Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hawaiian Aloha

I'd like say THANKS to all the locals in Hawaii who were nothing but warm and friendly, every place we surfed.

I put together this video which typifies the Aloha on the water. The video was taken by a local surfer girl who offered to shoot video of us. She was not the only local to make this offer.

We were not the only people surfing with cameras. I saw the Gopro, Sanyos (2) and Olympus cameras in use at various breaks.

At no time did we ever surf the ideal spot at any break. We always avoided the pack of surfers dueling for the biggest and best waves. We surfed off to the side, or more inside, taking the scraps with the more mellow locals doing likewise. It was a good vibe everywhere we surfed.

SUPs seemed to be everywhere. Often you'd see them miles out, on distance reefs all by themselves. It was a beautiful thing to see. While surfing Flat Island in Kailua, we saw a lone SUP surfer about 1 mile beyond the island surfing all alone.

In this video, Jacky is wearing every piece of rubber we had in the van because it was freezing cold. Our coldest day of the vacation. Probably only 69-70°F.

Watch with the sound on.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Videos

We fly out tomorrow.

It was a fantastic vacation. Highly recommended.

This place has it all, from North Shore thrills, to mellow surf for your wife.

Kailua - the Videos

Microsoft and C4 Waterman

This morning we joined a feature Microsoft was shooting about C4 Waterman. Microsoft has recognized C4 Waterman's achievements as a small business.

Here they are shooting the C4 logo stuck to a sheet of glass.

The fake school/demo setup just for Microsoft. Notice all the eye candy C4 recruited!

Kailua - the Still Shots

Lots of video coming soon

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Morning Feast

Pineapple stuffed french toast with a view.
Time to go surf now.

Jacky at Waikiki

Jacky had fun today. She caught tons of waves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Our North Shore Session

Jacky walking to the car

Mr and Mrs NC Paddle Surfer Evan

We met Evan at 8am on the North Shore. We checked out several breaks and picked one just down from Chuns. I don't recall the name of it. There are 3 breaks side by side. Evan said Blane shoots a lot of his videos there.

I caught 5 waves, each one the best wave of my life.

A ride on one wave here, is equal to 10 waves in NC.

The C4 Sub Vector was incredible. Every turn like a dream. The board handled the waves perfectly for me.

It was one of those days I'll remember for a lifetime.

A big thanks to Evan for taking the time to show us around. The generosity Evan Leong and Todd Bradley have shown us, is just incredible.

Our video camera cannot zoom, so the video will be a letdown. I just hope it gives you some feel for what it was like out there.

Evan said the waves were 2-4 foot. Yeah right. By NC measuring standards, it was mast high on the outside when the best ones came through. Big enough to make the eye balls pop out.

Just look at the spray coming off the waves in NO WIND.

The water texture and balancing act is more challenging than I expected. It's pretty close to the mess we get at home surfing CB inlet. Current and voodoo chop in the channels between the breaks. The Sub Vector did not fail me!

To finish off a perfect day, Evan introduced us to shaved ice, Hawaiian style.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wind Still Blowing

We surfed a little this morning. Wave size is good, but wind makes catching anything ridiculous.

So we bagged surfing and kited Kailua. It turned into a great day. Waves at the reef were consistent head high, with some double overhead sets. It was a blast. CB1 I was thinking about you out there. You, your windsurfer, and Robbie. It was unreal out there. Huge beautiful green blue waves that were just mushy enough to make them a play land.

The Sky Pro board is fantastic. Get one. We checked out the Naish boards at Robbies shop. They must be lead cored. I've never felt a kiteboard that heavy, ever.

The reef

The rigging area

The Wet Feet shop
Jacky bought a Quickblade paddle today.

More Thoughts

I'm sitting here waiting for the sun to rise so we can walk across the street and surf!

If you get a chance to attend one of the next SUPAH clinics run by Wet Feet, you must do it. At this clinic, besides the priceless instruction from the top people in our sport, we were given water shirts and deck dots by C4. We had the opportunity to try every paddle brand on the market and many different race boards. At future clinics, top racers will follow and instruct you on your racing technique.

The number of people who showed up was a surprise to me. These were not hard core racers, these we just regular kooks like us who wanted to do better in fun down winders. Most did not own real race boards. In fact, I'm not sure anyone owned real race boards. All the race boards at the clinic appeared to be from Wet Feet and C4s stock.

