Category Archives: Surfboarding

An Otta’s Tale

If you’ve been following me on twitter or the MSW forum (click for the full build run-down) you’ll already know the Otta is complete but since as it’s flat, (still – however I’m not complaining as the weather is sweet) I thought it was about time I collated some pics of this fine thing.

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Planshape cut, ready to be sculpted
Laying some super green resin
Laying some super green resin

I’ve managed to surf it a couple of times just before this big flat spell hit, so far I can say it surfs exactly as I’d hoped – fast and buttery but more controllable than my other Sim shape, seems to be a bit more responsive to stalling and perhaps will therefore enable me to turn tighter.

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I can’t really duck dive it at the moment though, not sure whether its a timing thing, a foam thing or the fact I should have maybe put some more wax on the tail to stop my foot slipping off when pushing the floaty thing down! Need some more waves to really suss it out but it’s very promising….

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Show me the waves yo!

 

Backyard Shapeage

The Otta on its sunbed
The Otta on its sunbed

On and off over the last few months I’ve been embarking on a journey to create my own surfboard with the help of Chris @ Love Foam I reckon this 5’6, which draws influence from Mandala and Simmons, will be a whole heap of foamy fun. This shot shows the sanding coat curing, after this I’ll be getting busy sanding the bugger and then it’ll be time for some more pics, some hugging of the contours, I might even snuggle up to it for a few nights…. oh yeah and then I’ll definitely surf it.

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You Need a Longboard Mate…

WP_20130604There’s been some great logging sessions to be had in the sunshine these past few days, the weather has been largely cloudless and hot which is very welcome indeed. In previous years I may have bemoaned the fact the waves were tiny and not worth a dip but I’ve recently discovered why every guy with a big mini-mal or longboard in their quiver says “You need a longboard mate…” or equivalent….
I used to think that longboards were probably just their thing and I wasn’t interested in surfing something that looked so difficult to manoeuvre, maybe I also was caught up in the longboards are for old men bollocks. Anyway, all I know is having a big board on days when it’s knee-high and sunny is a blast! To be honest the waves on Sunday were weak but they were glassy and if you found a good bank there were some real fun ones to be had. I like big boards. There, I said it.

Saunton Session on the Doofer

Surfer assessing the line up at Saunton
Surfer assessing the line up at Saunton

Saunton this morning, it was a case of looking better from the beach than it was out there to be honest. A pretty weak and wobbly swell that wasn’t the best testing ground for my new 6’2 Fourth Doofer but I’d not got it wet despite having had it for a month so enough was enough. It paddles really well for a shortboard shape, definitely paddles better than my 5’10 Speed Dialer and I was glad of that in the close period stuff out there today, there was a fair bit of paddling and ducking to be done at times. Feels responsive when up and riding too if not quite as quick as I was hoping but I’ve been on a 5’2 Simmons type board for a while and I think its warped my sense of speed a little. Need a nice shaped wave to put it through its paces really but showing promise.

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And the sea is still bloody cold for nearly June, I went with no gloves/no hood and my hands were ok after the initial 10 minutes of pain adjusting to the nippiness but the head was very ice creamy after a few successive duck-dives, hopefully it will continue to warm up…..!

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Fun wedges at the local.
Fun wedges at the local.

Had a few fun ones yesterday in lazy 2ft surf at the good old Ho! I’ve been hoping to get my new Doofer from Fourth wet but the conditions called for something with a bit more foam (the Doofer’s intended for good waves) to maximise the fun so out came the 5’7 Pepperjelly from Cre8tion – I swear you can catch a ripple on this thing. The sun came out for a while too which made the hoodless duck-dives just about bearable although ice cream headaches are still in full force! Here’s to some more fun summer stuff.

A Taste of Summer

Sandymouth May Bank Holiday 2013

Weekend before last was a cracker for weather and waves, a small reasonably groomed swell, very light winds and some spring time sunshine made it feel like a mini summer. I hope everyone got in and had some fun. I managed a few hours in the water on my simmonsy thing in little thigh to waist high walls and was grinning from ear to ear when I got out – sun and surf will do that to you, oh and I wasn’t wearing a hood either….!

Now we’re back to cold and wet westerlies and the jackets are back on when out and about, let’s hope the next spell of pleasant stuff comes along shortly.

To Hood or Not to Hood?

I had a real comedy session early last week, largely revolving around my indecision and the reason for my indecision (bad choices drive more indecision)… Knowing when to de-hood has normally been a fairly easy one for me, last few years it’s generally been the last surf in March or certainly the first in April. We’ve normally had a spell of warmer stuff by late March and the sea temp creeps up to a level where it’s a little ice creamy on the noggin as you duck dive but quite bearable. Then usually it’s a steady path to de-rubbering right up to June when you’re back in a nice thin 3/2 with no boots or gloves to weigh you down until the cold comes calling all too soon sometime in autumn.

However this year has been a bit of a different beast, the winter has been long(er than usual!) and really drawn out – prolonged by months of prevailing easterly wind which gave with one hand and took with the other. It gave us offshores making the most of the North Atlantic’s winter juice but took away any warmth the normally prevalent south westerlies provide keeping our shores just the right side of arctic for most of the winter, instead we were experiencing fun temperatures such as 1 and 4 degrees celcius in the middle of April.

So the hood has stayed on, continuing to encase my face in neoprene a little longer which brings me back to last week’s go out. I hit one of the Bude town beaches at first, it was sunny, the temperature had crept into double figures and I was thinking this could be the start of spring…. that hood can come off soon maybe? I hit the water in full gear (yeah the hood was on), it didn’t feel too cold but the waves were poor, shapeless sucky 2-3ft low tide closeouts crashing in 1ft of water. This is not fun. After 20 minutes or so of looking for an open face I retreated, still in full gear and drove to Widemouth in the hope of finding a bank that was working there.

This looks more promising, not great but there were definitely some walls on offer if you were in the right spot. I’d taken the hood off for the drive and the air was welcomingly mild. This is it. No hood. Ear plugs in, jogging to the shoreline, first no hood surf of the year – lovely stuff! It’s not too big so I shouldn’t have to worry about duck diving. Oh a set’s coming, duck, Ahhhhhhhhhwwwwwgghhhhhh!! The first one was quite bad, grabbing my head in a cold vice like grip but I thought I could shake it off. Two more duck dives followed before I was in the sanctuary of the outside although my head felt like an ice cube. I’d already messed about this session by switching spots but I knew if I didn’t get a wave in and get my hood my cold head would distract me for the rest of the sesh. So I caught the next wave in and feeling like a right bell-end retreated to the van for some head warming rubber. I ended up getting a few fun waves during the remainder of the then hooded session but nothing to crow about…. Certainly one of those outings where you’re thinking “This is a lot of bloody effort for a couple of cold ones (waves not beers)!”

Having said all this it’s been sunny and even hot at times for much of this week and there’s some swell on the way for the bank holiday weekend. I think it’s time to try no hood again…..