Saturday, June 7, 2008

Been off the board since last Thursday week now. After eagerly watching the swell charts Shane and myself managed to paddle into a very hollow, lowish tide Gwithian on Thursday 29th.

The sea was like glass with a rock solid, head high swell. Most waves were close out's but there was the odd shoulder that gave an incredibly fast lip hugging, butt clenching, and as it turned out foot slicing ride. First wave clipped my foot on one of the fins in the white water. Thought at first that I might have just lost some skin but jokingly said to Shane as I paddled back out that I'd just cut my toe off. The coolish water must have deadened the feeling somewhat so I carried on for a couple of hours - great session. Probably not the best move - neither was packing the new mouth that I'd made in my foot with sand as I trudged back up to the van. The guy in casualty that stitched me up had great fun dredging '3 Miles of Golden Sands' from between my toes.

Three days later and my foot turns red and blows up like a dark red spacehopper full of custard at very high pressure - all thoughts of getting back in the water this week as the summer swell of the year hits fade away until the antibiotics do there cell bursting stuff - possibly as I write this.

So apart from the storm in my foot there is a hurricane of words flying around the net regarding the heel depressions that seem to be appearing like crop
circles on boards around the world - I have had some appear on the deck of my 9'8" - nothing drastic but enough to mention to Tim at the Longboard house and
John from Starboard. Both assure me that there is nothing to worry about - so I'm not, at the moment.

In my board rack I probably have a dozen custom surfboards all with compression marks of some form or another - I expect my long boards to last me two years
before I retire them. Most shortboarders would be chuffed to get a decent 12 months out of their kit less if they ride hard.

10'6" 'Best Ever' Triple stringer showing compression hollows

Shane's Matt Adams 5'11 on the right

My StarBoard deck showing shallow hollows

No point putting a level flat across the middle of the board as the centre is slightly raised and falls away to the rails - obviously this would exaggerate the impression of the hollow

Skate boarders trash their kit on a super regular basis. If I get worried about my deck I have registered my concern within the warranty period with my supplier who I trust implicitly.

If the deck was to delam after my warranty period but within say two years I would probably push for a seriously 'reduced cost replacement' backed up by StarBoard. If this were not to happen I would probably vote with my wallet and find an alternative product. After that I don't think that I could complain too much. One argument that could be levelled about the situation is regarding the second hand value later on - fair point but I suppose I bought my board to ride and my value comes from me using it not what it's worth when I'm done, that's a bonus not a right. The only board I have that is in pristine condition is the one hanging on my living room wall. And that's never been ridden.

I have been a bit pissed of about the cracks and scratches that have appeared in the board but when I check out USED C4's they seem pretty battered as well - just that the white shows less damage. Perhaps a custom would hold up a bit better as the paint is on the foam not a top coat - perhaps it's flailing around in the surf with a paddle like something out of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre that's doing it. All I know is that I am (was!!) riding harder and longer than before - and that's nice!

Plus the model range has two option's 'Tuf Skin' and 'Sport Tech' can't say that I didn't have the option.

Busy week coming up - stitches out Monday - off to France on business Tuesday and Wednesday - Check out the BSUPa comp at Gwithian on Sunday (work Saturday so only socialising) - then off to France with the bikes and boards on Monday for a week.

Now I'm off to check the dents in my deck!!
Big thanks to all who read this and take the time to comment - please keep it coming


Anonymous said...

It'll be interesting to see what happens with all these 9-8 compression problems. I've ridden mine three times for a total of about 5 hours and when I run my hand over the foot-placement area, I can already feel a little dip. I'm taking a wait-and-see attitude and will register a notice-of-issue with my dealer should it get worse. Meanwhile, I guess Alap is going to take it to the limit to try to get satisfaction. All I can say is, good on him.

john said...

Don't worry about the dents in the 9'8", toe looks worse, lucky you didn't cut a tendon.
Had some really good sessions on my 9'8" on Wednesday evening, and Thursday morning 28th and 29th at Saunton, must have been the same swell coming through, Am down at Gwithian this weekend, would be good to say hello, bald guy with starboard 9'8" falling in a lot,

csx355 said...

ANON My opinion is that it is not going to be an issue hence the pictures of my surfboards - I reckon that your's is the best course of action - Others may feel that the only way they get satifaction is by going to war - the weight that the internet can give to one voice can be disproportionate though - take this blog for instance - what do I know?

John - Thanks stories of how good it's been make me feel much better ;) - cant enter as I'm working Saturday but should be there Friday evening / Saturday evening and Sunday. 'Falling in a lot'.

leinsterfan said...

Just read your review of the ULI, not sure where to post this so I hope you don't mind if I put it here.
I want to get into SUP over the next while and was thinking of getting myself one of these ULIs. Just wondering if its a good beginner SUP board? sounds like you'd been doing it for a while before you got one, but I'm gonna be a complete novice.
I'd also be a bit on the tall/heavy side (14st) and 11ft seems a bit short compared to the others SUPs you can get.
anyway, any help appreciated, cheers

csx355 said...

Hi Ryan - Thanks for the post - The ULI is a fantastic board and very forgiving - you will not have an issue with your size it floats me fine and is very stable - If you are starting out with flat water SUP'ing it is probably all the board that you will ever need in fact it paddles faster than my JL 11. It does surf well (as Steamroller demonstrates in his videos) but not like a conventional SUB as you have to adjust your technique slightly and stand well back on the tail once you have caught the wave. This is particularly so when the wave is choppy as the 'ULI Bounce' can bury the nose. I would hate to be without it now and will be getting the 10' version as soon as is possible. There is a very fast learning curve with SUP so in any event whatever you start with you will end up with shorter boards at some point difference is The ULI is travel practicaland a handy 2nd board.

leinsterfan said...

thanks for the advice, great blog by the way

Anonymous said...

Starboard = Star Bust. I had two different Mr. Easy Tuf Skin boards and they both cracked in half in super small surf. The construction on these boards is total crap. Starboard customer service sucks, as does their Tuf Skin product line...

csx355 said...

Hi Anon - I'm sorry that you feel that you need to use my blog to publicise your board issues - all I can say is my 9'8 Extremist was a great board and perfect for me at the time. Gav - who can be very critical, is very pleased with his and as far as I know the guy who bought my board is still chuffed with his. (I have mailed him to find out). I had chipping issues but no worse than on the C4's. The Starboards are amongst the most sought after used boards out there - cant comment on the MR EASY never been on one, but I would venture that it's mighty big to put in surf.

csx355 said...

As promised I managed to get a message to the chap that bought my Starboard - he still has it and is dead chuffed with it - no issues - no worries. Most people I know have who have Starboard are very happy with them.