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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Southern Baja: A few more photos... some good ones!

A few more from today (12-30-09):

Photo: My favorite shot from today.... even the dog's checking out that grinder.

Photo: Josh pulling in... charging!

Photo: A few more sequence shots from today- swooping and flying.

Photo: Such a fun wave, wait 'til you see the video clips from this session- some pretty cool stuff that I'm going to cobble together once I get back home.

Photo: Mark W., smacking it!

Southern Baja: Dec. 30th.... Rain!

Thanks everyone for the Happy Birthday wishes. I had a great one- early morning surf followed by a pancake breakfast (banana/pecan... thanks Kathy), nap, surf and finally a killer dinner pollo con mole poblano. Yes.

Photo: Still plenty of swell rolling through down here. Should be fun waves for the rest of the week.

Unbelievably, it poured down here.
And it wasn't just a couple of sprinkles, we're talking an hour of deluge. Enough to stick on the ground, form huge puddles and muddy up the whole scene. And, consider, this is a thirsty desert, so for it to remain as surface water there had to be quite a bit of it falling. Weird, and cool. Here's some extra photos from yesterday:

Baja strange: I don't know, think there might be something wrong with the frame?

I convinced Matt Wilson to paddle my board out at the height of the swell- he snagged some big ones... I'm trying to get some clips together to make a vid once I get home. Guess who gets to sit on the beach and snap 'em?

Baja Strange Part II: I don't have words for this one.

Those are my friends on the beach and that's a roping right hander. Wow.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I came screaming out of the tube....

...41 years ago today! Here's some more photos for you:

Photo: Hauling ass...

Photo: Blowing right past the guy duck diving...

Photo: Gus, probably thinking, "Dude, either toss me a bone or paddle out..."

Photo: End to another killer day...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bigger Surf... Tom English?

I just found out that most people bypass what I write and go right to the photos. So, I'm going to save the screen space and keep the words brief- plus I'm really tired. Surf's been soooo good:

Photo: For starters, it was much bigger today...

Photo: Big waves bring out the big glass... bummed yet Wallis?

Photo: This guy shows up out of nowhere, small Ron House board, familiar deck... could it be?

Photo: Tom English??? Homey snagged a fat one and laid down this turn.

Photo: Stucki was out killing it... came flying out of this barrel... always flowing.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Southern Baja: Fun surf continues...

Broken record: another super fun day in the water.

6:00 am: Roll up to the beach, actually, put the truck into 4 Hi and roll onto the beach. Sip my coffee and check it out.

6:30 am: Wiggle into wet trunks, throw on the rashy, time the sets (it's a foot or two overhead today... building) and make my move through the shorebreak.

6:45 am: Bypass the, in your face, right in front of the truck, firing, cobalt blue wall that's winding down the beach. A big fast righthander, if you're a regular footed surfer, this might be too much for you to pass up.

7:15 am: Complete the quarter mile paddle up the beach to the hidden from view, firing, left hander up the beach.

7:20 am: Snag this wave, come up off the bottom...

... tap the breaks, drag the paddle, release the sea anchor... whatever it takes to slow this rocket down.

and tuck up as tight as possible. Got a legit little tube today, watched the lip pour in front of me and popped right out of it... stoked!

Repeat 'til 10:00am.

Wonder what's on the agenda for tomorrow?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Southern Baja: It's picking up

Today was the best day of surf so far- and it's getting better. Rumor has it that we should have some substantial surf in the next couple of days, I'm not holding my breath but I'd love to see it get a little bigger.

Photo: Here's Stucki flying down the line on a board he calls, "the molar". This one's only 4'10 with a cut off nose and almost no rocker, when he paddles it it looks like a boogey board- it's amazing how fast he gets that thing going.

Even though it's only been head high, it has been really fun. The water down here is beautifully clear and warm with Humpback whales busting up the water way outside. Stick your head underwater and you can hear them calling to each other. Fact: if the water was this beautiful at home, none of us would ever get anything done.

