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Friday, February 27, 2009

Dave Craig Stand Up Paddle: 7'10 x 29" x 4"

Dave Craig makes beautiful stand up boards. That's what happens when you've been shaping for four decades. Check out this fresh new board for Gail up at La Jolla Shores. Gail's one of the regulars up there, she paddles everyday that it's surfable with her core crew of dawn patrol fanatics. For the last couple of years she's been ripping hard on hand-me-down boards put together by Dave and passed along by Mitch of Mitch's Surf Shop. Here's what she's been patiently waiting for. This one's custom made for her; sized to fit and ready to rip! Check it out.



Photo: Double bump, swallow tail- five fin boxes for all of the options. 7'10 x 29", let's see you find one of those off the rack.



Photo: Gail's initial report on this one is super positive; she loves it! Don't worry, I'm committed to tracking down the full story on this one.



Photo: Eventually, if you're serious about this sport, you'll want to have a board made for you. It's the next step. Take it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Making a Go Pro Paddle Cam: The easy way

The paddle cam mount gives you the most options for snapping pictures or shooting video with the Go Pro camera. By putting your paddle in different positions, you can snap all kinds of photos from many different angles. Don't be surprised if a few of your photos blow your mind- especially when you get creative with where you move the camera and how you hold the paddle.



It's also the most convenient configuration for triggering the camera. Since the housing is only an arm's length away, starting the camera is simply a matter of reaching out and pushing the button- which is much nicer than having to jump off your board, swim to the front (or back) and start (and stop) your Go Pro. In this post I'll explain how I set up my paddle cam mount, hopefully you'll have as much fun with it as I have.



To make the paddle cam mount the quick and easy way, you'll need a couple of tools. First, if you don't have a pair of tin shears like this, go buy some. They're only a few bucks at Home Depot and you'll end up using them on all kinds of projects- they're in my top five list for favorite hand tools. Shears like these will make cutting the white, self-adhesive, Go Pro nose mount easy and safe. If you don't want to drop the bucks for shears you can probably use a sharp serrated knife but be careful, and don't let your wife see you cutting plastic with her good knife!



Next,
you'll need two or three zip ties. While you're at Home Depot buying the shears, walk over to the electrical department and buy a bunch of zip ties- they've got a million uses. A good set of needle nose pliers will come in handy for snugging the ties up and for nipping off the tail once you've cinched them down.



Okay, the first thing you're going to do is mentally come to terms with the idea that you are going to destroy the white, self-adhesive, nose mount that came with your camera. Don't worry, you can always buy another one (Go Pro has replacement kits). Rest easy in knowing that, with a little practice, you'll be able to get better nose-type shots with your paddle cam then with that disk mount. Plus, it looks dumb on the front of your board and it'll probably fall off someday anyway.

Here's what you do: Take your shears and cut down along each side of the camera mount on the white disk. What you'll end up with is a thin strip (a little wider than the shaft of your paddle) with the self adhesive tape on one side and the mount on the other.



Next, make four notches in the modified white disk/strip. Each set of notches should be about an inch from each end of the disk/strip. The notches will anchor the zip ties to the disk/strip once you've snugged them around the shaft of your paddle.

Now peel the backing off the tape and stick the disk/strip to the shaft. I put my camera about four inches above the neck of the paddle on the powerface side of the blade. Slip two zip ties around the shaft and snug them up nice and tight- be sure that they are seated in the notches that you made in the disk/strip.

A couple of paddle cam tips:


1. If you're disk has lost some of its tackiness and starts slipping around you can stick some 3M VHB tape on the back of it and reapply it to the shaft of the paddle. You can buy the VHB tape at an auto parts store (I go to AutoZone), it's sold as "Moulding Tape" in the car body section.

2. I use a third zip tie to attach the camera's lanyard to the shaft of the paddle as a safety line.

3. Nope the camera doesn't interfere with paddling at all. As a matter of fact, after a while you don't even realize that it's there.

