Saturday, July 31, 2010

When all else fails... show the dog.

The water is 58 degrees. No joke. In August for goodness sake... are you kidding me? The surf is super small (although high tide showed some promise yesterday) and it's depressingly gray. Here's a ray of hope in my life:

Lilly says, "Coastal eddies suck." I agree.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A couple more photos of Pollard's two man outrigger canoe...

Wow- been getting a few emails about how cool this thing is- I agree, it's pretty unbelievable. Here's a couple more shots:

Photo: Strip-plank method... lots of work but looking so good!

Photo: I seem to remember that Mike told me the stain he mixed here was "proprietary" which means- "fugget-a-bout it".

Photo: Ever build rafts when you were a little kid? If so, then you can understand why this needed to be done.

Photo: Mike- send us some commentary... give us your take-away words of wisdom about projects like this. And most of all- let us know how she paddles.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I thought my boat was cool 'til I saw this.... UNREAL

My friend Mike Pollard moved to the Big Island a couple years ago, he took a staff position at the big observatory over there- a "dream job" from what I've heard. Not only has he been messing with giant optics (he's a physicist) he's been messing around in his workshop. Here's what he put together:

Mike built an absolutely beautiful two man canoe. I assembled my boat (it came as a kit- I just sanded things to fit and epoxied it together), Mike BUILT his from scratch- huge difference!

Here's the man himself attaching another of the many strips of wood that make up the hull of the canoe. This method is called "strip plank". Mike's also one of the first stand up paddlers that I met when he lived here in San Diego.  We scored chest high Black's beach way back in '07, that was a great day of surfing- little mini-barrels pitching over the tails of our stand-o boards.

Here's the hull with the it's planking completed. Check back for more photos and I'll try to get Mike to pitch us a few words about his build, stand up paddling on the Big Island and life in general...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Surf711's Video: The Best from our last South

Yeah- local shortboard surfers knocking the teeth out of this last south swell. Surf 711 is a local surfer/filmer/editor, I've seen a couple of his clips from down south... and way, way down south, he always does a great job. Check out his stuff here. Hey, I even manage to grab a little closeout wave in this one. I remember that day- tons of current sweeping from south to north with a rip bouncing out right next to the pier. The result? Some serious cross chop wandering north and south right across the peak. Gnarly. I had a six foot oar and good barely stay in the zone- these guys surfing shortboards were working their butts off- and still killing it. Hats off to the real shredders in town- check these guys out.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Nostalgia: Vids from a couple years ago...

Remember when the Go-Pro was the hot new thing? How about the Paddle Cam point of view? Here's a clip I made a couple years ago- still digging the Untouchables, "What's Gone Wrong"!

I think this was my second or third trip down to mainland Mex. Killer crew and a bunch of us on stand-o's. Send me back:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Old School: 2007

How funny is this? Check out my first custom stand up... the Mahi wayyyy back in 2007.

I remember that board and am stoked that my brother has it up in Santa Cruz were it's been pulled out and ridden... like boards were meant to be (I'm not into wall hangers). Stamps made that one for me at the crazy, short length of.... (gasp)... 10'!!!! And we both remember me saying, "I don't really see myself going under 10'" Glad I don't have to eat my words- I'd be stuffed.

These were great times for me. I'd just started surfing stand-o in April of that year and when this picture was snapped had just finished a two week drive to Cabo San Lucas with my first board- a Chinese made Big Red by Sean Ordonez. That was an awesome trip- the stand up barb was set on that Baja road.

Fun times!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A little sunshine... a little ray of hope.

This has got to be the grayest summer of my life! Luckily, we got a break around 3pm today and the sun popped out. It's amazing the change a little sunshine can bring to your day- everything just gets a little better. Here's an example- a quick little surf-check bike ride turned into a nice little afternoon surf talk cocktail hour, the result of an impromptu invite from a friend out working on the yard. There's nothing like sipping a Cuba Libre in the middle of a summer day- that's the taste of classic California. The wind even backed down and the surf got really fun- and the water seemed a lot more comfortable. I trunked it. I even snagged some real screamers. I'm telling you, a little bit of sunlight goes a long way. Let it shine, shine, shine!

