Saturday, 31 December 2011

coastal cruising no.2


Happy New Year one and all, yes i know it's slightly premature but reading blogs will doubtless be low on all your list of post celebration things to do tomorrow morning so i'm getting in early!

The last couple of years i've listed my top three "funnest"  boards of the year at this point but 2011 has been a year of transition in my quiver with a bit of a clearout followed by some new acquisitions so i thought i'd list them all as they stand right now, when i'm happy with all of them and not bored of anything enough to sell right now!


So here goes:


5'2 Tyler Warren for Hobie Bar of Soap.
5'6 Gulfstream twin keel fish.
5'6 Jeff McCallum Mford
5'8 Larry Mabile classic keel fish
6'10 Spence by Tim Mason displacement hull
9'4 Bing NR-2
9'4 Gulfstream CP model diamond tail saunton foil or "old faithful!"
9'4 Squire Dirk of doom (gato death dagger inspired pointy log!)
9'5 Dano Old Pleasure
9'6 Classic Malibu Jai Lee 1 model

If i'm honest, it's the bar of soap and the mford that i'm most excited about surfing at the moment, both different branches of the simmons inspired tree, both blazing fast and loose, both great on our frequent average days as well as the good ones. Of course ask me in a couple of months and i'll probably give you a different answer!

Incidentally, the photo is topanga in case you were wondering!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

seasons greetings..


the merriest of christmasses and best wishes of the season to everyone!

Friday, 23 December 2011

crystal cottages

Taking the title for my girl's favorite californian beach is historic crystal cove, just up the coast from laguna beach and one of the bays that make up a state park. There's a beautiful golden sand beach and tucked into the dunes a collection of wooden cottages in varying states of repair. Back during the depression they were built by a group of locals keen to escape the awfulness of the times and live simply by the sea. They became a favorite area for artists to work before many fell into disrepair. The Californian State Park authority purchased them all a few years ago and is busy restoring them, rebuilding, painting them. It's possible to rent them to stay in now as well although word has it it's difficult to get a reservation.

It's a spot you could easily drive right past on PCH 1 but there's such a cute feel to the place it's worth stopping and taking the time to visit.


Monday, 19 December 2011

soap and chair no.1

 

Feels a little like groundhog day around here, the pattern of big lows but strong westerley flow has wrecked any plans for surfing my local for the last few weeks and i'm starting to worry i might actually have forgotten how to surf by the time i get in again. The water temp will undoubtedly have dropped by the time the wind eases and the rubber quotient will have risen to the full gimp suit level as a result!

Listening to others plans for imminent departure for sunnier climes is not helping either! At least there's plenty of christmas cheer around in the village to keep our spirits up!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dear Santa...



If that special someone in your life is casting around for christmas pressie ideas, here's a book that it might be worth dropping a few hints about..........The Surfing Tribe by Roger Mansfield..........

The british isles has rich and storied surf history but for many years, not much of it was written down, that was at least until roger mansfield took the task in hand and started to write "the surfing tribe"


Originally released in 2009 and now back in a second, updated edition, it's a beautifully presented book, crammed with high quality photographs and little vignettes of the places and characters that have populated british surfing over the years. From the outside, its a mind boggling task to begin, even if you experienced much of it firsthand as Roger undoubtedly did. It must have taken a huge amount of work to bring it together. The resulting tome is well researched and lovingly written with a section for each of the surfing areas in the country, detailing the history of the scene in each place. The prose is easy to read if a little simple at times and the scope of the information is vast which perhaps necessitates the slightly simplified approach. While the focus is very much our own country's stories, the worldwide history of surfing is told in broad strokes which helps to contextualise our history within the greater whole.

Like much of history, it's the characters within the stories and events that make it interesting and as the name suggests, the sufing tribe is very much about people rather than places and things. With surfing's counterculture past it's little surprise that the book is filled with tales of wanderers, dreamers, chancers, visionaries and hustlers. Names that still grace our surf landscape today and names long forgotten, tales of derring do and those with better luck than judgement.What comes through it all is a peculiar britishness to surfing in this country, something the book rightly celebrates and something that we should be proud of and celebrate more than we often do. Surfing in our damp windy isle is not quite the same beast as it is in sunnier climes and this comes across well in "The surfing tribe".

