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Thursday, April 30, 2009

A cause to support and a couple more shots...

Here's a great cause, Chris Koerner will be paddling to support Surf Aid. Click here and find out more about what it's all about.

Just a few off the hard drive. Enjoy:



Here comes summer!




Pulling in
... Big Chad!



Touching the brakes...




Flying off the bottom...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Southern Day Dream: An all photo post

Here's a few shots of a great place to be a stand up paddler:



A great place to be... especially if you're goofy footed. Even when it's small, it's fun- as long as you've got the right equipment.



How about a killer, shaded hang out spot, featuring comfy chairs and hammocks and a fridge full of cold ones. Almost too good to be true...



...especially when this is your view.



And we still haven't talked about the premier spot just down the road... or the little beachfront cantina with the great huevos rancheros and.... super cold Pacificos. Yee haw!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stamps Grim Ripper 7'11: Glassed and ready to go...

Stamps' daily driver surfboard is a 5'6" model he shapes called The Flare- a little lower rocker, a bit more width throughout and you've got it. Here's the big sister to that board, all glassed up and ready to surf. Can't wait to get a report on this one:



Four
big fins in this one.



Cowboy giving it the ol' once over.



Are you getting the feeling that it's time to order up a freshy? Get yourself onto something new, progress, be stoked, have fun.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Do you click on photos hoping they'll expand to fill the screen?

Well, for me, it depends on the photo. Send me a "Sporting Attire of the World's Sumos" photo-essay and I can guarantee that I'm not clicking on it. On the other hand, mail me a hot stand up photo and I get to wonderin'. Jim Brewer from Blueline Paddle Surf sent these of his team rider, Genelle Ives paddling a nice little right hander- I'd say these are click worthy. Let's see what happens:





Bingo! Killing it!

Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Dreamtime: Get out and get some...

Here's what I like to think about as I fall asleep: Long, roping lefts, peeling off a tropical point. I've got a great board, loose and fast and I'm flying off the bottom and snapping off the top over and over again. The wave's so long that I can pump through fast sections, maching out onto the shoulder where I throw it over and grease a fat cutback back into the foamball. You take the white water bounce and wait for the inside section to form, the wall swings out in front of you as you pull up into the little inside speed run section. Must be a dream, right?


Photo: Board caddy, local style. Someday I'll have one just like it!

Wrong. And the best thing about it is it's about to happen to me. Last year I flew down to mainland Mexico to stand up paddle some of the big left hand points in that region. As soon as I got back, I emailed the casita I'd stayed at and booked the place again; it was that good. Without even telling anybody, I wired my deposit for fourteen more days of hardcore stand up paddling. Airline tickets have been bought (Alaska airlines... always Alaska airlines) and there's now an all-time cast of friends and characters signed on to fill it out. This one's going to be epic!

Want to feel like a kid again? Get off your ass and book a surf trip. Do your research and dial it in so that you're footsteps from solid waves. Ask around and get the scoop, figure it out so that there are cold beers and a fat hammock a couple of feet away. It's not that difficult. Set it up and start dreaming.

Learn how to stand up paddle surf here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Saturday, April 25, 2009

G/rip Progress: Stamps 7'11 gets some glass work.

Here's a quick photo update of the progress on the G/rip. I talked to Stamps yesterday, pulling him away from a bunch of other orders (sorry guys, I'm sure your boards got done) and he confirmed my hunch that he's all wound up on this one too- putting in a full day shaping and then some O/T to get this one out the door and in the water by early next week. You think we get excited about new stuff? You should see what happens to the guy whose own two hands bring it to life. Check out what's going on:









Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Check this one out: Stamps Grim Ripper 7'11 x 29" x 4"

Blame this one on the Luke Egan clip. There's nothing like some hot ripping to reset and refresh your mind. For this one, Tim took a look back at the 8'0" SUP he shaped a year and a half ago. The board was named Salma (after the curvacious actress Salma Hayek), Salma's curves got transcribed onto a hot short board outline and the result is the Grim Ripper. Take a look at the latest SUP to come out of the Stamps factory:



I'm feeling it with this board- the proportions just look right. The width in the nose and the gut leads me to believe that this one (like the Viking model) will have the inherent stability that makes Stamps' SUP short boards so user friendly.



Check out the short board in the background- that's the Flare model (Tim's personal 5'6" daily driver) that Tim used as the template for the G/r.



Nose view. Most of Tim's short boards are quads, this new SUP model will also feature four fins. Supposedly, the Futures guys have got some new quad sets in the works... maybe we'll get a peek at something new on this one.



