Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hot New C4 Videos

I want all 3 boards! Oops, I feel like a pig...

Count how many times he says FAST........ I love FAST boards

Brad will have all 3 for demo next week. Wohooo

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Surfed the 9'0 as a Quad

I surfed the Bat Tail in CHOP tonight! Surfed for one hour in light wind. I'm amazed it is possible for me to surf this board for a full hour and feel good. I should be Mr Rubber Legs tonight, but I feel great.

The board felt right setup as a quad. Everyone has their own ideas about the feel they look for. For me, this board feels right when you hit the bottom turn in quad configuration.

That little Bat tail has some amazing glide for a pocket sized board.

That Sub Vectors going to feel like a house boat.

In all fairness, I should point out I've been surfing in front of the house, where the water texture is normal, and way easier than when we surf CB inlet. The confused currents at CB inlet can kick your ass and humble you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Surfed the 9'0 Bat Tail!

Yeah Baby, my lard ass surfed the 9'0 C4 Bat Tail tonight!

It pays to keep your weight from going over 190 pounds!

I was able to catch almost every wave I went for. The board paddles super straight, making it very easy to paddle into any wave.

The surf was waist high and steep. I could tell the board was crying for quad fins, so tomorrow it's getting testing "by me" as a quad. It feels so much like my Stretch shortboard. Stubby and fast!

That 9'3 Sub Vector should be EASY!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fun Foggy Morning

The movie stars: Brad, Jacky, Hunter, Dwight
The boards: gray 9'6 C4, red 9'3 PSH Ripper, blue 9'0 C4, yellow 10'0 BK Pro

We had a blast trading boards and surfing the break about 1 mile from the trucks. We were actually north of the inlet at one point. Near the buoy. That's way out there! Check out how far away the beach looks in the video.

The CB Gang on a Foggy Morning from fishersfort on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Got Some

Skunked yesterday, but got me some this morning. Sick new prototype.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

More Race Photos

More race photos from the winner of the 12'6 division. Check out the nice wood paddles while there. I saw his paddle at the race. Sweet looking paddle.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Contest Video from Makaha

Check out the guy in white shirt, red shorts, white board starting at 2:10 in the video. It looks like the 9'3 Sub Vector.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh, Baby!

The 9'3 Video we've been waiting for.......

UPDATE: Some boards have shipped. Maybe mine will ship tomorrow!

Brad will have the all the new boards for demo. 9'3 Sub Vector, 9'9 Slingblade, 11'0 Da Mooch

Saturday, December 20, 2008

North End of Carolina Beach

Jumping Dolphin

Jacky about to get mowed down

Who belongs to that paddle?


Brad on the 10'6 C4

Brad and Brian

December 13th Makaha Contest

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ocean Downwinder Today

We had 15 knots from the NE today, so Brad and I tried a downwinder with our race boards. We couldn't connect any swells. We needed more wind and swell. We ended up catching swell running toward the beach and surfing a little, then pulling out early. Getting out in a northeaster is super easy with these race boards. The nose punches through a wave like an ice pick.

I could see the benefit of a hybrid/fun board/race board in these conditions. I'd consider the Naish Glide, or JL to be this type of board. Something ideal for catching swell a little farther out, but still able to surf somewhat, and have tremendous nose scoop for handling wild windy conditions.

Personal Stories from the Race

Looking back on the race, I have a few stories worth sharing, for those that can't sit down with me and share a beer in person!

The race start was on the water, between a buoy on the dock and the committee boat. The race count down was via loud speaker. 3 minutes, 1 minute, racers ready, then we waited forever, then go. It was actually funny, as we were all trying to stand stationary (by order of the race director) in a 20 knot head wind and current. We were told NO running starts. Yet the current and head wind would make you backwards like a missile of you stopped paddling for one second. The starting line was packed. Just barely enough room to not bang the rail of the guy standing next you, barely!

Probably a windsurfer type start would have worked better. 3 horn blasts for 3 minutes, 2 horns for 2 minutes, 1 horn 1 minute, then continuous horn for start. No restrictions on hitting the line a full speed. With windsurfing, hitting the line perfect is considered a racing skill and it spreads the field. The next race will be way too crowded for the type start we had this time.

It was mind blowing to see that 18 foot Bark take off like a missile into the distance. He was half way up the channel to the bridge before most of us went 100 yards.

After only 100 yards I decide my gloves sucked and stopped to remove them. This turned into a hilarious disaster. The race committee made us use duct tape to stick numbers to our chest. The duct tape caused my zipper to jam. So there I am fighting to open my zipper, it took 3 tries and finally I ripped the numbers off my chest and got my gloves stored away. But not before I almost went in the drink when another racer rammed me in the rear. I thought what the hell was that, then I hear someone say sorry. I guess the head wind and current had someone out there paddling with their head down in such deep concentration they weren't looking where they were going. Oh well. After I regain my composure, I turn around to see if anyone else might be about to run me over. Nobody there except the Coast Guard, I'm dead last now!