4. For Californians, get up early and shoot when the sun's coming up- you'll get much better shots with low angle light. This is the magic hour- good stuff happens early!

Now get out there and send me some good ones!

Stand up paddle surf lessons in San Diego. Come paddle with me in beautiful, flat water conditions. If you've been thinking about learning how to stand up paddle, now's the time to do it! Summer is right around the corner. Give me a call at 619.213.6622 or email me (john@paddlesurf.net) and I'll get you out and paddling. Click here for more information about lessons and for customer testimonials.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stu Kenson Zapper: 9'10" x 30" x 4.25"

Stu Kenson just dropped off a hot looking board; one of his new Zapper model SUBs. Can't wait to get it into some solid waves and let her run- this one just reeks of speed.



Quad fin, advanced bottom effects, tuned rocker- it's all happening here. Check the outline, Stu pushed the wide point back so you can get your back foot over the fins and drive, rather than pendulum, through turns.



I've been warned
, though, to take it slowly. Stu says jumping onto a quad fin SUB will require a little bit of an adjustment period, especially since I ride 2 + 1 set ups with moderately large center fins. Getting water time on this one may be tough, I'm already getting phone calls from the boys- all wanting to give the Zap a run. We'll keep you posted.



Photo: Full frag-pad set up straight out of the SK board shop. I like it- really grippy and still nice and comfy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A little floater: Stamps 9.0' x 28.5" x 4"

Here's a little shot of a floater re-entry on a board that's a lot smaller than I thought would be possible for a guy of my size. Sweet ride, a little bit of work just standing on it but worth it for the snaps, floats and hits.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fun Weekend of Surf

Hope you all got out and snagged a couple this weekend. We did pretty good here in southern California. Surf spots were going off from San Diego to Santa Barbara. A couple of friends and I ended up stand up paddling a Ventura County point/reef break. There were some big, mushy right handers rolling in at mid-tide and super fun, lined up left hand bowls at dead low. We ended up logging four hours in the water and left totally blown out. After all the rain and gloom we've had, it was great to be in the water again- and even better to share it with a couple of friends. Go get some!



Stand Up Paddle Surf Lessons in San Diego. If you'd like to be a part of the coolest new, sport to hit the water give me a call 619.213.6622 or email me at john@paddlesurf.net to set up a private lesson with me on my equipment. Here's your chance to try out some of the boards we've written about here- don't wait... summer's right around the corner! For more information and customer testimonials click here.

Big Chad left these here: Baja Adventure Photos

Big Chad left some photos on my blog and never posted them up. So I'm doing it for him. I think I know enough about what's going on here to make some captions:

This is what Mexican Secondary Inspection looks like. If you roll in with a 16' Hobie Cat on the racks you can probably expect our southern amigos to want to take a closer look. Wilson and Woody, rollin'.

If you've got it, why not bring it? There's a lot of exploring that can be done with a nice little shallow drafted catamaran like this one. Down south, the more options you have - the better.

Baja Beach camping; there's nothing quite like it. No reservations, no camp host, no firewood for sale, no sing-a-longs, no facilities... no worries!


The Baja sunset- your invitation to crack a freshy and start the fire. Easy living.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Staying Stoked in Northern Idaho: Toby's Blog

This photo was titled, "Carlos Deep" sent to me by my friend Tobias way up in the stand up paddle wonderland of Northern Idaho. Believe it. The guy lives right up above lake Pend Oreille, Idaho's most magnificent lake. I'm putting it on my list, I'm going to paddle that one sometime.

Back to Carlos getting barreled. I ran into Toby way down south on my last run down to the tip of Baja. He came out of nowhere, looked a little like when I'd last seen him (probably fifteen or twenty years ago) and was still stoked on surfing- said his surfing was just as good as it'd ever been. I believed him. Each day he'd fire up his big ol' meated up Toyota Four Runner, load up his little family and go off searching.

