Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Go Global for your Gland - Stand Up and Paddle your Prostate - Get stuck in and Feather up your face!

Yeh I know, sounds like the lyrics to a bad country and western song but you are going to have to read it all to get to the bottom of it!

Sunday went pretty much according to plan, the general forecast was a bit iffy, dubious surf - light to moderate winds, spring tides and two boards to play with.

Into Gwithian first thing for a quick surf in a smallish, clean but confused swell.

A few decent ones coming through but mainly short period stuff with lots of little double ups. Interestingly there was a guy out on little Nah Skwell 8'8". Looked like he was getting to grips with it as well. Top little board.

Back home for 11.00 and a quick check to make sure that I'm not needed for the day and with the green light on I was straight into the shed to knock up a fishing box for the board and sort out some kit. Basic plan was shoot down to Perranuthnoe - paddle upwind a bit, back across the bay and then back to load the box up and try a bit of fishing.

And that's pretty much what happened, South coast was flat with a small bump pushing through and again a couple of guys on stand up's making the most of the little swell. One of the boards might have been a white Mctavish. Amazing how many Sup's are beginning to show up now and the diversity of boards out there.


Remembering to set and check the GPS app on the phone, and double checking that the Overboard waterproof Iphone bag was sealed, I pushed off the beach and headed South East across the bay. I was getting used to the board now and made fairly decent progress up to Cudden point without busting a gut. I was still knackered from the mornings surf. Plus I had only had 3 Weetabix all day!!


Turning back just before the point I had expected to have the benefit of the wind on my back but it was actually North Easterly cross off and I was pretty much able to maintain my albeit wobbly heading by paddling on my left side most of the way.


Catching a little bump into the beach I rememembered to step well back on the board and then jumped off in good time to avoid stuffing the fin on the beach. That was alright. I had just racked up my third ever session on a race board.

Off up to the car and out with the rods and box which was duly strapped to the board just behind me. I have no idea if the kit is better off in front or behind, answers on a postcard please. Fifty yards from the beach I stopped and popped out a Mackeral coloured Yozuri sinking plug and trailed it fruitlessly around the Western headland and into the little bay that I used to call 'Boat Cove'. Not a touch - never mind it was all good practice and part of the learning curve. The part that told me that fishing off a race board probably is not the ideal option. I'm guessing it's as easy as racing on a fishing board.


By the time that I got back to the beach the tide had pushed up so far that there was no beach head left and I had to 'Gingerly' surf in and carry the entire assembly level up the steep shingle bank. Another lesson learned.

So heres the download of the trip using Everytrail.com which I pinched from a recommendation by Ponobill on the Standupzone.

Perranuthnoe sup paddle

The app is dead easy to use and once I had deleted the part of the trip that was recorded driving from Hayle to Helston actually made a bit of sense. Just hover over the panel and click on the little icons at the bottom right of the window to view the data in either graph or list format.
Little bursts at 5mph average of 2.5mph total trip of 4.1 miles. Easy.

Top stuff and just £1.79 from the app store.

The recording was all made possible by being able to pop the iphone into this little Gizmo

amazing bit of kit available here (blatant plug) http://triworld.co.uk/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=98 and I reckon at £14.99 it's a bargain. They do audio enabled pouches as well as waterproof ear phones, bum bags, ruc sacks and storage sacks. Great range of kit and decent prices.

OK - Movember - what's the score?

In the shop we have decided to get behind the Movember movement that raises money worldwide for prostate cancer charities. Everybody gets a bit 'charity battered' these days so what we thought we would do is fleece everyone for a £1, not set our sights too high, grow the facial hair, have a laugh and if nothing else stick two fingers up to prostate cancer!!!

And then I thought,

'Hang on - here I am bashing out this blog just for the love of it,

(and of course for the hundreds of free boards, paddles, wetsuits, leashes and cash that come pouring through my letter box on a daily basis)

all totally ad free, and maybe, just maybe some of the 1500 or so visits to the blog each month might like to chip in a $1 or a £1 and maybe even get inspired to get in touch with their own prostate, you know get to grips with the old fellow, check him out, say high. I'm guessing that most of you reading this have one and would probably appreciate keeping most of it intact.

Pageviews today

Pageviews yesterday

Pageviews last month

Anyway if you feel that you want to do something join our team here for a £, or a $ or just grow your own and raise a bit of awareness throughout Movember.

