Monday, February 27, 2012

Mikey's Board Room - Lighted SUP Project

Going to the Plus One factory is like a kid going to Disneyland. From the rack of expermental boards, customer rides, and the killer shaping machine, these guys have it down. Everything stays in house, from the day the blank arrives to the day it leaves in your ride.

One of the many Plus one Projects, this one here is an experimental Asymm surfboard. These guys are always down to experiment with new technology, reinvent old designs, and really like to push the limit to see where they can go next.

The crew are definately stepping it up this time with their latest out of the box project.

When George told me what the plan was for this board, I knew this was going to be my first Board Room write up. Lights in a SUP? If anyone would be willing to do it, it would be George and Joe. The customer wanted to use this board off his dock in San Diego Bay at night. The lights are capable of 7 hours at full intensity on a single battery charge and will be set up to flash at I believe 3 flashes a second to attract night life. To keep from overheating, the lights are set to turn of when they reach 130 degrees to keep bad things from happening.

That's the light housing, mocked up in scrap divinycell. The lighting system is custom, from the same manufacturer who built the lights for the underwater vehicles that explored the Titanic. The lights are capable of lighting up 15' of water.

Pre-glassing. You can see the three divinycell inserts in the board. Divinycell is the trademark name of PVC foam. PVC foam doesn't soak up water like EPS and is stronger. George and Joe used the divinycell to reinforce the area where the lights are being installed for strength and to keep water from being absorbed into the EPS foam core of the board if damage to the glass around the lights were to occur.

Post glassing, definately a work of art...

You have to be nuts to want to take a router to a board like that...

The light holes drilled out.

The light housings getting mocked up.

Test fitting the light housing.

Glued up and ready for glassing.

First layer of carbon laid up.

The hatch opening that will house all the components.

The hardware: More about this later.

I can't wait to see the end results. Still much more to do with the wiring and reinforcement of the light housings. Keep checking in for more updates and its first ride in the water!

Mike P -

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mikey's Board Room: The Stand Up Experience

Back in 2006 I was living on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kona to be exact, and there wasn’t much surf while I was there. I was cruising around checking the surf at Banyans and that is where I saw stand up paddling for the first time. I introduced myself to the paddler after watching him on a the board for almost an hour and found out that he owned an SUP board company, Hypr Nalu. They were some of the first production boards back then, complete with flashy graphics, shiny paint and what I thought to be some pretty aggressive designs.

Hoping on for the first time was a challenge, it wasn't very wide, under 29” for sure, but I was determined to get the hang of it. I didn’t do much surfing while I was there but I did a ton of distance paddling. If you haven’t been to the islands, the underwater sights are amazing, I was paddling with everything from little brightly colored fish to sea turtles. I fell in love with Stand Up.

When I got back to San Diego 6 months after my first SUP experience, I did my research and found THE SUP guy at the time, Steve Boehne of Infinity Surfboards. Steve had experience building big boards from his days building tandem surf boards and had a great transition into Stand Up in the early years becuase of it. A deal was struck and I came home with a 10’6 Infinity Ku Ku Hoe Nose rider and an Infinity Ottertail paddle. I wish I had pictures of the thing, it was heavy for today’s standards, no handle, constructed bomb proof, and was a tank on the waves, but it was a blast!!! It still lives on at a local lifeguard station as physical training equipment.

Fast forward to 2012, I’ve been on more boards than I can count, seen a ton of different constructions, built boards, been to overseas factories, paddled in amazing places and worked with some great people in the industry. The experiences I’ve had and the contacts I’ve made over the years has turned me on to builders doing great things for the sport of SUP. So I asked John if I could do write ups on all the different boards, designs, and creations I’ve run across over the years, SUP or not, and with his blessing Mikey’s Board Room has been created!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Mikey’s Board Room!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wow- haven't seen this one in a long time...

