.... but it can buy a new board and that’s pretty damn close.
For a long time I’ve lusted after a proper traditional Californian log but felt I could never quite justify the cost, so a couple of years ago I opted for the next best thing and got a great local shaper to make me a board. It was a process I loved, researching all the detail of shape, width, volume, rail design and adjusting his templates he’d had since the 60s to suit. It was even more fun to get in the shaping room with him and get involved, marking up and cutting out the blank, planing, sanding etc, learning the whole process. The board was an absolute beauty, but for me it just didn’t quite surf right. I think the indicator was that every other surf I’d revert to my battered old 90s pintail, unimaginatively named sharky for the dodgy spray job on the underside. (It probably now would fit into that category of hipster ironic chic, but I’m no hipster).
So now that things have calmed down in other areas of my life and I find myself with a bit more time on my hands and summer round the corner I decided to take the plunge. Actually I hadn’t even really decided, I just started looking. I spent a long time weighing up which model but getting to my local surf shop and being able to get the boards out, see the shapes, get a good feel for them it became clear to me pretty quickly which was ‘the one’. I was a little nervous when I parted with the cash that again it wouldn’t quite surf how I anticipated, obviously there’s no try before you buy and with no friends surfing anything similar I didn’t have the option of borrowing one first. Fortunately having my husband’s little used Al Merrick to trade in softened the blow. But hey my thinking was the sooner I buy it the sooner I start enjoying. Job done, convinced myself in no time.
I was desperate to try it out. The Gods were smiling down on us, the next morning three of us had 2ft long clean empty waves to ourselves and the sun was shining. I was happy to try it for the first time in smaller waves to get a good feel for it. It absolutely exceeded my expectations, I was surprised and pleased at how much speed it could get up just zipping down the line. Nice and stable for cross stepping but not too heavy for getting turns in. Absolutely stoked, a little love affair has begun.