Off the Rails – Holiday Head – Round Up


As expected the wheels have fallen off my 6 week SUP Specific plan.

Coinciding with the weekend of our works Christmas do, I sort of increased my ratio of rest days to work out days and it was going so well. Having said that it’s not been a total loss, I have got shot of the best part of half a stone of lard (7lbs) and dropped a few waist sizes in my jeans PLUS I am now 13 stone something instead of 14 stone something. So that’s nice. With the festivities almost upon us it’s harder to find the time to disappear for an hour or so, not too concerned as on the 6th January we are on a plane and off to Costa Rica for a few weeks. Board shorts, offshore breezes, and a consistent waist to head high Nosara surf within stumbling distance of my bed. Sorry chaps but I am going to indulge myself here for a moment or two and bask in the glow of some of last years snaps just to get me in the swing of things.






It’s going to be an interesting trip this time as the Steamroller is staying at home and the ULI Lopez is coming with us. Hopefully this should give me a bit more scope to ‘work’ the walls a little more, the Steamroller was so much fun but with my limited ability it was more ‘cruising’ than ‘bruising’ last year. There is a good chance that we are going to hook up with some friends while we are out there as well and I might even take the ULI 7’8″ MiniMal that has been lurking in my board room.

So with the old year coming to a close and plenty to look forward to in January I thought that I would take stock of the boards that I have had and ridden this year.

1. My Naish 9’3″ this has been my first-choice board all year. Initially it was a bit of a clash between my ability (or lack of it) and the board’s potential (unlimited). Gradually I became more comfortable and even though there are still choppy sessions when I fall more than I should the board delivers so much it’s hard to leave it at home. In fact I have just given the board to Whippet to tidy up as it has collected a few minor rail dings over the past 12 months but given the total assing that it’s had in this time it’s been fantastic top notch build. I will probably rest it up when it comes back from Whip and try to spend some time with my other boards.

2. The Bonga Perkins 9’6″ – This is the board that I want to ride more of in the new year. Everytime I take this board out I discover something else that I like about it. The teardrop shape with the fat forward section and super slim pulled in rear makes it very stable in chop but offers a loose drivey tail that I have not really had the opportunity to explore as I always default to the Naish. The stepped rails are another thing that sort of make sense in theory but I can’t say that I have noticed their effect in practise (YET)! The Bonga has good glide and cuts through, up and over the white water well, and best of all – Its not dear. In fact it’s almost half the price of some boards and the build quality seems cock on. It’s not perfect the balance point of the recessed carry handle is just out which is so annoying especially when I surf Petes’ as it’s a bit of a trog to get there. Sooo I think I’ll get Whippet to stick a couple of leash plugs in the deck and use the paddle to carry it, makes life so much easier.

3. The Nah Skwell 7’8″ – This board has been a total revelation this year. There is just no way that I could have guessed that it would be possible for me to ride a board under 9′ and this baby is under 8′. It’s not mega wide either – there is a rash of super wide 30″ – 34″ short boards on the way which are going to bust open the concept of SUP’s being huge and unmanageable, however they are wide and the Nah Skwell is still under 30″. It seems to excel in smaller waves and makes it possible to eke out the most from the least. It does ride very flat on the wave face, I’m guessing like a conventional short board fish, but I really can’t say for sure as I have never ridden any standard surfboard as short as this. It’s not a board to crank up on it’s rails, by me anyway but its fun, very convenient and it’s only 7’8″ fantastic.

So that’s about it for this year, can’t see too many more blog’s before Christmas although with a bit of luck we should get some sessions in over the holiday so who knows, and then it’s full tilt into 2010. My plans for the new year, spread the load and ride more boards, MMMnnnn Mctavish 9′ due in February, eat less and take more pictures and bizarrely, maybe just maybe, ride some longer boards, downwind sort of style, might have to get some advice there but the rowing has got me thinking . . . . Watch this space.

Many thanks to all who have taken the time to read this stuff, and huge thanks to all those who have left a reply.

Wishing you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful new year.