Here's a great view of the overall shape of the two boards. I'm really blown away by the proportionality of the G.Rip. The board just looks so good! I'm getting myself in line for one of these. The length keeps dancing around in my head but I'm thinking I'll end up somewhere in the 8'6" to 9'0" zone (the number 8'8" keeps sticking in my head for some reason). Only time will tell- until then, I'll keep you posted!


Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Here's a weird one: Propeller Fin

Kevlar and carbon fiber... that's all I know about these. I've been told they generate insane drive. I get the feeling they might work in a stand up board. Check all the curves in these things- definitely not an off the rack type of fin... And that's all I know!



Future Fins: Propeller fin... crazy.



You got me.




I have it
on good information that they work really well. I handled them and I can tell you they are insanely light and I believe each one is hand made. Good luck getting a pair.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Powered Up: Another Future Fin in the mix

There's going to be plenty of options in stand up equipment this summer, fins, paddles, boards it's coming. Here's yet another foil designed specifically for stand up paddling- again from the folks at Future fins. One thing's for certain, the R&D department at Futures never sleeps and there seems to be a fixation with "getting it right"- cheers to that. I'm stoked to see even more SUP specific equipment come on the market. Check this one out:



This one
came in stealth mode- no Futures logo on it, only this written across the bottom.



Side by side, you can see the similarities in template between the first 8.5 inch fin (left) and the 7.5 Thruster (right). The leading edge is just as thick, making the fin relatively stiff.



The fin has a much sleeker template than the others. A minor adjustment was needed after I slipped out coming off the bottom. In this case the fin was too far forward, a quarter inch back in the box and the fin was at its sweet spot.

This is a very nice fin. The thing is beautifully constructed and the it worked well for me the first time out. In the photo above, I'm flying down the line- actually beating that section ahead of me. I'll continue surfing this one for the next few days, more data points are needed to determine its capabilities.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Odds and Ends: A correction, a video, board rumors.

Looks like I made a mistake about Yan's board that we featured a couple days ago in the little clip from La Jolla Shores. It was shaped by Jim Ellington and his boards are available at Mitch's Surf Shop. By the way, Mitch's shop is becoming somewhat of an epicenter of stand up paddling in the La Jolla area- stop by if you're in the area and check out what he's got going on. Thanks Gail for keeping me honest!

Some new boards in the works? Rumor has it there may be a newly designed and freshly shaped 7'11 stand up coming out of the Stamps board factory. I've seen the preliminary design work on it and all I can say is.... sign me up (I don't know 8'8" or so... maybe 8'6"?). This one's going to be a hot board. Just a rumor right now but as always we'll keep you posted.

Out of nowhere, Jim Brewer up at BlueLine Paddle Surf in Santa Barbara (now that's a cool shop- definitely check that one out if you're up north) sent me this clip of gnarly Hawaiian stand up paddlers getting legitimately barrelled at some North Shore name spots. Understand, a couple of those right hand barrels end in like two feet of water- heavy! If you can't get a full screen view of the clip, click here for the link.

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Stand up paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego; you want 'em, we've got 'em! Get them while it's warm and sunny.... now's the time to develop your skills. Do it before summer so that when the warm days and warm waters of summer arrive, you'll be ready. Read more about lessons here. Email john@paddlesurf.net or call John at 619.213.6622.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hot Clip: Luke Egan BLOWING MINDS on a stand up!

Whoa! Hold the press, I've got a new favorite. Check out Luke Egan absolutely ripping on a stand up board:



This may take the crown
for the best SUP surfing I've seen this year. In an interview from a year ago, Joel Parkinson made the comment that he'd been doing stand up to stay in shape for surfing the upcoming contests of the ASP world tour. He also made the off hand statement that while he and the boys were having fun paddling around, Luke Egan was surfing his stand ups just like his regular boards.

I'd seen other footage of Luke surfing his short stand ups and remembered how hard off the bottom he was pushing his boards. The radical nature of his surfing and the clean crossover from high performance short board surfing to flat out killing it on a stand up board left a mark on my memory. Joel's statement is so much more valid now that I've seen this short vid. This clip definitely raises the bar for performance stand up paddling- I'm stoked and inspired by it!

Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Saturday, April 18, 2009

La Jolla Shores: Yan's 6'5" Slides Stand Up Board

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to jam up to La Jolla Shores and paddle with the local crew. These guys and gals are hardcore- checking it before the sun rises and surfing it before most people have even had their first cup of coffee. And they do this day in and day out. Here's Part I of my interview with some of the local paddlers at La Jolla Shores.