A sweet ending to a sweet day.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My little southern friend comes to town....

Wow... some good ones rolling into town this morning and evening. I was able to poach a couple right around lunchtime... not easy to surf. The angle of this south swell was pushing water up the beach like a sideshore river. Tough conditions but there were a some bombs coming through and every now and then you got lucky. Check it out:

 Photo: Cranking

Photo: Modern day surf report: your friend on the beach with an iphone... that's progress, right? 

Photo: Kiwi, lining up on a thick one.

Photo: In and early. 

Photo: Hell of a place to start duckdiving!

Photo: Did somebody just get run over?

Photo: Here's another one... how fun does that look?

Finished it! Well, almost... (let the sanding and painting begin)

Started back to work yesterday- yes, my summer is over! But... I did get the boat into the water, took her for her first spin... got it done! Yes! Check her out:

I got the seats and thwarts fiberglassed in, glued on the oar lock mounts, drilled them through to accept the oar hardware and before I knew it- it was time to get her into the water.

Here's another shot of her. What you can't see is the huge amount of finish sanding that will need to be done to get the outside of the hull ready for UV stabilized varnish (to protect the epoxy from degrading in the sun) and an equal amount of work to be done to the inside to prepare it for paint (light cream). Also, you can see the blue painter's tape I placed to help me figure out where on the oars I'll be stitching on the leather sleeves that protect and center the oars in the locks.

I did get her out on the water though... and it was everything I imagined it would be! This thing is a sweet boat- and an attention grabber. More to come...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting closer...

I'm back, I'm exhausted... I'm almost ready to drop this thing in the water. Here she is getting all set up with rubrail, spacer block and inwale. Together these parts equal the gunwale...

Photo: Close up view... almost there... almost time to drop her in the water.

Friday, July 16, 2010

2 Things to Check: Best SoCal surf report and Manny's Indo report

If your little internet footpaths are feeling kind of monotonous lately, and you're looking for a couple of extra pitstops on your daily journey, here are two worth spending some time at:

Manny Vargas is currently in Indonesia and he's beaming down his own special brand of surf report. I really love this type of blogging- it's real, authentic, maybe even... organic. I don't know but I dig the downhome style reportage- it tells way more of a story than any slick travel brochure. Check it out here.

Want the best, FREE, southern California surf report? Then you've got to check out the SoCal surfreport... check it here:

The guy is funny, knowledgeable and pretty damn accurate. And, best of all, it's free- unless you've got a heart and value good data... then you should hit his PayPal donate button and send him a ducat or two.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Craig 9'6 channel bottom... sweet board!

Last week I was stoked to ride one of Dave Craig's new channel bottom stand up boards- and this one was even in my dimensions: 9'6" x 29 x 4 1/8. Check it out:

Straight up, the thing kind of blew my mind. It's always the first couple turns that tell you if a board works or not. For me, if the thing zings off the bottom without a warble or sketch- if it comes alive through the curve of that turn, I start to feel pretty good about it. The channel bottom definitely passed that litmus test. On my first wave I zipped off the bottom and went straight into the lip, popped off that top turn and drove it right back down the line... this thing felt GOOD!

The board was stable, fast and has a really flicky, light feeling to it. The guys (Hawaiian Chris was riding this one) were running pretty small fins in the side boxes and had the center fin farther up then I'm used to- which definitely helps loosen things up but I have to say there's more going on here than just fin choice. Check out the channel in this thing:

Dave says the channel helps with initial acceleration and provides lift in the tail. I like the little bumps the channel provides to the outline. I'm a big fan of breaking up as stand up board's outline, it really helps loosen things up. I'd love to get this board onto a big, open faced wave and really get a feeling for how she runs through bigger more powerful arcs. I have a hunch it'd go well- it certainly did the day I surfed it. Thanks Dave!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Listen Up! Stand Up Journal Behind the Scenes... LIVE!

