Sunday, May 24, 2009

ULI LOPEZ - Sweet second helpings

Could not get in Saturday night but amazingly managed to keep off the wine and beer enough to get up early Sunday morning check the forecast and get stuck into a second helping of the Lopez. The wind had all but dropped off and from the car park there seemed to be a bit more order and shape to the beach. It was 8.30 and the tide was dropping away fast - still closing out but cleaner and with a few more workable shoulders than Friday night.

Jumping onto the board this time I managed to stay dry. Progress.

The session was so much easier than before - more waves - more sweet skills - and confirmation for me that the board nose rides both standing and my little kneely nose rides that I seem to have gotten into the habit of doing. I need to work on my snappy cutbacks but slowly but surely the board was given it up. Like my all time favourite music I think that this board was going to grow on me.

Gwithian beach is 3 miles long and as time goes on the access points become more and more restricted and controlled. Annoying but it does mean that people being people tend to concentrate around the access, leaving lots of lovely empty waves if you are prepared to mooch up or down the break a bit. This morning I plumped for a mid beach mark in order to continue my painful apprenticeship away from the crowds. After an hour or so in the water I spotted another Stand up paddling down the beach on a Starboard - our wave choices brought us within speaking distance - we nodded and exchanged some brief good mornings, he had just come done from Plymouth to catch some waves, and then we paddled away from each other and you know what - that was just fine - no need to congregate in packs with so much beach and so many waves - good on ya pal who ever you were - clocked you having some decent rides - if you read this stop by and say hello.

So thats it - I can let the air out safe in the knowledge that I now have a real surfy travel board - Might try and get another session in this afternoon.


ef said...

great reports, this one and the last. the more i read and the more i think about an ULI, the more I think I might go with a Steamroller. I dunno but for travel, where conditions are what they are and if not good, you can't wait em out -- it might make more sense. At least to me. Sounds like you're making swift progress on the Lopez, though, so maybe that'll work for you just fine.

the one thing that has turned me off about the St is the weird. that said, i talked to jim a week ago and he said they might start working on a lighter single-ply version of the board, maybe pulling in the nose a hair, etc. I hope they do!

keep up the reports, they keep me inspired and thinking and dreaming ....

csx355 said...

Hi Eric - I honestly dont think that the weight of the Steamroller is detrimental to it's performance in fact it seems to help it glide through some of those slacker sections - it's certainly less 'work' than the Lopez and at the moment could still be my first echoice if I could only have one board. Jim told me about a double skinned Lopez as well - they are a great crowd and not afraid to chop things around for you.

ef said...

welllll, i wasn't thinking in terms of performance so much as carry weight. i hate lugging stuff around, is the thing. so if i can get a lighter 'roller than still performed, then that might be just the ticket.

keep up posted on your progress. i bet in no time the lopez will begin to feel pretty good under your feet...

kurtr said...

Enjoyed your reviews! I took delivery on my Lopez last week, and my experiences were pretty much like yours, except that my first paddle was on protected water in a bay.

On flat water, I found it to be every bit as stable as my 10'8 Angulo, which unfortunately gave me a false sense of confidence. The next day I surfed it in awful conditions: windy and choppy with tiny, sectiony windswell waves. In 2 1/2 hours, I'd say I fell off probably 50 times.

But even on those crummy little waves, it surfed great. Once I found the sweet spot (actually more forward than I was expecting, but I'm coming from a bigger board), it caught waves easily, refused to pearl, and responded insitinctively.

And as you said, it punched through whitewater smoothly and turned on a dime. I'm looking forward to trying it in better conditions this week, but in any case, like you, I figure the learning experience of getting my sea legs on the Lopez in choppy conditions will just serve to make me a better SUPer.

Question: What are the dimensions of the bag you have it in? I understand the standard limits for carry-ons are 22x14x9, although I guess they can vary bit by airline. Are you happy with the size of yours and how the Lopez fits? I've got to decide what bag to get, also considering a 3-piece paddle will maybe also have to fit in.



csx355 said...

Hi Kurt - thanks for the comments - I'm not sure that I'm qualified to actually review a product, this blog is more about my experiences - if anyone finds my babblings useful it's been worth the effort.

The bag I have the board in is a soft canvas wheeled holdall 30"x14"x14" - the board fits in with the pump and paddle with some careful manouvering. I know that Clinton has said that the board would go as 'carry on' but I can't see the paddle and pump going as well. He also folds the board's rails in. Easier if you have a mosaic deck grip, mine is full bore.

The board really surprised me, it was so much looser than I thought it was going to be. IMO a board to progress with as opposed to grow out of.

kurtr said...

"The board really surprised me, it was so much looser than I thought it was going to be. IMO a board to progress with as opposed to grow out of."

I agree. And like you, I've been considering a Sub Vector, but I wasn't sure if I needed that much volume and stability at my weight, 190 lbs. But after surfing the Lopez, I'm thinking I can use every bit of the Sub Vector, particularly in choppy conditions. I'm not as advanced as I'd thought!

I'm leaning toward the Pohaku version of the SV. Instead of 1 lb. foam with sandwich construction and stringer, it's got 2 1/2 lb. foam with 3 and 2 layers of 4 oz. glass top and bottom and no stringer. I'm hoping it's a little surfier for an under 200 pounder without losing paddling stability. Plus, they're only $1000 U.S.

kurtr said...

As to the bag, I guess it's not really that important to me for it to be a carry-on. I always was a little doubtful that I could get board, pump, and paddle into a small bag without crushing something. I'll just do what you did and get a bag big enough to hold everything and just check it. Thanks for the info!

csx355 said...

I thought about getting the Sub Vector while I was struggling in dodgey conditions on the Naish. I seem to be getting more comfy on the Naish now which is why the Lopez took the wind out of my sails a bit! We don't get the option of a semi custom over here - in fact there are only two SV's coming into the UK at the moment. Theoretically I should get one of them - who knows??. Should make for an interesting 3board quiver!!

One more thing ref carry on - I don't see how it's possible to get a 3pc paddle past airport security.

Dr Scott Neubauer said...

Warning! Stupid question coming! Is there any surf in the UK? Other than storm swell, can any of the British Isles count on more-or-less consistent swells??? Just the same, cool blog. Keep it coming. I'll think of you this weekend as I paddle from Encinitas to La Jolla! :)

csx355 said...

Hi Scott - thanks for dropping by - here in Cornwall we do get pretty consistent surf, not epic (often) but fun. Currently going through a bit of an unusual flat spell of a few weeks but can't complain too much. Thanks for the compliments on the blog, stop by anytime.