All in all its a worthy addition to any coffee table or bookshelf. I like to think that I have a reasonable grasp on the past but I learnt many new things, not least about the stretch of coast closest to my front door. I enjoyed it and I think you would too!




Saturday, 3 December 2011

douglas e powell


 The exceedingly talented, Mr Douglas E Powell. Acoustic singer songwriter tinged with americana, english folk and melancholy. Wholly deserving of your attention!




Wednesday, 30 November 2011

BGA

 

Al, architect and onetime art director for Wallace and Grommett, reflecting on another quiet fun offshore logging session while the masses battled unfavorable winds elsewhere.

It's starting to be the season for finding the quiet corners out of the wind, for boots, more rubber and rather depressingly gloves and hoods before very much longer. With the dark evenings and winter storms, it's the time of year that my mind starts to focus on climbing (indoors) a little bit. Al is often on the other end of the rope as i dangle two storey's up desperate to clip the bolts before my finger strength gives up. Quite a position of trust if you think about it....... i must remember to stay on his good side!

It's quite refreshing to be able to pick a day and time to go do somthing and not have change plans for weather or tide at the last minute. We're pretty spoilt for choice around here for indoor climbing at the moment. The excellent bouldering room in Pilton school is getting about a third bigger as we speak, Barnstaple has walls in Petroc and an old church, the Mill near south molton is still open and exeter has the quay, reviewed in a previous post.

For those a little further along the coast, Bude just got a brand new bouldering facility, called the chalk house, in the kings industrial park on the edge of town. It's not been open that long and i went to check it out last week. It's a decent size, not as big as say the climbing academy in bristol but bigger than the bouldering areas at exeter or south molton. A lot of the wall is slab rather than overhang though they have plans to add a proper roof area soon they say. It's got a fairly lo-fi feel with ply rather than coated climbing wall surface and is obviously born out of a few peoples passion rather than a big investment by a business. On the day i went, they had just had a comp on so there were fewer routes than normal but there were still 50 routes up. They were ungraded but the majority weren't too hard, many of the steeper ones having fairly juggy holds, which i think is a good thing for a part time climber like me. One big difference compared with other places i've been is the height. The wall tops out at 4.5m which, although is regulation international contest height,  feels a long way up when you're clinging horizontally on bad holds lunging for an uncertain grip!

All in all it's pretty cool and great to have another alternative if you're down that way and the surf forecast lied!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Thursday, 24 November 2011

solace in a six string....


One of the peculiar (and also best) things about surfing is how all-consuming an activity it is, while you're out there i mean. There's the oft-used quote of the "church of the open sky" and hackneyed though it is, the sentiment behind it rings true. For me, and for lots of others too, no matter what's going on in our lives or how busy or stressed we feel, we can leave everything on the beach and let our minds be all consumed by the activity itself. The lines of whitewater serving as breaks to disconnect a busy mind as we wade out, the physical effort bringing peace through repetition of simple action. The rhythm of the sea, not the ticking of a clock dictating the pace of the activity. It becomes a touchstone, a constant in our lives, marking the passing of events, helping to deal with the peaks and troughs, a stillness we can come back to, a place of refuge in a sea of change.

Playing the guitar is a lot like that too. I've been playing a long time, counting up just how long makes me feel old, and though the desire to play waxes and wanes as the years pass, it never leaves. It's hard to explain to a non-player but, though your mind is partly focussed on making your fingers move, letting the notes flow through you and out of your fingers, especially while improvising, brings a kind of relaxing that makes minutes drift by and nothing else matter. Sounds cheesy typed out but some of you will know what i mean.

