I've been a bit quiet. This is the longest between posts since I started this blog, for a couple of reasons. Life and work have been busier, keeping my mind on other things. But also, less is changing. In my surfing it's a slow progression now. I feel like I'm coming to the end of a slow phase though. My pop ups have become pretty consistent, getting lots of waves. Still trying to nail the roundhouse, control my position on the wave, get more dynamics into my turns and style into my surfing. Recently, I've had a few waves with a few moves that have started to feel like I might be getting there. I'd love to become more than an average surfer and I still have that shaky dream of getting barrelled.
So this is where I am now. Where I've ended up after coming towards four years of surfing. This is my current quiver that helps me enjoy the slides I'm served. When I bought my first board (the 7'6 Mini Mal on the far right) I had no idea the trouble it was going to cause!
Left to right:
1. 6'6 Kookbox "Archie's Left" designed by Rusty Preisendorfer, shaped by Hoy Runnels (Hully/eggy/single fin.)
2. 5'9 Kookbox "MC Twin Pin" by Jeff McCallum. (Simmy-Wide into drivey twin fin fun.)
3. 6'2 Quiver "Bumblebart" design Phil Hodge, machine cut. (Overhead waves or dingy-rocky-surf functional thruster.)
4. 5'8 Bing "Dharma" design by Matt Calvani, machine cut. (Super fishy-fun in anything.)
5. 6'0 Hydrodynamica "Simster" design Baugess/Kenvin, shaped by Hank Warner. (Floaty, overfloat, float-glide-cushty-super-swooper.)
6. 7'6 Hawaiian Soul (there's no soul) Mini Mal that got me into this mess...
The yellow 6'6 single fin is proving to be an absolute joy. I've had my best surf ever recently on this and just love the way it turns. It doesn't have the drive of my other boards but the way it moves is so much fun, it can carve and pivot, trim & glide and handle an overhead wave. Likes a clean wave though. It's the one I'd save in a fire first, though to be honest I'd find a way to get the Dharma and the McCallum under my other arm.
I was paddling out on it the other week thinking about how your surfing experience changes as you get better. Looking at the sparkling pearls of leftover foam dancing on top of the water and remembering how things like that used to captivate me a little more when it was new. But then realised that if I'd hung around I wouldn't have made it over the next wave. No wonder so many waves dumped on my head in the beginning - hanging around in the 'impact zone' hypnotised by the beauty of it. Crackpot behaviour. Now it's more focussed, function, spying that next distant sign of a good wave welling up on the horizon.
I just think about surfing all the time. It's like a bloody parasite.
The most exciting thing that's cropped up this week is the possibility of shaping my own surfboard. That's something I've wanted to do for a while and Chris Hartop, in Bude, offers to take you through the whole thing, one on one. (Google him and you'll find him on Facebook/Twitter if you're interested.) I can't wait to find the time.