Friday, January 19, 2007

Blame It on the Board

This is a picture of me waxing up my 6'6" hybrid swallow tail "Evo" model board from Hammersurf. I used to fondly refer to it as the Green Bean, having named all my previous boards after fruit (The Banana, The Blueberry). But after last weekend, I decided to rename this board The Banana Slug. When I first got this board two years ago, it seemed impossibly fast and squirrley - a far cry from my stable 7-foot and 8-foot fun boards. Now, after riding a quad that is almost a foot shorter than this, the board feels cumbersome and stiff. Like a raisin sliding through cold oatmeal.

Last weekend was the first time I'd ridden the Slug in months. The waves were big and fast all three days, requiring speed to make freight-training sections. The days where I surfed backside were the worst. I've never been incredibly comfortable with my back to the wave, but this was ridiculous: I watched other surfers generate speed backside, clearing sections and getting tubes, but when I dropped into the reeling rights, I would start my bottom turn and get hammered by the lip (did I mention that I'm riding a Hammer?).

Granted, I wasn't doing what I knew I should: grabbing my rail and twisting my torso (kinda like my position in the picture above), but I still wasn't making waves that I thought I might be able to on my quad (The Plantain). Even on the last day of our trip, when we were surfing the barrelling lefts of a certain mysto spot, I couldn't get in early enough and have time to pump down the line before the wave chewed me up and spat me out.

Is it the board?

Is it my wimpy arms?

Is it my lack of skill in technical waves?

How big a wave can I surf on my 5'8 quad?

One consolation was that almost all my other surf chums who I talked to about the surf last weekend were having similar issues. Maybe we were just all knocking off our collective rust. But I'm still claiming that this board could be a little big for me. Anybody want to make an offer? It's never been dinged!

New Pornographers - Use It


Jp St said...


Dude, that is too cold to do anything but go straight.

Surfsister said...

Yeah! What he said! Oh hell no you're not waxing up your board on top of . . . what's the name of tha stuff again? Oh. I remember. Ice!!! I guess we can't say much down here. It snowed in @!#@ Malibu!!!

If you were down here I'd want to take a good look at that board and I'd probably buy it.

totor said...

The more boards you get, the better chance you have to get the right board for the waves of the day...
Obviously, your "good old fun board" is not made for fast and hollow waves you would not even have dreamt of getting in when you began surfing.
The positive point about it: you are definitely a better surfer than you used to... ;)
The negative point: this board is now useless...

Lawless said...

Let's see some pics of this infamous quad you speak of. I've had my 5'10" quad into some hollow overhead surf and was surprised how well it went.

Looks like the Green Bean's not the best choice for reeling backside waves. Good excuse to add a 6'8" round pin to the quiver :D

surferbrat said...

That's always the question isn't it me, or my board? For me, it's usually me, especially if it involves surf over five feet, but sometimes you just know what feels right and what doesn't. That board, the Green Bean, sounds like it doesn't feel right. Sell it and move on. Or save it for the right day. Though the right day may never come if you don't really like it that much. =)

Chum said...

JP, would you consider this board a sled? ;)

i would... especially considering the snow thing.

ras said...


Maybe it's the switching from one to the other that threw you off. But I agree with Lawless that a pintail on those fast steep big days is prolly a better bet.

Besides, did you ever see Buttons ride a 6'6". No way brah. Shoots!

pushingtide said...

That board looks cool. I had the same revelation though. Got a used 6'3" thruster as an in between board. I only surfed it once because it felt so stiff and slow compared to my 5'8" fishies and 5'10 single. Weird I thought. It might be how we surf differently after riding fishes and quads but I don't wanna change.

Good for you for even waxing up in the snow!

Chum said...

Yeah! And I was just revisting a book I bought when I started surfing 3 years ago, "Taj Burrow's Book of Hot Surfing." His theory is once you can take off and trim, you should be riding a performance board. He even has a chart for your weight. According to this chart, I should be riding a 6' X 18.25" X 2.25" potato chip.

Anyway, I took out my little quad in some big waves Saturday and had a great session. I also dinged it again, immediately. The thing's a rock magnet.

Nash said...

Chumly, I'll make you an offer you can't refuse. How about a Colts victory B*tch! I believe you can eat every bit of that acidic nasty shit your sacriligeous mouth spewed about Peyton and the team on Saturday!!!! Hey fun waves though ehh? Mid week sesh?

Whiffleboy said...

Blame it on almost anything...or, more specifically, the permafrost you like to call Oregon coast. Dude, you're wearing what...a 6/4 wetsuit or something? Even if you did get into the wave with that straightjacket on, how do you expect to function? :-)

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