Mctavish – The shortest time I’ve ever owned a board.


Getting back in the swing of things now – had a few Sunday, sloppy sessions at Gwithian and had my first full fat beating in the middle of the week. An evening session that had overhead surf and blistering offshores put my lack of paddle fitness to the test. Not nice and I should have known better but it’s been pretty desperate and as the clocks had gone back I thought I better make the most of it. WRONG!!

One thing that was definitely right though was going to see Joan Armatrading for the start of her latest UK tour – last time we saw her was 25 years ago and we were worried that her voice may have suffered with time. Not a bit – in fact if anything it seemed even stronger and richer than before and if anything more confident on stage, however she don’t say much!!! Nice mix of old and the new ‘This Charming Life’ album which is a bit rockier. Great stuff and totally recommended – Swear that I spotted Billie Jean King there, might be mistaken.


So the Mctavish – Gutted. Unpacked it like a kid at Christmas – perfect not a mark, I thought that it looked similar in finish to my old Starboard 9’8″ but I would guess that it would be a bit less chip prone than that as board construction have moved on a bit – haven’t they?

Everything checked out with my naive set of requirements. Pointy nose but wider than the Naish, significantly less nose rocker, and the rails held their width over a greater length before pulling into the tail with the stinger steps. Great so far. Whip the board over and a full set of fin fitments. Quad / 2 plus 1 you name it – it’s all there. The fins – all of them were supplied as well, this is going to be fun. Stick my hand in the handle and BOLLOX this can’t be right, the tail was dragging on the floor, with no f’ing fins and no f’ing leash.
In November I was assured by Mark Kelly (Kel) from GSI that all the UK stock would have this fault remedied. It wont affect the way the board surf’s and a couple of leash plugs set in the deck would cure it – but . . . BUT double bloody arse.

Tiki were good as gold and smiled,(no doubt through gritted teeth), and took the board back to check out the score with HQ and promptly sold it that week. That’ll teach me for being a fanny. It was hard seeing that board go back out the shop but I gave up carrying SUP’s on my shoulders when I sold my Jimmy Lewis 11′ and I ain’t starting that all over again. No firm date for more boards yet either and to be honest the shines gone off it a bit especially as . .

I paddled out at Gwithian tonight on my Naish having climbed down the rapidly disappearing cliff in front of the car park, cos that’s what I do. The Naish complete with fins and leash, and paddle all in one hand was super light and perfectly balanced – the tail of the Mct would have been toast before I got to the bottom, sorry guys but it would have driven me nuts. Shame. It did make me realise just how good the Naish is – the surf was small and slack but it was clean with a few waist high sets pushing weakly through, no fireworks but I had a decent little session.

The whole thing has got me thinking seriously about the boards that I have and the insane addiction to collecting more and more. So now it’s one in and one out. (yeh right).

Anyway first up to go is my original 11′ ULI Inflatable. I had plans for using it as a fishing/cruising board and while I have no doubt that it will be tough enough to cope with strings of dancing hooks I reckon it might be prudent to use a hard board instead. List price for one of these puppies is $1395 plus all the associated import costs – yours with a pump and bag for £495.

I may be persuaded to trade it for something interesting – Surftech Lopez possibly – try me – I’m easy.

This was the board that prompted me to start writing this stuff and my initial thoughts impressions and pictures can be found here.