Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Thrillride in December

There's nothing like ending the year out riding waves when the sun is shining and it's not too cold. We had days of decent waves in the middle of the week, and I was fortunate enough to get friends to go with me while I spent more time testing out the Brusurf JS Pro 8' 11" paddlesurf board. I actually paddled this board around a local lake recently, but the money you spend on this board is to get more thrills out of surfing in the ocean. At this size, it is smaller than most of the surfboards I have ridden in the last 20 years, although somewhat wider and thicker. One day, I did try surfing the board, prone paddling and all. It worked, but it was pretty strange to try to straddle a 31" wide board while waiting for waves. It works much better as a paddlesurfer and this last trip I began to truly appreciate what it can do much better than larger boards. It turns much sharper than even a longboard surfboard and is much faster.
It actually solves a question I had long ago: could there be a board that could enable me to catch any wave I wanted without losing that great feeling you get from a shortboard? Yes, this board does all that. It's light and easy to transport, can support up to 5 fins and looks great. It's much easier to get out through the inside break and easier to hang onto when you get caught inside.

But, as everybody knows, there must be some tradeoff, and this is it: Stability. At 31", you have a lot more tippiness to deal with, and it pretty much removes this board from consideration for a beginner. If there is one major issue for SUP surfers to deal with, it is standing up between waves, especially when it is not glassy calm. With this board, I spent a lot more time falling in the water, although I have yet to see a perfect day without some kind of cross swell or side chop. This slowed me down on positioning for waves, and I also ended up spending more time on my knees to converve energy for surfing. Over all, I rode so many good waves and had such a good time, it would be hard to turn away from this board, but until I master the narrower width, I'm getting that core workout that everyone comes to the sport seeking..

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