Well, it looks like he found something. If you want to read more about what Toby was looking for (and finding), check out his new blog. It's a little bit mountain surfing (just check it out) a little bit surfing. I'm hoping he'll post up some pictures of the little home he built and the water wheel he designed to generate electricity from the stream that runs through his property. The blog's still being developed but I think it's going to be a good one. More surf photos Toby!



Photo: El Barrelito.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The State of the Go Pro Nation

In case you haven't noticed, I'm pretty hung up on the little Go Pro digital camera. For what it costs ($149) you can't get better resolution or versatility. Critics (a.k.a, non-Go Pro owners) complain that the online SUP world is supersaturated with vain Go Pro user. They've got a point. There has been a flood of self-reflective videos and stills (yep, guilty) but once you start playing with the thing you can't help but get hooked on it. It's serious fun and it's easy to use. The guys at Go Pro did a great job designing this thing. As good as it is though the camera does have a couple of draw backs to it.



Photo: Here's my latest and greatest fabrication. This one has not been tested yet- but I think it's got potential.

One problem is it's voracious battery appetite. Cheap, alkaline AAAs get eaten up like breath mints at an HA (Halitosis Anonymous) meeting. You're pretty much limited to using expensive non-rechargeable AAA lithium batteries. Two AAA lithiums will last about an hour and a half. The battery life is just long enough to fill up your 2 gigabyte SD card. A pack of four batteries runs about twelve bucks so you're looking at a pretty substantial investment in batteries if you're going to be using this thing regularly.

The answer would seem to be in a set of rechargeable batteries. But from what I've read about these cameras, the rechargeable AAAs barely cover an hour of filming, if that. I'm going to do a little more research on that and will probably invest in the best quality rechargeable batteries I can find. I'd hate to tally up what I've dropped on Energizer Lithiums this far into the game. I'm sure I could've bought another Go Pro. I'll report back with my findings.

The second problem with the little camera is the variety of shots you can grab with the standard, factory supplied nose mount. The forward-looking-back angle gets old quick. The nose shot is like looking out into the night sky at light coming from distant galaxies; you're looking at the past not the future. You can't see what the waves going to do, only what is happening behind you. You can get some cool shots if you're in a super critical part of the wave but for the most part it starts to look like you're dancing a surf inspired version of the jitterbug.



Photo: Three-quarter inch Loc-line. This stuff is so cool- and pretty damn expensive. I keep thinking of different ways to use the stuff- if you like tinkering, you've got to order some up.

A paddle mounted camera gives you more options but in the video mode it's hard to get away from the "pole dancer" syndrome. This stems from the fact that the camera's mounted to the paddle. The point of view down the shaft seems to be motionless. The rider, on the other hand, gyrates around the axis like a "special dancer" chasing a bowtied five dollar bill. It's not a big deal, but it starts looking funny after awhile.

Still photos
solve this problem but the limitations of the camera's sequential shooting capabilities can bar you from getting the shot. The camera in still mode only shoots a photo every two seconds so your chance of capturing the Holy Grail of Go Pro SUP photos, the fully throated tube ride, are pretty slim. Unless, of course, you regularly pull into six second tubes in which case your chances of capturing the image improve- but not much.

The third and last major difficulty with the camera is access to the "start" button. Basically, you've got to be able to reach out and push it to get the video rolling. Depending on camera placement, this can be as simple as reaching out to the blade of your paddle or as difficult as extending your arm blindly behind you and flailing around for the damn button while an overhead set drops bombs on your head. Nose mounted cameras need to be started by either jumping off the board and swimming up to the front or by reaching out with the handle end of your paddle and tapping away hoping you'll hit the button when it really matters.

Obviously, you've got to consider how easy it is to start the thing before you decide to where to put it. In my experience the paddle mounted camera provides the easiest "start" position. If I had to make a wish list of improvements, some type of reliable remote start would be number one on the list (but I've heard from a friend who owns an expensive helmet cam system that the wireless remote works about half the time- which sucks).

