11 June 2007

Just What I Needed

As is my habit of late, I got out early on Sunday, so early that when I arrived at the home break I was the only person there. Although I do want time alone in the water, I'm not willing to risk my safety to do so. There was no way I was going to suit up and paddle out alone. Besides, I wasn't sure what I was looking at. I think I was waiting for a second opinion. Eventually, two guys pulled up. Then there were three of us watching the waves. They looked long and hard, went back to their truck and sat, not quite knowing what to do. Finally, one of the guys in our crew showed up. He said it looked good enough. I trust his judgment since he's been surfing for about as long as I've been on this earth.

This was the perfect opportunity to take out the new board. There were only three of us in the water. The waves, although questionable in their quality, were breaking somewhat gently. These turned out to be the optimal conditions for what I thought would be a horrible kook fest. Much to my surprise, I got up on the board without much trouble. My primary problem is foot placement. I'm accustomed to landing, after popping up, at the back of my boards; when you surf single fins, you steer them from the back, right? My first few pop-ups on the new board were ones where my feet were once again at the back of the board. It took awhile for me to launch myself further forward. I'm not even close to being dialed in. But I'm happily surprised by how many rides I got during this, my second, session on the board.

This shorter board is forcing me to be more efficient with my pop-ups. Let's face it, longboards lull you into a false sense of pop-up security. You can pop-up whenever you damn well please on a longboard. Not so on something short, even if it's not a bona fide shortboard. I willed myself not to overthink it. As soon as the board was picked up by a wave, I was up . . . or at least trying to get up. I cannot say enough good things about this board or the shaper. The thing I find difficult with shortboards is how squirrely they are. I always thought my problem was their lack of length. My new board showed me that I can lose two feet from a surfboard and still surf it . . . as long as its relatively stable while I'm trying to pop-up. This board, while having the stability of a longboard, responds like a shortboard. That concave in the rear makes this thing a rocket. Once I got a good taste of it, I couldn't help but smile and hoot. Granted, there was only one ride that I considered decent. Still, it was enough to show me what I'm dealing with. In thinking about my discussions with the shaper before he made the board, I remember him asking if I wanted the wanted the board to be easy to ride or challenging (based on my skills). I opted for the latter. Later, after he'd shaped the board, he told me the board would raise my skills to another level. He was so right. I'm looking forward to the day when I surf this board comfortably. I don't know if I'll move on to shortboards from there. I don't know that I'll need to. Anyway, it was a good day in the water. I could surf on my own terms. There was no need to worry about others being in my way or vice versa. I had my section of the beach to myself. Of course, once the crowd descended on the place I got self-conscious and went home. This board earned itself a permanent spot in the quiver.


At 6/12/07, 7:56 AM, Blogger Sharkbait said...

Yay! I love to hear it. I personally think it's really fun to figure out new boards, and make a challenge out of it (or let it make a challenge out of you).

Is your shortboard a tri-fin? What are the specs? You got a pic?

You'll figure out the foot placement thing...I'm having the same, but opposite, problem. I've always shortboarded and just got my first longboard recently. I'm having to break myself of this habit where I'm sidestanced and attempting to use my back foot to steer. Doesn't work so great. Looks pretty sucky too. So when I'm longboarding I mentally tell myself "longboard feet, longboard feet!" haha. It actually helps.

Shortboarding will do amazing things for your popups! Practicing at home, without allowing your feet to touch the floor at ALL, will really help...even if you don't pop up exactly the same way at home as out there. It's all muscle memory.

At 6/12/07, 3:58 PM, Blogger Jeffery said...

Hey Sis,

If you watch film of the 70's guys on their single fins, you'll see that they are very much nose driven. Pin tails are next to impossible to steer from the rear unless you are really flying down the line (and then I'm not sure you would want to).

I posted a little you tube vid on my blog that illustrates this a little. Check how far up the back foot is on some of those rides.

At 6/12/07, 7:36 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Sharkbait, pictures of the board are on this blog under the title "She Needs No Introduction". It's a 7'0" tri-fin. That's all I know in terms of the specs.

J-Dog!!! I can't surf my Tyler from the middle. I have to stay near the rear if I'm turning. This new board isn't a single fin. It's a fast tri-fin with some wicked concave. I love it!!!

I'll look at the video.

At 6/13/07, 9:05 AM, Blogger Jeffery said...

Ahhh, so sorry Sis. I thought you were surfing a single fin short board. Please ignore me, but enjoy the movie anyway.

At 6/13/07, 1:41 PM, Anonymous surfing the goon said...

[url=http://www.greenbacksurfclub.com/sys-tmpl/pictures/view_alone.nhtml?profile=pictures&UID=10372]turquoise bliss..... lefts[/url]

At 6/13/07, 5:37 PM, Blogger clayfin said...

I should let you borrow the Odd Quad.


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