Wednesday, December 31, 2008
We were at Mugu's Family Beach last week and La took some pictures of me paddling the new board.
The right tool for the right conditions - standup paddling has filled a tremendous void in my surfing life - the flat, no wind days (of which there are more than not).
In days past, if confronted with glass conditions I would cry "skunk" and find landlocked activities to pursue (while being grumpy). NOW - flat days are for developing technique and getting mileage under the belt!!!
January 17th is the first SUP race I'll take this board to - looking forward to "spanking" everyone (a figure of speech from the action of the paddle - not to be taken literally)!!!!
Oh, and Marlon digs onageri (rice balls in nori)!!!
In the final hours of 2008, I am grateful for my family's health and our good fortune. We get to play at the beach, I have a great (albeit very challenging) job, the kids are having fun and learning more everyday and La has been able to learn a ton about professional sewing (and has made some awesome gifts/projects for many lucky people).
We have a busy 2009 ahead of us and are looking forward to the challenges ahead!
The best to all of you and yours!!! May you all be blessed with steady winds and sizable swells (but not at the same time, unless you plan on kitesurfing)!!!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Here's another picture from the starb.jp.co website. The guy is trolling with a pretty good outrigger angle on the pole. I haven't seen a rod holder/holster that will hold this angle on the pole. I guess I need to keep looking.
I have seen RAM products (I originally found these holders when looking for motorcycle attachments for GPS units) that may work, but only on points secured to the deck, not off a person.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I finally took the kids fishing! We caught a stick, some seaweed and a whole bunch of tube worm silos - no fish this time, but the other more experienced guys fishing didn't catch any fish either.
The kids have a long way to go WRT casting the rig/bait out past the surf zone, but as you can see they are getting the reeling part down.
A nice day of fun in the sun!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I have rekindled an old acquaintance - actually, Marlon has.
He has been asking to go fishing. I haven't been fishing since before I graduated from high school ('89) and when I picked up surfing I never really turned back. I had other diversions from surfing (dinghy racing, scuba diving, fish tanks), but really for the past 20+ years, wave and wind energy have been my singular focus (next to my family and profession of course).
I haven't exactly gone fishing yet - with or without Marlon - but I have been posturing to go. Two spinning poles, several rigs and spoons, some sabiki gear and a California license are in possesion and waiting for the right time/conditions.
I have gone lobstering multiple times and I have been researching spearguns. Spearguns are the stuff of seaborne legends - man holding his breath, diving into the sea and hunting creatures in an environment that could easily do you in - it's their world (we only have lungs).
I'll post more on spearguns later.
A pole spear is the more practical tool for aquatic hunter-gatherers. The 'Toyota' to the "Lexus" that spearguns are. Here is my spear - a 6' aluminum Seahorse (made with pride in Hawaii). Shamefully it has not be caressed by the Pacific yet - but soon...
I'll post a more "Holiday" oriented post soon....
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
This is a Malama custom paddle from Maui.
Rich, curly koa - awesome craftsmanship - and lots of love went into building this.
It's also light (surprisingly so) for an all-wood paddle.
I classify this as pure art (and if it weren't so functional, it would probably be just a wall hanger).
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I've been able to paddle the new racing SUP twice now. Inaugural wetting was this past Thursday - with head high swell in the water, I did a south-north jetty run at Silver Strand beach (2 miles roundtrip).
This morning (Sunday) with waist high swell and a NE offshore breeze, I paddled from the south jetty, to the north jetty, then on to the rotunda of the Mandalay Bay hotel - then back to the south jetty (times per leg - :14, :26, :19, :12) for a total distance of 5.2 miles (not GPS, but goggle earth distance).
The new board is ridiculously fast! It is very stable and cuts through chop well. A completely different feel from the 11'6" Naish I've been distance paddling since November 2007.
And the pictures today are of my new favorite paddle - a Kialoa Methane. I've used this paddle in the surf and now for distance paddling and the 8" blade makes it easy to keep a higher cadence without aggravating my left elbow (which I have been battling golfer's elbow since last winter - I had the rowing machine at work set too high and I think I really hurt it on a working dive around the same time frame).
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Just as you think you have settled into something and will remain focused (like just having gotten a new SUP Racing board and getting some miles on it) - something else comes into the picture and makes you drool...
Apparently some people have taken kitesurfing and started racing. With the boards looking like something out of fighter plane design 101 (oh by the way did I mention I like the way fighter planes look?), I now have to start thinking about how I can build one of these things.
Bamboo skins over EPS core, thickness for light wind float, of course a quad fin setup, old school three footstrap rig, stealthy paint job.... This is going to take up some time...
www.njsdesigns.org for credit on the customs; www.northkites.com for the computer generated twin fin.
Monday, December 15, 2008
This was one of the first models to come out of the Cobra (Thai) Factory. This was the beginning of total mass production of composite sandwich boards. Before this (back in 98???) custom was king.
I had to rearrange the board rack in the garage (the new SUP is really long and it now occupies the top rack - the windsurfers got moved to the bottom). When I pulled this one out, I remembered watching the onset of mass produced, super light, super strong boards and the sadness I had as the customs sat on the racks collecting dust. I loved the new boards and all the performance they promised, but they didn't have the character of the old, heavier, hand painted hand made boards.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I sold two 12' prone paddleboards to get this 12'6" racing standup paddleboard. I was noticing issues with my lower back and a growing infatuation with long handled, all carbon paddles - it was only a matter of time...
