Sunday, May 25, 2008

Quadfecta complete...

The quadfecta is complete! In March, with a shoulder high groundswell running, I undertook the greatest challenge ever conceived in surfdom- the quadfecta! My goal: to get barreled standup, kneelo, boogie, and body surfing in one session . My tools of victory were 5'6 Chris Christenson keel (not ghostshaped by his able ghostie nor machined by KKL), 41" BZ boogie, Mismatched pair of swim fins- size medium large. It took me two barnacle scraping donut dives before I finally got my standup keg. A little pigdog number (I'm sure you've seen the pictures.) My kneelo wave came to me quickly. This was the belle of the ball. A speed run through the barrel over the shelf to the pinching shoulder. My boogie barrel came a few waves after my equipment change. I got some great near- exits, but my in and out was a small, boogie-only sized tube. The bodysurfing barrel was easy. I drifted right in front of the shelf until a little wedge came through. I had to duck a dozen waves or so, but that's not so hard without a board. I exited the water to cheers and was doused with champagne on the rocks overlooking The Rock.

Below: the wave where the quadfecta was (at last) completed. Will anyone ever dare to attempt such a feat again? Oh, I think that is Matuse's Ian O' getting some good ones in the vid.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Dreaming on...

Shaped out of an old stripped board using hand tools.

Painted in my school's art room during a few lunchtimes.

The inspirational grom himself!

I'm dreaming for my son. A cleaner world with sweet shoulder high peelers everywhere you look. A mellow crowd giggling at each other's kookiness and hooting for the every-hero. A wave shared with me, him ripping past me and making me remember my "good ol' years". Creativity and choice, balance between productivity and beauty. I'm dreaming of a thousand beachside smiles and some miles on the hiking trails. "Hey, Dad, how much farther?" "We're there already." Really, we are.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A fistful of rides later...

We have a winner! This JHall Mini-fish Simmons quad is one of my top two fishes ridden, ever. I rode it for a bit with bamboo 101 fin co. lb1/4 template fins. Looked killer but too much rake in those fins for a board with so much true fishiness. Sticky. Threw turbo speedialers in and the top end potential that I could sense was there really emerged.

This board does the traditional fish thing extremely well while adding a ton of man-mover-ability. I'm a sucker for the smooth, lateral surfing of a Lis style keel. Unfortunately I don't live in front of a right point break so compromise is required in my board choices. Either go "pure " (smooth entry, spit-hot speed, smooth full rail turning, you know- small kine glide) , and adjust in the beachbreak, or find boards that retain purity but allow a little more spontaneous surfing in the beachy. This board fits the bill. As you might imagine it lights up like my someday solar panels at a good clean reef or point.

Wave entry= Frye-esque smoothness.
Frontside bottom turn= silk sheet smooth with a bit of lift added by bottom contours and fins.
Lateral swoop and glide speed runs= fast, controlled, fast. Fast.
In the lip= responsive fluidity.
Vertical surfing= really? It's a fish you know. So no WCT spazz outs, but it does it's thing without hesitation.

Sophisto-Tech Fish Surfingboard Dynamic Function Calibration Chart

Lis/Frye classic keel ---------------------------------------- Pavel Speedialer
JHall MiniSimmonsQuad
Splitting the difference nicely

I rode a Frye Keel today at the overcrowded beachbreak down the hill from TritonVille. I found a few lined up beauties. It was fun and smooth. I must admit, I was wishing I had brought out this little quad. Like I said, we have a winner!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sensation unseen...

Thanks for the pics, KD!

These are pictures of me on a mat. The fact is, I have only seen two or three pictures of mat riding that I feel represent the experience even moderately. Most mat riding pictures are rather...unsatisfying.

It provides such disequilibrium for me. When I ride a mat I feel dynamically connected to a wave. Connected to the texture of the wave with only air as my medium. I feel like I could plane from power pocket to power pocket. I don't feel like a potato shaped lump sliding along a wave. I don't feel like a glorified rubber ducky. But that is what I look like.

Like I said, disequilibrium. I suppose if we all did things only for appearances' sake it would be a sad, monolithic world. Oh wait, it almost is.

Maybe bodysurfing would look cooler...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Doppelganger effect...

Swell has arrived and plans in place. Zip, zoom, dash. A gem of a right point is doing its thing. I, through the kindness of strangers, am on it. On a weekend devoted to inflatable infatuation, this is a treat.

Three hours into the session, an hour since I paddled North, over to catch a few shoreline zippers all by myself- perfect for full mat planing- I encounter one of the many who wonder. "Looks like you've had a few good ones." "Yep." "What's that you're riding? Is that like a Greenough thing?" "kind of..." Explanation is cursory for there are waves to be ridden and I, a relative novice, am learning with each razor edged speed run. "That's really cool." "Thanks."

I paddle back to the main peak to catch the fatter, but longer point waves. The crowd has grown and there's one grumbler. "You're on the wrong equipment." "Oh..." "You could ride that anywhere." "Yep, but this is a good mat wave." "Uhhum."

I'm not going to say I was doing the capabilities of the mat complete justice. I was having f u n. I was catching plenty of waves. I was getting some fun speedy lines going. I wasn't snaking anyone. I can understand a little wave lust, but I probably didn't need an op-ed about the right type of equipment to ride. The truth is obvious. Those who need to belong to a club to validate their experience are only human, but to air, yes to ride on air, that is divine. Ha.

The Mat Meet Was Fun! We Scored!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's about to Mat-erialize...

Change of Mat meet location due to swell!

Seaside reef and its cohorts will have waves and definition.

Inflatable Toy Surf Meet
Saturday, May 3rd.
Early until the wind kills it.
All are welcome. Bring your stoke.

Seaside Reef:

Exit 5 onto Lomas Santa Fe
Head West (yes, west).
Turn North on PCH/101.
Seaside reef lot is the huge lot just north of Solana Beach. Its official title is South Carlsbad State Beach. If you reach Cardiff reef or the surrounding restaurants (Ki's, Olas, etc...) you've gone too far.
I would suggest gathering towards the south end of the lot.

There are bathrooms but you might have to pay to park $8. If you get there early enough it might be free, I'm not sure. Another option is to turn west onto Solana Vista just south of the lot. There is stairway access to the same stretch via some stairs.

This could be epic!