Firstly - apologies - It was not intentional to drag this out like some soap instalment - it's just that this swell has been a long time coming and we have been so busy at work by the time that we get home (6.15ish) load up, get down the beach, surf, get back, have some food it's gone 11 and to be honest I'm too done in to fire up the laptop and blog - anyway that's my excuse.
So - the Bonga - what's it like?
I have to say I reckon it's brilliant - bear in mind what's written here are just the first impressions of an enthusiastic fat boy who still falls off a lot. Please don't take this as a review - I'm not qualified or remotely good enough to do that this is just a comparison from my perspective and experience of the boards that I have and have had.
Wednesday - Big swell (for us) four or five lines of white water to battle through before getting into the green. I was worried that I might not be able to stand on the thing. Totally unfounded - pushing the board through the first few lines I jumped onto the deck and paddled out pretty much first time. The nose rode up over a couple of foot of whitewater very easily and was much more stable on the other side than the Naish - no death wobbles. Paddling was reasonably straight and true and there seemed to be a bit more glide than the 9'3" - the Bonga hull has a slight v in it but is flat incomparison to the Naish's full blown keel. Even with the huge amount of water moving through I managed to stay dry side up and line up for my first wave.
I find turning any new board in front of a wave takes a bit of practise - the Bonga was no different. I resorted to a few wide flailing paddle strokes with weight on my heels before stepping back and stroking into what for me was a bloody great big monster. Shit or bust here go's - The sets were well overhead this one was the 2nd or third wave of the set and like the total tool that I am I stroked in pretty much as soon as I got out the back - why don't I learn - my wave selection has never been up to much.
It was not pretty - but it was fun - cranked in to the dredging left and fired off down the line with the lip threatning all the time. Hard on the inside edge, backhand for me and I managed to pop out without getting caught. Nice - paddle out try again. Pretty much the same really - no deft turns - wild slashy cutbacks or anything else really - no time just dive down the face, hang on for grim death trying to look as cool as I could and pop out before getting eaten. 2 for two - I liking this - scary but fun.
By now I was a hunded metres or more Godrevy side of where I went in. No channels just big walls closing out - as I said wave selection has never been my strong point one or two more of the same I got away with the next one I got greedy and hung on till the wash surfing it way too far inside and that was pretty much it. I struggled to get out for the next 10 - 15 minutes finally found my way into the green when the first of a decent set came through managed to paddle over the first and just made it over the second. The third took me over the falls and following the inevitable few seconds of backward body surfing my new leash parted company. Game over BOLLOCKS.
The swim?? in was ergh eventful I was teasy at loosing my board the saving grace being there were only a small handfull of guys out and no one on the inside.
The beach however seemed to be littered with people in various states of distress and exhaustion - me included. I retrieved my board and checked it over - I had lost one of the side bites but other than that perfect - tough little bugger. I sat and watched for a while. Bit of a result I thought - still don't know how it surfs though!!
Thursday night - the swell had dropped off enough to make the break a bit more surfable - so off I went.
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3 years ago