Mail me a pic and I'll post it on the blog - (faces not gooches).

Come on - Go Global for your Gland - Paddle your Prostate - Get stuck right in and Feather up your face.

Cycle Logic MOVEMBER team site here site here

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nah Skwell 12'6" Race - Seriously?

I have no idea what's going on here sometimes. There's me, in my comfy little cocoon, mooching about buying the odd one or two surf boards and pretending like I know exactly what I'm doing and that I have a grip on things when


I end up driving up to Watergate bay to collect an ex-demo Nah Skwell 12'6 Race Board - I mean come on - me on a Flouro pink white and grey 6" thick leviathan of foam filled glass sporting a fin as big as a sail. To be honest it looked to me like something Pocahontas should be paddling down the Pamunkey River.

Actually it looked pretty cute, and after relieving Rich of his board and an amazingly light carbon Xpaddle I trogged back off to the car to load it on the roof. Thought that I was done with that sort of stuff.

John Hibbard busted me just as I got into the car park.

'It's not mine honest mister'

I lied - well actually it wasn't yet.

'I'm just looking after it for a friend'

'Why am I explaining myself to this man? He is a mine of information, just shut up and listen.'

We had a quick chat and conscious of the fact that Charmaine wanted to get something from her only day off as well we booted off.

Having done all the stuff that I should do I drove down to Carbis bay to beast the beast. Cos it was going to be easy right? Wrong!!

Something Rich had said that I dismissed out of hand at Watergate came drifting back into my consciousness as I wobbled, corrected, over corrected and teetered my way off the Beach. Something about being wobbly at first. Really!!!

The board tip's like it's going to roll totally but then gets to a point and tightens up, by which time I had already corrected my foot weighting, pitching me over to the other side. Ok,ok, relax and paddle and relax and paddle - there we go, phew that was a bit of a shock.

The bottom of the NS126R has a well defined keel that gets very prominent towards it's well defined prow (do surfboard's have prows? This one does). In fact everything about this board is well defined, not least the colour scheme, which I have to admit was beginning to grow on me.

Other than a 2 minute paddle on Steve Carter's Starboard Point a year or so ago I have never been on a race board so I did to it exactly what I thought a race board would need. I gave it beans. Rich had lent me a new carbon XPaddle and we were getting on just fine, I felt that even with the insanely high standing position afforded by the NS126r's deck the paddle was a tad too long but it was so light and easy to swing even with the bigger blade than my Nitro sports. The shaft was super skinny and round, which I like, and even allowing for the fact that there was no grip on the shaft I really dug the 'steely stiff' feel of paddle. Might have to fight me for that one Rich.

Once I got the roll - hold - roll thing under control we made steady progress out into St Ives Bay. I had my iphone running with a gps app but like a total twat with fat fingers I had failed to correctly press the 'GO' button at the start so that was a waste of time. I had wrapped the phone in yards of polythene bag and popped it into a water proof bum bag. Have to get that sorted.

Once I decided that I was going to blow my tits off if I kept up the stroke and weight that I started with I settled down and began to enjoy myself. I messed about with my cadence, I counted my strokes per side, I took some pictures and I began to wish that I had brought some fishing gear. This board's a blast. It's pretty much flat calm, dead loss for surf and here I was in the middle of St Ives bay feeling pretty much in control of things thinking

'This has got potential'.

Black Cliffs

Turning at the Channel Markers

Hayle River Mouth

I kept a heading for Godrevy across the bay and when I got level with Black Cliffs I turned for the Channel markers. Heading back the very light breeze was now on my shoulders and the board seemed to sing with the lightest of paddle strokes. I wish the gps had been working as the feeling of speed during this leg was significant.

Skirting the beach back past Hawke's Point, I started to dig deeper and faster on the home stretch. I was really enjoying this. Beaching the board I thought that I would drop off the phone and then just ass about and test the tilt factor, plus I was so hot I needed to get in the water as up till now my hair was still dry and I was poaching in my summer suit.

The second loop took me off the beach and out of the bay past Sunny Corner towards St Ives. I stepped back on the board as far as I dared and paddled a couple of left and right 360' turns. Again the board would lean, tighten up and correct. My hair stayed dry.

I have to admit I have no idea what to look for in a board like this. I have no benchmark and no comprehension of what is good bad or indifferent, but I know that I enjoyed it and in the short time, 80 minutes or so that I was on it I knew that I was going to be blanking a lot less this winter, and that has to be a good thing.