I'd heard from a few friends about, "a French guy that rips", that French guy turned out to be a really cool stand up paddler named Yan. Yan's got a sweet forehand, paddle-to-the-inside cutback- he winds it up going down the line and then cranks it over hard on the shoulder in a smooth yet powerful turn. It's a trademark turn and it's a hard one to miss.



Yan's got cool boards too
- small SUBs with stepped rails at the tail and straps for busting airs. Definitely not your run of the mill quiver. Check it out:


Find more videos like this on Stand Up Paddle Surfing

Friday, April 17, 2009

The BEST I've seen: Atilla/Paddle Surf Hawaii Video Clip

I ran across this YouTube video on The Stand Up Zone. I was stoked. This is the kind of stand up surfing video that I've wanted to see: clean, smooth ripping... no gimmick turns, no flapping- just flowing and carving. The surfer, Atilla, is on a 9'3" Paddlesurf Hawaii ripper series stand up board- the guy is just killing it. Check it out:



I dig this guy's surfing. First of all, he makes average surf look good and his surfing makes you want to see what's going to happen next. In this little clip, Atilla gives us a primer on good, solid, stylish stand up surfing. And there are lessons to be learned. Here's a few we could all benefit from:

1. Variety: Repeating the same paddle-plant-snap turn get's old when you just do it over and over as you go down the line. It's boring. Here, as Atilla works the wave, he pulls every turn out of the bag: paddle to the inside, paddle to the outside, no paddle cutbacks, snaps, carves and controlled slides. His surfing is expressive not formulaic. Each session, force yourself to work on different types of turns- mix it up and you'll be tearing it up.

2. A quiet paddle is a good paddle. There are flat spots in waves that may call for a little paddle assist to power you through- Atilla even paddles his way through a couple dead zones. But what he doesn't do is repetitively shovel water through the entire wave. Notice that when a juicy little section pops up, his paddle stops moving? Atilla lets board, fin and body motion make speed on the wave- this is called surfing and watching a good surfer work the face of the wave, finding the speed line and flowing with it is mesmerizing. Don't distract from the act let the section develop and smooth your way through it.

3. Patience is a ripper's virtue. Watch Atilla as he sets a rail on a cutback (particularly the no-paddle-assist turns). You'll see that he waits for the board to carve completely around until he's wrapped it all the way into the whitewash. The ability to wait for a turn and follow it all the way through to completion makes his surfing look extraordinary. How many times have you seen turns aborted halfway or even a quarter of the way through? There is no faster way to develop a herky-jerky style than to chop your turns short. Waiting on the wrap will feel wrong at first, you'll think you've overextended yourself, but, trust me, no one thing makes the act of surfing look fuller and more robust than a fully committed and completed turn. Those full turns require patience- get some.

4. Less is more. Sometimes Atilla flows through a section without doing anything. Watch him. Up pops a section and with a simple pump off the bottom he'll do more with less and go straight through it! No top turn, no helicopter spin, just a clean line straight through. Taming your inner spaz takes maturity. At times, the act of surfing is just being there and letting it happen around you. You don't have to rip and tear the whole thing- the whole way. Taking it easy now and then builds that character that we call "flow" - the lateral linking and projecting that smooths out your surfing and gives it indescribeable visual appeal. It stems from the conscience decision to just let it happen- as they say... let it go.

Think I've got these elements wired? No way- but I know what I'm going to work on next time I paddle out. Do you?

Stand up paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego! Give us a call (619.213.6622) or email john@paddlesurf.net and we'll get you started. Click here for more information. Do it NOW!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Hot Fin: Future Fins 7'0 Center

I paid a visit to the Stamps board factory last weekend and came home with some goodies. I ordered up a new surfboard (not a stand up- this one's a 6'4" quad fish, a second board for my upcoming mainland Mex trip) and brought home a new center fin. This one was freshly cut, a 7" hand shaped concept fin from Future Fins. It's a smaller version of the 8.5" fin I'd tested earlier. In short, this is a killer fin- but it does take some dialing in since it's a much different fin then anything you're using now. Check it out:



The fin's got a similar template to the big 8.5" fin I'd received earlier. The last fin worked well as a single fin setup in my 10' and over boards. The 8.5 was loose, pivot turned nicely and delivered a nice, drivey, solid feel. It was a good noseriding fin. In the 9'4" Viking, however, it was just too much fin.

