Thursday, September 07, 2006
There was not much action this morning at the J spot, so I went up to the M spot. There definitely were clear swell lines from the NW so that got me excited. It looked fun enough, but I did see some close-out sets, so I decided to drive further up to the L spot to see if it would be a bit mellower, since I was going to to try the new Xanadu Rocky 5?10. With the christening of a new board, I tend to be a bit conservative.
When I arrived at the L spot, though it was closing out rather badly and tide was quite low, so I turned back to the M spot.
A 5?10 is the shortest board yet, I will be riding. I was thinking and fearing about it for a bit that this board may not work out right. But I suited up, and tuck the board inside my right arm, and run down the stair. Gosh, it is so light and small! I am a compact size person so when I started to surfing on these 22-inch wide long board, the board did not fit under my arm so the only way to carry it was to hold it horizontally. Though when I started to surf with Ren, another compact person like me, she does the same thing with her long board, so I was so happy to see another person in the same situation as I was.
In order to counter the length of the board, Kevin at 41 Surf in Santa Cruz equipped me with a set of FCS PG-3, premium 4.5 inch glass fins which is fiberglass composition with inside foil contours. I have also been really pleased with the performance of the Vector foil fins on my other boards so I was really excited about the FCS fins!
When going to a shorter length, there are a few other concerns, like, whether I have a hell of a time paddling out, or back in if I cannot handle the situation; I can stand on it or not; would it totally sink while I wait for the board, and of course once I catch the wave, would I even be able to ride it at all today?
So I am going to answer some of these questions.
Relief #1: I can paddle on this! As soon as I paddled out in the water with this board, it felt a bit strange to have the front nose of the board almost right under my nose! I felt like I was on a boogie board.
That?s how short it is. But I did not notice that much difference in how I moved forward in the water. It was probably harder, but not significantly harder like the time when I switched from a long board only to a 7?6 length. Of course it owes to the board construction, and it still is more of a fishy floating board on top of the epoxy/EPS composition which is lighter to start with. Today it was a bit messy out there and there was that usual current this spot is famous for, but I did not feel that I was overpowered by the current. Duck diving was a snap. It was so much easier with this board than any other ones I owned, including the Wayne Lynch 6?4 I used last week.
Relief #2: The board did sink a bit when sitting on it. But not that much. Now though I can look a bit cooler among others in the lineup where their boards are totally submerged. On this one, only a 5-6 inches of nose was out of the water. I can make it totally submerge but I?d rather sit behind a bit so I can turn around when a set comes in.
Big Relief #3: Well, today I had one really satisfactory wave, and rest of them were a bit too steep for me to catch. But then realized that I can actually go for more power in the wave as the board requires a bit more of that. In terms of getting up and riding the board, I did not feel any difference in the comfort to my 6?4 JC Ugly Stick which is the one I have been riding good part of this summer. It gave me much more supportive and controlled feel than the Rusty Piranha 6?3 I used to have. I felt really at home with this board and it ridden more like the 6?6 R French model, which I sold last month to Ren.
I have a good feeling the Xanadu Rocky 5?10 has already accepted me. I think it will be a fun, great all-around board for me to enjoy the types of breaks I like (inside, up to overhead). It will also be fun to add different set of fins to this setup.