I think the people at Coastal Urge (home shop into cruising and racing) can expect their planned races this Spring to grow huge. Note to Coastal Urge, they never race upwind here. It was refreshing to hear Todd and Dave say upwind is foolish. A boogie board could beat us going upwind. I will not show up for anymore races run upwind.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Wonderful Day in Oahu

Our morning started with the SUPAH paddle racing clinic, put on my Wet Feet, with instruction provided by Todd Bradley and Dave Parmenter.

The clinic was fantastic. We've been paddling wrong for the last 2 years. I bet 80% of those out there reading this, also paddle wrong. I thought because I could pull a blade straight and not ding my board, I knew what I was doing. WRONG! After completing this clinic Todd completely transformed our paddling skills. Later, when we surfed Waikiki in crazy wind, these new skills paid off HUGE.

I'll have to give all my buds at home the same clinic. For the rest of you, you'll have to wait on the C4 video they shot today. You might even see me in that video.

Todd, Dave, and the crew at Wet Feet were great hosts.

Todd Bradley is a super nice guy. He hooked us up with a guest pass to a private club right on the beach, with access to an uncrowded break. Free parking. Amazing food on the beach at reasonable prices. Dave, Todd, Robert, Jacky, and I all had lunch at the club today.

Todd offered to take me on a down winder today with a Vortice XP. I almost took him up on it, but when I found out the run was 8-10 miles, and he'd complete it in under and hour, I realized I'd be a huge handicap on them, and might get myself in over my head. That's a fast run. Wind was honking today. They said they surfed the whole run. Conditions were absolutely perfect.

The women of Hawaii. Not your typical Wrightsville Beach women, that lay on the beach with cell phones stuck to their ears. Pretty cool!

All these cars and trucks came for the SUPAH paddle clinic. Amazing!

Jacky at Waikiki

A few of the clinic participants testing their skills.

Dave Parmenter and Todd Bradley at the clinic.

Tommy, the C4 video guy and the voice in the videos.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Hawaiian Vacation is Shaping up Perfect

We found our boards!

I have the C4 Sub Vector reserved at Wet Feet.

I found Jacky the 9'0 C4 at Blue Planet. They're pulling a 9'0 from the warehouse for me.

Evan wrote me last night saying he has Todd Bradley's Sub Vector demo board. It sounds like that one could be a backup, should Wet Feet be struck by lightning between now and Saturday.

Even Todd Bradley wrote me, which was cool. I should have a chance to meet him and maybe surf with him.

The forecast shows the tradewind returning this weekend, so we packed the kites. I've got a NORTH prototype that is sick. The kite won't be in shops until April.

Next update from Oahu on Saturday evening, Hawaiian time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No More

No more surfing until Hawaii. This 43° weather with a light drizzle bites! The waves were hardly worth freezing our butts off.

On the bright side of things, Jacky finally took a picture of me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sub Vector Shaping Details

This post is for those like me, who wonder why this board works so well. It's down right freaky, its so much better.......

Rocker shown with straight edge balanced at mid point of rocker length.

Nose scoop ~6 inches

Tail rocker ~3.5 inches

Deck concave. Think low rider stable.

Deep double concave at the traction pad for super traction.

Double barrel, plus vee

Flat, fast, and stable at the middle.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lame Conditions, but FUN

3 hour session with Brad, Z, and Jacky on Sub Vectors, Slingblade, and Bat Tail.

Take note of how easy the Sub Vector redirects off the tail "without" the aid of the paddle! You know how most boards turn in tiny surf. Dig the blade, grunt, spin, dig the blade, grunt spin. With this one you just think about turning and it goes.

Z thinks the Sub Vector is more stable than his 10'4 JL. Pretty amazing that a 9'3" x 28.81" board can be more stable than almost anything else on the water.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sub Vector Session 2

For the first time in my life, I feel like a normal guy.

I've been a gawky Big Bird my whole life. Everything always seemed harder for me than a normal person. I can't dance around on a surfboard like a ballerina. The little guys do that!

Well this board has changed all that. For once in my life, everything is EASY!

I feel like I can do anything. I'm ripping the way I have only dreamed about doing it. I'm on the stomp pad and ripping! No need to nurse my footwork.

The board catches everything. I'll bet it's faster than any 10 or 10'6 out there in mushy surf.

I stand by my initial opinion that this is the most stable board I have ever surfed. Plus the most lose.

I'm using Vector II 450 Quads.

Winds had been 25-30 all day. Sea was a mess, but winds backed off near sunset. It made the ocean extremely rough. There were a few decent waist high waves for session number two.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Zs new Sub Vector

Zs new ride. 4 Sub Vectors were in the local shop yesterday. Today they are all gone.