Photo: Wind it up!

Photo: Early morning set up.

Southern Baja Extra Surf Shot and etc.

Hey, when you get a chance be sure to check out the Photo Annual Issue of the Stand Up Journal- some pretty mind bending photos in there. Here's a link to check out a preview.

Here's a couple more photos from down here. Enjoy:

Another shot from our first day down.
It was pretty damn spectacular. I have run into other stand up paddlers down here. I was surprised to know that first paddler that I talked to. He's a local guy who I met three years ago when I first came down with a stand up board. The gentleman's name is Fleet, he wanted to try out my board and, inevitably, he's now hooked! Flash forward to the present, Fleet's now paddling down here year round. He's on a P.S.H 10'0 -and he's stoked!

The light down here is unreal
, hear that Wallis? Early morning and right before sunset, the golden hour. The place is really beautiful.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Paddle Royale in La Ventana: Register Here!

Don't miss this one! There's none other like it. Called the Paddle Royale, the featured race is a first ever "Crossing". This race is an invite-only 11 mile run from Cerralvo Island to La Ventana. The Crossing will feature a cash prize for the winner. There will also be 1 and 2 mile races featuring both Stock and Unlimited classes that are open to all. The "fun race" will be a stand up paddle relay race. Interested? Click here for registration information.

Here's more information
about the races straight from the Palapas Ventana website:

THE CROSSING – an 11 mile invite invite race for advance paddlers – Pangas take competitors over to Cerralvo Island in the early morning and they paddle downwind back to the La Ventana shores and the cheering crowd. Competitors will ride stock 12’6” and under boards.
CASH prizes (amount TBD based on sponsor participation) and trophies for top men’s and women’s winners

2 MILE and 1 MILE RACES-held close to shore in front of the crowd with divisions for under 12’6” and over 12’6”
CASH prizes (amount TBD based on sponsor participation) and trophies for top men’s and women’s winners

Teams will be made on event day and stock 12’6”and under boards will be used
Prizes for winners

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Just surfing: Ninja Bump Part II

Hey Guys and Gals: If you haven't checked it out yet, the newest issue of the Stand Up Journal is pretty spectacular. Here's how you can get a sneak peek. Click here.

because I promised I'd finish out the sequence before I left for Baja, here's the last frames of the wave I started surfing a few posts back:

Retreat! When the nose starts to plow (check out how close the board is to pearling), it's time to move back on the board. No shuffling- you crossed it forward now cross it back.

In this shot, I'm trimming the board trying to make speed to beat the little section that's shutting down on me. Look how close together my feet are; don't even ask, I have no idea, that's just the way I surf.

That 9'6" has got a lot of speed. Here I'm just letting the board run around this little corner.

And, finally, finish every wave clean. Always make it a point to pull out nicely at the end.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Southern Baja Report I: Yep, we're into some surf!

Made it; battery's dying, Pacifico is getting warm and my chilaquiles are getting cold. I'm just going to throw some photos up with quick captions- full story later. Check out what I surfed this morning:

Enter the southern circus... first, get your documents in order- stay cool, this part of the trip sucks.

We scored a killer place to stay this time- plush deluxe as my better half would say.

Usually, we're in the dirt just trying to keep scorpions out of our huevos rancheros... this is the view from our kitchen. No scorpions here!

Here's what you're waiting for: Yes, it's going off. Check back for more of this because, rumor has it, it's coming...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just surfing: 9'6" Ninja bump and a small clean day

I've been loving the 9'6" Ninja Bump that Stamps sent my way... here's a little break down of a fun surf I had on it last week.

This one's got a nice glide to it. The board is a couple pounds heavier than my usual ride but that doesn't take away from the board's overall performance. In fact, in some situations, the extra heft feels just right. For example, beefier boards allow you to build up a nice head of steam making wave catching a bit easier. Here I am on a small, glassy day powering in early and thinking about what the waves going to do and how I'll handle it...