Here's something new and cool happening... a behind-the-scenes discussion of The Stand Up Journal's Fall issue with Clay Feeter, Steve Sjuggerrud and Glen Dubbock on "The SUP Radio Talkshow". Here's why Clay's so fired up about it:

This is UNIQUE cause listeners ALSO get to See while hearing how this biggest ish yet (148 pages!) all came together...

Here's the l link viewers/listeners will see while we talk about the World Tour, Slater, Laird (and what it was like spending the day interviewing him): 

Sounds fun to me... it's running this Thursday, July 15th, 9am. Check it out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Capt. Ron's Post: Standup paddle surfing injuries

Editor's Note: Periodically, my surf buddy Capt. Ron chimes in from the Florida Coast... all I can say about the topic of this post is OUCH! But, then again, if you're going to rip, you've got to take some chances- Thanks for the killer piece Capt.!

Here I sit healing up again and decided to write a little excerpt about my adventures or should I say misadventures while SUP surfing.

Lets start from now and go back to the beginning. About 12 days ago I partially tore my achilles tendon and fractured my heal on my rear foot and let me tell you it freaking hurts. I am getting to old to spend to much time healing up from the stupidest of things. It did not happen riding a barrel or giant floater or doing a air even though I land alot now a days and get some ankle shocks. This was a result of trimming down a thigh/waist high section I was a little forward on the board and the section broke as I was scooting by and came down on the edge of my rail. The result was a hard shocking push of my board, as if a car ran straight into the rail, it did not knock me off I kept going but said to myself man that felt like it broke both my ankles. Well I was half right anyway. SO here I sit healing myself once more but do not need surgery than goodness and am in good spirits and feeling about 70% better than just 4 days ago.

Here is a good one that happened about 3 weeks or so ago. I realy do not need to tell anyone how bad it hurts to get hit by a SUP or the paddle for that matter. Well I was playing with some chest high closeouts and I realy like to do a layback snap at the closeout part rather than a floater. Well I get speed go up and half way through my turn in the lip I break the fins lose. No big deal I do that on purpose alot. Well the lip hit and grabbed my tail as I was laid back planning off my paddle
and pushed the rail with great force into my left outter thigh 3 hard times. Yeah I could not walk for 20 minutes and cussed even longer then that. I ended up with 3 baseball sized knots on my leg for a week.

This past winter it was a decent day here it was these chest to head perfect a frame barrels and I was getting some and ofcourse getting a little cocky about it. I started airing out the back of some of the waves that started to close out on the inside. Well about 7th wave or so I aired out of a beautiful one pretty high to 5ft or so under the board and as I did I was in perfect position to land it, then a gust of wind hit the board causing it to teeter on my front foot, back foot was free of the board I came down on my front foot landing hard with my back foot hitting the edge of the rail. IT compressed me so much on my front foot that my hip bone actually came up and broke my lower 2 ribs on my left side. That sucked it knocked the wind out of me and I saw stars and spots for a while and my day of surfing perfect A frames was over. DOH!

Back when I got my 1st SUP I was riding a 11'6" Laird beast. I got to where I was doing some decent oldstyle turns and cut backs on the thing. Well I was surfing bare foot and on several occasions I have broke the Metatarple and sezmoid bones in my back foot just from turning that beast. When you turn hard enough that you hear something in your body go "SNAP" maybe you should slow down a bit. Yeah right! I now wear split toe reef shoes with support/cusion inserts in them ever since and no more foot problems.