If I could have it my way the Go Pro would feature a rechargeable lithium battery pack, a remote control start button and a faster still photo rate (how about 3 frames a second) and while we're at it why not interchangeable lenses so you could go from wide angle to regular by just screwing the glass in. I'm sure all of these upgrades would justify the two to three hundred dollar price increase. I can see it now: The modest Go Pro Wide ($149) would metamorphose into the Go Professional Action Video Unit retailing at $399. The camera would feature all the things we asked for, work half as well and be less than a third as reliable all while costing more than twice as much. Which would then give me something totally new to complain about. All of this just goes to show you, some things are definitely better left alone!



Photo: My little work bench. Can you see the Glock? Paranoia aside, it's amazing what you can do with a hacksaw, some stainless nuts, bolts and washers and some aluminum stock. Mix in some 3M VHB tape, zip ties and five minute epoxy and you've got a fully functioning Go Pro modification unit. Just kidding about the Glock.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Water Shots: Fun but waiting for better conditions...

I got a chance to paddle out with a water photographer today. Alfonso Lopez is our local water shooter and a super cool guy. I ran into him randomly, he was walking the beach getting ready to jump in and I'd already finished a session and was pulling out to head home. Enthusiasm pours out of this guy and it's hard to say no to somebody who's fired up to rattle off some frames. Plus, I'll admit it, I'm vain- I like to see what I look like out there. In all, it was a super cool experience but different than I though it'd be, a couple of observations:

1. Damn, those guys can swim! I was amazed at how quickly Alfonso could swim into just the right spot to get the shot. I would have been blowing chunks out there if I had to sprint through the water hefting a housing wrapped SLR.



2. Aim at the guy.
The best shots are from up pretty close and that means you've got to keep it tight, so you aim for the lens and hope it's not there when you get to the spot. Alfonso assured me he could dodge anything- which did nothing to put my fears to rest.



3. Low light sucks.
Here's what I learned from Alfonso, it's a simple equation, "Low light means you've got to crank up your ISO, high ISO = crappy resolution" which means so/so photos. In photography, it's all about the light and on this day, the light wasn't so hot.



4. Don't stare
at the camera. It's funny how you get fixated on the front of that water housing when you see it pop up in front of you. But don't stare at it- the photos end up looking a little creepy.



5. Keep your eyes open.
Unless you want to snap a photo that brings you back to your 1978 prom picture, open 'em up wide.



6. Snap a million photos
and get maybe one keeper. Persistence pays in this game- and so do good batteries!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Fin Vortex: Conclusions

Well, I'm resolved. I was able to get the board out for a surf in 3' beach break wedges and after a few waves, I had formed a pretty strong opinion. For me, the small middle fin, semi-thruster set up just doesn't feel right. Too skittery, too sketchy. The board was fast, but not a drivey, torquey-type fast. More like a slippery, skating on ice type of speed. Not the feel I'm looking for out there. Conclusion 1: Small middle fin = no thanks.



Photo:
Nope

Conclusion 2: G10 = butter smooth turns and a step up in speed. It's true, these stiffer fins are pretty darn sweet. As opposed to the resin versions of these 467 Tech Foils, the G10s loose no energy flexing through the turns. And you can feel it. When you hit the trough and lean it over, just a little push through the rails translates completely into forward squirt. The fins are fast and they feel super smooth through the water. I'm going to have to tap the 401K to pick up a couple of these- but they are definitely worth it.



Photo: Yep

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Fin Vortex: It'll suck you in!

So when it's raining outside, what else is there to do but mess with your equipment? Here's what I've done: I've taken a perfectly good fin set up and switched it all up. It's called the fin vortex- be careful once you get caught by it you'll get sucked in.



In this case I broke the first rule of fin experimentation. I changed too many things at once. Ideally, if you really want to find out what your fins are doing for you, you'd conduct a logical experiment. First you'd take all the fins out and go for a surf. That way you could establish a baseline of observations; that's your control group- the data set to compare all of the following changes against. Next, you'd add just one fin, in a marked position and try it out. The tests would proceed from there- changing one variable at a time.

