Monday, March 29, 2010

SUP Barrel riding and Manuver Tips...

Yeah, I'm a Florida guy. And who am I to say one way or another about riding barrels, right? Well, here in New Smyrna Beach we have the most consistently rideable wave on the east coast. I live here and can tell you, it is an amazing place. If there's a hint of wave on the beach, and by "hint" I mean 1/2 to 1ft and not rideable- our wonderful inlet will amplify it to a chest-high wave with a defined peak and good wall section. Even better, it does that over 280 days a year.

Occasionally, the Inlet gets really good. On those days, we'll see little, thin-lipped, beach break barrels peeling off of fast A-frame peaks. For the last few years, I've been trying (with minimal success) to get my SUP locked into a good barrel. I've been looking for the full cover up. Well, I've finally figured it out and I'm stoked to share some of my "tube tips" with you guys. Hopefully, the local photogs will turn loose some of the pics they have been shooting of me getting barreled. I'd love to have some photographic proof.

Photo: Our inlet looking fun...

Riding the barrel on a SUP is tough. First of all, these boards are really fast and secondly, fitting all this stuff into the tube ain't easy. Has anyone else been "clothes lined" by your paddle while pulling into the barrel? I have had my ass handed to me too many times to count trying to fit board, paddle and my big azz in there.

But we're here to talk tube riding, so here you go: Consider the wave from a regular foot's point of view. You'll be going right or front side to the wave. First, sit inside a bit, take off deep, almost on the left shoulder (behind the peak) of an A-framed wave. Now, as you drop in, do not do a full bottom turn or drop all the way to the bottom of the wave. When you start catching the wave, hook or swing your board to the right and angle in- keeping your board mid face. You want to be on the angled part of the wave. As you get going and are front-side facing the wave, drop the paddle with your back hand (the hand on the paddle shaft). Hold the paddle with only your forward hand (the top, grip hand).

The shaft of the paddle will sit right on your thigh. Use your forward hand to steer the blade, keep it from getting hung in the lip. Then, as you drop in put your free hand in the face of the wave, cup your hand to slow yourself down, pull your hand from the face of the wave to speed up. Dragging your hand also brings your body close to the wave face, try to get your upper body as close as possible to the wall. I get close enough to have my hand and elbow on the wave face and my cheek almost touching the wall. Keep your board up a bit high on the face, if it goes to the bottom the outside rail will get smacked by the lip and you'll be violently ejected.

The technique for riding the tube backside is a little different. We tend to hold the paddle to our front side when we are in surf stance. I am a regular foot and like to hold the paddle with my left hand on the T and right on the shaft. So, I like to catch the wave normally, as I drop in I swing the paddle around me holding the T handle with my left hand and clamping shaft under my left armpit. Control the blade so that it is planing on the wave face behind you. I like to lay my weight onto the paddle like an old school backside layback tube ride.

Use your weight on the paddle and your free hand to slow yourself. You can slow down even more by cupping water with your free hand behind you. You will be amazed at how stable this position is. And there's is no better view when you get it right and are laid back and bracing off your inside rail. A word of caution: Backside barrels usually make you fall onto your board. If you are laying on your paddle you can shoot your board down the line as you fall. One of the most important things to remember is trust the wave and have confidence in your ability to accomplish what you are doing. A little doubt will usually result in the wave kicking your azz and possible injury.

John has a good tip on doing a good front-side paddle turn or Swack! I think he calls it. The shortboarders here have named my turn a SUP wallet gash. I guess it's because when I do one front-side and get it right I actually pivot the board off my right butt cheek. That cheek is dragging in the water. Hence I'm sitting and spinning on my wallet, I guess. I see a lot of people doing this turn but most do not get high enough on the wave face and end up turning mid face. That's fine but in pitching conditions you will find yourself stuffing the nose a bit on re entry. I've figured out how to make this turn work on pitching waves- avoiding the stuffed nose and inevitable trip over the falls.

Photo: Capt Ron getting set up for a tail slide.

Here's how I do it: When I find a thin-lipped, front-side section that needs some smacking, I stick (I should say plant) my paddle up in the lip. To make this turn work, you've got to have a lot of speed of the bottom. Next, I drive my rail right at my paddle watching for the nose to breach the top of the wave. AS I come up I am already starting to do my turn. This is where a lot of people freak out- and this is where the quadfin is at its best.

