Sunday, November 28, 2010

Naish 9' Mana morphs into 9' Hokua - Reef Live.

There seems to be some form of synchronicity in the world of sports equipment manufacturing. Our bike launches are always around September / October with the finished product dribbling though from November to April. It would seem to be the same with paddle-boards. You get the odd few rumours and then some 'spy shots' then some outdoor shows followed by very limited stock going out through a few chosen dealers by which time the rest of us are salivating like a long term prisoner on the eve of release. Accident or design, who knows?

Anyway I have been waiting to get get my hands on the new Mana 9' and you know what it's like, you pretend to be all cool and chilled out

'Don't worry - it'll be here when it gets here'

sort of thing, but really deep down I'm bubbling up like a seven year old kid at Christmas. What the hell is it about new boards? It just doesn't matter how good the current one is we convince ourselves that the next one is going to have that special sprinkling of 'shaper dust' that will transform our surfing.

We consume every piece of information about the new board, we read every blog and forum comment we try and compare ourselves to the writers situation, weight / skill level / previous boards / conditions ridden in until there is nothing else to read and then - we start all over again but from a slightly different perspective. Each rehash of the same microscopically small snippets of second and third hand information is teased out of text and pictures and builds up the confirmation that this board is the one that will take me to the next level. Paddle surf Nirvana.

UUrggh you don't do that? Really?? Just me being a sad twat then. Bugger.

Anyway revved to the point of popping as week 46 approaches, (Mana Week) and the email comes in.

'Good news Steve, the shipments arrived'.

Oooohh here it comes.

'Bad news is although they have been booked and advised on the manifest, the Mana's are not on the shipment, there are some 9' Hokua's but the Mana's wont be here until week 2, Sorry.'

Have you ever looked into a seven year old's eyes and told him not only has Christmas been cancelled but you have also just run over his pet dog Bruno in the driveway? Not a pretty sight. Get a grip Steve. It's not as if you have been rejected for a kidney transplant is it? Email back.

'Hey that's ok, it's just a board, I can wait, its not a problem, it's not as if it's a life support machine is it? I'm away most of January so I'll have it in February.'

There, that was ok calm, cool and collected, no point making a fuss I got a board, I'm not stuck, every things cool.

New email.

'F*c& it! Send me a 9' Hokua please'

Deep breaths, . . . . and relax. It's an obsession, worse an addiction and it needs to be fed.

Last Friday Charmaine and myself went to see the newly reformed REEF at the Hall for Cornwall. I like REEF, I liked them the first time round and always regretted not making the effort to see them back then. They combined the full on heavy, youthful rock metal with a laid back Indie twist and a sprinkling of Stone Roses thrown in for good measure. Their breakthrough to mainstream hit 'Place your hands' was actually the least typical of their entire catalogue.

As I watched them last Friday I thought

'Either I'm too old for this or they are'.

It was a good gig I just felt that the guys were too old too be giving it the 'HORNS' maybe Ozzie could still get away with it but I felt slightly uncomfortable for them. Gary Stringer slipped up a couple of times on a wet stage - Incontinence is a bugger to deal with. I swear that Jack Bessant had actually been replaced by Robert Lenkiewicz. Robert Lenkiewicz died in 2002 I think.

I swear that the bass player was Robert Lenkiewicz!



It was a good gig and the band were sound - but just out of time. In hindsight it was probably me. I don't age well and what the hell do I know, I ride paddleboards and my nose hair is thicker than whats on my head.

My Movember Tash is coming along nicely though.

So the only other thing that I have to write about I can't, but that's the thing about secrets knowing that there is one is half the battle of discovery. damn I've said too much already.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Got something very special on the way so am selling my trusty ULI Steamroller. The board is in very good condition. It has had the deck grip peel back and been re-stuck down a few times but other than that the board is terrific. An excellent standup board capable of much more than I can do. Complete with pump. £450 - Delivery possible from £25 to the UK. I could possibly chuck in a 6' ULI inflatable surfboard for £500 ALL UP plus carriage!!

UPDATE 2nd December 2010 - Many thanks the Steamroller and the 6'ULI is now sold! And will be living in Germany. Well they are travel boards!!!

I know they are old pics but I do like them.

Obviously as it's a travel board I could ship it overseas subject to having cleared funds but please be aware shipping costs to the U.S. for instance could be as much as £160. Way less to mainland Europe but Italy and Switzerland seem to attract a premium.

The Steamroller was brand new to me in July 2008 my first blog entry was here

It was my second ULI standup board. The Steamroller was my last twin skin construction boards before ULI started delivering the lightweight single skin jobs. Hard to describe but trust me they are bombproof.

Construction is excellent no cracks or issues. As I said the deck grip has come unstuck through being rolled up and with the temperature differences in aircraft holds etc. but I have just restuck it down and I dare say that anyone that has it will do the same from time to time. The Fins are hard flexible plastic and they have some 'slight' scuffing on the edges. They can also take a 'set' after being rolled up however with warm water / warm air temps they always return to straight.

The 10'r was much more of a surf board than my original 11'r however as my pics show it is still more of a cruiser than a short board. You have to turn it from the tail but it nose rides really well. My Gerry Lopez 9'11 is much more 'slashy' and way more tippy.

My only relationship with ULI is as a very satisfied customer and they used some of the words from my blog on their website. The guys at ULI are totally genuine and care about their product. I had the pleasure to meet with Jim Weir this year in Costa Rica and share a few waves with the guys - never stopped laughing.

Total respect for Team ULI - they have totally transformed my trips away.

The Board rolls up and is then held with a strap before it is packed away in a bag. It comes with a high pressure pump and guage (only pump to 15psi).

Be sorry to see it go but I have the ULI Lopez and that's all I have to say about that!!

Quick Movember update - we have currently raised £334 with the bulk of it still to come in. Currently sporting a Mexican Bandito sort of thing. Charmaine likes it!!

Quick Mana update - should be getting the new 9'er towards the end of the month - Come on!!

Totally busting to say more . . . but can't !!