Then there is alot of stupid things like turning my head around while taking a hard paddle stroke to look behind me and throwing my back out so bad it knocked teh wind out of me.
The funnest one was the first paddle I ever broke. I was power stoking for a wave and my handle broke just below my lower hand and I did a complete front flip and body slammed myself on the deck of my board. Yeah there was some serious cussing going on that time too.
Ever while paddling out through teh waves go over a pitching wave without dropping back to surfer stance and have your board hit you in the forehead? I have.
Why do I always have to learn everything the hard way? Ever whack your shin or foot with your paddle blade?
Ever dislocate your shoulder from keeping a hold on your SUP in some nasty conditions so it won't hit the crowd in front of you. Yep I learned that lesson the hard way to.
My wife says I am kind of different I have always strived to be the best at whatever I do even if it kills me or just mames me a little.
Peace and be safe everyone,
Capt Ron

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bonus Day! Check out our little day of surf...

This ended up being a really fun day of surf! Check it out:

Cool things:

1. The water temp started off in the low 60's and in two hours warmed up into the mid-60's... weird and cool.

2. How's that big yellow noserider? That's my new Stamps 10'6" Dog Patch Dominator model with the Ninja Bump tail... sooo fun! Learn more about this quiver builder this week... check back!

3. I finally got a chance to ride one of David Craig's channel bottom small stand up boards... and THEY'RE HOT BOARDS!!! Check out the white 9'6 I'm on... stable and surfy- great boards!

Got to hang out with Hawaiian Chris- one of the nicest people around and skilled on all types of surfcraft- ripping!

5. All kinds of local stand up paddlers out today- lots of fun!

Bonus Day!!!

World of Clamps and a Couple of Ventura County Stand-O shots.

Time to get the gunwales on this thing. Enter the "World of Clamps":

The gunwales (pronounced: gun-nuls... we went over this whole pronunciation thing already, didn't we?) are the rails along the top edge of the boat. The wineglass wherry has really cool gunwales made up of a outer rub rail, block spacers and an inwale- the whole combination looks sweet. I'm hoping I can pull it off. Here, I'm gluing together the long pieces of mahogany with epoxy and scarf joints. Check out the glued piece above the clamps, you can see the diagonal scarf joints.

There's tons of bending, flexing and clamping that get the rub rail to follow the lines of the boat's shear (the top edge of one side of the boat). Check out the "World of Clamps". Supposedly, I was to do both sides at once- unfortunately, I don't have a hundred dollars in 3" clamps, so I could only do one side at a time. Darn.

Here you can see the temporary frames that I've put back into the boat to help give it shape as you torque on the rub rail to get it onto the shear. And.... The World of Clamps... again. Kind of cool, huh?

I did take a break about a week ago to go do a paddle trip up in Ventura/Santa Barbara. Here's C.J. with his super small Naish stand-o. That board looks just like a surfboard and it'd be way too tippy for me- C.J., on the other hand, rips the thing all over the place up there.

The surf was pretty small and gutless but every now and then a little pocket would pop up- here's C.J. making the most of it.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A series of small steps: June Gloom in July = Perfect Boat Building Weather

Since Seattle has come to San Diego (it's been gray for the last six weeks) and Seattle is known for it's wooden boat building communities, I thought I'd just keep knocking away at the this project.

I have to address a couple things right now- yes, I do have a good amount of time on my hands. And, no- you don't work on the thing all day long. I've learned that building a boat (in the stitch-and-glue method I'm using) is a series of small steps. You sand something, fit it, mix up a batch of epoxy and clamp it down. Next, you go get in a surf or mow the lawn, walk the dog or eat a sandwich. If the epoxy has gone off nicely you bust out the sander, fair something and then, if it's not to cold or dark, you can set up the next epoxy glue-up. It's not a marathon session of all day, hard core, boat building... just a series of small steps. Here's a couple more of those steps for you to check out:

Today's the day to fit the permanent breasthook. The breasthook give the bow structural support and the grain of the breasthook run from one side of the boat to the other (gunwale to gunwale). Here, I'm sanding the pointed end a bit round to fit into the fillet of the bow.

Here it is, looking pretty good.

I couldn't get the breasthook to fit perfectly into the bow- so I filled the gap with epoxy thickened with wood flour. Here it is setting up.

A couple hours later (mowed the lawn and grabbed a quick paddle) and I've sanded it down- it looks okay, doesn't it?

