Dropping to a smaller board (my 9'8" Starboard) seemed like an easy, natural transition from the JL. IN FLAT WATER! Introduce some chop and the balance training starts all over again. Something that I just did not realise until this morning.
Since getting the Starboard I have had a couple of abortive sessions due to the weather - naturally I went in (new board) but got blown to hell - Wednesday night I managed a quick surf after work in the middle of the beach with Shane. The wave was waist to chest high and glassed off really well - we only got 40 minutes or so before dark but I couldn't go wrong. Lefts, rights, full rail cutbacks just one of those fantastic sessions, albeit too short. Friday and Saturday was blown out but Sunday looked promising.
Stepping back stopped the nose from bogging down but slowed my paddle speed up and made me less stable resulting in even more rinsings. The wind had got on it a bit and I was getting tired. It was very noticeable that the board reacts much more to 'chop' than the Jimmy. It's not so much the 'Yaw' (side to side) or the 'pitch' (end to end) individually, but combine them both and you have a very lively, three dimensional balance board. The extra length of the Jimmy spans more wave and water and has much more of a dampening effect.
I am sure that I will adapt and deal with it but lets just say width is not everything. Neither is sheer volume and float, length actually matters as much to stability as width. - Good job I did not go for the 9'er though - at least not yet.