Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shipping SUPs

My Jimmy Lewis 10 footer arrived at its new owner's home in Ohio today, safe and sound. What's interesting about this, is the box was torn to shreds and had a big gash in the side.

My packing trick for out smarting the trucking company was to buy 1/2" thick 4 x 8 sheets of EPS siding insulation foam. Then I lined the box with it. 3 layers on the ends, 2 layers down the edge, and one layer on face. The foam was really dense and almost fork lift proof. This was in addition to 2 layers of bubble wrap.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


The last few days paradise left us and full blown Jan/Feb Winter weather hit us hard. 60 degree water and 50 degree air temps. I debated whether to post what I've been doing the last few days because it wasn't SUPing. But I thought there might be other watermen out there who would appreciate other ways of getting wet. I bought a Stretch quad surfboard Friday and spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday having a blast with it. It was my first quad. I am stoked.

The windsufer is CB1 from the Standupzone. My only water friend this cold day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back in Paradise

Not very impressed with the Olympus camera. Can't see the LCD screen in bright sun, so each photo is a guess out on the water. I think a range finder style camera would be better. How are others dealing with this camera?

The wife, before

After, ouch

She dodges one

Wrong way

I often tell people at the office I don't need to go anywhere on vacation because I live in paradise. The water may have turned cold, but it still feels like paradise to me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Back home and looking forward to surfing tomorrow. My apologies to Florida, but it sure is nice to be home where the wind blows side shore when it does blow. Dead on shore wind is rare here. Those in Florida, who get a lot of on shore wind have my sympathy.

Cocoa Beach this morning.
RonJons Surf Shop.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Desperate Surfing

This surfer was so desperate for decent surf he was riding the rollers down the inside of the jetty wall at Jupiter Inlet. (in the inlet)

The mess I paddled in today. On shore wind is typical this time of year. Picked a bad time of year for SUPing in Florida.
We're out of here tomorrow. Side shore wind and waves at home, plus it's still 70 degrees back home.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

On Shore Mess

Surf is typical east coast slop. Too bad California isn't closer. We'd drive there. Photos turned out poor today. Had the camera settings wrong. Can't see much in the LCD screen in bright sun either. Don't laugh too hard at my photography skills.
The glassy photo was shot in Naples. We drove to the Gulf side to escape the on shore mess. Naples is nice!
The Dakine deck pad isn't very good for distance paddles. The aggressive rib pattern puts the feet to sleep. The JL pad caused the same problem. No issues with the C4 pad. It has smaller ribs and softer foam.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Off to Jupiter Florida

Heading south at sunrise. Look for the next update Sunday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Angulo Construction?

Anyone know if the Angulo is double sandwich construction?

The 10'4 is heavier than my JL 10. Angulo is known for being tougher than some others, so could this extra weight be the result of double sandwich construction? Granted a 10'4 is bigger, so some weight difference has to be expected.

Double sandwich is used in windsurfers when the manufacturer wants increased durability.

Second Angulo Session

Caught a short session before dark. The wife was with me surfing her JL 10, so I had a chance to swap boards for an instant comparison.

The Angulo paddles with more speed, making paddling out faster, and catching waves easier. The JL felt stuck in the mud. But being fair, I think that is partly due to less volume on the JL. It rides low at my weight.

On a wave, the JL wins for speed.

Can't really judge how loose either are without bigger waves.

The Angulo nose scoop is less than the JL, so a little adjustment was required dropping in. If you can call it dropping in when the waves are so small. The lower nose scoop does not hurt the Angulo paddling out. The pulled nose punches through waves nicely. Wouldn't ever want to return to the pug nose of the JL 11. It was like hitting a wall with that thing. Get it wrong, and the wave sends you backwards faster than you went forward.

The board has some leash plugs running down the centerline for attaching handles. All the Angulos I've seen photos of before never showed this. People tend to cover them with the pad. My board has the split Dakine pad so these fittings are accessible.

The wife was all smiles surfing the Angulo because it catches impossibly small waves the JL won't catch. She got a huge kick out of how easy it was.

First Angulo Session

Got out at dawn and surfed knee high slow pokes. Hey, had to surf the new board!

