Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Things Break and that Sucks

Sunday was a bad day for equipment. Things got busted up. Big Chad snapped his one piece C4 paddle right at the bend from shaft to blade. That thing went off like an M-80, pitching Chad onto his face and pissing him off. I snapped another leash, in head high surf. This kind of stuff sucks!

Photo: Broken leashes become toys for Lilly. It ain't funny, and it ain't right!

I think our gear can be radically improved- especially if you're dropping three hundred bucks on a paddle. In the last year, I've witnessed four paddles snap in half. Each paddle was less then six months old and one paddle was brand new! Personally, I wouldn't mind a heavier paddle if I knew it was bombproof. I'm certain it can be done- it's just going to take somebody to get their act together and make the "KONG PADDLE". The KONG might be a one piece titanium paddle that big guys like Chad can't snap. If you have to buy two paddles in a year, you've just dropped close to seven hundred dollars, I'd rather spend six bills on a titanium wonder scoop that I know will last. Bring us the super paddle- or at least send us one to abuse.

I've broken just about every type of leash. And from the reading I've done, so have you. I've broken the curly ones, the long ones, the thick ones, the hand tied, the swiveled- you name it, I've snapped it. The cost of a broken leash is nothing compared to the damage that a loose board could do to those on the inside. And how about the damage that some hungry rocks could do once the board bounced all the way to shore. A $1600 dollar board deserves a better leash.

This is a call for specialized equipment. I've got some of my own ideas regarding leash design (I think a virtually unbreakable leash could be made). I want your equipment feedback. What's endured for you guys? I'd like to know the specific names of paddle surfing products that have lasted at least a year. I'm particularly interested in paddles. I'm even more interested if you're a big guy (200 lbs plus). I don't think that there's a paddle or leash that would last a year of normal paddling in the hands of myself or Big Chad. What's your experience?

15 comments:

Jim Brewer said...

John-My Quick Blade carbon paddle lasted almost three years. About a month ago I landed on top of it after falling off my board and put a crack in it. Instead of being smart and coming in I went for another wave and it snapped like a tooth pick. My friend fixed it and I am now using it again. I am 180 pounds and work that paddle like a farm animal. Maybe the old Quick Blades are better? I just got the new carbon Naish paddle so I will see if it can handle the abuse. I just broke my first leash the other day as well. My gear is lasting me longer than I expected.

Michael Ashley said...

Broke my leash last week, too. All I could think of was, "Don't go out further than you're willing to swim in..." and I was pretty far out. Plus, the beating you take swimming in can be brutal. Fortunately the board was waiting for me patiently on the inside. Another set and it might have been cliffs. I got out and bought a thick, ugly, 10ft. Block Surf leash.

gabe said...

yeah I haven't snapped any leashes and I hope my paddle doesn't break that leash that I gave chad is pretty old I got it when I bought my first surfboard the dude gave me it and it's still there ask chad if he still has it?

Chad said...

everyone is breaking leashes, I broke my 12' big wave leash too. Where is the new post bro?

John Ashley said...

Hey Jim-

You know, I've always liked the QuickBlades- I don't know what kind of warranty if any that they offer but I've used one and it was a nice paddle.

"I work that paddle like a farm animal" You had me and a couple other guys laughing out loud nice illiteration.

And post some more SB glassiness on that blog... we're all checking it!

John Ashley said...

Gabe, Mike and Chad: See I told you, leashes snapping all over the place! There's a need for a better leash I tell you- it could be done!

Maybe downwinder this weekend?

Jim Brewer said...

John-Glad I could give you guys a little laugh. As for the Santa Barbara SUP glass pics I hope to add some soon. Problem is that even though I have a blog I am not really a blogger. I don't run around with my camera thinking about my next blog post. At the same time I do realize that I have some people checking it so I should keep up on it more. I think this spring and summer the sport will grow even more and I will have tons of material for "THE BLOG". A lot of the big glassy wave pics are from summer south swell spots.

Nate Burgoyne said...

