Another 10 days in J bay….

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Well…. what a contrast from the previous 10 days, only a handful of surfs over the same period of time. (I surfed over 20 times in the 10 days before)

Still good on a few days, but the swell has been small, and the weather conditions erratic.

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We have had plenty of On-Shore winds, and quite strong too…. ripping the perfection of J bay to pieces, BUT I do have a secret weapon…. my “Kite”. Just a 1,000 metres from my place, in the other direction is the “Lagoon”, and when the wind is On-Shore, it creates the perfect conditions for Kite Surfing…. which I also love to do.

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The really cool thing with Kite Surfing is it is “Action” all the way…. no down time, no sitting around chatting, just speed and fun the whole session…. 1 and 1/2 hours of this and you really are knackered.

As long as I “Get Wet” I am happy.

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The end of a great 10 days…..

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Well….. what a “Top” 10 days. Swell has been up and down, but the conditions have stayed the same….

Mainly Hot and Sunny, with off-shore winds, the occasional on-shore spell, but I have surfed every day except one, and often 2 or 3 time a day.

I have surfed more distance in this last 10 days than the whole summer back home.CIMG8159

Even the small days have been good. Longboards have been “The Go” for me on most of the days at “The Point”, but even I have needed my trusty 6′ 8″ “Indo Fish” on a few of the bigger days, but “Supers” has been firing most of the time…. but the testosterone level is way higher up there, and I am not fully “Surf Fit” if you know what I mean.Big J Bay

The “Big” day was the one, it has been the best swell this year, according to the locals…. how lucky was I, arrived 2 days before it kicked in, even though I did not surf J bay on the big day…. I went looking for “Smaller Perfection” …. it is hard not to be mesmerized by it’s majesty. It is hard to imagine surfing waves this big and perfect for 200 metres, but that is exactly what the top guys were doing…. Hat’s Off to them….Ball of steel!

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Here I am again!!

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It is not that time of year yet…. I do not usually come out to SA until after Christmas, but the waves have been so poor in the UK this Summer, I needed some surf….

So a quick look on the internet revealed some cheap (ish) tickets, and Hey Presto…. J bay here we come.

And what timing, lucking into the best swell of the year in South Africa, 20 odd feet at 15 second interval…… WOW. A week long Wave fest. Too big for me on the big day, but there are “Round the corner spots” if you are prepared to drive.CIMG8025 Like Miller’s Reef in Port Elizabeth…… very nice, especially when the J bay alternative is 4 times head high!!

I did venture out at J bay (The Point) on the next day…. still BIG, and lots of paddling, to get out and get back to the line up, when the swell is this big, the Longshore Drift is immense!CIMG7972

The waves were sort of crowded, mainly as it was a “Predicted” swell, and everyone wants a slice of the J Bay pie, plus it was a Public Holiday, but still there were plenty of wave to go around, especially on the 2 BIG days, strange how there are not so many takers when it is that size!!

Weather and water temps are OK at this time of the year, it is sort of like the UK….. BUT with the best waves. I do love J bay!!

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The “Big Boy” Traditional Nose-Rider

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The new “Big Boy” Traditional Nose-Rider is finally ready.

At 9′ 4″ x 24″ x 3 1/4+”, this is a Big Board, but I have tried to keep a little “Sexyness” in the tail so you can still turn it.

It is as close to the Old Skool nose-riders as I can get…. lots of roll in the bottom, right thru’ to the tail along with super soft rails, again, all the way thru’…. so should be “sticky”, allowing for those longer, glide style nose-rides, that I am trying to achieve.

I have only put in a single box, so no options on fin set ups…. just a good old fashioned Big Single Fin

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To make this board a little special, I made a Multi Layup Tail Woody, with some Resin Tint in-between the Hardwood laminates…. I think it has come out really well.

I have been trying, on and off, to get the traditional Nose-Rider correct over the past few years, but I personally still tend to go for a more Performance Nose-Rider…. I am thinking that as I am soon to be a “Surfing Pensioner” ….collecting my State pension in a couple of months…. it might be time to slow it down a little….. so hoping that this is the board. As always….testing will say “Yay or Nay”!

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Dreaming Time…..

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It has been a good Summer…. for weather, but not so great for waves.

So the “Dreaming Time” has started early this year.

August is not yet out, and already I am looking at flight prices… I just need “My Fix”

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I need Sunshine, AND Waves. I want to feel that optimism of sort of knowing that tomorrow will probably be good for both! In the UK now, it seams more and more that if we get both…. it is an “Epic” day, regardless of how the actual waves are breaking.