After getting my act together, I try hard to catch up. Jacky's already at the bridge and the Bark is out of sight. I do catch up and pass a few people, then I see Jacky fall going under the bridge. The swift current and accelerated winds passing under it, carry her board away like a missile. The current is so swift it looks like small rapids under the bridge. She tries swimming after it, but has no chance to catch it, then in a final effort, smacks the deck with her paddle blade and is able to stop the board and get to it. Later she said she was about to give up and wave the Coast Guard boat down. I didn't see anyone using a leash, except me.

Once we make it under the bridge we think the brutal part of the race is over, as the course starts to turn right. WRONG, the head wind just never seemed to end. The fight continued and by the time we finally had wind and current working with us (about the half way point) we were spent.

From the half way point on, it just became a leisure race to home. In the final stretch I slowed down and finished the race with Jacky.

It was a fun way to get some exercise, meet some nice people, and just have a good time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Race Report

This race was more of big time event, than a few locals getting together for a race. I heard estimates of 30 racers. All the winners were hard core racers from out of town.

The unlimited division was won by a guy from Virgina using an all carbon 18 ft Bark. The guy was a serious ripped athlete. 2nd place went to another serious athlete from Florida racing a F-14 custom. He was a lifeguard, who had planned to bring along 10 or so racing lifeguards from Florida with him, but prior commitments didn't allow it. 3rd place went to a women racing a 14 ft custom Bark. It looked just like the production Bark coming from Surftech this Spring. 4th place went to me, but don't let that impress you, because I was almost dead last among all racers, including the under 12'6 class. The winning time was 42 minutes. Jacky thinks we finished in an hour and 15 minutes.

The winner of the 12'6 class took home the free Laird. There were nice prizes down to 10th place in the 12'6 class and nice prices for all 4 racers in the unlimited class. That's how I scored an awesome Bark racing shirt.

The winner of the 12'6 class

The secret weapon that smoked the field

The Coast Guard followed the racers. These guys wore Kokatat drysuits. The brand we use, only their suits had some cool features not found on the suits sold to the public.

Race conditions were brutal. Strong N wind and strong currents, all against the direction we were trying to go, really spread the racers out. Racing upwind is not for me. I got into race boards strictly for down wind swell chasing in the ocean.

Today I was introduced to a whole new side of SUP. The guys who come from the OC1 or kayak side, and really just love to paddle and race.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The 9'3s, Tale of the Tape







Sinks @

@3/4 Flotation

9’3 C4






277 lbs

208 lbs

9’3 PSH Ripper






267 lbs

200 lbs

9’3 Naish






288 lbs

216 lbs

Isn't the 9'3 size all we really care about anyway? Yeah baby!

The Race Course

The race course map, for those watching at home! Actual distance 3.4 miles.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Big Race Saturday

Jacky and I completed a test run of the race course on Saturday. It takes about an hour to lap Harbor Island. The forecast NE wind of 15 that morning will make the upwind leg a bitch. I'm so tall, I'll probably go backwards faster than I go forward in that wind.

Mark, we're going past your house. Come join us.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Board Colors

It looks like the fin boxes are located farther back than most SUPs. They are in the normal prone surfboard position. Instead of the SUP position of 3-4" forward.

Check out the new C4 9'3 colors! Send me the green one ASAP

Note to Naish Marketing Manager "You're FIRED". What were you thinking offering only one color?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Great Day

Although not much photographic proof of it. Jacky grabbed the camera as we were coming in. We have to be thankful she thought to grab it, and get what we got.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Notice to All Board Companies

These must become the industry standard. I will never own another board without them. I have been using them for about a month. I cannot live without them anymore. Surprisingly, they never become a nuisance or cause you to slip when surfing.

You can forget about all the other gadgets for hauling boards, this is the one you really can't live without. It just works better.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Bloopers!

This Morning's Surf

Long period swell this morning. The good sets were twice the size captured in photos. I didn't want to spend much time fooling with the camera, so a few quick shots and I was back in the water. A fantastic 3 hours of surfing in Kure Beach this morning.

Brad and Jacky below. Both surf the 9'0 C4.

Home Depot for Board Repair

Today I packed Jacky's board in a bag and off to Home Depot I went. I took the board inside Home Depot and had them scan it for a perfect paint match. My board repairs are finally PERFECT.

It all came about by accident. I was talking with the paint mix lady at Home Depot, desperately trying to get a paint match using a tiny paint chip I had pulled from Jacky's board. She could not get a perfect match using the tiny chip. Then I told her it was for a surfboard and she said "go get your surfboard and bring it in the store". "We scan surfboards all the time for people". Wohoo, finally the perfect solution to pop out board repair. Home Depot rocks!