But that's not what I did. By now, having been cooped up by rain and cold and foul weather. And cursed by no surf; I'm operating purely on emotion. So I decided to find out what would happen if mixed it all up. Here's what I did: I came down from a 7" middle middle fin to a 6" fin with a totally different foil. Along the way a friend offered to loan me a set of G10 Tech Foil Future Fins. The heavy, buttery G10 material felt so....sexy....how could I say no?



Out came my set of resin Tech Foils and in went the G10s. In case you don't know about the G10 material fins, here's the scoop. G10s are made of really stiff blocks of fiberglass- it's the material used to make windsurfing fins- we're talking stiff here- almost no flex. My friend swears by them and told me that switching to the stiffer G10 version of my fins would be like shifting up into overdrive. I was sold- the fins went in. Here's another interesting bit of info about the G10 version of the Tech Foils- you basically can't get them anywhere (and if you know where I can score a pair of the old, solid base ones, let me know). And they're pricey- I heard of a set going for close to two hundred bucks!



The Future Fins Tech Foils are, frankly, weird fins. The following edge has an extra bend in it and the tips of the fins flare out towards the rail. I've used them on the last two stand up boards I've had and I dig 'em. They produce insane amounts of drive off the rail, the board just zips out of turns- I call it winding up. I'm into them but only when it's a couple of feet overhead and under. When the surf gets bigger and more powerful the fins cause too much lift in the tail and the board gets real touchy. You're tail is planing so much that you need to be careful in the turns- push it too hard and the tail seems to stall out and pitch- not the feeling you want in bigger waves. When the surf get's fast and powerful I switch to more neutral side fins- the standard Futures with a flat inside and foiled outside seem to give me the best feel in good, powerful waves.



I'm not sure if this smaller center fin is going to give me the drive I like off the bottom. Actually, I don't really know how this fin is going to feel at all- I'm just curious about what it'll be like to go more towards a thruster style fin set up. I did move this one back further in the box to compensate for the one inch drop in size. Once again, by moving it back in the box, I've changed yet another variable. Those are bad scientific methods for a fin study but once you get spinning in the fin vortex, all rational thought goes out the window. I'll let you know how it goes.


Stand up paddle surf lessons
in sunny (might as well be an optimist) San Diego. Click here for more information and some delightful testimonials!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Video: Another Angle- Helmet Cam Go Pro

If you're more Go No than Go Pro, this one won't appeal to you. I dig the thing though. Here's a new angle on it. This one's an easy one to put together- I'll post details soon. Enjoy:


Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

A couple more off the Go Pro

Here's a few from the Go Pro archives. Just a couple of shots I like- kind of brings me back to when we had some fun surf.



Photo: I like this photo because it's pretty sharp, good resolution (those cameras are so cool) and you've got some horizon in it. Plus, the water looks so smooth and clean, what a killer day.



Photo: This photos off kilter but it's cool because it's got a foreground and a background. Check out that wave that's getting ready to unload across the sand bar. That was an unreal day of surf, LDS guys were getting barrels all over the place. The right hander in front of me is breaking in about a foot and a half of water. Dues were paid that day with several guys getting thumped off the bottom. There were injuries. To tell you the truth it was thick and mean enough that I wanted nothing to do with trying to stuff a 9'4" x 29.5" wide stand up into a swirling death hole. No thanks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Board Porn Part II: Some SUP some LDS

I learned this one way down south at the La Ventana Classic in southern Baja: LDS. Do you know what that stands for? Nope, not the guys who ride the bikes with helmets, slacks and short sleeve white shirts. LDS is Lay Down Surf.

So for those of us who also like to (occasionally) regular surf (what?) we can save the three minute explanation and just call it LDS. As in, "It was super low tide and beefy with a bunch of LDS guys out- so instead of doing stand up I grabbed my 6'1" and went LDS." Get it?

Board Porn II: Lots of LDS boards and another surf star.



