The latest installment from our blogger Steve Coram, with the big 50 looming a surprise SUP trip to Africa is on the cards....
Hopefully there should be a flurry of short, sharp posts over the next couple of weeks. Charmaine surprised me with a weeks surf camp in Morocco flying out with Andru and Red next Saturday. How cool is that? That's the joys of an impending 50th birthday.
So the big decision was board choice. The sensible option would be the 8'11 Uli Munoz. However with the fact that hard boards had been already been booked with EasyJet I opted to take my 9'0 Mana. Ticking away in the back of my head though was the notion of taking a shorter board not least for the convenience during travel - so why not just take the ULI? A circular dilemma.
Shorter boards were already on my radar for this year anyway, not to replace my current boards but to make more of less than optimal conditions. I sort of regret getting rid of my old Nah Skwell 7'8 and would probably take that with me if I still had it, the only downside with that board for me was the number of sharp edges that had my name on them.
I had been following Dwight's home shaped 7'10 and 7'8 Dumpster inspired boards with interest and envy and had tentatively made some enquiries both with Dwight and locally with a view to getting something home grown. I had also checked out a couple of Gong boards, the Mutant and Faking and had my eye on the Starboard Rush 7'4" which was coming out favourite on paper. The new 2012 Starboard Squirt also looks do-able but would it be viable? None of this however was going to help me with this trip.
Until Rich rang -
"Hey Steve - fancy a demo on our 8'6"?"
"Urrgh - funny you should say that Rich - how do you feel about me taking it to Morocco for a week?"
'Joking!' Got to say though the board does look good and following a quick pre-brekfast bash in super clean but close-outy conditions this morning I was sorely tempted to take it. As stable as a rock, just a tad less nose rocker than I think I'm going to need. Looking forward to getting some more mellow sessions on it when I get back though.