As an aside, i was well into music before i picked up a guitar. Not long afterwards, I remember one day looking across at my guitar in the corner of my bedroom and thinking how cool and amazing it was that pretty much all the music i'd ever heard or would ever hear could be coaxed out of those six strings. The breadth of the human condition and the full gamut of our emotions expressable for anyone with enough imagination. My tastes and views are more mature and broad and sophisticated now but its still true and its an idea that still fills me with wonder whenever it flits through my conciousness.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

black rock


Relaxing in North Cornwall on a warm summers day, remember those? Incidentally here's a random question, are we the only country around that has windbreaks? The americans don't. In all probability people in countries with proper warmth dont bother to go to the beach on a day that's windy enough to need one!

Friday, 18 November 2011

gul


So after a brief lull in swell and wind hereabouts, it's back to some solid groundswell and breezy conditions again. Almost all my surfs recently have seem to have been battling some kind of strong wind, whether onshore or offshore and as usual i've not had the time to seek shelter on the bigger days. Summer's mellow sessions feel long gone and winter feels just around the corner.

 It made a nice change then earlier in the week to slide into some unexpectedly fun thigh high glass at low tide croyde of all places. Even at that size there's some speed in the wave and getting up on the nose and back requires some deft footwork, especially as it tends to be quite A-framed at lower tides. I took the pointy squire log in and i have to say, in the type of wave it is built for (i.e hollower and fast), it really lit up, light enough to feel responsive not tracky from the back as it zipped along in trim and really solid despite it's narrow nose on the tip.

Having headed beachwards with little expectation of a dip, an hour, alone in the line-up in the fading sun brought big smiles.

 In other news, i tried on one of the samples of the new Nineplus Hasu chest zip suits this week.
All black with a subtle gold logo, it features the lightest, stretchiest single lined yamamoto i've seen. Really looking forward to mine arriving in a couple of weeks now!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

keep your head up.....


Keep Your Head Up - Ben Howard from mickey smith on Vimeo.

Hopefully most of you that read this from the UK will be aware of both Ben Howard and Mickey Smith ( who directed this video ) already. If not then i'm going to encourage you, along with our american cousins, to check out his album. It's really very, very good!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

a minor disaster...


So in my minds eye this was a cool little set up for a photo of a new addition to the quiver (it's a 5'6 Mccallum Mford just so you know!) All good until i dropped the camera about ten minutes later...... Much of the charm of taking pictures with toy camera's like the holga comes from there cheap build quality yielding quirky images. It also means they are very much basically cheap crap plastic!

So i dropped the camera, lunged for it, nearly grabbed it, watched in slow motion as it bounced off my outstretched hand onto the pavement, inwardly groaned as the back of the camera flew off exposing the nearly finished roll of 35mm to bright daylight...........in the words of the great homer simpson DOH!

Thankfully i only lost a couple of pictures, a few were unscathed and these two i sort of rescued in iphoto. All part of a fairly crappy week where my laptop died taking a load of files with it and i came within an ace of rolling my van but thats another story!


I'm going to write a proper report on the board when i've ridden it more but first impressions are that it's really fun, even in utter junk surf, up and planing early with a really shocking amount of lateral speed with a real positive on rails feel and without the slip slideyness of wider tailed simmons shapes. Oh and it looks beautiful, a real eye pleasing shape with a real organic tactile feel, much like a nice hull has........anyway......





Wednesday, 26 October 2011

for the daily commute


Reissue not original but very sweet all the same, stacey peralta warp tail, trackers and cambria wheels. Loose as a goose and oh so much fun.

Mega thanks to Gavin at surrey skateboards for taking so much pleasure in sorting me out, it was greatly appreciated!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

hobie split


There are a lot of beautifully maintained hot rods and busses around california, a lot of occasions when i wasn't quick enough with a camera as they drove past. This beautiful splitty resides outside the main hobie store in Dana Point most of the time though so it's an easy target.

This weeks essential reading is "uncle Skello's what's hot and what's not" published every thursday on the Gulfstream blog. Everything you need to know to chart your way through the sartorial and cultural minefield that is staying cool,

Remember, support your local otter..... shaper, sorry!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

torn like an old dollar bill.............


Possibly the best laminate ever!