Dims: 12'6" LOA, 28" wide at the midpoint, 13" a foot back from the nose and up from the tail. Pale yellow base color with tear tape gray stripes (with black shading).
It is way too windy today to try this out, hopefully tomorrow morning.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I had this board hanging from my bedroom wall and either the drywall anchor gave way or an earthquake shook the rack loose. The back half of the board fell to the floor first. Dinged the trailing fin and a part of the port rail. Easily fixed.
This Gerry Lopez Mako model is now my oldest board. Got it at a now defunct shop in Haleiwa back in 1998. Since early last year I've been culling the school down to make room for new boards, but this one will always have a special place in my collection. I guess in my older age I'm getting less nostalgic (you wouldn't believe how many I've let go).
6'8" with a gem of a paint job. This board has taken me to places most will never see or understand (think 8' Lani's on a perfect afternoon session - completely makable takeoffs with barreling follow through on the right).
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I can't find the charger for my camera - so I don't have any new pictures. My other excuse is that I've been sick from the flu mist and swamped at work - "many violins playing".
Ok - with the excuses out of the way, this post centers around the rack in my garage.
You've seen this rack in the background of other posts. You scratched your head wondering "does he really have that many boards?". And you've marveled that each board in it's own right has something to admire (I do that ALL THE TIME!). Well, there are more boards that aren't on this storage rack, but these are the current workhorses and all the peripherals. Windsurfers, kiteboards, longboards and standup paddleboards. Fishing poles, sunhats, masts, booms, leashes and spare fins. I don't control much space in the house, but there is no question that the garage is mine!!!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
This photo was taken from the Shichirigahama Website referenced on the left hand column. This beach was a 15 minute drive from the house we lived in back in Hayama (Japan).
The photographer takes pictures of this beach nearly every morning, so looking through the site makes La and I feel like we are still part of the Sagami Bay community.
Anyways - today the photog had some pictures of people SUPing in the flat waters and this woman was fishing!!! I have a rig to tie down to the front of my 11'6" Naish (just too lazy these days). But her idea is better (no extraneous gear/tackle - just pole and holster).
Among other things (like deep cleaning the house in preparation for Christmas tree setup, and running errands), Thanksgiving weekend gave me some time to work on the board (6'5" quad).
Here are some pictures of the board with the leash plug hole just drilled out. Since these pcitures, I've epoxied in the leash plug and fixed some air pocket issues (hand lamination in cooler air temps left some air entrained in the fiberglass - oh well - sh!t happens).
Anyways - after a grinding with 60 grit, another hit with 220 and a final of 400 and a spray bottle, this board will be finally finished. A nice Dakine camo/black tail pad and a black noseguard will finish off this "roughened" look board.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
I got this picture off the Patagonia website (credit to the photographer who took it, not me).
I have sold my prone paddleboards after realizing that my physiology is not that of a long distance prone paddler (I should have realized that a long time ago - that paddle out to "Threes" in Waikiki never made me happy) and moved on to Stand Up Paddling.
But look carefully at the picture. This is proof that the human spirit is a very powerful force. Life can be tough, cruel, unfair - stick your own synonym in the sentence, but it's how you deal with the situation you have before you that is the measure of your perception of the gift of life.
I wax prophetic... Go Out There!!!!
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I ordered two custom board bags for the SUP boards that I ordered recently.
I got them for two reasons: in anticipation of having to move them overseas in a little bit - you can wrap a layer of bubblewrap and still fit the board snuggly inside the bag - nice! Reason 2 - I am anal about roof rack strap marks - transporting boards in bags keeps them nice and safe.
Close tolerance fit - nice and snug - tan color to hide dirt - and can double as a sleeping bag on an overnight surfari.
To get yours, checkout Airwave (google it).
Sorry I haven't been posting - crazy busy at work. I will try to make up for the lack of blog over the next few days.
First off - what did I get from my recent trip to Lowe's and what is it for?
Scotchguard - for my new custom board bags
Drill mounted grinding pads - to clean up surfboard laps
Dremmel Abrasive Heads - For anything. I love my Dremmel!
100 Pack of Razor Blades - you can't have enough razor blades
Air Compressor tool quick disconnect - for my air gun (painting)
It's the little things that count!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Here is the quad getting the bottom laminated. 2 x 4 oz matrixed with Resin Research epoxy. Not much work left on this one - the deck is also laminated, just hotcoating and final sanding. Maiden voyage may be as early as next weekend. More to follow...
And the picture that is not of me glassing the surfboard is of our red strained Bee Shrimp. These guys are supposed to be hard to breed in captivity, but for some reason I've been lucky. Started with 5, lost 2 and now have at least 20 running in the 7 gallon cube. I can watch these guys all day long!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Well here it finally is!!!! My fish tank and some of the occupants:
The orange tipped bubble tip anemone;
The mated pair of Solomon Island Maroon Spinecheek Clownfish (Premnas biaculatus) - the larger of the two is hiding among the tenticles, but right above the male's head is the 5th clutch of eggs that these two have produced - hard to see but in real life they turn from bright orange to shiny silver with two eyes each;
Shot of the tank from the front.