And As If By Magic..... Bing!
To paraphrase Dr Seuss:
Thing, thing, what is that thing?
Thing Bing, that thing's a Bing.
Bing ding! I dinged my Bing!!!
So, what happened? I picked up my new Bing Dharma on Friday and within 24 hours I was standing on the rocks at Wooly, with bleeding hands, holding a Bing with a ding (or two).
I had ordered a 6'0 Dharma but after meeting up with the actual physical fibreglass & foam a quick fondle made it clear that the 6'0 was a bigger than I'd expected and, with thanks to Trim, I left with a 5'8. Admittedly also, I had thought it was a 5'10. It becomes clear, as you improve in surfing experience, that measurement numbers become less important as you become better at judging a board's qualities/suitability more intuitively.
Paddling out it felt a bit like my old 5'10 Fish but a little easier to paddle. Wave catching was good because of it's width and wave riding - really fun! Exactly what I'd wanted: like my old fish but with a bit of that Simmonsy feel. The board is nicely foiled with a nice fattening under the belly which helps it into waves and helps it turn. The rails are quite soft except for the last few inches. However, I was thinking so much about the board that I caught an ill advised left and ended up right in the first gully between the rocks at Woolacombe. At first when I came up I wondered what the hell that was next to me. After some desperate grappling, getting myself inbetween the board and the rocks, clinging on as a couple of foamy waves hit I heard that horribly brittle crunch, as fibreglass met sharp barnacle encrusted rock. I managed to clamber up, climb over, jump back into the water on the other side and paddle in.
My head was swimming too. I couldn't believe that the first time I wash up on some rocks was on my new favourite board's maiden voyage. The stream of vocabulary in my head was pretty much like a 'Derek and Clive' sketch I remember. If not worse. That said I must have been only feet from actually surfing straight into the rock and Robert Morgan recently showed me at Combesgate, with crumply-crunching clarity, the terrible effects that can have on a surfboard!
So 'new surfboard day' turned into 'ultimate self-flagellation day'. The Dharma is a lovely surf and the waves had been pretty much perfect to try it on - just a bit breezy perhaps. I'd watched Nick Thorn get covered up for a moment, it wasn't too busy and I'd looked along a few lovely waves so it was nice but... All I can remember now is that horribly glittery black rock realising itself next to me, amongst the turbulent foam and then the devastating confirmation that it was really happening as my legs felt the rock just under the surface. Another reason it happened was that a firm current had moved me about 100 yards from where I thought I was. I'm familiar now with the variations in current along Woolacombe beach but it only takes a little variance in the currents in your brain to forget yourself to devastating effect.
A little scrape with a Stanley knife, some sanding, acetone and then resin. Not too bad. Can't wait until the next surf now.
Just a little aside: I saw one of Bing's "Speed Squares" at Trim which looked bizarre and fun! And a few other Bing's were knocking around too and I must say the craft and finish of them is phenomenal. A couple in particular had the most luscious glasswork.