The quad fin allows you to transition quickly to the outside rail. The quad also allows you to really start cranking down on that rail. As the turn develops, start to pull past your paddle, keep pulling on the paddle as hard as you through the whole arc of the turn. A quad finned board can easily transitioned from a rail turn to a flat fins first slide. It's fun (and radical) to let the nose come all the way around to 180 degrees or more, don't be afraid hold the turn, keeping your weight spaced on the paddle and board. As you come around your paddle will be behind you, use it to push your body up.

If you do it right, your butt will be on the wave face and you will be sliding a sideways down the wave in a controlled cavitation. At this point in the turn, there are two ways to pull it off: You can hold the slide down the face until you are mid-wave and then recover at the wave's base. The second way to finish the turn is my favorite: As you slide, bring your body upright, quickly bring the paddle around next to you, get a bite on the wave with your blade and turn your board straight toward the beach. Now push hard on the paddle and lift the nose by shifting your weight to your back foot while simultaneously lunging forward. If you were stalled enough, the wave actually starts to pitch and you and your board are now in the pitching lip. With luck you'll push yourself free of the wave and air drop right onto the flats. It feels realy cool and it makes the shortboarders jaw's drop...

Next Tip: AIRS, not just for the groms anymore! I have been adding these into my bag of tricks. As I get better, I'm landing them more often than not. More to come.... Hopefully I will soon have some photographic proof of all this stuff. The way I see it, we're just beginning to see what can be done on a stand up board. Given the use of the paddle and the crazy speed these boards are capable of I think we're going to be busting our own SUP-specific moves. Turns and tricks that won't be possible on other equipment.

Capt Ron

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Northern Baja Stand Up Paddle Surfing: It ain't free.

The reef breaks to the north weren't the only game in town. In fact, my favorite wave of the day was right out front:

Photo: The "forbidden left" also known as Bachelor Party left... that's a fun wave!

But before we could sample any of the goodies we had to get to the water. One thing about surfing in Northern Baja is you realize you've got to work for it; it ain't free. The beach launch was pretty serious. To get to the water, you walk barefoot across a series of volcanic rock ledges. It's the kind of sharp rock that you wouldn't dare set your board onto. If you did, you'd have a million little shatters in your fiberglass; it was that sharp. And don't even think about falling, that stuff would eat you right up.

Once you've climbed down the cliffs, you find yourself on a steep cobblestone beach that's only a couple feet above the high tide water line. To make things even more interesting, there's a four foot surge-pound slamming onto the rocks and shooting them into your shins like little basaltic hockey pucks.

This is not the place for hesitation- once you've committed yourself to paddling out, you go! I watched Kelly launch off the beach directly in front of the Dog Rock and just barely sneak under a sucking up wall of water. If he would have been hit by the wave, his board would have been slammed backward into the rocks and broken in half. Seriously, that launch was mean!

Check me out in this photo, I'm outside of the surge-pound getting ready to time the sets to paddle in. Look at the black volcanic rock in the foreground, cheese grater for sure! There was a little bit of size that day, check out the wave we were surfing way up in the background.

Northen Baja Day Trip: Stand Up Paddling Baja Reefs

Northern Baja's got surf. If you've never been there before, let me fill you in. That part of the coast is full of hidden reefs and tucked away point breaks. The coast is being heavily developed, giant hotels and condo slab-complexes are being built right along the cliffs. These beige monsters block from site the waves that are peeling off below them. It's a perfect spot for stand up paddlers- you can paddle into waves that are basically off limits to ninety percent of the guys surfing down there. If you can find a spot to drop the boards in you can surf four or five good waves in a two hour session.

A couple of days ago, Emerald City Surf Shop owner Kelly Kraus started floating the idea of a day trip to a couple of reef breaks north of Rosarito- I was instantly in on the idea. Here's a few shots of our trip:

Photo: Here's how it starts for me: 6:40am, coffee gurgling away, 7-11 big mug and some Von's label powder stuff- I call it surf fuel, stoke fluid... you get the idea.

Photo: Kelly's got a line on a surf-shack wedged onto the volcanic cliffs just to the south of a nice split peak. Here's the Lurk-Van with our boards inside... this is our off-load point. It's good to have the boards inside... we could be plumbers, we could be surfers... who knows?