Painted out with a nice saturation coat of clear epoxy- the grain pops out and everything looks sweet. Except for the stray hair of the ultra cheap brush I bought at Home Depot... you get what you pay for.

Daydreaming about the sun...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Wave of the day: Manny Vargas Barrel...

Here's a killer little sequence of Pro Bodyboarder Manny Vargas getting a sweet little barrel a couple of mornings ago. It's kind of funny how this worked out.  I was just walking the beach with my camera hoping to get a couple of stand-o shots when I saw this peak rolling through- instinctively, not knowing who was on the wave, I just held down the button.

My camera does a lot of things well- firing quickly in sequence is not one of them. I think this camera fires a shot every 1.2 seconds and each time a shot is taken the view finder goes black- it's a tough one to use for sequential shots. After looking at the photos I realized who it was- stoked to know it was my buddy Manny:

Photo: Notice how wide you have to scratch to get into the right spot on these south swell sweepers- the wave tends to run down the line much faster than you think it will.

Photo: This a couple frames after the take off- it was a long wave and up to this point Manny was basically bobbing and weaving through sections. After the wave Manny told me that, "it didn't look like it was going to open up like it did".

Photo: The inside section here usually squares up to the beach and closes out but on this one there was just enough angle and the bottom shallow enough for it to open up into a nice little running tube.

Photo: It's so killer how that little mushy left slide just feels the bottom and opens up- Manny's in the perfect spot. How's that little "chandelier" falling right in front of him?

Photo: Just behind the curtain...

Photo: Travelling....

Photo: Travelling...

Photo: And, bam! Manny throws an el rollo as he comes out (so he comes out of the tube riding the lip upside down...!).

Photo: He actually bottom turns out of this little section and keeps working the wave ending it with another air maneuver. Stoked for Manny on this one. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Northern Baja Stand Up Paddle Trips: Check out the video!

Manny Vargas has put together a little teaser video for the Northern Baja Stand Up Trips that he's hosting this summer and fall- check it out at his site:

For more trip and contact information contact Manny at his website: MannyVinthewater.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wineglass Wherry Update or What's Up With The Boat?

"Hey dude, what's up with the boat?" Who would've guessed I'd receive that question (in slightly different form) five times in one day? Three different emails came in yesterday- each wanting to know about what happened to the dory build and twice on the beach I was propositioned- "Dude, are you still working on it?". People want to know... forget the fact that there's a fun south running and that I've got at least thirty more surf shots to post. It's all about "the boat". So here's an update:

Right off the bat, I've got to say- I'm learning a lot. Here's an example, check out the reinforcing cloth I had to lay down into the transom seam. Notice there are no wrinkles even though that cloth is snaking down into the bottom of the boat, bending in at least three different ways? I learned a little trick about working with cloth and tricky angles- cut the cloth "on the bias". What you do is cut the strip so that the fibers are running at a forty-five degree angle from top to bottom. Imagine taking a bed sheet, and cutting a narrow strip out of the middle from two opposite corners- that's cutting the cloth on the bias. You end up with two large pieces of triangular waste but the strip you've cut, with its angled fibers, will bend and twist over all kinds of complex, multi-angled curves... without a wrinkle- amazing!

Check out the close up... no wrinkles- lots of bends.

Adam dropped by, sampled a beer and helped me paint in the second fill coat on the inside of the boat. He also introduced me to some nice tunes... Gotan Project... check it.

Some surf, some paddle surf... it's all fun: Check out the photos.

Here's my friend Coconut jamming on his 5'0 micro-biscuit. Coco shaped this one himself- this thing is fast and it really suits Coco's style. Flowing brah! 

Photo: Coconut's a great guy to surf with... always laughing, stoked and ready to share waves. Go, Coco! Credit: Pilgy

Photo: Wrap 'em! Credit: Pilgy

Photo: Looks so fun! Credit: Pilgy

 Photo: Big Chad blazing off the bottom. Credit: Kylie K.