Interesting to look back at the posts and see what we were riding and how we were surfing two, three even four or five years ago. Check out this video- I think it's "old school" already. But it's still cool:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Works Over: PauHana Paddles (and surfs)!

One of the great things about having this site is getting to meet the site sponsors. Especially, when the guys are surf-crazy, like me. Todd and Royce, the owner/founders of PauHana Surf Supply definitely have their priorities straight when it comes to water time. Here's how it went with these guys: 

Email from me: "Hey guys, I'm going to be in L.A. tomorrow do you think we could meet- maybe go for a surf." 
PauHana: "Yep, we'll bring all the boards and paddles- see you there!"

Wow, that was easy. Pau hana means, "after work" but for these guys- testing their boards and paddles in the surf is all part of it- so "work" includes surfing. Genius.

PauHana: Royce Hanamaikai (Left) and Todd Caranto (Right). We met up at a surf spot close to PauHana headquarters. The surf was small and fairly clean- perfect to try out a bunch of their boards.
One thing I quickly learned about these two guys is that they're always working on improving their product line. I was really blown away by the paddles they're developing with German kayak manufacturer Robson. Check this one out:

These paddles are going to be sweet. They are just as light as carbon without the brittleness of the material or the clunkiness of fiberglass. Todd was wacking the thing on the rocks and basically shoveling gravel with it- laughing the whole time and telling me how the material was some space age impregnated foam. Kayak stuff. I've seen the damage that a race paddle can go through when you're clacking blades with a bunch of stock-class racers right next to you- this may be a solution. The colors were pretty damn cool too. The guys are hoping to bring out this PauHana/Robson paddle this year- I'm hoping I'm in line to test one out.
At PauHana, Todd started designing boards back in 2007 when they were stuck with a couple of one-off stand up designs that basically sucked. After paddling the noodle thin stand ups and falling all over the place it became obvious that the boards could be designed better. The shortcomings of those first boards led to their best selling model, The Big EZ. This thing is giant... and wide. The Big EZ is perfect for learning to stand up paddle, for rentals or for just goofing around on. The board was a hit and was swooped up by Sandals Resorts as their go-to rental board. It's cool that PauHana can legitimately claim that their boards are all over the Caribbean with every Sandals Resort holding at least two or three of these big boys. 
The Big EZ Hawaiian- a great board to have around for when your linebacker cousin shows up from Idaho.
The two boards I enjoyed the most that day were their trainer/racers. The CrossFit and their smaller trainer. The CrossFit would be a great board for a weekend warrior racer who was also doing some coastal cruising or adventure paddling (did I just make up a new paddling niche?). I zipped around on the CrossFit and found it to be very stable and quick, especially coming downwind. The smaller version is more suited to a smaller paddler and would be perfect for somebody who didn't have the room or desire to transport and store a full, stock class race board.

The boys brought out a full quiver of PauHana shapes, the two I enjoyed the most were the CrossFit and the small trainer board in the background. Check out Royce- he's stoked! How sweet is that die-cut deckpad that will be available on all PauHana boards- pretty darn cool looking.
I really got a kick out of all the ideas that the PauHana crew was hatching/scheming. These guys are definitely innovators. I'm sworn to secrecy, so I can't mention all of the projects and products that are going to be brought to market but I can say that for PauHana stand up paddling goes way beyond designing boards and paddles. A big push for the company will be into the realm of river paddling. Their two riders, Nick Troutman and Emily Jackson are dyed in the wool freestyle kayaking super heroes- they are both World Champions! Todd has designed specialized boards for these two to compete on this season- the designs are the reverse of what you'd expect in a surfboard. Kind of hard for me to understand- but hey, if you've got two of the best in the world willing to help you out, you don't turn it down. 

Like I said before, a highlight of this whole internet/blog site deal is getting to meet the living humans behind the keyboards and computers. And when I get a chance to actually surf with people like Todd and Royce and see how passionate they are about our sport, I feel really good about having them as a site sponsor. With guys like this, paddlesurfing is in good hands... now go back to work!