Prior to this, I had used the Pantone color guide, but never got a perfect match with this method.

I airbush the latex paint diluted with 1/3 water, sprayed at 30 psi.

Jacky had a large paint chip from a kook SUPer down the street who bailed on a wave and kicked his board straight in her face, sending his board over her's, smashing his fins into her rail. The board is tough. Nothing but a paint chip.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Vortice and Holoholo

Jacky and Brad testing the new race boards. At Jacky's weight, the Holoholo looks and rides in the water about like the Vortice does for me. The Holoholo is a mini Vortice for light weights. When I paddle the Holoholo, the nose is barely above water and does sometimes dip when the wind and swell push me.

I just heard from Evan last night. Seems the Blair 12'6 race board is FAST. Dead flat rocker on it. Just like an early planing windsurfer. It looks like the windsurf shapers are making some fast race boards. Foote, Naish, Blair.

I think the Vortice is still the right shape for what I want out of a race board. Northeaster swell and wind chasing. Extreme and sketchy without the right board. The Vortice, with its special nose shape, looks right for the task. Might get to find out in a couple of days if the forecast holds true.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Vortice and the Wonderful 9'6

My new Vortice arrived today. This is the Boardworks model, not the XP hollow carbon model. I was nervous it would be heavy. I was shocked at how light it is. I had no problem carrying the board with one hand on the handle, while making the one block walk to the beach from my house. It was so light, I stopped to chat with Brad a little, during my trek back to the house. I was expecting to need my old 2 wheel dolly I built back when I surfed the 12'1 Laird. That Laird was a beast.

My paddling test was short. We had some sweet glassy surf tonight, so a short paddle was followed by a switch to my BK Pro. Stability was like any thick board I've tried in the past. I wobble like a newbie until I adapt to riding so high above the water.

It comes with a center handle hole, plus straps for using the paddle as a handle (my favorite feature). Kudos to C4. They put out some good looking, polished products.

I surfed the 9'6 C4 for 20 minutes. My first time on that board. Wow, what a surfing machine. I had the same level of stoke I recall from the day I surfed the 9'3 PSH Ripper. Going from memory, I'd put it in the same league with that board. The magic board league! I could own and surf the 9'6 as my only board if I lived in Santa Cruz and had the glassy conditions Gary gets! Lucky boys those CA surfers. It sure pays to weigh only 190 now.

My 9'3 C4 should be cake, glass or chop. Wohoo.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Camera Holder

My new camera carrier is a modified i-pod arm band holder. I have struggled all year to find the prefect solution for carrying my camera while surfing. Around the neck didn't work. I was too distracted and worried about getting hurt by the camera in a crash. Sometimes the distraction of the camera flopping around would make me miss a wave or fall. I was hit in the ribs by it last Winter. The camera chipped the rail of my board crawling back on it.

Next I tried transporting the camera with a suction cup mount on the nose of my board. Again the camera was a distraction. I'd often be stressed over it and end up staring at the camera, then fall.

The arm band mount works great. I'm not even aware of the camera hanging on my arm. I can surf all day with the camera hanging there. Then when I want to shot photos I just sit on the board and slide it off my arm. The attached float makes sure I can find it should I ditch the camera and dive under a wave.

I Love Winter Surfing

Winter surfing means the sea breeze is finally gone. Yipee, finally some glassy surf is in our future. Today was a blue bird day. It doesn't get much sweeter.

Dwight Nov 23, 08 from fishersfort on Vimeo.

Sorry about the shaky video of Jacky. Normally I sit on my board and image stabilization does a wonderful job. Today I stood on the bottom and let the waves knock me around. Oops!

Jacky Nov 23, 08 from fishersfort on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Design Discussion - The 9'3s

CB1 and I have been chatting a lot about 9'3 SUPs, in anticipation of C4s new Stub-Vector arriving next month. I thought some of the regular readers here, might enjoy some of my ramblings on the subject.

There are 3 main players in the 9'3 size. PSH, Naish, and C4. I surfed the 9'3 PSH back in Feb. It was mind blowing and ever since that day I have dreamed about the day when I could own a 9'3 and have the skill to ride it as my everyday stick. It makes anything else you surf feel like a dog.

Two issues stood in my way. I'm old, and weighed 205 lbs. Well CB1 and I have both lost weight. We each weigh in at 190 lbs now. You're options are so limited when break the 200 lb barrier.

As regular readers of this blog probably know, I've become a fan of C4 boards. Therefore I am rooting for their 9'3 to be the one. Around here C4 has a lot going for it. Their boards come complete with the best deck pads in the business. We can demo all the boards due to the excellent mid Atlantic rep, Brad Jones. The nicest shops in town stock them and give us excellent prices, so the cost to own is actually lower than PSH or Naish. With those brands you have to add $300 to the price you pay to cover shipping and deck pads. OK, now you understand my biased, on to my thoughts on the designs.