Walking back up the beach to the car I thought 'The handles in the right place', how good is that? If a company can get it right on a board over 12 long even factoring in a fin and leash . . . .

Ok I have not been over the board with a fine tooth comb but there are some really nice touch's dotted about. For instance - the detailing on the deck. There were two pairs of fittings up front for I believe additional handles which I'm already planning to use as hold downs for a fishing box. There is a vent screw and an additional leash plug part way up the deck, one more and I will be able to use straps to carry the board.

JP If you read this can I fit an additional leash plug in the deck forward of the handle recess? If so How??

So there we are - From a lame sort of Google Earth reckoning that first trip was a tad under five miles and loads more to come from this baby I think. I'm already loving it and thinking about waterproof iphone packs, tackle box attachments etc etc etc . . just wish I knew what the hell I was talking about.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

If Chuck Norris had a surfboard .. ..

Here's something that you don't see everyday, two genuine, first generation ULI inflatable surfboards. A 6' x 24" twin fin fish waxed and used and a 7'6"x26" twin fin minimal unwaxed and never used. Both 5" thick. I'm the wrong side of 14stone and have ridden the little one, not a pretty sight but it does the job when you need to scatch that itch.

These boards inflate in seconds (well under two minutes) and pack up so small that you can easily smuggle them into the holiday luggage, only to miraculously produce them at an opportune moment instantly making you the hero of those all too frequent

'Whoops, I've lost /broken / had stolen / forgotten, my surfboard!' moments. Priceless.

Tougher than Chuck Norris, . . .

Chuck Norris doesn’t believe in Germany.

If you want a list of Chuck Norris’ enemies, just check the extinct species list.

Chuck Norris has never blinked in his entire life. Never.

Chuck Norris doesn’t need to swallow when eating food.

Chuck Norris is so awesome he gave himself a vasectomy, before he fathered his kids

. . . yet still kind and sensitive to the skin like a ball pool full of Abyssinian Guinea pigs soaked in Pro Generis Oil of Olay, making them perfect to teach the little un's all about surfing before sending them out into the world of VW T5 ownership. OOoh I hope that does not come across as being a tad cynically stereotypical?

Great fun boards my preference would be to sell them both for £325 with one pump but would seperate at £150 for the 6'er and £200 for the minimal both with pumps. Postage easily arranged at £15 (UK Mainland) tops as they would pretty much fit in a padded envelope.

I could possibly be tempted with a swap / px cash either way for something interesting - tempt me. Or at least pass on some more Chuckies!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy reflective SUP Birthday to me.

I just got back from an early Sunday morning 'nothing to shout about' session and re-read my first ever post on this blog http://csx355.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html and realised that it was pretty much three years ago to the day that I bought my first Stand Up board a Jimmy Lewis 11'from Tim at the Longboard house, and started down this road. Seems longer somehow.

I cant quite recall the exact web info that made me decide to buy one but I do seem to remember an article about Olaus Mcleod


and his original SUBCULTURE website that was pretty inspirational.

The first post on the blog was on the 28th of January following a holiday in Mauritius where I got to know an ULI 11' travel board prompting me to start writing the blog in the first place. Clinton Yap a.k.a. 'Steamroller' was the initiation of that with his amazing video clips surfing 'Ovah Rocks' on his ULI. Other videos followed like driving over the boards with his 4x4 and generally having a ball and not taking anything too seriously. Fantastic stuff. Still keep in touch with Clinton, Chris and Jim at ULI - great guys all of them, genuine and helpful.

The first person to comment on the blog was 'Stoneaxe' from the Standupzone, it's always been the comments that have made the blog worth writing sort of still comes as a surprise that anyone actually reads this.

Hooked up in the real world with Gavin another Jimmy Lewis user in December 2007 and we surfed every available Sunday through the winter and into Spring 2008 before both realising that we needed more from our boards. So by March we had both bit the bullet and had bought Starboard Extremist's, me a 9'8" and Gav a 9'0. Again as I write this it does not seem that long ago but the board choice available at the time in the UK was probably fractionally less than the number of Catholic priest's that didn't have multiple facebook accounts.

