Thursday, September 07, 2006

Christening of The Xanadu

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.


Steve said...

Your board appears to have some nice nose and tail rocker. To me that means it is more suited to energetic waves, not the small mushy stuff. It is very cool looking. Reminds me of some kind of tropical fish, maybe a clownfish or something.

Unknown said...

Steve. You'd be amazed. You got to ride this board some day. It really works on all sorts of conditions.

Wil said...

I have the exact same board. LOVE the thing, especially in 2-3 foot mushy waves. I've surfed it up to head high perhaps a little bit more.