Welcome to a new section of the website, which is actually where we started back in a cold January 2007 - with a blog. First off I am excited to introduce Steve Coram, if you have not come across his blogging before you will enjoy this (and I promise you its not because there was nobody else available!). I bumped into Steve earlier this year at Gwithian beach in Cornwall, where we went off on a distance paddle on an Uli SUP board and talked all about stand up paddle surfing. Steve loves the sport and brings a humorous and irreverent style to SUPGlobal - welcome aboard and over to you.....
Its fair to say that I get enthusiastic about things. I get revved really easily. So having ordered my new Snugg wettie I was pretty excited to get it this Thursday. So much so that I have not stopped telling people about it all week. I would be serving some one at the counter and just randomly drop into the conversation.
' I've just ordered a custom suit from Malcolm at Snugg, sort of a StandUp Special Specification. Bit SUSpec (My name for the suit not Snugg's)!!'
Inside out showing orange fleece lining
Well I thought it was funny, but judging from the yawns and tired expressions on every ones faces - at least from the people who don't surf. It was hard to convey the level of my enthusiasm to the un-enlightened. Those that do surf were like -
'Yeh he makes really good suits'
But it's more than that - it's what makes it possible for me to do what I do, when it's too cold to be doing it, and not make it too hard to get it on, to do it.
Let's be sensible about this, for God's sake it's only a bloody wetsuit. But this ones special. It fits, its only 3mm, it's fleecy and it has the shoulders and arms that come straight off a high performance Triathlon suit offering zero movement restriction and it's sort of unique to me. Don't get me wrong, there are surf suits sold that have elasto this and mega that but unless you have worn a full blown, triathlon specific wetsuit then you have no idea how inconspicuous smoothskin neoprene is. My TRI swim is pretty good, but if I ever have to swim for my board in a surf suit I'm beyond crap, which tells me that my paddle movement must also be somewhat restricted. That's in a summer suit. Multiply this by a thicker winter suit and the reason my sessions are cut back in the winter is more down to me being knackered fighting with my suit than actually being cold. Hence the SNUGG SUSpec special.
FLEECE LINING WITH LIQUID SEAL JOINT
During the course of the day Shane suggested a quick after work bash at a little known South Coast spot that in theory should catch the majority of the small South Westerly swell that was running. Ace, Charmaine could drive Shane's Bungalow back home while we high tailed it down the beach to grab one of the few remaining evening sessions left to us and give me an opportunity to wear my new suit.
At some point during the day I had a message to call Matt Argyle, 'Names familiar' I thought, 'Oh yeh - he's the SUPGlobal guy who's just got himself a Nah Skwell to test'. Probably wants a bike.
'Matt, - hi it's Steve'
'Hi Steve, thanks for calling back, how would you like to contribute some of your Blog articles for SUPGlobal'
'Look I'm only going to say this one more time so listen up carefully, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE SOME OF YOUR BLOG ON MY SITE?.
'What? Bugger off, what?? Ergh Yeh ergh What? Why me? Ergh . . . Is it because I'm cheap, no seriously , you are serious, me? What do I know . I just sit at home and never go out and write my blog'
'Well it's like this, we tried pretty much everyone else and to be honest the reason that they are all so good at doing standup is because they spend all their time doing it and not sending us in any copy so we figured because your crap, you would actually have more time on your hands.'
'Excellent, I'll do it . . thanks, I think.'
So off we go at bang on 5.30pm. The tide is half way up and there were a few small lines showing. We quickly got changed up, and that's the first clue, I have almost dropped a plum with the effort required getting into some of my old winter suits. This was so easy. It felt that I needed to be careful but it did not feel fragile and once on, well it was like it had been made for me. Which it had. I could even do it up. All by myself!!! Some of you bigger guys might understand the joy that that brings.
REAR PANEL SHOWING SMOOTH SKIN ARM SHOULDERS AND PECS
WITH DEAD COOL SNUGG POLAR BEAR LOGO
The Suit was warm and to be honest with the super small wave and glassy conditions I was very soon begging to fall off my Nah Skwell to get a cooling flush. But I didn't, and the best thing that I could say about the suit is that apart from the heat I simply just did not notice it at all. I was just very warm.
Shane soon got bored with the wave and I saw my chance.
'Fancy a go on this?'
'Go on then'
'Bloody hell - that's a first'
It was almost exactly two years to the day since I had picked up my JL 11' and went with Shane to Gwithian for my first ever stand up session. That was the last time that Shane had got on a Standup board. Like me that day he struggled and fell, unlike me he said 'Sod that - it's a tanker' and has not been on one since. Tonight he still struggled but fell less and actually paddled into and surfed a couple of waves, the difference being that this board was only 7'8". It's that stable!
So, the suit. Well I got on and swamped Shane's little 5'11" eagerly anticipating that refreshing, cooling flush through the zip and . . . nothing. Still dry , still hot.
I made a few little mental notes to myself -
1. make sure that I always try to take a pee before suiting up.
2. never ever risk that last minute waz before getting out of the water.
3. Never ever eat Asparagus or corned beef the day before surfing.
Walking back across the beach the sand was cold enough to hurt my feet so even though the water temp was still summer suitable at 15'C the evening air had dropped considerably and was getting fairly chilly.
Getting the suit off in the car park was as easy as getting it on, I'm looking forward to this winter.
My 3mm custom standup special costs £240 is fully repairable with replaceable kevlar knee panels. I reckon for a custom made to measure suit thats a bloody good deal.
7 Toby Way,
U.K. +44 (0)1637 878488