Photo: A quick peek at what's waiting for us out there. Off in the distance, that's a little left running off along a reef and right dumping over some boils... fun stuff!

Photo: One more shot looking out from the surf-shack we used as our launch point... check out Kelly's sweet, custom 9'2" Rusty stand up board- that's a fun board.

More to come!

In the pocket: Pulling in backhand in Orange County...

Surfing a stand up board on your back hand is tough- most guys can power down the line and crank a few turns facing the wave. The true RIPPERS can do it on their backhand- which is way more difficult, especially on a stand up board. If you get a chance, check out C4's Noland Martin ripping Makaha on his backhand- watch him closely, he's like a primer on hard core shredding. Here in California we're learning as fast as we can- check out O.C's Strand Leper taking a bite out of a sweet little power pocket. Thanks for the shots from Dana Point's lead photog. lurker, Brian McGovern at Thanks Brian!

Photo: Here's Brian's report: "I was out for a walk... saw Tim in the surf and ran back up to my car to get the camera." Photo courtesy of Brian McGovern,

Photo: "I waited about 20 minutes for the sun to peek over the hill and light the waves..." Photo courtesy of Brian McGovern,

Photo: "...the light was just perfect and we got some unreal waves at just the right time". Photo courtesy of Brian McGovern,

I like Tim's style, the cool backhand paddle drag, the quiet upper body and the low center of gravity body positioning in the last photo; torquing to fit the pocket. One of these days we're going to have to see a legit, nose-poking-out-of-the-tube barrel ride, c'mon guys- what are you waiting for?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Killer Offroad Race Footage from BajaBound...

Nothing stand up paddle here... just a killer, home grown style clip of offroad Baja racing. If you want to see what the tough roads really look like check this out... and be sure to check the BajaBound website if you're heading down to Mex.- these guys are the gold standard for Baja insurance.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stand Up Paddle Surfing Offshore Northern Baja

Just got these from Marc Miller at Isle Surfboards- too hot to hold onto for too long. So here you go. By the way, this spot can get HUGE surf... not for the faint of heart:

Photo: Lush, green, glassy and warm... killer conditions at a killer spot.

Photo: Checkin' the boil...

Photo: A little taste of what the spot can serve up.

According to Marc, the photos, "are just teaser shots", supposedly there's more where these came from. Marc charges and surfs the stock Isle standups really well- can't wait to see some wave-riding shots.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

All I need is a little workable wave...

I just did three hours working over a little wedgey left sand bar- the new 9'1 Viking Bump is such a good board- I'm freaking on it!

The morning started off pretty lame. The tide was too low and the surf, while glassy, was pretty closed out. I did the right thing and waited until the tide was reaching mid-height to paddle out. The last few days, there's been this little left running along the edge of a hole up the beach from my usual spot. The wave's basically only been working on the high tide, I was gambling that the water would come up faster than the wind. I was hoping I'd be able to snag a couple waves and get my day going the right way.

Photo: And they say that we're dangerous!

Things started out pretty slow. The peak was looking sloppy and unorganized, I got the feeling that this might be a very short session. I grabbed a starter wave and was surprised when it threw up a little, pumpable, wall. Give me an opportunity and I'm going to take it. I shifted my weight to the outside rail and felt the 9'1 detach it's inside rail from the face and slide down into the little power pocket popping up in front of me. Boom, I uncoiled my bent legs and pumped hard off the bottom. YES... this board can go! Even though the wave was only about waist high, the board instantly powered up, came up out of the short little arcing turn and zipped down the line.

Really powering up a board is a GREAT feeling- it doesn't just happen. You can't expect to lean a board over and feel it come alive out of a turn. Powering up a board happens when you drive through a turn, using the power of your legs to engage the fins and get them flexing and torquing through the move. If you do it right- you'll know it. You'll feel that tuning fork deep in your body hit a sweet note- like hitting a golf ball just right or whacking a baseball right on the sweet spot. This board's like that, it's got a sweet spot and if you get on it at just the right time you'll feel it start to click.

Photo: Something like that...