So…. I am planning more time in J Bay this winter…. why not join me?

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My house is only a “Walk” from the photo’s in this post, that is correct, no car ride to go and check, just get out of bed…. look at the ocean, count how many guys are in the water and decide…. surf now or after breakfast?

To stay with me will cost you LESS than the local “B & B”, and you can use my boards. I will even pick you up from the Airport (Port Elizabeth).IMG_0087 (4)

I plan to be in J bay for the Cold Months….so…. Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr. It will be South African Summer, so Hot and Sunny, sure the waves are bigger in the SA Winter, but all the photo’s above were taken in the J bay Summer

I have plenty of room, my 4 bedroom house often has only myself and my wife in it, so stop dreaming, and get in touch with me.

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Modern Shape….Traditional Looks

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A Custom Order all ready to be “Wrapped and Packed”.

The current flavour is for boards that are traditional in looks, but bang up to date in design.

Here we have the Performance Nose-Rider, but with “Laminated Hardwood” Tail Woodies and a Traditional Spray.

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At 9′ 01/2″ the newer Performance Nose-Rider Template is still very familiar, it is almost identical to my earlier model, just with the wide point a little further back.

It is the bottom shape that is slightly refined…. a little more Roll in the tail, and slightly softer rails too. I have found this gives almost the same drive off the tail when turning, but makes the board more forgiving, and easier to get up to the nose.

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The Tail Woody on a Pintail has to come in 2 halves to make it look good, just a bit more effort, but I feel it is worth it.

It adds nothing to the Performance, but boy does it look great.

A Thoroughly Modern board…. with a “Nod” to the past.

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Katy is “On It”

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Katy should be taking it easy…. and if you know her…. she is, sort of.

Katy tore the ACL in the left knee after a crazykaty crankingy Wakeboard jump months ago. Not tore it badly… tore it off completely!!

She has already had the operation to trim away all the damaged tissue in the knee, but is still awaiting her reconstruction surgery.

She is still surfing OK, even with no stability in her knee, and if you look closely, she is taking it easy, well for her. I would still be sat on the beach crying if it was my knee.

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Blank Origins are important…..

Blanks, Blanks, Blanks……

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Impossible to craft a decent board without a good quality Blank…. this is why I prefer to use Burford Blanks for my Longboards.

Not only are they a great “Technical” blank, with good cell structure and high compression strength, the main Longboard Blank I use is a great “Shape” before I start to actually shape it.

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The correct amount of Nose and Tail Rocker, and good volume proportions. It makes my life easier, because it allows me to concentrate on shaping a great performance nose-rider without having to worry too much about the boring stuff…

Well Done BURFORD, and Thank You.

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Katy Surfing Again?

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Katy is back in the water…. well only for a while!

She is getting in the water on the smaller days, but is having to take it REALLY SLOWLY….. as she has no ACL in her left knee.

Katy is on the waiting list for Knee re-construction Surgery! After her hideous Wipe Out on the Wakeboarding Jump last year….. it is still a very long road to full recovery. After the next “Opp” it will be a month of total nothing, then 3 to 6 months of Physio and another 3 months of Take it slowly….but she is strong, both mentally and physically.

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Time to “Nose-Ride”

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Summer is now “officially” here!

Hot and Sunny, lots of cool drinks needed, Sunscreen and Hats essential…. Oh! and a Good Nose-Rider too.

I have been shaping quite a few “Traditional Nose-Riders lately, but I myself have not yet made the leap to this “new” flavour of board. Maybe it is because I am OLD, maybe I do not like CHANGE…. I just don’t know.

One thing that is for sure…. I do like to Nose-ride.

I am in the shaping bay this week, and so I will shape myself a new Board. I am going fully retro! 9′ 4″ ish, with wide nose….and Hips, lots of “Rock and Roll”…. and supersoft rails…. even in the tail. We shall see.CIMG3695

I will do the Nose and Tail Woodies thing too…. no need for weight saving on this type of board.

Trying to shape a “feeling” is sometimes difficult…. I am trying to capture the sense of freedom in my surfing, easy take off’s, Fun, that Casual walk to the nose…. and more Fun…. all very real in my mind, but not so easy to translate into a board….. it might just be a mental approach rather than the actual board…. but I have to start somewhere, and the shaping bay, for me, is the best place to make that start!

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