Well, in my past WeveLogs, I have threatened that I will shortly get a foamy. After spending a few hours at Cowells, I came to the realization that the summer is in, and that if I need to surf on weekends pretty much any popular spots with friends then this is no longer a option not to have a foamy. In addition, I am on an mission to dispel any myths about people considering foamy is worthless, poor performing things.
So this morning before the session, I just stopped by at the Schoroedel Surf Shop (http://www.Shoroedel.com) on the 41 St. Ave. And I asked, "Ummm, do you carry foamys." And they had an old banged up one for $150, and then they had almost brand new Doyle 9'0 for $350 (it goes for about $450 brand new). I had never been at this store previously but it turns out that this one is owned by Doug Schoroedel, who is a local SC shaper. They even gave me a form for a custom board too that asks fairly detailed information from the surfer' experience to where they surf etc. I left there with a good feeling that they were very knowledgeable and also very friendly. Even the pit-bull that was sleeping the outside was not too scarely. I asked what is their turn-around time and they said that it is about 3 weeks for non air-brush and 4 weeks with air brushing.
Anyhow, though I did pick up the Doyle foamy. It is a bit more "performance" shaped than those rental kind but I know both Club Ed and Schmidt schools use them almost exclusively and when they are done with the lessons they just throw them on the rock piles at the stair bottom at Cowells, so I know they can take a lot of beating.
It so happened that I forgot my helmet today, so it was a perfect opportunity to road-test (wave test) this new acquisition. Today's condition at Manresa was about chest high maximum soft waves breaking fairly outside.
- Weight of the board: This is probably the biggest drawback for this kind of a board. It is heavier, but I could still wrap my arm around the board. So I was able to proceed from the parking to the water in ultimate dude fashion.
- Paddling: Man, it was so easy!
- Going over the waves: Not much problem at today's level of waves.
- Turtling: No problem there. Works just as good as my epoxy Takayama
- Push though: Works just fine.
- Duck diving: Did not try.
- Early take offs: This is where this board paddles so fast and get in the glide so stealing waves is a piece of a cake.
- Late take offs: This model has a bit more pin to the back and whether that is the factor or not, I can press down the back no problem up to chest high waves. If you do it right, the tail can carve into the wave and you can do a horizontal take off without much problems.
- Turning: I don't know who says foamys do not turn well. Yes you need a bit more forceful in weight sifting but given the ultra stability of the board you do not need to hesitate cranking down your weight to the side or walking up or down the deck and you can make it work no problem. I can do the same types of turns as with my Takayama.
- Slow: Yes it is a bit slower but you can take that to you advantage, and often keep the wave. Faster board like my DT4 often out-run the wave way too much, which might be good if you can really do powerful bottom turns and climb back up the wave but I am not even there so this is a good indication that I have not yet "grown out" of this type of a board (of course that does not mean I should not ride any other boards, it just means that I have not yet be able to get the full potentials out of any of the boards I own. It will still take years for me.)
- Pearling: No problem with pearling. The board did not bang into me, but I had a assurance that when I pearled, it won't hurt. That meant with this assurance that I would try to take off no matter what types of waves are coming at me, and in 90% of them I do take off.
Well, today, with this board, it was very tiring because I could catch almost any waves that came at me and they were coming every time I paddled out. I literally caught over 20 waves today. Then Clio shows up with her 7'2 not catching waves much and then I gave her the foamy and instantly she was catching one wave after another, while I was struggling to do a wave selection with 7'2 to even get into a good take-off zone.
Did I get a lot of practice, definitely yes!