For indestructible paddles, I know Werner and Kialoa are super strong. Kialoa has a 1 year warranty on their paddles. The new Shaka Pu'u was put to the test by Mel Pu'u. Mel's a big guy and a ripping surfer so you can't go wrong there...especially with a year warranty. Werner also produces a super strong paddle. I don't know if they have a warranty or not but when I met with the Rep. Dan Gavere for a session once, he was telling we that earlier he was surfing with some local boys and that Dan told the biggest brother in the group that if he broke the paddle on that session, Dan would pay him $100. It never happened, and the guy was so impressed he bought a paddle on the spot. We have some review of both the Werner Spanker and the Kialoa Shaka Pu'u on the www.supsurfmag.com. Happy paddle hunting!

Anonymous said...

JOHN SAME THING TO ME LEASH DID NOT BREAK.THE PLUG BAR RIPPED OUT.ALSO PLUG CAME 1/8" OUT AT A ANGLE.THAT HAPPEN ON SAT AT CLIFFS.TALK ABOUT THE THINGS THAT RUN THROUGH YOUR MIND.IS THE BOARD OK.SHOOT HOW THE HECK DO I SWIM WITH THIS PADDLE.MAN THAT GUY ON THAT SHORTY SURE CAME CLOSE.LUCKY THE BOARD FLOATED TO 20'IN FRONT OF THE STAIRS. NO DINGS.OH THE PEANUT GALLERY LOVED IT.SEEING SUP-ER IN DISTRESS.NEXT TIME IF AM SURFING MORE THAN 100yds OFF THE SHORE AM VESTING UP OH LEASHING MY PADDLE TAMBIEN YES WE DO NEED SUP-ER SIZE EQUIPMENT.PLEASE E MAIL THIS TO ALL SURF MAKERS.CAPTNEG 9

John Ashley said...

Hey Jim-

The blog's been a funny thing. It's become a monster! I've kind of got this goal to keep posting as regularly as possible for a year. By July 1, I'll have accomplished it- so we'll see.

And now there's way more people looking at this thing than I thought there would be- a substantial number. Why not keep it alive? Who knows...

And, we still want to see some good clean SB surf- quit holding out or I'm going to start naming spots!

John Ashley said...

Nate,

Thanks for the info on the paddles. It's good to know there's more than one manufacturer willing to put a one year warranty on their paddles.

Personally, if a paddle made it a year I'd feel that I got good value from it.

My next paddle will only be purchased from manufacturers who offer this type of warranty.

I'll encourage all who ask to do the same. I don't think this is asking too much, after all these things aren't free!

John

Jim Brewer said...

John-I will for sure post some more SB pics as soon as I have them. Today is really nasty outside so no pics today. Maybe tomorrow. I did get a little grief for showing to much on the surf pics but that wont really stop me from posting. It's just pics of blue sky, green water and guys having fun. If I start naming the spots then I'm in deep doo doo!! Santa Barbara is kind of like that. A lot of our surf spots are sacred grounds.

John Ashley said...

Hey Jim- understood on you naming the spots- I was just threatening that I would name them (just kidding though) but I don't want the SB Mafia to make me "swim with the fishes" so I'll pass!

Although my really good friend was the captain of a 200' tallship that spent many summers out there in the channel- guess who got the charts with little red x's on it when he moved to Baja?

Anonymous said...

I am using a Hoe Waa paddle I got from Aaron Napoleon, yes the one who won the Makaha big wave SUP contest. If u want a strong paddle this is it, Aaron will put the shaft across a truck bed and stand and bounce on the thing.
I split one paddle called them up and they cut me a new one and delivered it to me that night. Who else does that? They thinks it was a bad batch of shafts, cause that was the second one that split. Other than that no problems at all. It's a little heavier than other paddles , but I like the piece of mind.

Lates, BK

John Ashley said...

Thanks for that info BK- I'll sniff around and see what I can put up about those paddles- they sound great- I'd love to see somebody jumping on one!