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.....



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!


Saturday, 6 August 2011

rolling in SB


Beach cruisers on the boardwalk are a classic californian stereotype in the world at large but the reality is that they are ridden by huge numbers of locals completely without irony. As i've blogged before, cruisers are fun to ride (on the flat) and a sunny beach side path is just about the best place to ride one.

This is a schwinn that i rented in Santa Barbara, a company that have been making these bikes for a long time. Not quite as nice to ride as my electra but a couple of hours cruising the coast path  in SB on this one was one of my favourite parts of the trip.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

trim kings....


One really cool thing about surfing in california is the amount of natural life in evidence all around you. Perhaps thats more true of the slightly less urban beaches but there are seals and dolphins swimming through the line up, kelp fronds grabbing your fin and smoothing out chop, lizards scurrying past you feet as you walk down the beach paths and of course the pelicans.

There's something really pleasing about watching a group of pelicans glide past, in formation like WW2 bombers on a mission. The way they glide with wingtips mere millimetres above the water surface, never touching, harnessing the updrafts along a walling wave before climbing high, folding their wings and dropping like an arrow into the water to bob up seconds later, nonchalent and still.

They make our honking seagulls seem yobbish and louche and i never once spotted one attacking a beachgoer for his sandwich!
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