I like coming off the bottom as hard as I can. Even if it's small, I'll work on getting a little "zing" out of that first turn. A flexy fin helps. The most important part, though, is the timing. You've got to wait for the wave to develop some curve before you hammer down on it. Josh Farberow has this turn perfected. I can still remember watching him slingshot off the bottom of two foot waves on a crappy day at County Line. The guy could develop un-natural speed off that first turn, just body torquing out of it and launching himself down the line. A sweet turn, I can see it clearly in my mind.

I've seen a couple articles about walking the nose. It's a tricky little bit of footwork if you haven't worked on moving your feet on the board. Start by just lifting a foot up and then putting it down as you're surfing along. This will get your mind to start believing that your paws aren't stapled to the deck. A big part of the act is knowing when your board is ready for you to make your move. In this shot, my board's just starting to stall up the face and I've got most of my weight on my forward foot. In order to keep the board in trim, I've got to move forward- here comes the cross step...

I'm a clunky cross stepper. Ever see those shoes that Frankenstein wears? I swear I'm sporting a pair of those monster mashers when I go for my nose walk. What ever it takes, get yourself up there.

Cross-stepping, nose riding and trimming big boards for speed is super fun. Once I was back on a fuller nosed board I remembered what I'd been missing. I'm stoked on the 9'6" it's much more of a high performance longboard shape than a big heavy point and pray 12'er, it's a great all around stand up board.

Check back for the last five frames of this fun little wave!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stand Up Paddling Southern Baja: Outta Here!

On the road to Southern Baja in about 15 minutes... gassed up, loaded up, boards ready to go... STOKED. Three weeks of paddling, wireless internet should allow posts from down south. Stay tuned.

Photo: The ass end as I head south, counting down lift off from my driveway in 5, 4, 3....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Capt. Ron's Report: Sup Boards, Pads, Fin Set ups

Editor's note: Stoked to get another Capt. Ron report! Every time I see what he's shaping out I get stoked to try more boards and in this case, to get a traction bar on the deck of my next one. The guy's got great advice, the kind of stuff that comes from decades in the water... check out what he's got to say- I do!

With every new SUP
I build, test ride I learn more and more. I have always had a open mind about surfing equipment and a desire to try new things, old things weird boards what ever. Well Here is a update on info I have learned through trial and error. Shapes as far as they go I have tried out some 50+ stand ups from as many manufacturers and have come to some conclusions. I would like to share them.

First I like my paddle shaft long 11" over my head. Turns out the 5ft 6inch guys telling me to cut my paddle down to 6" over my head did not take into account that with my arms stretched out finger tip to finger tip is 6' 11". I have freakishly long arms and short paddles are not comfortable to me and really make my tennis elbow and shoulders hurt. I also find 2 paddle blade sizes are a good idea. I use a Powerex (which is a huge blade) and a Werner nitro (which is a narrow blade). When I get fatigued or have sore arms,shoulders and back, the narrow paddle allows for less strain on the joints and sore muscles and makes for a quicker stroke. Feel free to add any info to what I am saying...

Board shapes: Now that I have a couple of years on the SUPs and have my balance down and surf probably better than ever before in my life I find my self getting particular in the designs I enjoy riding the most. I am a surfer and everything I am talking about is geared towards surfing the SUP. I like foil and a thinner rail, my board thicknesses reflect a thin rail and foil as they will be thicker in the center and thin nose to tail and a domed deck. Some like a flat deck and thick rail but here we have wind chop a lot and the thinner noncorky rail handles chop beautifully. As it is not effected by every little bump in the water it cuts it mostly because the float is not on the rail but in the center. Its funny after riding foiled thin railed boards for a while now when I try out someones thick railed board I really notice the cork on the rail wanting to throw me in the water. The surf ability of the thinner rail, foiled progressive shape is far superior than that of a fat plank pop out SUP.
Sups are not big prone surfboards they are SUPs a whole different animal. Where some design concepts do not work well on a prone surfboard they work unreal on a SUP. Guys look at my boards on the beach and say holy cow look at the Vee in the tail and the extra 2" of rocker in the last 10" of the tail. Yep things like this do not work well on a prone surfboard but with the planing width of the SUP they work incredibly well and allow maneuvers never before possible on a large surfboard.