I thought that the fin might do better in a smaller board if it was scaled down a notch and in passing, mentioned this to Stamps. Next thing I know there's a little "care package" waiting for me- are you kidding me??? Stoked! You should know that the Futures guys are full on fin specialists- it's all they do- I was amazed at how quickly they could go from idea to prototype. And I was blown away to find the smaller version waiting for a willing test pilot- I was on it!



The first thing I noticed
was the thickness of the fin's leading edge. The thing is actually pretty darn bulbous from the tip to the base. The leading edge reminded me of the nose of a nuclear sub, rounded without any really sharp edges. Stealth fin. Nuke subs are made to slither through the water with maximum efficiency- I could only guess that this was the idea here.



Check out the foil of this fin and you can see how wide the guts are on the thing.



Here's another view with a pencil for scale- beefy!



The thickness carries all the way through to the tip of the fin.



The template of the fin is much different than the typical dolphin fin shape. It has a reduced base to it and is not tapered much towards the tip. To me this one looks like the wing of a plane.

The ride: I've surfed this fin four times now in conditions ranging from clean two foot peelers to four foot chunky beach break dumpers. It's been an interesting ride. At first, I positioned the fin in the same spot as my standard fin. Right of the bat, I was disappointed. The fin made the board feel really stiff. Even worse, the board tracked down the line with no release off the bottom. I was bummed. I surfed it a couple more times and went in ready to switch it out for my regular fin.



As I was backing out the fin screw I started to wonder if all the rake in the template of the fin might allow the fin to work well from a forward position in the box. On a whim, I slid the fin up in the box as far as it would go and tightened the screw back down. In the past, I've favored my fins back in the box (check out the photo above and you can see the pencil marking for my regular fin position, compare that to how far forward I've moved this fin and you can see what a big change this was) preferring a solid, drivey feel to the skitteriness that comes with fins placed too far forward. But I moved it anyway figuring I'd give the thing one last chance.

What a change! Something clicked with the fin in the forward position- it came alive! I remember the first wave I surfed with the fin pushed forward. The little wedge came fast off the edge of the sand bar. As I took off, I thought I was a little too deep to beat the little section setting up in front of me. Serious speed was required. Dropping in, I pumped hard off the bottom of the wave. Driving through the turn, I unweighted hoping that the fin would release, letting me complete the transition from inner to outer rail. My mind knew where I had to fit the board to make the section but it was up to my equipment to get me from point A to point B.

That fin, however, is FAST, and it released off the bottom seamlessly. I was flying down the line. It's hard to describe the feeling when things come together like that- what happens is your equipment begins to feel like a part of your body. You think it and it happens. That's the feeling you get when you start to dial in your gear- it takes work and experimentation but it's worth putting in the time to get it right.



I'm stoked on Future's latest offering, these guys are risk takers and innovators. Here's a fin that looks the total opposite of most fins you see in the surf shop display case, it's bulbous leading edge is weird... but it works. If you've got a board in the sub-10' range and you're looking for some extra speed and looseness, try this one out in the 7" size. Take my advice and start this one forward in the box, work it back until you find your sweet spot. It'll take some time but believe me when you hit that magic groove, it'll be worth all the fiddling around!

Oh yeah, and I'm not giving this one back- this fin is SICK!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I don't know why they call him Pinky...

But I know that every time I see him out on his Isle SUP quad- he's throwing bigger lippers and longer floaters... plus he's the only guy I've seen on our beach legitimately stuff himself into a barrel on a stand up board. But I still don't know the origin of his handle...



Shwack
... Pinky-style! Photo: Jeff Wallis



Plenty of speed with that big quad. Photo: Jeff Wallis

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shaping Video Part II: Stamps glasses up the Quantum Quad fish

Let's finish this thing out. Stamps glasses it up with UV resin, a sick little quad fish coming to a beach near you!




Why did I pick one of these up?
They're just damn fun! And when you get one made custom the board can be built to your specs. For example, my Quantum Quad's going to be significantly wider and thicker- can't wait to see how it goes! Interestingly, after not lay down surfing for three years (well I did LDS once or twice in Cabo) I hopped right back onto that 6'4" like it was nothing. Cool!


Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shaping Video: Tim Stamps shapes out a Quantum Quad Fish

Sacrilege! I hopped on a 6'4" fish this last good swell and caught the first wave I paddle for- surfed it all the way to the beach and decided I needed to get one of those things. So I did. Ordered it a couple of days ago- STOKED. Here's a cool little clip of Stamps shaping one up (FYI this is the same shape I'm getting just scaled up a bit):



Check back for Part II- Glassing it up!


Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Surf Shots: Sweet Monday peelers!

Here's a couple more from that last killer south swell.



New move... eyes closed barrel dodging! Photo: J.Wallis



What a killer day that was! Left handers peeling down the beach like it was a pointbreak... whooo, warm up for mainland Mex in June! Photo: J.Wallis

Learn how to stand up paddle surf
here in sunny San Diego! Click here for more information about our award winning stand up paddle lessons. SUP lessons are for everyone so get on out here and give it a shot! Call John at 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net

Here's a paddlesurf.net birthday wish from Matt Miller: "Happy Birthday Melissa Miller! Your husband is so awesome and got you guys stand up paddle lessons for your birthday. Get ready to paddle!"

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Photo Feature: More shots from the South

It wasn't the biggest surf but the shape was really nice. And it was Monday so crowds weren't a factor. Here's a few more shots (get ready the next few days are going to feature photos from this killer little swell).



How's that little barrel section right behind me? Honestly, I don't even remember this wave- there were so many just like this one. I hope I didn't blow it though! Photo: JWall



Pinky was out
on his Isle quad fin catching bombs, hitting the lip and floating big sections- homey's killing it on that board. Here he is connecting a nice little section with speed and flow. Photo: JWall

Paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego! Give me a call 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net come learn the Ashley-method of stand up paddling. Want more information? Click here!

Here's a paddlesurf.net birthday wish from Matt Miller: "Happy Birthday Melissa Miller! Your husband is so awesome and got you guys stand up paddle lessons for your birthday. Get ready to paddle!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

More Surf Photos!

I warned you! We've got photo archives that are bursting at the seams- and we'll be posting up the best. If you're more into paddling through tide pools better tune out for the next few days!

First, a paddlesurf.net birthday wish from Matt Miller: "Happy Birthday Melissa Miller! Your husband is so awesome and got you guys stand up paddle lessons for your birthday. Get ready to paddle!"




We even got the Go Pro in on the fun. Check out the cool whitewater "tail" following me around the shoulder on this cutback- wrap that sucker!



Spork got out and snagged a few. Here's the man behind the fork-nose myth streaking on a right- go Spork! Photo: JWall



The light offshores
held up the faces and set up some fast little zipper sections. Not much to do in those situations except tuck and run. Photo: JWall

Paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego! Give me a call 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net come learn the Ashley-method of stand up paddling. Want more information? Click here!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I'm not a big Jimmy Buffet fan but...(stand up paddle related- believe me)!

I'm starting to admire the guy more and more. Not necessarily for his music (Margaritaville is cool the others are too kitschy/cheesy for me- and I think the Crater Boys versions of Changes in Latitude is way better than the original) but for the guys toys. This dude has got it figured out.

We're talking 4x4 powered, custom built Sportmobile vans that run on vegetable oil, amphibious planes, a couple of Stewart Longboards and.... a quiver of stand up boards and a rack of Kialoa blades. Yes sir, it seems that Mr. Buffet has learned about the joys of the stand up board. Radical- this guy rules... I'd surf with him any day!

Click here and check out what he's got going on.



Did I mention that the surf was good these last few days? Spork applying the paddle in a nice, fast little section- Spork-style. Photo: JWall

Stand up paddle surf lessons
in sunny, San Diego- get 'em while they're hot! Or get 'em when it's hot! The water's warming up and the time is right for you to get off your butt and come join us on the water. Stand up paddle is for all people, of all shapes, sizes and IQs. Mensa members even like to give it a shot! Click here for more information. Email me: john@paddlesurf.net or give me a call 619.213.6622 to set up a lesson!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

All time: South swell rolls through town, surf FIRES!

Three days of really fun surf with the second day being labelled as "all time" by Spiderman. I believe him- it was really, really fun:



Jeff Wallis (a.k.a JWall) was rattling off six frames a second with his new Canon 50D body and gave me what he calls "teasers" on a thumb drive...dude you're killing me. Here's Spiderman at the tail end of a pier to hotel run on the day that made our beach look like a left point break.



There were rights occasionally firing off into the hole- if you could run 'em down you scored. Photo: JWall



Are you effing kidding me!!!
Yep, this is what it was doing from sun up 'til noon and this wasn't even the best peak on the beach. Photo: JWall

Paddle surf lessons in sunny San Diego! Give me a call 619.213.6622 or email john@paddlesurf.net come learn the Ashley-method of stand up paddling. Want more information? Click here!