It's not because I've not been surfing, in fact even while I was vanless I still managed to get out on the ULI Lopez carried in a rucsac on my little Honda 250. Great fun and a fantastic way to stick two fingers up to the principle of 24hour car parking charges recently imposed at Gwithian.(You can't put a pay and display ticket on a motorbike).
No more sneaking in early mornings before the attendant is on duty. Must be making the council tons of money(NOT!!!), as bizarrely in addition to the 24hr pay and display machines the council still have an employed attendant in place - smart!!
Anyway the van replacement is now on the road along with this little puppy that I've been getting to know.
30 years old, Unmolested, 15000 mile, 2owner(now 3) 653cc of thundering parallel twin insanity. Mellow, fun, ridiculously cheesy and I love it. It has to rank as the best way to check the surf,
Having thinned out a few of my boards and pretty much resigned myself to hang tight on the Naish I get a call from Rich -
"Hey Steve - do you fancy having a punt on the Nah Skwell 8'8"
"Sure - I'll get my cheque book" - here we go again.
So I immerse myself in the details of the board in order to try and pre-determine my ability to ride it, and when the board pitches up out comes the tape and calipers. (sad twat I know but hey).
These are my actual measurements compared to the Naish 9'3"
Length is 8'8" versus the Naish 9'3"
Width is 29.5" versus 29 1/4"
Nose is 17.5" versus 15"
Tail is 18" versus 17"
Nose and tail taken 12" down
First things first, first impressions. That's three firsts.
Like the Naish the Nah Skwell 8'8" is a long shortboard, not a short longboard. It looks right, even the little swallow tail works although I'd like a pin, don't really know why just would. Hard rail edges extend way down the rocker line towards the nose, and the satin / matt white finish has an almost industrial look about it.
Standard central fin box with two side bites secured with screws from the deck, Mnnn not sure about those. The deck grip is much more restrained than my 7'8" Nah Skwell and covers two thirds of the deck. The central handle is smaller than most but deep, annoyingly it's still just off balance, not as bad as the Mctavish as the tail does not drag but why don't manufacturers just give up with deck handles and fit leash plugs, boring I know. The great thing is the board is light, very light could even be Naish light and that's bloody light, I'll weigh it tomorrow.
I think it's fair to say that the 8'8" is not a 'Hang on the wall board' instead it looks like you would not be afraid of giving it a damn good seeing to without crying about every nick, chip and ding, you know just like a proper surf board.
So back to the question - What does all this mean? Ok - I like this game. Every board I have had or borrowed has taught me something. I still don't know much but I have a better understanding about how rocker and nose and tail profiles affect boards, and I reckon that this one is going to be as stable if not more so than the 9'3. Why? Because even though the board is 7" shorter, the slightly reduced nose rocker and 'hippier' plan carries further down the length of the board resulting in more board in the water. The Nose is also going to add massively to the stability in chop, not sinking so easily.
I'll let you know if I'm right.