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

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Summer South Swells

Sunday August 22, 2010

I have become enamored of dedicated noseriders. There were two reasons for this. One, a noserider is made for small, relatively weak surf (although it can be surfed in better) in the knee-waist-chest high range. A perfect small wave Summer board. Two, I am intrigued by the traditional shape and design of a noserider, especially the knifey rails. I've never owned or surfed a board with 100% knifey rails all around. So I hunted down a used board that fit my design prescription.

I surfed the 9-6 Pearson Arrow CJ Nelson longboard for the first time this morning at T-Town. The swell was mixed southerly/westerly. The tide was really a bit too low and when the bigger south swell sets ran in, it pushed us too far down reef, and into the copious kelp beds that surround the main peak. But when the smaller, more westerly waves arrived, they broke closer to shore and set up to back door the small steep peak section. Perfect for the Nelson noserider.

In doing my research I looked at a lot of websites, forums and utube vids. There's a lot of good info out there. The best technical info came from Tom Wegener's website re rails. His article on the three types of rails switched on the the light bulb and cleared a lot of the cob webs away from my thoughts, clarifying my decision on which "noserider" I wanted. The forums eventually distilled the essence of the "which noserider is best" question sufficiently so I could make an informed choice. Careful scrutiny of the vids (and on scene observations of the best noseriders at the Tres Ates Summer reefs) presented the "how to noseride" info I was seeking.

I was more than pleased to find an acceptable used board, in good condition for a reasonable (below market in my opinion) price on Craig's List, the craft being located in a town nearby. The purchase made, the board came home to the saw horses to repair one small possibly water sucking ding, and it was ready to ride.

Overall this board, in the right conditions, is fun to ride, and easy to nose ride (once one's homework and thinking processes have been practically and correctly applied.) I'm looking forward to lots of fun in conditions that will offer up another fun option for surfing.

The real purpose of a quiver is to be able to ride any wave the ocean has to offer. But, as Kirk has so remarkable and piercingly discovered via his skilled engineering mind and background, the size of one's quiver can be reduced to an unequivocally accurate formula.

Size of quiver = N + 1 (where N equals the size of your current quiver). Voila! Move over Einstein.

Monday August 23, 2010

Shawn and all the girls arrived a day early, yesterday evening which threw my surfing plans off for as long as it took me to justify abandoning my responsibility and going surfing. This didn't take long.

I would have arrived at the sea at darkness before dawn anyway, just to watch the sun rise over the hills for the first time in almost ten weeks. That alone fed my soul in a way that only that event can. Again the the morning tide was too low for almost all places, but I was hoping for enough of an uptick in the swell energy that the low tide spot I love would have waves. It didn't happen.

My alternative spot wasn't doing it either. Kirk walked up with the Creamsicle about 0630 and we scoped it together. Eventually he bailed on supping in favor of speed lining the much better down reef waves on his fish at a place a spot and a half away. I only brought the SIMSUP so I was left with hanging out or going home. I couldn't go home, too beautiful a morning. So I hung out and forty-five minutes later it was looking good at Ates. (Amazing what a small tide shift can do to the quality of surf...from nothing to 2-4 ft. fun little zippers.)

The weather has finally turned fantastic with a real heat wave underway. Neal was out in trunks at 0800. Linda was supping in her 3/2 saying "we" (meaning me and her) were "overdressed." Maybe so, but I know what to do if I get too hot. Water temp = 58 degrees.

I surfed for an hour in pretty consistent south swell in relatively crowded conditions for a Monday even with one of the big school districts back in session for the first day today. But I got a lot of rides on the SIMSUP for the Three Palms racetrack all the wave to Roots. Again, I could take a deeper take off wave into the inside and paddle back out quickly enough to ride a peak further down reef. I was surprised that Roots was working for as long as it did and on this small a swell, and also pleased at how well the SIMSUP handled the vertical wall that lines up immediately after take off. I still haven't got the post section blast of white water figured out. I keep taking a line too parallel with the whitewash which just pushes me off the board. I think I need to just straighten out some and gain some speed to work around the boiling white water and into the next section which usually is pretty soft. But the section in question can froth madly and is known to rip the board out from under your feet on occasion.

It sure feels good to feel Summer.

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