Monday, 9 April 2012

2 boards leave the nest...

Just posted off two of my treasured hollow wooden boards to Jan in Northern NSW. I'm hoping and praying they survive the courier trip, I couldn't have jammed any more bubble wrap into the board bag, but still wont feel comfortable until I know they are safely delivered and out in the water...
Its always hard saying good bye to something you have poured so much time, thought and effort into, but I am sure Jan and his boys will love them, and I know the boards will love the variety of waves and warm water up there!

Enjoy Jan!

1 comment:

  1. My new boards and I will be great friends – eventually! After tense anticipation my new boards arrived the day after I got back to northern NSW from WA. Perfect timing! Even though James had put a lot of effort into packaging the boards, the alaia had suffered a few minor dings during transport, but the fish looked in A1 condition. Hard to believe it is a used board. And as if on cue, a beautiful easterly swell started to roll into the bay the next day. After I had negotiated a minefield of family demands (gee, non-surfers so don’t understand!) and inclement weather conditions, I finally made it to the beach last Saturday. We have just moved back to the beach after years (too many) in the wilderness, where instead of riding peeling point breaks I was busy getting leeches off kids eyeballs and ticks out from under their armpits. Not to mention home-made compost toilets, troublesome generators and boggy access roads. Now I was faced with a good swell, a new board and a distinct lack of paddle and surf practice. But hey, I had to give it a go. At least, I had determination. I battled my way through the masses of surfers at the Pass in Byron. Don’t remember it that busy! James had warned me that paddling this board wasn’t going to be super easy. He was spot on. On the other hand, catching waves was meant to be a breeze on it. Not for me. I struggled, but I persisted. Eventually, I managed to get myself onto a good wave, only to discover that some 12-year-old hot shot with sponsor stickers all over his tiny board was already on it and he was hacking it to bits. I felt so old. Just before the sun set and with the last ounce of energy my body could muster, I rode a little peeler for a little way. Not bad, I thought, I just need to change my approach a bit. I got a fleeting glimpse of what this board had to offer. I was excited.
    Not one to give up, I was back in the water yesterday arvo on James’ creation. This time I tackled a break closer to home, called Seagulls, just north of the Bruns River. The sets had lost a little of their consistency, but still packed some punch and size, a little over head. I tried and I failed. I struggled with the extra weight the board carried. I had never surfed anything like it before and I wasn’t used to twinnies or anything under 6’4. But eventually the penny dropped and my positioning on wave and board were ideal and I caught my first decent wave on my new board. It felt great.
    This morning I checked the beachies out the front of where we now live and to my surprise they looked pretty good. The swell had lost some of its intensity and cleaned up a bit and the banks looked really good. At mid-tide they held good over-head sets without closing out. I paddled out full of enthusiasm and the will to make friends with my new board. I have to admit, so far I had been a little disappointed. The board paddled better than expected, I like the width and wide nose, but it didn’t catch waves as soon and as easily as I had hoped. But I am used to riding a 9ft mal. So I changed my game plan a little, shifted my weight more forward and paddled boldly into steeper sections, and bingo, it all fell into place. I had a blast! The board felt easy to take off on, responsive on the wave, yet easy to control. My turns still need a fair bit of work, but that has nothing to do with the board! In fact, I was surprised at how well I was going on it. Credit to the board. Easy to duck dive, too. Give it a few more weeks and I’ll be back to full paddle fitness and my timing will have come back. Then my new friend and I will go off!
    I still have to fully test the alaia hybrid. I have taken it for a little paddle, but that’s as far as it went. Thought I focus on the Simmons retro fish first. The conditions were better suited to it. Will let you know how I go. Thanks James, love that board!
    Keep surfing,