Ride report to follow soon but this video pretty much sums it up.......


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

ruby's

So Ruby's is a chain of classic american style diners that are scattered along the coast. They are based on the stereotype we all have.... red vinyl boothes, waitresses with 50's make up red gingham dresses and white pumps, malt shakes etc. This one in laguna has some period correct cars out front too. Sounds kinda cheesy doesn't it? But you know what, it's fun and they make superb burgers!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

you know he means it


I have a few cherished surfing memories that i hold on to, a couple down the coast, a couple overseas. One of my favorites was watching Skip Frye surf his local wave at Tourmaline, from the beach and the line up. He exudes class, ocean knowledge, positioning and an understanding of trim matched by few world wide. His lithe movements belie his age and i can only aspire to surf half as good as i move into my dotage. The pic above is actually Rincon (another place of memory) and comes from Andrew Kidman's "Lost in Ether" book which is what this preamble is buliding to.

It's a beautiful film and book project and like all of kidman's work is something of a gem. It's probably best described as a love letter to the art of surfboard building, particularly to the backyard tinkerer's and surfer/shaper/wanderers, often at odds with the machine of the "surf industry" following their own trip and enriching our collective cultural experience as a result.

 Thos posted a great review here and so i'm not going to go into huge detail because i think he nailed how i feel too. If i have a criticism, it's just that, like litmus and glass love, it sometimes feels a little unfocused without a distinct narrative but that doesn't interfere with my enjoyment.

Something that does come across strongly in all of Kidman's output, this being no exception, is how much he really means it, from the minute questioning of rail and bottom theory to the handwritten thank you for ordering note in the envelope. Much like the shapers he features, Kidman himself is something of a wanderer, a deep thinker, often railing at the percieved status quo. His work often questions more than it answers and through it all is a feeling that he cares passionately about surfing as an entity, and not in the business or conventional sport sense but as a way of being. He's someone who has frequently put his own money where his mouth is and as our "sport" becomes more and more integrated into the mainstream, people like Andrew become more and more important to help us hold onto what makes surfing so special for so many people. I'm sure he feels like he has a responsibility to almost "curate" and preserve and celebrate that which the industry machine ignores as not commercial and more power to him for that.

I'm sure he will never read this, but thank you Andrew!




Tuesday, 11 October 2011

CL13 out now!


The latest paper issue of Corduroy Lines magazine is available to order now. It's a limited numbers, no advert issue and features, amongst other things, some of my ramblings.

Go on, treat yourself and support non-mainstream, grass roots surf media.

Click here to get hold of it!


Sunday, 9 October 2011

the seedling


Still one of my favorite surf films and one that still stands up (in my eyes at least) to repeated viewing. I'm an avowed Tmoe fan and it's difficult to underestimate how much watching my original VHS copy of the seedling back in 1999 shaped my surfing aspirations.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

doho


Both trips to California, i've spent a fair amount of time surfing at Doheny, mostly because it's convenient for a quick session before family duties.  It's a measure of how many quality waves there are on this stretch of coast that a spot like this is relegated to also ran status. Yeah for sure it's not killer Dana and it is a bit mushy, the preserve of longboarders and the butt of surfer magazine jokes. The truth is that with some sunshine, a little south swell and a log it's a really fun wave with a mellow friendly local crew who are happy to share a few sets with a traveller.

If you own the extras disc for one california day, it's the wave where tyler warren is surfing his 11 footer., take a look and you'll see what i mean. I'd trade our average local conditions for consistent waves like that!

Monday, 3 October 2011

way down west.....


In the Morning from Frankie Davies on Vimeo.

Mike Lay cruising in deepest west cornwall. Mike is another of the Young crop of stylish loggers from the Sennen talent pool riding Rob Wright's slide 65 boards. Looks like it's working for him!
i'm guessing a lot of you are reading this with sore muscles after gorging yourselves on a week of fun waves, i certainly am. With a decent quiver of boards to choose from, there's always a sneaking suspicion that you brought the wrong one to the beach, but not this week. The last few days i've put a few more hours into learning to make the bar of soap fly and let me tell you, its well worth the initial rave i posted. Its such a fast board, i honestly think that despite being only 5'2 it's the fastest ive ever been on a surfboard and with that short rail line engaged it glides through the sweetest roundhouses. The mini simmon's family of boards are ridiculous fun and well suited to our waves, it kind of suprises me there aren't more people riding them yet!

