On Buying Surfboards

On Buying Surfboards

My wife thinks I have way too many surfboards.  I refuse to count them with the rational thought if you don’t know how many you have you never have to answer the question.  And the funny part is, that right now as I write this, I’ve ordered 2 new boards from Pat Rawson, one standup and one shortboard, and there’s another retro fish I keep thinking about.

On the surface it seems ridiculous.  Even I think it’s ridiculous when I sit back and look at it.

But, what folks don’t understand is that I’m not buying surfboards.  Well, physically I am, but mentally, no.


Progression Project Release, States Trip and Pacific Paddle Self Challenge

Progression Project Release, States Trip and Pacific Paddle Self Challenge

What up folks!  Here’s what I’m working on this week.

Progression Project!  Finally…  It looks like we’re nearing the end on this 8 month project. We’ve set a date in Juno, FL at Sushi Jo’s for the first release party.  Mike from 27 is helping to coordinate there.  That will be the 8th of Sept.  Might look into doing one in Orlando during the expo and then St. Augustine a few days later, maybe at Panama Hattie’s.  If anyone has a good idea about Orlando let me know…  Not sure if there’s a following for paddle surfing in Atlanta, but we’ll be there for a few days also, so maybe we could set up a showing.  If you’d like to organize a showing at your hometown, send me an email.

Then it will be off to California.

We’ll be spending about a month in Cali, and I’m trying to figure out what board I’d like to have shaped and waiting.  I’m going to go with one of the following – Hobie, Infinity, L41 or Rawson.  I’ve had great Hobies and Infinities.  I love the way  the L41s look and if you look at progressive surfing and Mo’s videos, it’s tough to argue with a Rawson.

For dimensions, I’d like to go smaller, but keep volume.  I had a conversation with Kirk from L41 last week, and we’re toying around with using a step rail.  He makes a SIMSUP, a wider board, but short, and thinks that I could hit 7ft or under at 85L.  I love surfing retro twinnies, that fat, floaty feel.  Not sure how it would translate to a paddle board.  When I do a rail turn, I really like to bury the rail, but longer boards flatten out the turn.

It makes me think about the 7.4 Starboard Airborne.  That board had tail rocker dailed in.  I think better than their pro shapes.  When I look at the lines it could draw and the wrap-arounds that I was doing 2 years ago, at a much lower level, I’d like to get some of that in my next shape.  It was just a boat up front.

I’ve also considered going a touch longer, but really bringing the width down.  Going 7.7 at 24, still hitting 85.

I think 85 is my mark.  At 85 I still have fun in choppy or windy surf.  The Starboard and F-One, both at 82L, become more about paddling than surfing.  But then you get to the 7.9 Infinity and it’s too long, but dreamy to paddle.

How do we find that middle ground?  Fun to paddle, but still radical???  I think we’re missing something.  To me, it doesn’t make sense that boards are modeled after shortboards.  The requirements are different.  There’s going to be a better way to distribute the volume.

If you’re a shaper and have an idea, let me know… I’d love to be the test pilot.

The first leg of this fall trip will be in FL, likely without much surf.  It’s funny, I get a touch nervous at the thought of a few weeks without much water-time.  For the last decade my life has revolved around the ocean and surfing, more so this past year with the kids surfing.  Generally a few days into a vacation I’m daydreaming about being home, at a week, I’m looking for excuses to leave.  So, I devised a system that works for me.  When I know I’ll be undertaking a run of non-surfing time I focus on a project.  The last 2 trips were about photography/videography, getting ready for the Origins trip which we shot.  You can see that trip, and some photos I took, in the latest SUP the Mag Issue.  The goal was to be a published photographer.

I think for this trip, with the timing, I might try to learn to race.  The Pacific Paddle Games will be a month after I get back to the states.  I’ve never paddled a race board.  So, it would be an excellent challenge to break down race technique and see how far I could take it in a month.

I haven’t vetted this idea yet, and it will require borrowing a race board from someone in Florida and then again in Cali.  But I think I can figure that out.  Since it will be only a month, I won’t be able to get into distance shape, and I hate distance anyways, so I’ll focus on the sprint.

Any racers out there read this?  If so, where should I start?  My initial thought is breaking down Mo’s start and Danny or Connor’s stroke.  What about buoy turns?  I hope the steam from last year’s event is still online, got to be a ton of gems in there.  Any other insight???




Backside Paddle Technique and Why to Switch Boards

Backside Paddle Technique and Why to Switch Boards

Rainy day here in Costa Rica, but the surf was fun this morning.  A few days ago I decided to switch back to the Starboard 7.4 x 25.5 at 83L.  If you’ve been following you know that I have been riding a 7.9 x 27 Infinity at 88L.  After 3 or 4 weeks of exclusively riding the Infinity, and really starting to like it, I decided to switch back to feel the differences.

I really love switching up boards.  It forces you to see things differently, and to feel your board instead of relying on habits.  Boards teach us how to surf, how to find harmony between board and wave.  Each board has specific and unique curves and those curves fit into the curves of the wave in their own way.  In surfing the surfer needs to feel how the two communicate and work with wave and board to draw lines.  I know… that’s a bit deep for a surfing blog.  But, that’s why I love switching boards.  Same sport, different feeling.

Some notes on the switch… (more…)