Thursday, April 16, 2009


Funny how things can change so quickly sometimes. A couple of weeks ago I was making enquiries about a C4 Subvector, buying a nice woolly cardigan and toying with the idea of swapping my NAISH 9'3" for a 9'6 quad. Bloody glad I didn't.

Late last year I had some ripping sessions on the little Naish but this spring I have been struggling a bit and as a consequence been taking the easy option and riding my C4 10' Classic.

Easter saw a prolonged high pressure give us light winds coinciding with some decent, proper swell and suddenly I was like a Pig in Sh1t. Getting the Naish out at every opportunity.

Shane sort of summed it up for me today, he said -

'Dad - don't be a twat' Which I think roughly translates into

'You can have one board BUT you are really going to have to compromise on your wave expectation' (and wear a woolly cardigan).

I'll explain - Having spent a lot of time early this year on the ULI Steamroller (about 64 hours) my wave expectation was set by what I could get from the board, which was pretty much paddle in - bottom turn - nose ride (sort of) - maybe tuck in for a little cover up - glide, cruise and grin my way down the line to paddle board heaven. Nice - Comfy - Safe.

My ability would not allow for any major snaps or heroics even if the board was capable of it in the right hands (feet)! So my parameters were pretty much set.

9'3" x 29 1/2" x 4 1/4"

Jump on the Naish now and there are no limits - AT ALL. It just took me a few sessions to truly dial in to the board again. I'm probably not the most patient of guys and my spare time is as precious to me as it is to anyone else. Having convinced myself over the last twelve months or more that I can actually do this standup stuff here I was falling off again.

Dont like it - Didn't like it.

All my usual tricks - bigger fins etc. actually made it worse - so what a bloody total revelation it was when I finally got it sussed, re-fitted the 5.5" centre fin thought about where to stand and went surfing.

So pick the right board for the conditions and surf accordingly - not exactly rocket science is it?

Choppy days any size - bigger board ULI 10' (possibly the new Lopez) C4 Classic

Clean small days up to waist high - bigger board ULI 10' (possibly the new Lopez) C4 Classic

Clean bigger days Chest high plus - send me straight to NAISH 9'3" Heaven

I wasn't like this on regular surfboards. I always had a few boards kicking around but they were the 'old ones' or 'the new one'.

And I always surfed the new one until it became the old un, usually a two year life cycle.

Now I have and can see the need for a quiver. My surfing is never going to be described as radical, I'll settle for softly progressive - a bit like REM, BUT now I know that somewhere just over the next wave is a swell coming that I can do more with than just set the board up and cruise down the line - and I now know that, conditions allowing, with the Naish I have the board that in my own geriatric, sedentary way -

I can rip the crap out of it.

9'6" x 29 1/4" x 4 3/8"

And this has got me thinking - How much more stable in choppy conditions is the Naish 9'6" than the 9'3" and could it be used to replace the C4? It has a fatter nose and a more parallel plan thanks to the swallow tail than the 9'3" and is wider than the C4. It also has 25 litres or so more volume than it's smaller brother . . . . . . . . AND where the hell does this leave my BK PRO?
Its the narrowest of all the boards - almost as loose as the Naish But it is 10' long and if you are going to have a surfboard as opposed to a cruiser you might as well go shorter so it's pretty much redundant and as a result still for sale.

Length: 10'0" Nose: 18 3/8" Width: 27" Tail: 16 3/8" Thickness: 3 7/8" Weight: 23 lbs
Fin Boxes: 4 future side fin boxes 1 standard center fin box.

Damn shame but there you go.


NC Paddle Surfer said...

I ended my spending nightmare with the perfect board that works in all conditions. You really need to demo my board. You'll end of saying $$$$ and be stress free, surfing like a hero everyday.

csx355 said...

Hi Dwight - I did get a bit down and I was tempted by the SV and maybe at some point, - there are still none in the UK yet! - I will get to ride one.

The Naish is a blisteringly good surfboard, testing but rewarding, and the build quality is ace, still not a single mark on the board. It surfs quite a bit looser than my BK Pro, you do pay for that in static stability over the C4 classic however I am finding that board 'clumsy' now in comparison. The SV may well be the answer for a one board quiver BUT at £1300!!! UK side if it was fractionally less surfy I would want my Naish back. Last night I was dropping into some fairly late headhigh takeoffs - and surfing out with the whitewater almost breaking on my back. Each session results in fewer fall's and bigger grins.

Really enjoyed your board manufacturing journal - looks like a totally pro job - you must be chuffed. Take care Steve

NC Paddle Surfer said...

Weird how world board prices run in different countries.

When I was at the Naish store in Oahu, boards were $1700. While Sub Vector is $1446.

In Australia Naish is $1350 USD and C4 are expensive.

csx355 said...

The whole SUP pricing thing does not make any sense at all - why is it that I can buy a Stewart 'Boardworks' 9'6" Mal for £660 whereas a SV at 9'3" (same company) is going to be double? Is it economies of scale, cost of materials, £ V $ (Gong boards are well priced still and the Euro is strong)! - One things for sure - in the UK this year used board prices should remain firm as new boards prices are very high so for many used is going to be the best way into the sport.