I'm still sore from Saturday's brutal coastal journey. And I'm already going back; it's going to be cranking tomorrow! The giant storm right off the coast did as predicted and sent us some hefty surf, the call is for waves with possible twenty foot faces by tomorrow morning.
No, I'm not going to charge any twenty footers. I'm leaving that to the Hawaiians (did you see the SUP Big Wave footage at SUPMag.com?). I'm a big believer in staying within my limits and since I haven't made any hundred yard open water swims I'm not going to put myself at risk by surfing waves that are out of my league. I'm going to get back to a spot that I know will wrap it and tame it a bit, at least that's the plan. I'll snap a bunch of photos and post as soon as possible.
Photo: This is the spot I'm betting on. Here it's knee to waist high on a three foot swell, imagine what it might look like tomorrow?
I don't know how many of you guys check the comments section of the blog entries. If you don't check, you should- there's a lot of good information in there. Jim Brewer up in Santa Barbara sent me some information about carbon fiber that I think is really important for us paddle surfers to know about:
"As for the carbon paddles, they are going to break no matter what the make is and how big or small you are.
I have been racing road bikes(bicycles) for years and have had many carbon frames, handle bars, wheels, seat posts, stems and other carbon items. The thing about carbon is that you are paying the big bucks for the light weight. Carbon is strong but not strong like a much heaver aluminum paddle.
All it takes is a hair line crack and your carbon paddle is toast. If you want a paddle that's not going to break don't get a carbon paddle. I once had a $4,000 dollar carbon bike frame and it fell over and hit a small rock and put a tiny chip in the frame. That was it. The frame was history.
Carbon fiber is like fish, "when in doubt throw it out". All that being said, my QuickBlade carbon paddle lasted 3 years before I put a crack in it and it snapped."
Jim went on to explain that if you ride a bike with a carbon fiber frame that has a known chip in it, it could fail at any moment- hopefully not when you're descending at fifty mile per hour. I don't know about you guys but I know I don't treat my paddle very nicely. I throw, literally, the paddle into the back of my pickup and I leave it in the cab all day long. I'm sure I'm mistreating it and for that reason I should be a little suspect of it- I'll probably go inspect it tonight for hairline cracks. If you're doing big open water paddles, maybe you should check yours too.
Thanks for the information Jim. Be sure to check out Jim's blog and the BlueLine SUP's that he shapes.