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

Thursday, December 3, 2009

SUP Surfing In New NW Swell

Whew! It took me a while to get to this post. Today is my last day teaching in the EMT program so this will have to be quick.

Larry and I finally got together for a paddle surf. We've known each other for almost 35 years and about 30 years ago came to the fork in the road. He took the public safety harbor patrol route, and I went for the fire service. Didn't see much of each other in the last 30, and wouldn't ya know, it was SUP surfing that sparked the reunion. He caught the bug last year and has been saving up his shekels for a new board. So we made arrangements to borrow the new Angulo prototype 9-8 (pictured at right with my orange 10-0 Angulo) so we could try it out, and so Larry could paddle surf my board.

We paddled out kinda late around 4PM but made the most of our session in small waves put up by the new incoming NW swell. It was pretty consistent and we bagged a ton of knee to waist high peelers at YH in low tide and kelpy waters. We surfed until almost literally pitch black darkness fell on the ocean, and in a tide so low the take off was in the kelp, and the ride was through the kelp. A bumpy "glide" to say the least. An interesting characteristic of the swell today was how uniform in size the waves were from the top of the reefs to the down coast reefs. Usually down coast surf spots are much smaller, but this evening it all seemed to be about the same size.

The new 9-8 proto is an epoxy custom that is being evaluated for production. Big Andy has been riding it and loves it. It's got more of a shortboard shape with a pulled in nose (for a SUP) and a standard Angulo SUP rounded pin. It's got a lot of rocker at both ends. It's wide too...about 32" (the dims weren't on the board, and I haven't spoken to Ed or Andy about them.) It was good to have my board and the 9-8 to ride in the same session. They are different for sure. My Angulo 10-0 is a longboard, paddles like a longboard and rides like a longboard. The 9-8 has a different feel and rides more like a shortboard. For my size, 154 pounds, the board is too wide. At 32 inches wide and lots of nose and tail rocker, you need more weight on the board, especially for dropping in. But once you get on the wave the 9-8 rocks! It's very loose and maneuverable, turning easily at the bottom and at the top. In all fairness I didn't get a chance to really evaluate the board in good waves. But my sense is that this board would absolutely excel in good waves with a little juice. You could definitely power surf it, especially a bigger person with more leg strength than I.

Dave C. came over and surfed with us for a while. He was on an Angulo custom 9-6, and Dave is a big guy, but a very good SUP surfer. He and his board are a great fit for a surfer who is advanced in skill at SUP surfing. We chatted about how quickly SUP's have evolved from only a couple years ago. We laughed when we remembered how reluctant Ed was to make a SUP shorter than 11 feet. Now he's routinely shaping them out in the 9-0 range. It's only a matter of time before Ed's putting out eight footers. One thing for sure, Ed don't make no junk. His boards always work!

Dave headed back upcoast, done for the evening while Larry and I stayed out until we could barely see. We paddled back over to Sarge's for the take out in an uber-low tide, rock danced into the beach and rejoiced at our good fortune that allows us to stay surfing and keep having fun into our "Golden" years.

December 3, 2009
In: 1355
Out: 1725
AT= 58-52F
WT= 53F
Wx: Mostly clear with some scattered low clouds
Tide: -0.53' Falling to -1.43'
Wind: Calm to light variable winds
Sea Surface: Glassy with some 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 (first mark up from back) and RFC Speedwings
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
1500: 4-5 feet @ 17.0 WNW - 3-4 feet @ 12-14 W (305) (1-3 ft. faces)
1600: 4-5 feet @ 17.0 WNW - 3-4 feet @ 12-14 W (305) (1-3 ft. faces)
1700: 4-5 feet @ 17.0 WNW - 3-4 feet @ 12-14 W (305) (1-3 ft. faces)
1800: 4-5 feet @ 17.0 WNW - 3-4 feet @ 12-14 W (300) (1-3 ft. faces)


  1. It's showing pretty good on my side of town @ 6:30 a.m. Friday.

  2. Looks like it's coming up as forecast.