The board's stability was a shock. Way more stable than I expected. I was up-sizing from the Jimmy Lewis 10' x 28 to the Angulo 10'4 x 29. I expected a little more stability, and was hoping I was right. Well the board exceeded my expectations by a mile. I think a lot of people could ride this as their first board. Conditions were glassy today, but I've been doing this long enough to know for sure it will be just right, even when the northeasters are cranking.

I pulled out a straight edge and went to work to unravel the mystery of why this board is so much more stable than the JL.

This photo shows the Angulo bottom at the paddle stance position. Dead flat across with double concave.

This shows the JL at the paddling stance position. Huge amount of vee. Explains a lot.

Angulo vee in front of the fins.

Jimmy Lewis vee in front of the fins.

Angulo tail rocker.

Jimmy Lewis tail rocker. Less than Angulo.

Angulo flat near the paddle position. A speed spot as Joe Blair likes to call it.

Jimmy with a little more rocker through the middle.

Looking at the photos, the difference in how the boards ride, pretty much matches how they look. The Jimmy is more loose, but very unstable by comparison. They both catch waves easy. The Angulo handles longer paddle strokes better, so getting up to speed can be easier. The Angulo feels a little slower on the wave face, but that judgement may be premature since surf was so bad today.

One cool thing about the Angulo for me was I could finally spin the board on its tail, tight and quick and catch waves. With the JL I would fall half the time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scored a 10'4 Angulo

Just picked up my new 10'4 Angulo at the airport. Found one at a fair price, so had to jump on it. Will surf it tomorrow at 6:30 AM.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the session report.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Paddle Update

The wife and I surfed today in cold weather with the modifed (dovetail) wood paddles. She loves her paddle. I'm not sure the feel is right for me. There is a dead feel and lack of energy compared to the Surftech carbon paddle. It reminds me a little of my first impressions when switching from the C4 paddle to the Surftech last Spring. C4 feeling dead at the time.

Next session will be Sunday in sunny warm south Florida. Looking forward to that. Check back next weekend for updates.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Leash Design

I had XM make me a custom leash of my own design. It is 12ft stretched out. 4 feet behind the leg is coiled. The coil is about one foot long. This leaves only 8 feet of straight leash making drag in the water. I think its the perfect leash and XM should put it in production.
I tried a full coil leash. It knotted whenever the coil dragged in the water. Bad idea for surfing. OK for cruising only.
I also tried a calf leash. It worked fine provided you never paddle on your knees. Going to my knees allowed the cuff to cut a hole in my leg. Ouch!

Some Summer Stuff

Here is something from a mid summer session. The wife took a crab for a ride on her nose.

My Board Adventures

The wife and I started this sport in May of 07. My first board was the 12'1 Surftech Laird. The wife a Jimmy Lewis 11 footer. Soon (4 weeks later) I moved to the JL 11'. Next the wife went to the JL 10'.

It didn't take long before I was dreaming about being able to ride the wife's JL 10 one day. That board was a surfing machine. Once I got my sea legs on it, I couldn't stand to ride my JL 11 anymore. Sold the 11 and got myself a 10.

I thought about going for something a little less radical size wise, but couldn't get my hands on anything but a Jimmy. C4 told the local shop they didn't have any boards and wouldn't for awhile. Seems the west coast got priority on the early batches. They said something like there was less interest on the east coast. :-(

I've been having a blast on the JL 10. Except when its rough. If I lived in California or Hawaii, the 10 footer would be cake. Seems like those bloggers are always posting photos of glassy dreamy sessions. Nothing like the wind blow hell we surf in half the time.

See Friday's post for the problems I'm still fighting trying to find a board on the east coast. I've decided I really need to up size a little to make the wind chop surf days a little more fun.

Next up, a surfing vacation in Florida during Thanksgiving. I'll check out some shops while down there. I wonder if board supply is any better down there.

My Quest for Paddle Perfection

I may have found the perfect paddle design, finally. Well maybe not, since I change my mind almost daily. Hehe.