Photo: Some boards...

Fin Set Ups: I have been leaning towards the quad, its working well for me even nose rides well and allows me to do reverses, hard turns and real carves and off the lips and stuff and they drive like a freight train down the line. Although a 2+1 with a 7" cutaway on my all around 10'er works well but does not drive like the quad off the fins I drive it off the rail. I spent some time on my wife's new 9'6" in some good surf this week and although I do not like the thicker rail the boards turns and drives unreal. I found that with the power the paddle gives us on our maneuvers you can ride larger fins in the quad. I use the MR twin fin front with smaller canard rear fins. I have tried smaller fins and they seem to lack drive and are a little squirrely for me. But a smaller person would probably like the smaller quad fins.

Photo: Foil shots, Fin set ups (Top to Bottom 10'er 2+1, 8'6" quad, 9'6" quad)

Deck Pads: Yeah buddy pads make a huge difference in surfing the SUP. I personally like the OAM pad with a arch bar and kick tail. I have added a arch bar to the FCS pad in the center board below and notice I leave a small gap in the forward section of the pad. This allows for a quick site of where the center line of the board is. I am currently working with Xtrak developing my own pad design which will incorporate a arch bar and high kick tail and a arch bar under the front foot as well. I find my rear foot right up against the kick on hard carving turns. It really helps you put more pressure on the board on a turn and keeps control as well as lets you know where you are on the deck. When I feel the arch bar under my foot I know where I am. Flat pads or smooth pads are good for nose rider style boards but for a more aggressive surfing style you will may slip and I have to look down to see where my feet are on the deck.

Photo: (Deck pads Center board FCS pad with added arch bar)

Photo: more deck pads (left board smooth pad nose rider, right board OAM pad with kick and arch bar)

I have tried quite a few pads as well as boards I ride as many as I can to see the difference and this little report is barely scratching the surface of SUP surfing and I hope all you guys and gals add in your comments to what was said here. The sport is growing and progressing beyond just cruising straight down the line. SUPs are going places on waves no big prone board has ever been and made it out of. I am excited to see where we will be in a year or 2.

Peace and good waves to all,

Capt Ron

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stamps 10'4 Viking: Custom paint + G-Lo. finset, $950

This board is basically new- it's been ridden twice and it's going to go for $950 and comes with a nice Future Fins Gerry Lopez thruster set of fins. This is basically a slightly larger version of the board that I ride. The design is called the Viking and if you know how to surf, you can make this board sing.

It's not a beginner's design, this isn't a point-and-shoot kind of deal. You don't lug a Porsche around at a grand and wonder why it's not performing- you gotta have the guts to bury that tach to the right 'til she starts snarling back at you- that's when it comes alive. The same is true for this board- you've got to surf it with balls. The Viking is made to be driven, if you understand the dynamics of flow and what it means to pump for speed (no hopping) then this is your board.

Contact Tim at or

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little Northern Baja score: Thanksgiving Day Stand Up Feast

Here's Dr. John on his 9'0 Stamps Viking scoring empty waves down in northern Baja. The general feeling is you've got to be a nut to surf northern Baja these days. There are a few however who are still making the run... and scoring. The surf, I've been told, is empty.Check out these shots the good doctor sent my way:

John's the only guy out on this day. Not that it would matter anyway, the spot is a system of outer reefs that nobody prone paddles out to- they're too far off shore and there's a bunch of kelp. The report was that it's a perfect set up for stand up paddling... I'll get there someday.

The boys actually rent a house right up the hill from where they surf. It's a big, killer house, full ocean view, hot tub and killer tacos just down the road. It's become a Thanksgiving ritual for them and they keep coming back happy. I'm working on getting more photos from this trip, I'll keep you posted!