Another SEAPEA convert, they're addictive things to ride although I guess surfing itself is pretty addictive.
There's a massive wave in front of me, awesome in its beauty, terrifying in its power. It's been out there for miles, a pure visceral force of nature, driven by gravity. It fills my vision, my blood pounds in my ears as my breathing shallows. I should be scratching for safety but it's so perfect I'm caught, a rabbit in the headlights, mesmerised. I know what's coming yet am helpless before it, just a tiny speck in a raging sea, stomach in free fall as it feathers and breaks over me. Plunging me down, disorientating yet all encompassing, my heart straining so much it hurts. I'm fighting to breathe but there's no more air down here. Rag-dolling out of control at the mercy of a power bigger than me, bigger than any of us, there's no fight just acceptance.
I surface feeling more alive than before, searching the horizon, craving that feeling again. I know it's there.
What with all the SeaPea related excitement, i hadn't ridden a keel fish for ages until the other day. Pretty much on a whim i paddled my 5'8 mabile out on a tiny day, really way too small for anything but a log. It felt tiny and thin compared to a mini simmons despite being half a foot longer. I'd be lying if i said it was an epic session but there was a lot of satisfaction from generating speed and getting a couple of turns in on a tiny gutless wave. In summer everything is fun right?
I've been slowly getting more egg curious over the last few months. Inspired by Devon Howards instagram feed and a conversation i had with him a few years ago, back when Loose fit surfshop first opened. I've never owned a proper californian style egg and there's a hole in my quiver between 5'8 and 9'4 that some kind of midlength would happily fill. Part of the fun in ordering a board is agonising over the who's and the how's and the exactly whats. I think i've got my decision made but it's one thats likely to require some patience.
Somewhat macabre title to this post, for no reason other than it's the name of a band (heavily influenced by my bloody valentine) and they just popped up on my shuffle!
Obviously i took this a couple of months ago (in Norway), it's the cabin we stayed in. It's a shot from the first roll of film through my Lomo Konstructor camera. The roll came out pretty well for a first try and i'm happy to have another plastic beauty to add to my camera quiver!
If you didnt click the link yet, the Konstructor is a plastic SLR 35mm camera that comes in a kit of plastic bits with a screw driver and some instructions. It's actually fairly easy to build and with the exception of the film counter it pretty straight forward.
It's probably a bit less robust than a holga because of the folding hood thing for the view finder and it takes a little more care and effort to frame and focus up a shot. That said, because it's a reflex camera, what you see through the viewfinder is actually what you get, in contrast to the somewhat random relationship between exposure and viewfinder on a holga or diana.
It's a cool looking little object and there is a definate warm and fuzzy feeling to building it up and using it. A good one to add to your birthday list!
When Thomas Cambell set out to make his hugely influential "seedling" film, he was documenting a scene that already existed in Southern California. His film didn't start things, just introduced it to a wider audience.
Matt Howard and is girlfriend Courteney Leonard were heavily involved in the resurgence of heavy logs and, amongst many other creative outlets, had begun to document themselves and their friends. The embryo of fine flow was filmed around 97 and contains much of the DNA the seedling in a less polished form. The continued influence of Matt Howard is often overlooked but he deserves more recognition.
I moved house a few months ago, not far, just an extra five or ten minutes to the beach, but far enough. It's a testament to the beauty of devon that a few miles makes such a difference to your feeling of space. As i drive home i feel lucky to see the stars shine, uninhibited by light pollution, to wake up to this view every morning and hear only sheep and the occasional tractor. Country soul indeed...................
Please note, this doesnt mean i've gone all "good life" and started rearing chickens, there are limits!
So i was killing time on the internet the other day during the inevitable downtime at work and i came across a thread on magic seaweed's forum asking about noseriding fins. It got me thinking a little bit.
There's a lot of time and marketing BS put into the idea of making a board noseride easily, fins, tail shapes, nose widths, concaves or no concaves, square noses, pointy noses etc etc. In reality everything really comes down to rider skill and wave positioning. A good longboarder can make pretty much any longboard noseride and most people who are on a quest for things to make it easier in reality just need more time in the right waves or a better idea of the mechanics behind it. Thats probablynot what you want to hear but it is true in my opinion!
A few years ago i would have probably told you that your fin was really important but these days i'm less sure. I think you're fin choice has far more influence on the way and feel of your board in turns than it does on noseriding. The classic position is that you need a big fin to noseride, the bigger the better - reference the dewey webber hatchet fin for example. But the truth is that as long as you have good soft rails and some tail kick, you dont need a big fin like that to hold the tail in or lift the nose. Likewise with nosewidth, it's less important thatn the rail and tail shape.
Case in point: I've spent a lot of time on logs with some kind of pivot fin. They have seemed to suit the stop/go nature of my tradtional style surfing but.....
I've done almost all my noseriding over the last year on the If6was9 log i've posted photos of before. It's foiled out, the nose is only 17 3/4 wide and the fin is a greenough 4a, which has a wide base but a narrow tip and some flex. It turns beautifully with more flow than a pivot and loosens the board up nicely, especially in faster waves. The board noserides really well and i've never had the tail skip out while hanging up front, even on a wave as fast as croyde! If there is a disadvantage it is just that the board is perhaps a little more sensitive and a little less stable - thats the trade off better turning that a smaller fin area gives, but that doesn't compromise it's noseriding, perhaps just demands a little more skill.
My feelings are in line with a global move away from big fins on logs, led by tudor and his duct tape crew. Cruise the net and they are all pretty much riding greenough derived templates. I'll leave you musing with jack lynch. The 4a isnt holding him back!