Friday, 30 September 2011

waxhead waxes lyrical



I'm  stoked to publish a link to my latest feature for drift, an interview with the waxhead himself Matt Chojnacki.

Matt is articulate, a super nice guy and a really talented surfer with a smooth and powerful logging style. He's one of the surfers who's exciting me at the moment and well worth checking out. Hope you enjoy the piece.

The photo above and the ones for drift are all by Matt Johnson, yet another young photographer who's talent makes me jealous!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

spiderman?

Exeter just got a brand new climbing wall and i went to check it out a week after it opened. Called Quay Climbing it's located in an old electricity generating station in the Haven Banks area of the city. It's been really well done with a massive lead wall ( 15 metres at the apex!) and plenty of routes on slabs and overhangs from 4 up to around 7c. There are about 7 routes set up on auto belay's which allow you to climb without a partner to hold your rope, great if you post up on your own like i did! There are two bouldering rooms with lovely soft floors and a lot of routes ranging from v0 up to around v6 at the moment. Behind the desk, there's a friendly team, the man in charge is actually Paul who originally set up the Mill wall near south moulton and they have  little cafe for decent coffee too.

The wall is open now but, rather excitingly they hav climbing superstar Chris Sharma coming on the 14th October to open it officially. Should be a real treat to watch him monkey around in real life!

Friday, 23 September 2011

life is just swell.....

Dave Allee, owner of Almond does his best catalogue pose

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

meanwhile in real life.....

So i obviously keep this blog fairly exclusively about surfing, but  real life has to encroach on things from time to time. I'm pretty proud of my business and the way we look after people so please allow me to blow my own trumpet here just this once!

We are a friendly, family dental practice in Braunton, North Devon. We have a focus on looking after our patients in a relaxed comfortable environment with the highest of professional standards. We provide modern preventive dentistry, helping you to look after your mouth and prevent future problems whether you are 1 or 100 years old.

We know most of you hate coming to the dentist so we try to make things as pleasant as possible. Not only can you be sure we will treat you painlessly with the best possible treatment options tailored to your mouth's needs, you'll know we will treat you as an individual and have your best interests at heart.

Our waiting room has comfy sofa's, a tv, current magazines and free wi-fi so you can relax while you are waiting as much as possible. Once you're in our light modern surgeries, you can watch tv or your favorite dvd on our ceiling mounted tv's while we treat you and hopefully make the experience as pleasant as possible.

We offer a full range of general dentistry and have several dental hygienists to help look after your teeth  well as your gums.

Working in conjunction with some of the best labs in the country, we offer a full range of cosmetic dentistry including tooth whitening and veneers as well as filling gaps left by missing teeth with bridges or dental implants.

We are Denplan Excel accredited which means we have been independantly inspected and given an award for the quality of the service we provide.

We pride ourselves on being friendly, approachable and welcoming. We think it's important to spend time talking to you to make sure you understand whats going on in your mouth.

Click here to see our facebook page and find out a bit more about us!

01271 813721 or email us

OK plug over, normal service is now resumed!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

fare thee well friend


Nearly time for Rob Lion of Royal surfboards to wave goodbye to our windswept shores and resume life on the other side of the pond. Opinionated, experimental but a thinker with a passionate surfing heart, although our pathes have crossed only occasionally in a physical sense, each time has been a pleasure and Rob's company is something i always look forward to. Sadly i didn't make it down to the fish fry last weekend, sounds like i missed a great day as well as the chance to say farewell in person!

