. Waves at Roots were inconsistent and really lacking in energy, with sets swinging too wide to set up for the main section. (The swell was more punchy yesterday for sure.) So, after a couple waves I paddled through the kelp beds to Scimi's, which surprisingly had only one guy at the 1st Peak.

That was when I found out that the board was a keeper. 1P Scimi's put up some long walls, punctuated with enough sections to hit the lip, drive off the bottom, wiggle through the flats and floater some crumbling white water sections with stability, speed and maneuverability. Nice!

Ward and I had a good conversation re fins, and I eventually decided on the Future Fins AM1's instead of the larger AM2's. Good choice. This is plenty of fin for this board at my weight. Since I love fin stuff so much, I had Ward install five fin boxes which would allow for a tri-fin set-up as well as running as a Quad (AM1 front, SB1 rear). Today, I rigged it as a tri-fin for it's maiden surf because I wanted something familiar to relate too. (I've been running my Angulo Custom as a three fin for a while now, so the "feel" is familiar.) My first wave was a little squirrelly. (What do you expect coming off a 10-0 longboard!) But it all got better from there. I got my "surf legs" right quick, and was able to surf the board with control and confidence.

The board floats, paddles, and catches waves as I had hoped. It surfs better than I thought it would, being more fluid and loose than I thought it might be. And this is only the first time I've surfed it. As I get to know this board better, and get more comfortable on it, it's just going to get more and more FUN! It takes a while for me to get to know a board, so the review on this one will have to come after a couple months. But at this point, I see no reason why this board isn't going to be a complete and total WINNER, thanks in large part to the skilled craftsmanship of master shaper Ward Coffey!

May 3, 2009 (Su)
In: 1345
Out: 1515
AT= 56F
WT= 52F
Wx: Low clouds with light rain
Tide: .3' Rising to 1.3'
Wind: Calm to light to moderate southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy in the kelp to light wind ripples
6-10 Ward Coffey EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster/Quad with Future Fins AM1 tri-fin set-up and SB1 rear quad set-up.
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
1330: 2.0 feet @ 10.5 W
1400: 2.0 feet @ 11.1 W (2 - 3 ft. faces)
1430: 2.0 feet @ 13.3 SW
1500: 2.0 feet @ 10.5 W (2 - 4 ft. faces)
1530: 2.0 feet @ 13.3 SW
1600: 2.3 feet @ 15.4 WSW (2 - 4 ft. faces)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

SUP Surfing and Shortboarding

I picked up my new "shortboard" (well short for me anyway) today over at Ward's shop. It came out really nice and I can hardly wait to take it surfing. Tomorrow early I hope. Thanks to the SUP world for the traction pad inspiration.

Also by way of inspiration, check out this video I first saw posted on John's blog. Obviously Luke Egan don't know shizzizzit, and can't surf either. (Ward told me that Luke is coaching Parko this year and he ain't doing too shabby on the world tour. He took two firsts in the first two contests of the year.)