SUPGlobal blogger Steve Coram gets an inflatable Stand Up Paddle board, the ULI quad:
THE FAT ASS OF THE ULI FAT ASS 9'3 X33"
The amazing run of swell over the last few weeks finally petered out in time to coincide with my day off. So whilst everyone has been coming in and telling me what bloody good waves that they have been slicing up I have been keeping an eye on Magicseaweed and hoping that the swell would stay Northerly, the Easteries would drop to a manageable sub 20mph and I would be able to get my sorry ass out of bed in time for a morning session. BUT the evenings are getting longer and the mornings lighter so before and after work sessions should be on the cards soon.
It wasn't looking overly promising. Swell was levelling off at a dizzying one and a half feet at 10 seconds thankfully Northwesterly and with the wind between 12 and 17mph from the East we were in with a shout of getting wet at least.
Pitching up at the car park at 8:45 and I could see that Gary was already fully testing the Glide characteristics of the 9'Hokua. I think this was his 2nd outing on it and it looked like he had the little Naish firmly under control. I find that when it's small the more performance orientated boards are harder work, they need 'juice' to get them locked in and tight but my 9'3" Hokua actually copes really well with small conditions and from the clifftop it's 9' replacement was picking up everything that Gary was paddling for. My old 10 C4 BK Pro was an amazing surfboard but a total mare to catch waves in small swell and if it was at all choppy - forget it. Naish have certainly got something special going on with these boards.
Changing quickly and fitting the GoPro to the nose of my board I trogged off down the cliff track. The recent combinations of rain/freeze/thaw had seen off some major portions of the cliff face slipping away down to the cove - it can only be a matter of time before this way down to the beach is going to be off limits.
Finally managed to get my head into gear enough to work out how to turn the GoPro on to shoot video - not sure but think that the stills slideshow may look a bit better, anybody out there actually reading this care to leave a comment and let me know, I wont charge. The whole self-picture thing does feel a bit odd and feels faintly like I might be somewhat up myself but the blog's going to be pretty dull with just my keyboard drivel.
Conditions were hardly 'EPIC' knee high with the sets almost towering over our waists! But it was clean and apart from a soul longboarder who was practising some pretty nifty footwork we enjoyed endless amounts of waves to ourselves until 10:30 ish when the wind started to pick up and mess things about. Credit to the boards though, the only time they felt at all unhappy, mine anyway, was at the end of the wave when the speed had dropped out leaving a slightly nervous feel as the dynamic changed from planing to displacement. Bigger swell makes kicking out of the wave whilst carrying some speed easy, slow it all down and it begins to wobble, but it was fun.
A decent session in conditions that were at best less than average and you could get a tan off Gary's stoke! That's why we do it! Because it's fun, and it levers the best out of the least.
Playing around with some heavy editing on the video makes it all look good, well I think so, but apart from all that it gives me an excuse to play 'Give up the Ghost' as the soundtrack. Amazing stuff from the new Radiohead album King of limbs, it's a slow burn album but I reckon it's every bit as good as OK Computer, well almost.
IF you are a Radiohead / Thom Yorke fan you may have already seen this but it's always worth checking out again. It's a live, solo performance of Give up the Ghost played at Cambridge - absolutely mesmerizing - treat yourself and give it a go - trust me!!
How good is that - of course it might just be me - I played it to Charmaine who said
'I'm bored now'
and got up halfway through to turn the TV on. AArrrgh!!
Anyway the ULI Fat Ass Quads have pitched up - looking forward for some inflatable fun time.