Good bye and good luck Rob, hope all goes well for you. Make sure you stay in touch!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

almond


I spent a little bit of time hanging out with the almond boys Dave, Jake and Taylor at their shop on the edge of newport/costa mesa. It's about a mile inland from Blackies and is a really cool little space, a mix of lovely boards, bamboo, vintage shelving, kind of a little bit tiki without the chintz. They have been there for two years now, quietly producing 100% handmade surfboards, logs, fishes and single fins, some japanese wetsuits, carving their own little niche in a busy marketplace. The whole venture has a friendly low key organic feel made for friends by friends vibe, without seeming exclusive or over concerned with it's own importance.

Their boards work too, designed by owner Dave and production shaper griffin, most have handmade wood fins as standard. Cyrus Sutton is riding one in his stoked and broke film and their "collective of enthusiasts" also includes ex womens world champ Schuyler Mc ferren so there's some respected feet on their craft. At the moment there are a few available in Europe but none in the UK though if there was some interest i'm sure it would be possible to get some over here.

Theirs is the sort of young grass roots outfit that deserves support


I'll leave the last word to Dave

"Weʼre in the business of keeping people stoked, because stoked people keep us in business."

Sunday, 11 September 2011

pining for san o....

churches_old footage from Mark Choiniere on Vimeo.


I could really do with a little session like this right now!

In reality i'm hosting a group of young professional colleagues for a surfing lesson with the excellent surf south west. I've done it for the last few years and there is definately something refreshing about watching total beginers experience the stoke of laboriously clambering to their feet for a split second before falling off. Big genuine smiles from the simplest of pleasures.

Friday, 9 September 2011

monsieur le chef


So back from France and home to conditions that resemble the hundred year storm at the end of "point break" with gale force onshores and too much swell. Thankfully we just avoided a ferry back in these conditions, I'm certain it wouldn't have been a pleasant crossing!

The friendly chef in the photo stands outside a bistro in st Gilles croix de vie, in the vendee about an hour north of la Rochelle. The beach breaks all looked super fun but we only saw them breaking at six inches on probably the only totally flat week of the summer. Gutted! Perfect for the little 'un to trim along her first green wave. Definately little acorns....It was baking hot and sunny with plenty of vin rouge and moules frites to help pass the time, all of  which makes our sudden headlong rush into autumn seem all the more saddening.

In other news, James Parry's hip wigglers went off last Saturday at gwithian, there are reports of real high quality logging and some great pictures leaking out. Little bit gutted I missed it but thank you James for the invite! James just left blighty heading to Ca for the Malibu duct tape next weekend, neatly coiffured as usual and with a shiny new slide 65 under arm.

Issue 13 of Corduroy Lines is nearly ready to buy as well, its a proper homegrown longboard magazine and each issue gets better. Sure this one is no exception! you can pre-order from corduroy lines.com.

Right i'm off to batten down some hatches, or something like that!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

leadbetter

A few hundred yards from the great sushi shack on santa barbara harbor. Very mellow righthander breaks off the point in the distance but lack of swell and no lack of SUP's prevented a first hand assessment of it's quality!

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

sano samba


just one of the many beautifully looked after busses cruising round So Cal.

While you read this i'm hopefully sat in some french summer sunshine, eating good cheese with a baguette and red wine while glassy waves peel offshore...........or something like that!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

mini mega stoke.....

video


my 6 year old makes me proud.............. i still think the shopping gene will end up expressing itself more storngly in future though!

Friday, 26 August 2011

refugio


What the Santa Barbara area might lack in year round swell, it more than makes up for in potential for fun when the swell does come. This is Refugio, yet another friendly right hander about 25 minutes north of town. Tiny but perfect fun!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Monday, 22 August 2011

z boy

Jake Z, part of the Almond crew, smooth logger, one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet and nearly as surf stoked as me eh Jake? :-)

Sunday, 14 August 2011

slip sliding away..


Over the last few weeks i've been trying out a 9'6 james parry model by Slide 65 out of gwithian, shaped by Rob Wright. I really wanted to like it, it looks great, the black stealth finish is cool and i like the way Rob has consolidated the younger sennen crew over the last year, providing a rallying point for the talent they have and starting to give their little scene a collective identity. Unfortunately so far i've found it's not quite my cup of tea..............................

