Hey! I'm back. Here's a bunch more info about my travel rig, trying to finish this up to get to some trip photos... maybe even a little video clip.
6. 15' Thule straps with the rubber covered, cinch-cam. Stand up boards are trouble when it comes to racking them with standard soft racks. Our wide boards tend to eat up all the webbing- leaving nothing for the boards of your travel mates. The problem is compounded when you're traveling with more than one paddle board. Here's my solution: Skip the fancy soft racks and buy a pair of these. When you're ready to roll, just throw the boards directly onto the car's roof, stack the boards in two rows, run the straps over whole mess and completely through the windows, cinch 'em down and your in there. On this trip we transported four surf boards and my stand up without a problem.
Tip: I like the Thules because the ratchet cam seems a bit higher quality then what you'd find at, say, Walmart. Also, Thule's straps come with a cool rubber covering that keeps that metal cam from knocking a dent in the side of your car (or an incisor from your jaw) when somebody tosses that little metal wrecking ball over the pile of boards.
7. Lee Child novels: My surf trip reading list doesn't include nail biters like Anna Karenina or The Scarlet Letter. I need something a little more accessible. My "go to" choice? Lee Child's Jack Reacher series. In a nutshell: violence, intrigue, espionage, bad guys who've got it coming them and super cool fight sequences centered around elbow shots to the Adam's apple and ear drum busting head slaps. If you like it down and dirty and need to know why the first squeeze of the 9mm Steyr requires a fourteen pound pull, this is the series for you. Perfect surf trip reading.
8. Future Fins: My new infatuation? The Futures Gerry Lopez SUP thruster fin set. Get yourselves some of these, they do it all- especially in head high to overhead surf. I also never go anywhere without my G10 Scimitar 3/2/1s; if the surf gets small I pop these things in for an instant small wave speed gain. I'm a little conflicted with where I'm at with my middle fin when running the 3/2/1s so I usually bring the Futures 7" cutaway style center fin and a 6" FCS offering and switch them back and forth until I'm totally confused. Fin's will mess with your mind- find a couple of sets you like and play with them.
Tip: Be sure to bring an extra finbox screw and plate- these do get lost, stripped or broken, be sure you've got yourself covered.
9. Box of Kool-Aid individually packaged drink mix and a box of EmergenC individual drink mix packets: Staying hydrated is easier when it tastes good and the EmergenC keeps me in the vitamins (even if I'm really just peeing them away). I mix one Kool Aid packet and one EmergenC packet in my Nalgene bottle, stash it in the fridge and drink it throughout the day.
Tip: No, Vodka and EmergenC don't make a tasty cocktail.
10. Liquid Pepto-Bismol: Yes, the tablets are lighter, don't leak and work well. For me, though, nothing says I'm going to coat, soothe and relieve that stew of chorizo, jalapeno and horchata churning in your gut like a bottle of original pink. As soon as that thick sludge slides down your throat you know you're going to make it through the night... or your three and a half hour plane flight home. Believe me, don't leave home without this stuff.
11. Mosquito net: Light weight insurance against the longest, most miserable night of your life. I used mine on this trip and was snug, happy and extremely satisfied to see those sneaky little bastards bumping against it all night long. Hah.
Tip: Throw a shoe string or a short length of twine into your mozzie net's bag- you'll thank me when it comes time to hang that thing up.
12. Telescoping 8' fishing rod and reel set: All carbon, high quality travel rod. This thing's slick, made for legitimate fish handling and available at compactfishinggear.com I picked up the Mobistick, haven't used it yet but I'm excited to try it out.
About half way done with this stuff... Check back for more!