A little history of my adventure with paddles. My first paddle was a C4. I cut it 7" over my height as recommended by C4. I had all kinds of problems with that paddle. As a newbie, it felt way too short. It wandered real bad and I banged the rails a lot. Now as a newbie, you'd expect to bang the rails a lot, but then one day I switched paddles with a friend using the Surftech Laird and presto, no more wander and my paddle strokes felt sweeter. More powerful and the shaft flex energized my stroke. I immediately felt like a better paddler. I put the C4 on EBay and bought the Surftech paddle. I understand C4 claims the dihedral in their blade prevents paddle wander. All I know is, at my skill level at that time, it wasn't as nice as the Surftech.
By the way, the Surftech paddle is heavy compared to the C4.

I happily paddled my way from newbie to competent SUPer using the Surftech paddle. I eventually installed car door edging on this paddle. See photo. It looks ugly, but works. I omitted the edging on the blade bottom. I tested full edging, edging omitted on the bottom and no edging. This was the compromise I could live with.

Next I got the urge to give a premium wood paddle a try. I liked the idea of shaft flex and the beauty of wood. I ordered a Malama from Maui. Shipping cost was a killer by the way. The paddle was the best looking one I've seen. Way higher quality finish and workmanship than the Jimmy Lewis or Sawyer paddles. See photo of new paddle. The maiden voyage of the new paddle didn't go as planned. Way too much paddle wander. The blade was 9.5 wide with a little scoop built into the tip. It stroked straight when paddled at a slower pace, but if I paddled hard, it jumped sideways bad. Dinged the rail several times. Maybe the blade was pulling to much water. Don't know, just my theory. Then I began to wonder if what Leleo Kinimaka was doing with his dovetail design might be the answer I was looking for. I suspected the vee notch in the blade tip might create a blast of water through the gap creating more stability in tracking, the harder you stroke.

Next step, pulled out the saber saw, orbital sander, and sun cure resin and converted the Malama to a dove tail design.

First session with the modified paddle was incredible. The paddle stroked straighter than any paddle I've ever tried. I might just have the perfect paddle now. See photos. Maybe the carbon paddle makers should copy Leleo. I think he's onto something special.

Regarding paddle lengths, I went from 11" over my head with the Surftech, then progressively cut it shorter as my skills improved. Today my paddles are 8" over my head. By the way, shortening a carbon paddle after you have used epoxy to glue the handle is easier than you might think. I would cut the handle off about 2" below the handle. Next I would make a spiral saw cut of the shaft stub below the handle using a hacksaw blade. The spiral cut would penetrate the outer layer only. Then using a screwdriver, I pry the outer layer off. Sand the stub smooth, then epoxy it back onto the shaft. 5 minute epoxy is fairly easy to break free from the stub.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wishing I could find a SUP board on the east coast

What's up with SUP supplies? Getting boards on the east coast is like panning for gold. The C4 rep tells the local shop no boards until March 08. Yet you can click and buy direct from Hawaii anytime. I don't want to buy direct. I want to support the local surf shops.

Get this, the C4 deliveryman comes through Wrightsville Beach last week with samples of all the C4 boards on the way to some kayak show in the mountains. The reason we ran into the delivery guy, was he was dropping off a load of canoes and we saw the C4s on the truck. The delivery guy was super cool and allowed us to unload the boards, unpack them, and touch and feel what we can't buy around here. Why the hell is C4 promoting SUP in the mountains and ignoring the coastal surf shops. I just don't get it anymore. I would have bought a C4 right on the spot if the deliveryman would have allowed it.

Listen to this insanity. I check into getting the Angulo 10'4. Plenty in stock in CA. They want $1699 without fins! Then I learned Angulo is dropping prices for 08, yet they won't budge on current over pricing. Insanity everywhere I turn. Oh well, I'll keep surfing my Jimmy Lewis 10' until something more suited to my lard ass comes along. I'd really like to have that Angulo 10'4. I think the size is perfect.

I've been working with the local shop to order a custom Blane Chambers for both of us. Ordered the board last weekend. Now I'm not sure I actually have an order. Blane was pretty cool to work with the local shop, now dead silence. No comfirmation of the order, no return e-mails. Not sure I really have an order now. The hell continues as I pan for gold.