Things began to click over and over out on that little bank. The waves started to draw up and organize themselves into fast, makeable little zippers. I started to get an eye for the ones that would draw themselves up out of the deep water and morph into little left hand race tracks. I could feel myself getting the board more and more dialed in... I could feel the pressure dings forming on the deck of the board, giving my feet a place to settle into, somewhere to call home. Man, I was feeling good!

Wave after wave would leave me blown away at the performance of the board. I was stoked at the speed I could generate and the arcs I could lay down. On one particular wave I was able to quickly pump twice through a threatening section, throw a floater over a chunk of pitching lip and finish it all with a squared up bottom turn that lead to a nice lip punch. Are you kidding me!

Photo: The Ding Devil's ride...

I knew it was time to come in when I couldn't get the legs to respond anymore- they were just too out of it to execute a proper bottom turn. When that starts happening, it all unravels really quickly; you find yourself falling off for no reason at all and paddling back out through broken waves becomes a long and tedious losing battle. My last wave was a "go-straight", right into shore and home.

I'm sitting here stoked as can be on my new ride and dreaming about what I'm going to do tomorrow if the surf and wind cooperate. Sometimes all it takes is a little, workable wave and a fresh board to open your mind to new possibilities and avenues in your surfing. That's where I'm at right now- just wanting to get some more little fun ones to find out where this board will take me. I'm also thinking about my next "go-straight" that one's going to be me- going straight to a nap.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mariachis y Olas: My "new" surf flick... check it!

Scavenge the hard drive and here you go:

For a better (wider screen version) click here.

And for all of you who were wondering about the music: Mariachi El Bronx the song is Holy. Here's a live clip:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Unreal day of surf... Check the Twitter box for a bonus!

Super fun day of surf today. High pressure, sunny, glassy... and the water wasn't ridiculously cold again. Every time I go through the ice cream headache syndrome, I remember an article I read in Surfer Mag a long time ago. The article had something to do with surfing the frigid waters around Humboldt in Northern California. The part that always comes to mind is a description of an old timer's trick for dealing with the icy water. The guys would tie a wooden dowel to the end of their wetsuit zipper pull. They'd make the string to the dowel just long enough for them to put the wooden stick in their mouth and bite down on it while paddling out. Supposedly this countered the dreaded brain freeze. True or not I have no idea... but gnarly- and memorable.

Photo: The left... fun.

We had none of that today- no dowel bite.
In fact I wore a long sleeve spring suit (O'neill's 2mm Guru... my new favorite suit for stand up). The surf started off super thumpy. The high tide brought better shaped waves and bigger surf... some sets were easily six foot and maybe even a foot or two more on the mackers. I was able to find a nice hole on the southside and scored five or six really good lefts. The rights were too fast for me to make- I did give a couple of them a shot but pretty much just got pounded into the sand.

Photo: The right... fast.

The new board is soooo good!
A whole different beast than the 9'4 I've been riding. Way more twitchy, much less foot pressure to get her to do what you want- and huge amounts of drive off the tail- even though it's been thinned and narrowed (magic fin placement... maybe?). This board is a beach break scalpel- it turns off it's hindquarters and just lets you scoot all over the place. If you're still riding a big, heavy 10' beast and want to zip around give one of these a look- you like the change.

Photo: Just across the street. I'm all about the fourth one down, add guacamole.

The Twitter Box: How's that thing? So I guess I just let you know every fifteen minutes of my life... um, is that interesting? It's semi-therapeutic for me... and I'm strangely fascinated by it...weird. Let's see how long I can keep it up. I've gone to other Twitter accounts to see what people are Tweeting about... I guess I just don't quite get it yet. But I'm trying. Check out the Twitter box for the little bonus video that I posted up... hard drive left overs and some Go-Pro footy that I shot today. Have fun.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Check your mailboxes! AND SUP SURF PIX: WWW.PIXAREUS.COM

Hey Followers- thanks for joining up! I sent a little note to everyone who posted up a photo in the Followers box so check your mail. My little gadget tells me there are twenty nine readers but I'm only seeing twenty or so photo boxes there- if you joined as a "private follower" I wasn't able to send you an email. So until you decide to come out of the shadows (and, hey, if you're Madonna or DeNiro just use an alias, okay?) you won't get a nice little greeting from me- I know you just can't wait for it right?

