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.