Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Flex & Such


N WIND 10 TO 15 KT...RISING TO 15 TO 25 KT IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 5 FT. W SWELL 5 FT AT 9 SECONDS...BUILDING TO 6 FT AT 8 SECONDS.
Surfed all 3 days of the past holiday weekend...it was good to poor to fun...the biggest constant was that steady North wind...which fortunatly for me, blew slightly offshore for the beach I was surfing.
Truth be told, the wind wasn't a problem...and with the small surf the past month I have shelved the 7' 2" and the 8' 2" and given my much neglected 9' 6" Iron Cross (purchased at the Longboard Grotto in Leucadia 15 years ago) some water time...the board is pretty battle-scarred, so it was an appropriate choice for Memorial Day.
I was talking to my Uncle, who's shaped me a board a couple weeks back (still waiting it's arrival) and we were talking about paddling, duck-diving, leashes and flex characteristics of boards...he mentioned that often when boards start to display that perfect flex...where they seemingly mold themselves to the waves and just provide perfect foil...it's just previous to the board's imminent demise...the board snaps or delaminates...things fall apart.
Well, the Iron Cross seems to be in that stage of life...I've repaired massive deck delams (unrecommended)...pulled and reset fin boxes...continually patched and repatched nose, tail and rails...in an effort to prolong it's life...at his point it's pretty much a Frankenboard...but it's served me well in knee high to overhead surf for over a decade...(although, I wouldn't subject it to overhead waves anymore...I suspect).
The surf this weekend ranged from knee to chest high and, with 6am starts each morning, I opted to go leashless on Day 1 and had so much fun I stayed the course...In talking with my Uncle, I was amazed to hear that in all his years of surfing (about 45 plus) he had never used a leash...something that I take for granted generally...as do most surfers...indicated by when I had to swim 15 yards to retrieve the board...I got questions about whether my leash had broken.
I still plan to use a leash in big surf, in crowds or in rocky situations...but it was definitely a pleasure to not have that rope gumming up the works...I watched the way people were dependent upon their ropes and I came away thinking that the leash, in many ways, negatively affects the way you surf...there's less consideration about your line and the end of the wave...and seemingly more wipeouts...I had to swim for my board a handful of occassions, but only once all the way to shore...I was mindful to hang on and control the board when I could.
The other comment that was made in talks during design stage of my board was about duck-diving...I mentioned that one reason I surfed smaller boards in bigger surf was because I could duck-dive them and it was eaier to get out...my Uncle said he had never duck-dived a board...ever...I asked how he got out in big surf...he said he just paddled fast...and I believe him...I don't know if he turns turtle or not...I'll have to ask him next time we talk.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

No leash, no duckdives! Your uncle sounds like a surf caveman...I love it. Cheers to the old guard. They've got skills I wish I had.

Anonymous said...

Uncles are great teachers.

fixated and dreaming... said...

Leashes let too many people surf...
Hey Doc, its TFD or SS...
Glad to see ya got waves, I did too in SC...not worth the drive I suppose but more fun than a north wind. Orford was hit with fog and a south wind today....

Doc said...

F&D

You need a blog...
You got too much to say...
Hopefully we'll hook up for a surf one of these days...
I think my new 10'6" can handle a paddle across the bay...
Although a boat ride sounds better!

warm jet said...

doc thanks for the edit add for my whimsicle new home of "Cabinessence".
The old title's pretension was grading on me, so I went with my gut.
Hoping to be elivated to the staus of a graphic link and what you use for it?
Again, Thanks
I know the surf post have been limited but ya know how that goes.

Foulweather... said...

No leash WTF? That is like riding a bike without a brake... oh nevermind...

Dub Resurrected said...

Surfed leashless all weekend too on a fish shape till I finally found some ACOE head high rights on Monday morning.

fixated and dreaming... said...

"You need a blog...
You got too much to say..."
Yeah, like any one wants to hear from me...lol....

indytrucker said...

Duck diving a thick log is a waste of time and effort. If you can't paddle out fast enough, you deserve to get washed in with the kooks.

koalani said...

I can't believe I didn't run into you over the weekend and my brother and I each were on 9'0 Comp Iron Crosses from TheLongboard Grotto at 2 different occasions at the same beach.

Next time brah!