Next: Brian McGovern from sent me four beautiful photos of Big Tom flying down the line up in Orange County. I consider reader submissions the coolest part of this whole little blog experiment. I enjoy seeing what's going on in your little paddle sphere of influence. Brian's photos stoke me out (yes, I am stoked right now... you saw the video from a couple of days ago, right?) but they also make me a little depressed. I get bummed because I now have a photography yardstick to measure my work against and, ouch, that yardstick is more like a THUMP stick. Brian's work kicks my ass! Enjoy:

Photo: Big Tom, come heavy off that front foot, coiling up and flying... you can see the surf background in his style- the guy definitely knows how to GO!

Photo: So just how big is Big Tom... anybody?

Photo: Check the lip line in this photo... tack sharp.

Photo: Glassy, emerald green, head high surf... gimme some of that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh no you di-int! Yes, I did... for the "Followers"

Okay this one is for the Followers... take a look at the side bar. Do you see yourself in there? Some of you guys and gals went all in and posted up your photos in the "Followers" section. Bravo!

I know what you're thinking. You think that creating this blog is all glitz, glam and hot chicks.... wrong! Most of the time it's one man against the world. And that one man is most often sitting in his boxers, shirtless with a carton of ice cream finger punching the sticky keyboard of a three year old Mac (what, too much information?). I'm telling you, it ain't pretty over here.

Photo: Tough girl!

But the one shining beacon of light I have to keep me going (besides the Ben and Jerry's) is the "Followers" list. It used to be that I'd scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and scan the list- but I've done the unthinkable. I moved you guys all the way to the top, prime real estate baby.

You see, I've come to realize that it's for you guys that I keep doing this stuff- and it's about time you got some credit. Do me a favor, if you're one of the guys who's just a gray faceless figurine, upload a photo of yourself- your screwing up the works. And if you're not a follower, click on the link and become one- my boxer shorts will thank you!

Follow paddlesurfnet on Twitter

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bandwagon Jumped Onto? Check... Twitter Account

Well... if you've really just got to know... check out my Twitter page: paddlesurfnet (that's without the "." folks- just paddlesurfnet on Twitter). I'm going to see what this thing's all about... look for "inspired by the moment" updates (I guess they're called... tweets). What do I know?

Follow paddlesurfnet on Twitter

Photo: Lilly says: "Tweet" or was that, "Give me a TREAT"?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stand Up Journal Exclusive: Gerry Lopez surfs HUGE Oregon Coast

This one was just too hot to hold onto any longer. Read this Gerry Lopez piece and tell me how you feel. Talk about that sinking feeling.... the realization that, well, it's really, VERY, big. I don't know about you but when I see there's a Lopez piece in a surf mag, I go directly for it. The guy writes like he surfs; a clean line from start to finish- no useless embellishment, no head snaps, no claims... I'm a big fan. Check this out:

Clang, clang, clang... here's where I'm at: "...send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee". Thanks to Clay Feeter at Stand Up Journal for sending me this piece from the upcoming Spring Issue (you'll have to wait until March 21st for it to hit bookstores and surf shops, if you subscribe it's on the way today).

Just a note on Feeter: Here's how I find out about this piece. Clay drops an email in my box- homeboy is absolutely frothing, going nuts, "John, get this one out there, it's going to turn everyone's guts". Oooh, I like stuff like that. I'm like a shark- a little scent of excitement and I get whipped into a frenzy too... here's to feeding the stoke! And, oh yeah, I've got a couple of behind the scenes photos of that crew over there coming any day now.

9'8" Ninja Bump Five Boxer... yeowww!

Ouch. Here's that 9'8" that was getting done up at the same time as mine. All finished out now. How fun would this thing be at a full figured wave like the Dog Patch? This one looks stable, paddle worthy and rippeable... don't you just want to surf 'em all?

Photo: My favorite shot: Dog and board! Especially when it's the shop foreman... Cowboy, claiming. SUP dog?

Photo: Go for the bump- you'll like it. Say it with me: Release. Ah, feels good doesn't it?

Photo: Pull the ends thin... a little less boaty but a lot more turny... are turny and boaty even words?

Photo: Dig it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sneak Peek: Spring Stand Up Journal Snaps... Wow!

