Sunday, December 26, 2010
Got out on Christmas day with my son for a surf. It was sunny and waist to chest high with some bigger sets. I lost one of my vent plugs and ended up taking out the new belly board. I was not sure how the pintail would work on such a small board, but it is really great! Compared to the straight-sided tombstone belly boards, it is very loose and turns early on the face. On bigger waves, I found I could carve up and down, just about hitting the lip. It was very fun, more so than the tombstone types because of the manuverability. The little bonzers do a good job, but really, to hang on in a steep section, I found I needed to really dig the rail into the wave face to keep from skidding off the wave. It is a little slower that the tombstone type, but I got more rides right in the pocket and better barrels, so for my local beach break, it seems better. And it is a little easier getting into waves and catching them earlier, given its wider width. Overall, super fun for a variety of smallish conditions and a great break from conventional standup riding. Definately be making some more!
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I was recently cruising my favorite surf sites and ran across a really neat looking wood belly board. As a shaper, I'm not above taking inspiration from other designs. The shape is unusual, I think, because of the pin tail on such a short board. This one I found also had some neat turned down rails near the tail to act as little fins. Pretty cool. Of course I got all excited because I like belly boards, and ran down to the garage to see if there was anything lying around I could use to make one. Yes, there was! I cut down and reshaped an old 6 foot alaia that did not work too well. I wanted to do the turned down edges, but end up recycling some old bonzer-style fins I found in the bottom of the old fin box. Alot less work, and probably more effective. Maybe. I think it looks pretty cool. It's about 4'7" long and about 20" wide. We'll have to see how it works in the water!
Finally got some pictures of the new board to post. I've ridden this board for the last 2 weeks in surf from 2 feet to about 5 feet and I'm learning how to really enjoy it. I've learned to stay on the tail so I can use my weight to drive off the bottom and really how to pump across the wave face. Trim in only a short step forward and really it can be ridden is juicy surf without moving the feet at all...something new to my longboard style. I have found it to be very fast, super loose and turny and easy to paddle. The low rocker is not a problem on late drops. I can now make sections that before would have taken me out. I think the extra rake on the fin gives the board a little extra drive out of the bottom turn, because when done smoothly, I can really feel the board accelerate back up the face. So I'm pretty stoked with the performance of it. Eddie of Island Influence told me his old-school shaper's forumla for placement of a fixed fin. Definitely works Eddie!