There were a few C4's and 3 or 4 Starboards, the Jimmy Lewis' some windsurfy crossovers but that was pretty much it. We tried the 10'6 C4 but that felt a little beyond us at the time and so the flat rockered call of the 30" wide Starboard's were the way that we went. The whole appeal of 'shorter than 10' was a big draw and thanks to the amazing stability of the boards and John Hibbard's willingness to let us demo them, we were of and paddling.

Re-reading the old post's the change from the Jimmy to the Starboard was not an easy transition and took a bit of acclimatisation. I would love to go back now and have a go on one of those boards just to see what they are like with the passage of time.

I can see a Starboard joining the family again soon - just not sure which one.

So we surfed our tit's off on the little red and white SB's and began to hanker for 'something' I'm not quite sure that at the time either of us new what that was, it was as if the Starboards had opened a door for us but were just that bit too wide to let us through. That's actually a pretty good metaphor for what was happening although strictly speaking it was not simply the width of the boards it was more a combination of our low skills level, coupled with the wide, flat, stable boards and a moderate increase in our ability to push harder each session on open beach breaks that started us looking for that extra 'something'.

The Starboard encouraged me to start to think about what and how the actual shape of the boards affected their overall performance, not just surf performance but paddle, static and wave entry sort of stuff. Deep ehh? But it was an eye opener and educational.

If the Starboards opened the door, the purchase of a 2nd hand 10' C4 BK pro showed me how to go through it, at warp factor five. This board was such a handful at 27" wide it scared the shit out of me every time I took it out, but what a surf board. Totally uncompromising, totally focused and the first time that I thought 'This sport has no limits'.

Time spent on the BK was well spent BUT there was no resting, no stopping and plenty of flailing and falling. It had to have decent pucnhy conditions to get going but I liked it.

What next? Easy, the C4 classic 10' slightly less aggressive and a little more stable but still very surfable with the bonus feature of being able to stop and look around. Glide was good too allowing early wave catching BUT it was still 10' long and the Starboards had shown us the promised land of 9' something.

I had been following a blog online http://ncpaddlesurfer.blogspot.com/ written by and starring Dwight and Jackie Fisher, I had left a few comments on his blog as he had on mine, there was a little network of surfer's following the same path. Eric Linter's 'How to' collective site amongst many others.

DW's blog was always much more visual and Dwights technical expertise and board manufacturing experience offered great insight as volumes and rockers were compared when new boards finally surfaced in real life.

Gav then bought a 10'6 Naish (he still had his 9'0 Extremist). The Naish was an amazing fully rockered board which surfed so well, problem was it was a foot too long to be really practical, on the strength of this however I ordered a 9'6 Naish Hokua only to have a rush of blood at the last minute and swap it out for the 9'3". That was 18months ago and although I spent 3 or 4 weeks thinking that I had made a mistake it would take something truly special to prise it out of my dying hands now.

It was about this time that C4 had launched the Sub Vector and DW was extolling it's virtues as a one board quiver option. I have yet to ride an SV but Dwight has since picked up the Naish baton and not only run with it but cleared the stadium.

Since having the 9'3 Hokua I have bought an ULI Lopez inflatable such a good board, similar shape to my Naish very surfy, super light and loads of fun. A 7'8" Nah Skwell fish founf it's way into my boadroom that proved beyond doubt that smaller SUP's can be easy, stable and fun. The convenience of living with a sub 8' board is a revelation and the ego boost is stellar, however for me the board was a 'one peak' product. My Naish has little glide but I can paddle it a mile or two up and down the beach while I patrol the break. This is something that you give up a little of with the Nah Skell, and I would venture with other boards that are as short, not a problem, but not for me at the moment. I also had a Bonga Perkins 9'6", Very pretty, very surfy and were it not for the Naish very keepable but no point in having both. Bloody good value though.

So, to what was meant to be my wish list board, the Mctavish 9'0. What a total disappointment. I ordered it early, it turned up late and totally out of balance on the handle - call me a ponce but it really matters, and it was heavy, at least I thought so. Construction looked ok but come on ok for a board costing well over a grand - nah!! Fortunately the guys at TIKI were good as gold and did not hold me to it, they sold it on very quickly. I notice that it has sold on again twice since. MMnn.

So my Naish - it's the longest that I have kept a board and is now my only board other than my ULI's. It always delivers and realistically I should just order another but there is a 9'er somewhere out there with my name on it. The Naish Mana with a slightly wider nose might just open some more doors to me. I have plans, who knows . . . been fun this.