Jan 162010

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/9934028[/vimeo]Up for the dawnie this morning. Started out on the Oregon pine fish in some 4-5 foot conditions, then onto a 6.5 Oregon and Saligna single fin and finally finished up on a 7.8 Obeche and redwood mini-malibu. About five hours in the water and great to surf the different boards and appreciate the different way they respond to conditions.

The fish is of course super fast – it’s amazing how it cruises around the sections. The single fin lovely and stable on the take off and drop and great to lock into the pocket on. A six-foot pointbreak and it’ll be a dream. And the mini-malibu, as my mate Byron calls it, the grand ‘ol daddy. But it sure is fun dropping into a ledgy 4-5 ft wave on a mini-malibu and then getting the rail in the face and cruising down the line.I’m definitely starting to appreciate the skill involved in walking a board and keeping it in the energy pocket of the wave for the duration of the ride.

When it comes to making boards, all of this got me thinking about the balance between speed and control when it comes to short boards and how this applies to different waves. The fish for example is super fast and it will generate momentum even in the smallest of waves, but sometimes you feel like you almost want more control ‘cos you are often past a tube section before you even knew it was there. On the single fin, with its thin tail, there’s a lot more control, but it doesn’t have the playfulness of a fish. It’s definitely a horses for courses kind of situation, to use an old cliche. More speed, less control. More control, less speed. So at least some of the process of making boards is about understanding that balance and then crafting a relationship between these two elements, speed and control.