It's hard to explain just how difficult it is to cut a decent shape with a planer (for a newbie like me anyway) The foam is so fragile and the planer so aggressive that the tiniest change in angle or speed is reflected by creating a bumo or worse still a gouge....
The best comparison i can make would be trying to carve sonmething out of florists oasis with a dremel tool! Steady hands and a good eye are the bare minimum.
Hope everyone got some fun fathers day waves over the weekend. There certainly were a lot of people in the water. In the end a bit of patience was rewarded with a slightly smaller but quieter session. I rode my pointy squire log which hasn't been in the water for a while. It's pretty different to a proper log and a nice alternative to a three fin longboard in bigger waves. Despite having the wide point back of center, the roll in the bottom and the flexy fin give it an almost hully feel to the bottom turn. Especially if you get low and crank it over. There's a nice pivoty drive to it's cutbacks and the 17 nose really makes you work for your tip time. It's an unusual but satisfying board to surf.
Monday was a beautifully fun logging wave, small glassy and perfect for the if6was9 log i've been favoring recently. Boots off too!
The rain may be back today but it's my birthday and i'm going surfing!!!!
I've always liked Mitch Abshere, both his style in and out of the water, and for his honesty. I've never spoken to him although i know he's friends with people i know.
A long time ago i read a interview with him in the long defuct Longboard Magazine. Mitch was just on the up after a pretty deep dive through partying too hard to a DUI and a stint in jail. While i'm not religious at all, it's clear that discovering a faith really helped Mitch get his life back on track. While i'm sure Mitch has been a jerk to some one cant help but respect someone who has put his life back together like he has.
Since then seems like he's in a good place and his captain fin co stuff is always interesting. Cool shops too, kinda like the original revolver but in California.
It might be a little middle aged to get excited about socks (least it's not slippers) but Stnce make some comfy, hard wearing pairs in a massive selection of quirky styles. Worth treating your feet to!
It occured to me the other day that i know no fewer than five people called Jules, three men and two girls. Strange but true.
This particular Jules is someone i've known for years but don't often see. When i do it's always a pleasure. Many years ago he was a rep for Nineplus and has a very discerning taste in logs and assorted other shapes along with some smooth skills to back it up. For the last few years he's been in the south east working for The North Face and he's a friend i always look forward to seeing and surfing with.
Summer may bring the crowds but it does bring people out of the woodwork too. Sharing story with old friends in the line up after a winter of semi hibernation with everyone chasing their own little bit of warmth. There's a sense of community and belonging and a satisfaction therein.
Sweet little video of Alex KNost and Jared Mell, two of the worlds most stylish loggers in my opinion! Courtesy of alex at tenpiggiesover.blogspot.com it's shot at Blackies which in my mind is a pretty similar wave to Combesgate around here.
So as i mentioned, i had a week up in the lake district back at Easter time. It is a beautiful place.
It's not something that i can explain easily but it's a place that i find inspiring and a place that feels like home, even though its at the other end of the country from where i actually live. Perhaps it's because it feels like you are actually in the mountains, kind of how the alps feel in summer in some small way and the mountains are a place i've long held a candle for. I think i like the outdoorsy feel too, that there are people being outdoors and active in a way that chimes with the way that things feel (in a more coastal way) here. I think it's the only other place in this country i could consider living, it's just the lack of a surfable coast thats the deal breaker!
Incidentally, the MTB trails at whinlatter forest are really excellent!
Meanwhile, is it just me or is it FREEZING for nearly the first of June? I'm really in need of something to kick start my summer surf stoke!
So i finally managed to get over to Gulfstream to finish shaping my first board under Jools watchful eye. It's come out really well and i am super stoked. It's not a straight copy of the Bing i borrowed although it does use that as a reference point. It also takes some influence from the TW bar of soap i own. Theres not much rocker, with a subtle bellied entry into a single concave from about a third back that deepens as it goes off through the fins. The rails are very soft 50/50, almost an up rail in the nose, quickly blending into a shortboard style rail with a nice edge to the back third. It looks "right" and hopefully will surf right too! Next up is glassing!
I want to say a massive thank you to Jools at Gulfstream for his
patience in teaching me and correcting my cock ups before they got too
bad. There's no way it would look like such a nice shape if i had been
left to my own devices!
I'd like to think that he enjoyed it as much as i did, it's
the first time he's shaped anything like this so there was a certain
amount of head scratching and designing to get it to blend together
well. Hopefully this is going to be the first prototype for a proper
Gulfstream Mini simmons model! You heard it here first!
Obligatory cheesy shot..........hand shaping (well) is hard and my appreciation of it as a skill is even greater than it was!!
Well what a fine weekend it turned out after all! Sunshine and a lovely little swell.
Despite my somewhat gloomy post on friday morning, friday afternoon brought classic small zippers which i surfed on my own for an hour in sunshine with just a beautiful landward vista for company. It's so wonderful to be able to get a solo surf in these ever more crowded times.
Saturday was a lesson in opposites with the weekend warrior crowd in full effect. Enjoyable just the same for bumping into a couple of ex-locals who i used to surf with a lot when i first moved here but haven't seen for maybe 3 or 4 years. In fact, when i first started surfing i remember watching one of them in awe during what must have been a hotdoggers contest on a summer saturday trip from Bristol. Watching him cross step and hang five effortlessly, i was impressed and longed to be able to do the same. I never imagined then where i would be now........
There's sunshine for now outside the window but the eyeball surf reports are not promising. Hopefully the push will whip up a loggable ripple. I'm amping to get wet after a day spent drydocked in classroom and traffic jam yesterday.
In other news, i finally convinced Jools from Gulfstream to borrow and ride my TW bar of soap. It will be interesting to see how he feels about it coming from a 3 fin shortboard background. His current every day board is a 5'5 epoxy shortboard so even at 5'2 the soap is going to feel like a lot of foam!