Here is what C4 says about the 9'3-

DESIGN NOTES: This high-performance short stand-up surfboard offers both radical turning radius's and "no-fail" stability to bigger surfers of intermediate or higher ability. With progressive rocker, flat bottom, firm edges, angular boxy rails, and double-barrel inverted vee panels, the C4 SUB-Vector delivers sports-car-like speed and snappy handling characteristics.

What I find most interesting about these design notes is the "no-fail" stability comment. I was asked what that means by CB1. I think they are trying to tell us it has stability that won't let you down when it gets choppy. That is when a great surfing board can FAIL and cause you to leave it sitting in the garage way more than you would like. It might even cause you to sell it.

What gives this 9'3 no-fail stability? For me, it's the resemblance to my favorite Stretch quad shortboard. My magic Stretch has a very wide tail compared to any other thruster shortboard in its class. Wider than any thruster I've ever owned (with similar mid widths and length). My magic Stretch is insane surfing off the tail. Super easy to surf and surf well. Fast as hell, just goes and goes. The wide tail is like having training wheels on a surfboard. Lightning quick snaps off the lip make you feel like a pro. I'm far from a pro, by the way. The C4 9'3 ships configured quad. I think going quad may just be a key factor in making the wide tail with parallel template work. It sure makes my Stretch work!

What do I see different in the PSH and Naish? Narrower tails with curvier templates, more like my old thruster shortboards, which I sold when I fell in love with Stretch.

I see Naish following his roots. By following his roots, I'm referring to him following the standard set by the windsurfing industry of blowing up the volume of boards marketed to the general public. This was done to make boards appeal to a wider audience. Wider audience equals more sales and more profits. That's what it's all about. Profits. No complaints with that. The Naish is the highest volume of the three.

The PSH is probably still a little too challenging to be my everyday board. I recall the tail rode low with me on it. When paddling, I had to be careful not to shift any weight to the rear, or the tail would sink. There isn't much board behind you at my weight. That may be why some of the heavy guys surfing this board in Hawaii prefer to use it when waves have some juice. While my light weight friend who owns one, uses it as his one board quiver.

Jacky and Brad both ride 9'0 C4s are one board quivers. Lets hope the 9'3 C4 turns out the same for guys my weight. Fingers crossed until mine arrives sometime in mid December.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hawaiian Memories

Jacky and I are returning to Oahu in Jan 09. Here are some photos from our last visit in Jan 04.

Goat Island
Waimea- Jacky, Pete, Tony

Goat Island

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Board Comparison Chart

Updated 9-3 PSH dimensions to include tail and nose widths. Wow, big difference to C4s 9-3. The C4 is 2" wider at the tail and 2 1/2" wider in the nose, while only being 3/8" different in the middle. That means the C4 should be more stable and a straighter paddler. I rode the PSH back in Feb. It surfed unreal, but was probably a little too challenging for a one quiver board at my weight. It also required some technique getting into a wave because it turned a lot with each paddle stroke. Of course this probably means the straighter template of the C4 is giving up something in how quick it turns with that template. The compromises look right for what I need. The characteristics C4 is known for, stable at low volumes, good, straight paddlers, and good surfers, apparently continues with this new size.







Sinks @

@ 3/4 Submersion

9’0 C4






230 lbs

172 lbs

9’3 C4






277 lbs

208 lbs

9’6 C4






235 lbs

176 lbs

10 C4 BK Pro






264 lbs

198 lbs

10 C4






282 lbs

211 lbs

9’3 PSH Ripper






267 lbs

200 lbs

9'6 PSH Full Nose




277 lbs

208 lbs

9’6 PSH BB Ripper





223 lbs

9’8 PSH Ripper




9’10 PSH Ripper




10’4 JL





235 lbs

9’6 Naish





225 lbs

9’3 Naish




10’ my old PSH




325 lbs

243 lbs

All data above was created by me. So don't bet your life on it. :-)
I took all known dimensions of these boards and plugged them into AKU Shaper software to determine board volume. Then I cross checked using Shape 3D software. Next I calculated the rider weight required to sink each model, then made the assumption that when a board is sunk to 3/4 its thickness, I've got the maximum rider weight based on my skill level.

Boards listed without nose and tail widths are less accurate. C4 volumes are the most accurate, because I know all the dimensions.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Free Paddle

C4 waterman C4 waterman
C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman
C4 waterman C4 waterman
C4 waterman C4 waterman
C4 waterman C4 waterman
C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman

C4 waterman

C4 waterman
C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman C4 waterman
FREE XPR paddle with every Vortice purchase. Wow, had to jump on that. Stay tuned.