Photo: Greg Noll and some cool, handmade replica boards. Sacred Craft '08. No SUP here, only LDS.



Photo: Shaper in the box, carving out an LDS board.



Photo: Cool boards (both SUP and LDS) everywhere you looked.



Photo:
Some solid human beings right there...lots of LDS, but wait- isn't that my SUP board?

Stand up paddle surf lessons
in sunny (might as well be an optimist) San Diego. Click here for more information and some delightful testimonials!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Worth Checking Out: New Stand Up Shapes and a hot quiver.

Stu Kenson's making some sweet stand up boards- and there's a new member to the family; The Zapper. Be sure to click on over to Stu's site (it's been recently updated and looks good) you'll want to check out his latest creations. Rumor has it that a Zapper may be coming to the paddlesurf.net testing center. Be sure to check back.

What's a quiver?
Check out some of the hardcore SK Owner/Operators at Stu's blog and find out just what an authentic quiver looks like. This month's featured collection includes the full carbon Low Rider and another called the White Whale plus a bunch of other cool lay down surf (henceforth known as LDS) boards.



Photo:
This man's got the goods.

Get yourself some stand up paddle surf lessons
from San Diego's most experienced stand up paddlesurf instructor. Stand up paddle surf lessons in sunny (rainy) San Diego! Give us a call at 619.213.6622 (ask for John) or just drop us an email: john@paddlesurf.net Summer's creeping closer (believe it or not) so the time is NOW! Click here for more information about our lessons and customer testimonials.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sacred Çraft '08: Board Porn Part I

Rainy, windy, cold, flat... sounds like the Oregon coast right? Wrong! It's here in San Diego and we've all entered a state of mild depression. No stand up paddle surf = grumpy, mean, rapidly deteriorating paddle surfers.

It also means a lack of new photos or news. So here I am scraping the bottom of my hard drive for something for you to look at. Check it out:



Photo: Sacred Craft surf board show in full effect, 2008. A fun show, even better with a few cold beers.



Photo: Look closely and you might notice a couple of things: 1) The Wingnut model stand up board leaning against the wall and 2) the surf star lurking somewhere in the frame.



Photo: Dave Daum surfboards, paddleboards, longboards. Clean shapes, I'd love to try one sometime.



Photo: Hey I know that website from somewhere!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Build Your Own: The Foam E-Z Interview

Are you harboring a secret shaper? Do you look at your board and just know you could do it better? Is there a radical, flying inverted vee-bottom, cross channel, static wing, stand up board that just needs the right hands to make it a reality?

What you need to do is get out there and make yourself your own board. And if you want to do it right- all you need to do is give the crew at Foam E-Z a call. We were able to corral Brad Nadell the ringleader at Foam E-Z for a little Q and A session. Here's what we got:

Paddlesurf.net:
Hey Brad, introduce yourself to the folks out in cyberspace.

Brad Nadell: Hi, I'm Brad Nadell, owner/president of Foam E-Z the ORIGINAL One-Stop Surfboard Supply Shop!



P.net: I know you as part of the notorious HB/Seal crew- tell us about your surfing background.

B.N: I’ve been surfing on and off for more than thirty years (ouch). I grew up in Seal Beach, spending most of my early surfing years there.

P.net: Tell me about Foam E-Z, how did it come to be, what's the back story?

B.N: I started with a partner, Steve Adler, who owned the thriving glass shop The Surfboard Factory. Foam E-Z really happened out of necessity. Everyone in the HB (Huntington Beach) area needed foam and they needed to be able to get it quickly. Basically, they wanted to be able to drive up and buy blanks. Steve had both the space and the customers. He just needed someone to run the biz- that turned out to be me.



P.net: So was there a point when you got inspired to expand the business?

B.N: I wish I could say in 1993 I had one but I didn’t. At the time I was racing Mtn Bikes pretty seriously and the work schedule we set up fit perfectly with my race schedule. I was stoked. The early days were quite different than they are now though. Back then we sold foam primarily to professional board builders and had almost no tools for sale. As time went on we added tools, other materials, videos and books; the rest is history!

