Friday, January 4, 2008

In the Water: The Mahi Returns

This one's a whole new ball game.
Less volume, different outline, rocker changes, bottom effects and a pulled tail. I was on a time line so I didn't get to test her out properly but I did get in a little paddle before dark today and the performance changes were definitely notable. In short, I'm really excited about the feel of this board. If the weather holds and we luck out with some surf in the morning, things could get interesting.

Width has been reduced on this one all around- and with the pulled nose and tail you can definitely feel the change in stability. I'm glad I took Tim's advice and went with a 29" wide point. At my size a board much narrower would have been a real handful. The board's volume ended up being right on the mark, the pad comes about a half inch above the water line. More importantly the volume was foiled into the shape perfectly; the board pulls through the water nicely and provides a large, forgiving sweet spot just behind the front pad marker. I've been on board's where the blending of rocker and volume is off and you end up paddling from strange positions, this is where it becomes important to work with a shaper who actually paddles stand up boards. A correctly foiled board slides through the water like the hull on an America's Cup boat, incorrectly foiled boards barge through the water and make catching waves difficult.

Same paint job. I just dig it so I asked for a repeat spray, Tim calls it the Mahi but I think it looks kind of like a Louisiana back water, duck hunting, pole boat. My wife calls it "grass". Adam W. calls it the Pickle, whatever it is, it's hot. Fit and finish of the board was spot on- Tim's glassers have got the gloss and polish of these epoxy boards really squared away. The G&P finishes Stamps gets are the best I've seen. Mahi I, which I've "loaned" (like I'll ever get it back) to my brother up in Santa Cruz is still in perfect condition, a scuff here and there but no orange-peeling, or delamination of the gloss coat. These finishes are heavier but I like them, I think they seal up the board and provide an additional layer of durability.

I'm pretty sure I'll end up running the same size center fin on the 2 + 1 setup. I like a larger fin then most people, I'll run a 9" center fin with regular Future Fin thruster sized side fins. I'm going to repossess my Future 3/2 side biters from Mahi I once I get a chance to run up to Santa Cruz- I'm not sure what they do but those 3/2 side fins just feel fast.

I'm very, very happy with this board so far. It is a totally different creature then Mahi I and will require some getting used to but I think this board is taking me in the direction I want to go. I'll keep you posted, keep your fingers crossed for some clean surf!

Last Photo:
If I could make something like that with my own two hands I'd be smiling too! Thanks for the board Tim- can't wait to let it run!


srfnff said...

Hey John,
That is a fine looking board! I only had a few minutes on Mahi I but I know what you mean about the perfect blending of foil, rocker and volume. I felt and saw Mahi I start planing efficiently across the water. Catching waves, no problem.

You told Mash you thought the M1 would be too big for me and you're right, but nevertheless, Tim's superb knowledge and craftsmanship shines through on that board.

What does the bottom of M2 look like? With the pulled (rounded) tail and reduced volume it won't be as stable as the M1, but it should be a performance SUP to say the least.

I think you should have kept that Greenough you sent me. I think that fin would go GOOD on the M2. But when you come up we can do some fin trials. It should be fun.

Rip on!

John Ashley said...

Hey Gary!

Mike said you were a fin freak so enjoy it! I never really "got" the idea behind that one so if you've got some feedback for me regarding the whole concept behind it, pass it on. I'd consider that a fair trade!

The bottom is a bit more racier. There is a bit more vee above the fins leading into double concave into and through the fins. Right at the gut (sweet spot for paddling) the bottom is dead flat straight across.

Tim's changed the rocker a bit as well- from the sweet spot back the board is pretty similar to the board he made for himself as a 9'0.

I didn't write about it but I did catch a couple of waves with it at San-O. The board has got that "feel" to it- loose, almost skatey. I had an 8" fin in it at the time- I've since replaced it with a 9" flexy fin. I did rip a little cutback on it and I can say that with the pulled nose, there's less swing weight and the board wrapped around nicely on that mushy wave.

Lot's more data points to be logged but I like the feedback I'm getting so far. For punchy beachbreak peaks,I really liked the Mahi 1. The weight of it, the drivey tail, the forgiving paddleability- that board really makes for a smooth ride but I have to say, I'm wanting to come deeper into the pocket off the bottom on some faster waves and really push it hard- I think this outline/planshape will take me there.

I'm pretty darn jazzed about it. I'm going to be riding this one for quite a while.

srfnff said...

Good insightful comments. Re the Greenough I think the idea behind it is that you have the bulbous end to keep the tail in the water when you're standing on the nose. Then you have the cutaway to give you some pivoty flexibility in your turns. I see that working well in the M1, and I'm trying to get Mash to try it out. I gave him a 7" RFC because he wants to try some progressively smaller fins to see how it loosens up the board.

I also like the more flexible fins because of the snap they give you off the bottom. I blogged some info on that in some recent previous posts including pics.

In comparison to my 10'4" Angulo Olohe, the M1 actually felt much bigger than the Olohe. Even though the M1 is four inches shorter, the M1 is one inch wider and 1/4 inch thicker. That doesn't seem like much but when you consider overall volume distribution it is. The nose and tail are much wider on the M1 and it is a very stable platform. I see Mash getting some great noserides on it.

Both the M2 and the Angulo are performance shapes but the Angulo is hard for me to put over on rail. I have to turn it hard from the tail. Weight too far forward bogs the rails and I literally stop in the water.

No doubt the craftsman's blending of bottom contour, rocker, rail configuration and plan shape is the magic board genius we are all looking for. I know you check the Zone periodically. I think the M2 looks a lot like some of Blane's performance shapes.

Even given the ease of balance viz a viz the M1 compared to the Angulo and the M2, I don't think I would want to defer back to the M1 and give up the performance characteristics of the M2 or Angulo.

Also, given the almost unalterable swing weights of the SUP's, performance boards have to give in to instability to some degree (even though Blane claims to be mastering that trade-off.)

In the end, I think being a bigger, stronger guy ("person" for the PC)is an advantage given the mega-longboard characteristics of SUP's. Technology has allowed for lighter, bigger a lightweight guy (150 pounds) I say the lighter the better.

John Ashley said...

Now we just need some surf to figure out if we know what we're talking about!

Did a three hour tour looking around and found nothing to fire me up enough to suit up. Water was a little stinky too.

Just talked to my neighbor who got back from an unnamed point in Baja- four foot and perfect- three guys and two groms in the water. He calls the inside "Little Kirra"- now that kind of talk gets me all twitchy- and I'm a goofy foot.

By the way, what kind of brainwashing have you done on my bro? You took a perfectly fine screw foot and convinced him he's a regular foot. That's.... just.... wrong!