Admittedly the one i have is a protoype, they have pulled the nose in a little on the newer ones. This one is medium  weight, a relaxed log style rocker, 9'6 x 18 x 22.75 x 14.75 x 2.7/8. Where it differs from a classic log (and where i think my own feelings stem from) is in the rails and the base. The rails are 60/40 rather than 50/50. In another departure, there is a fairly deep concave in the nose but this mellows and extends back to 3/4's of the length of the board. The idea is to create a really fast trimming board that noserides well but cuts back with more performance than a standard heavy log. It uses a greenough 4a fin to aid in this respect.

So to the review........... Paddles great, people often make noises about concave boards paddling badly but i honestly don't think it makes that much difference, rocker does though and the rocker here is nicely judged, flat enough to feel stable while trimming and walking, just enough lift to make steep takeoffs a possibility. It does trim fast, in a peaky wave it outruns the pocket quickly and it is good on the nose, stable and responsive. It's off the tail that my problems manifest, and i should be clear i think this is more to do with a mismatch between my surfing and the shape rather than the board iself. While the concave helps as you move forward, from the back, to me the board feels a little awkward, sometimes whipping round, other times feeling sticky and catchy without the smoothness i'm used to. The slightly harder rails add to this feel. As a result my surfs have been peppered with moments of brilliance and frustration in equal measure and i've struggled to feel like i'm in sync with the board.

I think it likes / needs a little steepness to the wave for starters (which almost everywhere but saunton has!) I also feel that i've ridden so many logs with varying degrees of belly over the years that my style has evolved into a particular groove that doesn't fit here. Mine is a (hopefully) smooth style guiding the board through turns with gentle weighting of the rail with footwork , a real stall and trim style. I haven't ridden a progressive flat bottomed longboard consistently ever and not at all for over 5 years. James, on the other hand, as well as being a great surfer, spent a lot of the last few years riding competition boards where turns are more about planting your weight and driving the board around and i think this board fits far better with that style. It's probably a good log for someone who rides a "modern" longboard as well which ultimately isn't me!

I feel a little bad about posting anything negative on here because i like what Rob and friends are doing. Hopefully this comes across as fair and balanced and that it's not the boards failings that are the issue. This is just one model out of several  that Rob makes and i'm sure there are others that would suit just fine, hopefully i'll get to try something else in the future!

Friday, 12 August 2011

logtacular....

Adam Greenman, friend of The Stig, all round top chap and UK importer for Bing, Jacobs, Junod and lots of other californian goodness just revamped his website........finally! Believe me it's been a long time coming!  So instead of looking out of the window at the gloomy british weather click on over and drool over some fine surfcraft..................

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

business as usual..

After a run of fun little groundswell waves a couple of weeks ago it's back to the British summer time we've become used to, finding the pockets of sunshine between the showers and making the best of the onshores and windswell while the holidaymakers shelter behind their windbreaks and brave the low temperatures in their speedo's. That said, yesterday had a fun little wave despite the onshores and was topped off by pushing my daughter into a whitewater wave and watching her get to her feet for the first time! She's goofy but I can live with that! Big smiles all round in our household last night!
If you're around Newquay this week, the relentless boardmaster's is on which is best described as a mini US open type thing. Elsewhere, there's a couple of interesting things on the horizon...

Fresh from his semi's berth at the joel tudor duct tape in spain ( with an invite to the next one in malibu) James Parry is putting on his own single fin thing. The Hip Wiggling Invitiational Single Fin Gala is at gwithian on the 3 & 4th september and promises to be a beacon of style in a contest season filled with butt wiggling and people attempting lame airs on longboards.

A couple of weeks after that, Royal and friends are hosting the European Fish Fry at Crackington Haven in North Cornwall on the 17th September. Visiting US shapers to be confirmed but it promises as usual to be a fine day of surfing and chinstroking over alternative board design. Hopefully my brownie point bank account will be full enough to release me from familial duties for the day and i might see some of you there!


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