Dream job... travel the world with a board, paddle, camera and a laptop. Corporate credit card. Sat. phone with internet connectivity (yep, file that story from the Fiesta deck of the S.S. Isurfalot) and one of those big passports- the supersized version with room for lots of stamps. Reality? Probably not, but somebody's doing something close to that... at least that's what it seems like every time I bop on over to the bookstore and take a gander at the Stand Up Journal- that mag is stupid good. Here's a couple sneaky-sneaky preview shots:

Photo: Trow, Galapagos Islands... the story we've all been waiting for. How about this guy? One of the BlueLine/Paddle Surf Hawaii crew up in Santa Barbara... cross over from RIPPING on a kite (the one guy, besides Josh Mulcoy who makes wave-kiting look, well, like surfing... no dangle-spin, monkey-tricks from these guys!) to solo-poaching scary, big, cold, Central Cal. mackers... gnarly stuff from a guy who lets his surfing do the talking. Can't wait to read about what happened to these guys... from what I heard the gnarliest stuff happened out of the water!

Photo: What... bikinis out there too?

Photo: Charging...

Photo: Crazy...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Season of the Leper...

The Strand Leper... gettin' some right out the front door. All photos courtesy of Brian McGovern.

Photo: Such a clean wave and a left... screw foot paradise.

Photo: The Leper and I had a nice chat about this photo. One of the challenges of getting barreled on a stand up board is controlling your speed. These boards are just fast, they're so wide and get in so early that unless you can scrub speed you'll shoot right past a potential barrel. Here, the Leper brings it out onto the flats, pauses a beat and lays it over- hoping for a better position in the hook and for a bit slower entry into the pocket. Nice line, Mr. Leper.

Photo: The waiting game... watching the lip line, hoping the bottom drops out and willing the curtain to fall.

Photo: Cool photo... the Leper, great day, clean wave. Nice job.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

9'1 Vike Bump: First Impressions

A new board deserves a fair shot and sometimes that means that you've got to be patient and wait for a day that will let it shine. Unfortunately, what we've had for the last couple of days has been big, gnarly and blown out, definitely not the type of conditions that you want to paddle a new board into.

Above: Check out this little video clip shot from the driver's seat of my truck the day after I picked up my new board. That's what we've been dealing with down here- nasty stuff.

Photo: Such a sweet figure... Bumps to break up the outline, pivot points... good stuff. Don't know if I'm so stoked about handles though- I'm used to throwing that thing up on my shoulder old school style... jury is still out on handles in surfboards... I'll keep you posted.

I had to wait a few days but I finally got my chance to surf it today. In all, I rode five waves- not enough to completely figure out the board but enough to make an impression on me. The surf was four to six foot with a healthy amount of cross chop on the face. These weren't clean glassy conditions but it was the best I'd seen it in three days and I was dying to get her out and let it rip.

In a word, this one is a flyer. The board's outline produces a very loose, pivoty feel. If you've surfed conventional (prone) short boards you'll feel right at home on the Vike Bump. The board is foiled to produce an insanely light feeling in the nose and tail; just a hint of front foot pressure brings you screaming down into the pit, power off your back foot and you're flying up the face. This is what we were going after with this shape- we wanted a fast, twitchy, beach break machine... my initial feeling is that this one is going to work out really well for that purpose.

I've already spoken about volume- check out how that volume is distributed through the nose- that's why this thing has such a light feel off the nose... and hopefully why I'll be swinging that thing around much more quickly than before....SNAP.

One last observation, the board produces tremendous drive. There's definitely a bit of squirt off the bottom. On one particular wedging left, I dropped in too late, coming way down onto the flats deep behind an already broken section racing off in front of me. Normally, this would've been a write-off wave. Having nothing to loose, and wanting to see what this thing could do, I decided to lay it over and see how far a couple of pumps off the bottom would get me. Wham! Talk about POWER ON- I didn't even need the second cycle of compression and release. The inside fin instantly powered up and I could feel myself skating across the flats riding the foil and flex of that inner fin- and beating the section to continue on down the line. Insanely cool.

Super interested in running this one as a quad- with the way the fins are set up and the little wing off the tail- I think this thing my just come to LIFE with a set of four back there.

As always, I'd rather have the board and it's performance speak for itself- hopefully I'll be surfing fast, beating sections and crushing the lip- in that case, only time (and a bunch more sessions) will tell. My initial gut feeling, however, is that this is going to be a good one. Thanks Stamps!