Photo: Remove and replace your carb? Better have one of these!
Yesterday, I busted open my toolbox and pulled out the perfect board for the day's conditions- my 10'6 Stamps Ninja Bump- a.k.a: The Dog Patch Dominator. The conditions were screaming for a bigger board, lower rocker and a big old fat nose for stepping up to the plate. The river mouth was two to three feet of rolling mushiness featuring pop up speed sections and fat, banked shoulders, the kind of end pieces that just beg for big, drifty cutbacks. Here's a shot of the day's options:
I'm totally convinced that a board like the 10'6 is a "must-have" for any stand up quiver. It's the board that gets you excited when it's barely pushing up onto the sand. Getting back onto a big board has been totally refreshing. In the last two years my boards have decreased from 10' to just over 9'. Pulling outlines out and dropping both length and volume produces a super twitchy, racey little stick but it also decreases the scope and range of your surfing. Basically, I'm out of the game when it's small and gutless; coastal cruising, the good ol' hit and run style of surf poaching just isn't too feasible on a little board.
Photo: Bagby, rolling the Dominator.
This one takes me back to those free-ranging early days of stand up. Today, the Dominator carried me a mile and half to the wave grounds, got me into a dozen waves and surfed like a big old, Cadillac El Dorado. I powered into little outside wedges, pumped across the steep little reform sections and threw down some nice big arcs out on the shoulder. It was kick in the ass surfing- the kind of thing that got me into stand up paddling in the first place. Don't be afraid of getting back onto a big board- it definitely fills a surfing niche and it'll put a huge smile on your face. Especially if it's just the tool that the job is calling for.