P.net: I assume you stock some products that are hard to get- specialized tools that you've got to hunt around for...

B.N: Probably the biggest logistical nightmare at Foam E-Z is trying to procure niche items- tools used only for shaping surfboards. A lot of our items are custom built for us so we have many different vendors that we have to coordinate with...

P.Net: So give me an example of something really cool that you guys stock that you basically can't get anywhere else...

B.N: Hmm… I think it’s gotta be the CF03Planer. That thing was specifically designed to build surfboards. There’s really no other place to get it.



P.net: So you started by selling foam only to professional shapers- things have changed now haven't they?

B.N: We definitely cater to the “home-builder” and first time hobbyist more now. We sell less foam but more of the peripheral stuff. The death of Clark foam affected us a little... about a difference of TEN THOUSAND blanks per year! I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to that number but we’ve reshaped our business plan to adapt with the ever changing situation in the surf industry.

P.Net: So let's get back to your customers. How would you describe your "standard customer"?

B.N: We sell to all ages, 12 to 75; pros to beginners; carpenters to chemists; so as you can see we don’t have a standard customer! There are guys that came to us way back in 1995 who were just learning to build boards. Some are still doing it, a few make them professionally. Here's a good one, in 1996 we were approached by a maximum security federal prison to buy product so their prisoners could make boards. I still to this day don’t understand how they let some of the tools we sent past the bars. More on this story in the future…

P.net: Have you ever sold supplies to an amateur shaper who later went big time?

B.N: Yeah, we’ve had a few guys go “big time”. It’s hard to define “big time” nowadays since it seems the only guys that are really “big time” are Merrick, Rusty, and Lost. But we have a number of guys decide to build boards for a living and I think that’s “big time”.



P.net: Any pro surfers come in for supplies?

B.N: Yeah, we get that all the time. Even pro surfers want to build their own boards now and then.

P.net: So what about us- the dark-side guys, the janitors, the sweepers. Do you sell stuff for stand up paddlers?

B.N: The only thing different about a stand up board is its shear size. We have specific stand up blanks, extra wide cloth, and all the other tools and supplies you need to make your own stand up board. The shaping tools you'll need are standard inventory at our shop.



P.net: So if I was interested in jumping in and shaping up my own board, what would be a good starting point?

B.N: Come down or call to get solid information. If you're just starting, ask a lot of questions from someone who knows what they're talking about- that's us. There is a ton of information on the web but not all of it is good. You can sift through it and you’ll probably come out with a decent understanding of the process.

P.net: What's the most common mistake you see backyard builders make the first time they decide to make a board?

B.N: Sometimes people jump right in and get all the “pro” tools. Really, you don’t need them unless you are going to stay with the hobby- and build lots of boards.

P.net: How about this one: A big concern with stand up paddlers is how to repair molded, Surftech style, boards when they get dings- do you have anything that specifically addresses that problem?

B.N: That’s tough since we try not to promote boards made overseas. We support boards made over here. So we don’t stock products to repair molded boards. Probably a bad business move- but we have to make a stand somewhere?!



P.net: Fair enough- when are we going to get you on a stand up board?

B.N: That’s a tough one. Actually I’ve been on one a few times but I can’t see myself owning one for a while. I have to make some room to house it. Luckily I know a few people who can loan me their prototypes!

P.Net: Alright Brad, thanks a bunch for your time. Why don't you give us your contact information- you never know, there might be some future SUP kingpins out there.



B.N: No problem- we've got everything you need to build it your own way. You can find us on the web at www.FoamEZ.com the physical location of our shop is 6455 Industry Way Westminster, Ca. 92683. Thanks a lot. Also, I want to mention the boys at the shop: Grant, Rob, and Mark are “The Guys” that make Foam E-Z do it’s thing- thanks guys!

P.net: Right on Brad- talk more soon!