It will be invasion of the Sub Vectors at CB inlet this weekend!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Sub Vector is HERE

I surfed the board for 1 1/2 hours this afternoon in the worst possible conditions. Wind blowing 30 side shore. Great for down wind racing with a Vortice, but hell on the water for surfing. I would normally never attempt to surf in such crap, but with a new board.....

This "might be" the most stable board I have ever surfed. Now before you call BS on me, let me explain. I have been surfing potato chips for a long time. My instincts and skills are tuned for low CG boards (that ride low in the water). Every time I ride something chunky, it's a nightmare for me. I hated the Naish 11'6. I could never get my sea legs on that corker. I have the same issues with my Vortice. I wobble like a newbie for the first 10 minutes I'm on that thing. Eventually things settle down and I adapt. But riding high is something that just doesn't work for me. Your balance gets upset by every little piece of chop when your CG is in the stratosphere. I even have the same issues (to a lesser degree) with PSH boards and the JL 10'4. When I walked into the surf shop and saw my new board, there was some apprehension. This board looked like a corker. When I got to the water and first jumped to me feet, the stability and familiarity was instant. Relieved!

I'd rate the stability 2X better than the BK Pro. 3X better than the 9'3 PSH Ripper. The concave deck works like magic at lowering the CG.

Now for how it surfs.......

Tide was full high, so I had to search out the rogue wind swells that would pitch up steep enough to pretend it was real surfing. The board could almost catch anything. It's fast and easy to paddle into rogue wind swell. That's impressive. The waves I did catch and surf didn't last long before they vanished or closed out. Working with what I had, the board snapped lightning quick turns. Maybe quicker than the 9'0 Bat tail at my weight. I was able to move from one wave to the next, as the waves reformed. It's a fast gliding board for a shortboard.

One cool thing I experienced, was the ability to move all around on the board "with ease" to give it whatever it needed to surf the wave to its maximum. When I surf potato chips, designed for middle weight surfers, I often feel like Shrek or Big Bird trying to dance around on the deck. I make one wrong move and blow the whole wave. That usually happens on the perfect wave too! No more issues with this big boys board. Yeah!

Stability longitudinally is superb too. When surfing the 9'3 PSH Ripper, foot position is critical at my weight. 6" off and I'm toast. This was my only concern going down to a 9'3. Would it be super sensitive to where I stand. The answer is NO. In fact, it feels more like a 9'6. That's how comfortable it was!

Middle weights and light weights, eat your heart out baby. This one's made for ME and my fellow Shrek sized surfers. Haha!

One more thought. I had been wondering what I would do for a rough water board. I figured when I ordered this 9'3, I'd have to get something larger for northeasters and southeast winds, when sea texture is a nightmare, but the urge to surf is calling me. WRONG, this board does it all. I saved a ton of money with this board.

Monday, January 5, 2009


My take on paddles is constantly evolving.

Our very first paddles were from C4. At the time, my board was the Laird 12'1. I could not catch a wave worth a crap with that beast. It was my lack of skill, not the boards problem. The fast fix was a new paddle. I switched to the Surftech paddle, with a huge blade compared to the C4. It seemed to help. I became a fan of monster blades.

As my boards became smaller, the monster blade Surftech wasn't feeling good anymore. I moved on to the Kialoa Shaka Pu'u. The smaller Shaka Pu'u was just what I needed as my boards continued to get smaller.

Next Kialoa released the even smaller Methane, so I cut my Shaka Pu'u blade down to match the Methane. Again this next step in my paddle progression seemed to suit my ever changing smaller boards.

This weekend Jacky demoed a C4 fiberglass paddle with colored blade. She raved about easy it pulled through the water. Easier than her 8" wide modified Kialoa. Yet the C4 she demoed was 8.5" wide. Paddle width doesn't tell the real story about pull. This C4 had the least pull of any paddle she had ever tried. She loved it.

Next up, I tried the C4 paddle. I was shocked at how light the pull was compared to the Kialoa blade.

With Jacky on the 9'0, and me on the 9'3, these light pulling, smooth, C4 blades are the perfect compliment to shortboard SUPs.

The photos show how I added padded grip to Jacky's paddle.

Friday, January 2, 2009

For Those Pushing the Limits

This post is to provide support to all of us out there pushing the limits of what we can ride.

I awoke to glassy surf this morning, so I stole Jacky's 9'0 x 26 3/4 x 3 7/8 C4. As soon as I entered the water the wind switched side on shore and created the horrible choppy mess shown in this photo.

I stuck with it, and this little pocket sized SUP turned what should have been a nightmare, into a fun stoked session. I love a challenge. I had a blast. Surfed for about one hour.

Easy is boring, right!