Monday, September 18, 2006

Walden Magic 9'0 - First Riding Impression

Truly a Friendly Board; Walden Magic 9'0

I now have acquired a new Walden Magic long board. It is a 9'0 length with about 22.5 inch in the middle, and it has an interesting squarely tail to it.

The reason why I got this board is because earlier this summer I was going to get a Robert August board for fun use and also for competitions but because of various local issues I was not able to buy it locally, and since then I have been making much effort.

Last week when I stopped by in Ventura, I bought it directly from the hands of Steven Walden himself. I think you already have read that part. Party because when October rolls in I am going to get busy so I wanted to take care of all of the remaining quiver building this month.

Yesterday, I finally got around to wax the board and put the 8 inch center fin, and like I have been with the Takayama DT4, I am not putting side fins. Now that I said that though I just put back the side fins on the DT4 because yesterday the waves looked rather hollower at the "P" spot. Which was a good move because I actually was able to ride these waves rather aggressively (note I am always talking "in my own standard') and trying to make faster turns and rail switching.

This morning I took the Magic to Santa Cruz Pleasure Point middle peaks and I can give you some initial impression of this board.

As I dipped into the water and started to paddle out, I instantly felt that it was really easy to paddle like a really friendly long board. The DT4 seems take a lot more effort to paddle, probably because it is narrower and thinner, especially in the front. I used to own Dale Velzy 9'0, and I thought that that board was probably easiest of all the long boards I have experienced in terms of paddling (but it is now just a recollection).

Today we had very clean sets up to chest high but very long wave. I had two rides that lasted all the way from the outside to just in front of the stairs next to the green house.

The Magic board caught the wave so much nicely. At one wave, I thought I would not catch the wave, as it felt it was passing under, but in one big jolt of paddling hand, I got into the wave. It is something that I've seen a few people do on my So Cal trip this past week where they just wait until very last moment, and just a single jolt of wave pushing is enough to get them into the wave. So this was something I was really looking for in a long board. For today's condition, the board took off gently into the waves and then "asked me" how I want to go. Here the DT4 is much more sensitive in exchange for a less stability, but on the Magic, I felt that I had a plenty of time to react and when I do ask the board to turn or stay on the trim it just gently accepted my commands and executed them in a very solid manner. The deck felt really stable at almost any speed and walking back and forth on the board was quite easy to accomplish on this board.

After the couple of good waves, I really was pleased to have made this choice. It is going to be a very friendly stable yet fast board to go out with my friends on friendly conditions. I know this board can be used for much bigger and hollower conditions, but for me it really works well for mellow, well shaped waves. (Should have bought it on the way to San Diego!)

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