Am I asking for too much?

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.
Atlantasurfer
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Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by Atlantasurfer » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:55 pm

Unlike most of you guys, I live a long ways from the ocean and surf when my work schedule allows it. With that in mind, I try to have a variety of gear to fit different conditions. The only time I feel jealous of the SUP and longboard hordes is when waves are small and closing out. In that case I really wish I had a craft that could catch an unbroken swell (much like this video):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Vd9SYg4wI

I realize that I could buy a longboard and leave it at a friend's house. But I would really like to have something propelled by flippers and/ or small enough to fit inside a small SUV.

Any thoughts?

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by Nels » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:01 pm

Short of living within easy walking distance of your favorite surf break pretty much everyone has to deal with your equipment situation to one degree or another.

I don't have that luxury of location, so over the decades I've gone the way you mention about having a variety of gear. Sometimes that has worked out, but more often than not I did better with fewer choices. The more "alt" I went the more choices I had, too. I'm in the 4th quarter of my surfing life now, with more of it behind me than can ever be in front of me. The surfing world around me has changed massively.

Where I'm at now apparently is where I've been at for at lest a decade, only more so. I want to travel light, mentally and physically. More choice means more angst. I don't want the burdens of too many choices, of expectations both personal and general. I have to be realistic about my local areas, and the brutal fact is people are crawling all over everything, and I hate to bang rails. I also am realistic enough to know I don't need the best waves any more, and don't want to pay the price to get them. You can't share with a crowd of "takers", right?

I would say figure out what you really, really want from the surfing/ocean experience. If your surf zone has a lot of tiny wave time, do the longboard if it gives you more options. You can always ride it laying down if you want. Surf is crowded enough without more SUPs but I'll leave that to you. I wouldn't mind having one for more open water paddling and cruising, but I don't want to have to babysit a monster board on the beach or on the vehicle. That said, if I had long, open water swells that an SUP could ride...I'd try it in a heartbeat.

I've been blessed though by never considering the surfing or ocean experience to be one specific action that must be obeyed, but I've never found anything better than riding waves.

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by Pes78 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:02 am

Have you thought of a surfmat?

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by rodndtube » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:15 am

A surf mat surely travels easily!

For years, decades really, I rode only one board, from 2 ft to 12 foot. The board was not specialized to any specific surf break or wave type, but rode in all conditions nicely and with some fin (skeg) adjustments provided a lot of flexibility. But catching a non-breaking wave... nope. For those sorts of conditions, back around 1980 or so, I bought an 8'6" G&S Hot Curl (really just a pin tail) for $28 at Fox Surfboards in Buxton, NC (Lighthouse area). I'd take it out on those small 1-2 ft days and ride the northside of the main groin, sometimes in classic Hawaiian style, feet forward, arms at my sides. That was fun when I couldn't do real surfing (paipo boarding)! Having started out surfing on a longboard it was still fairly easy to ride... nowadays, and with a new weight distribution on my body, not so easy!

For Florida surfing you might want to think of a fat, thick soft top, maybe 8 ft. long. Can't guarantee catching those non-breaking waves. And I really hate the nuisance of big, long, wide, fat boards. Maybe try a 7 ft. alaia style board and catch the waves with the board held out in front of you. At least they are thin and light. In addition to the mat a handboard is very portable.

There might be some nice waves breaking along the FL panhandle and west side... plenty of pump and power I hear. Say hi to Michael for me ;)
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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by krusher74 » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:40 pm


soulglider
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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by soulglider » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:21 am

I live close to some great but overly crowded surf.

My question is similar, I've been thinking about a paipo that would be fun in pure slop. Can it be done? I have shoulder issues so it would have to be powered by flippers.
Thanks
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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by GeoffreyLevens » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:40 am

I vote surfmat! I have ridden both foam and wood paipo, short and long standup, high performance, cruisers, hulls, the works. Hands down the most versatile overall fun has been the mats. From teeny ankle slappers to well overhead (standup) they go great. Of course they are best in lined up point surf but what isn't? I have ridden mats in complete crap, unbelievably sloppy wind chop, and had a great time. I used to go to North Shore, HI in late summer, before the waves started and some of the most fun go outs of my life were at Chun's Reef, alone. No one else even on the beach. Also NorCal no swell wind chop, still fun. Swami's in San Diego, surf so small and weak the longboard riders were struggling; worked well enough to have some fun. Roll it up and stick it in your suitcase w/ flippers and trunks and travel the world. Swiss Army Knife of surf riding tools.

Ok. I'll shut up now. Oh wait. Quick warning: if you've never ridden one, the learning curve is a bit brutal, but even that....fun

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bgreen
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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by bgreen » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:08 pm

I think there are at least three dimensions here: a board to catch an unbroken wave, closeouts and a board to catch junky waves.

It depends on what you want to do on the wave. I've seen foil boarders ride unbroken waves and jump from wave to wave. A mal can glide along. A short paipo in the a recent thread let guys ride in the barrel. A mat is versatile but I have one under the house where it has remained for years. The UK bellyboard can ride the closeout/whitewater into the sand.

Bottom line with small closeouts is that they will remain small closeouts. If they have no power you're not going to be doing much other than experience getting wet and soaking up being in the water. The thicker the board the less sensitivity/more out of the water you are.

Think about what you'd like to do on a wave or differently how you'd like to harness the energy of the wave. Personally, in such conditions an alaia style board can be a lot of fun. No 360s but you experience a clean glide. Cheap to make yourself so you can experiment with length/thickness etc

G'day Soulglider - I'd wondered what you were up to and what sort of board you were riding these days.

soulglider
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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by soulglider » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:49 pm

Howdy Bob. Thanks for the imput. What I'm thinking about is white water. The part right after the wave dumps and creates the wall of white water. I've had a bunch of fun on my plypos, riding that portion into the beach and getting barreled right on the sand. Kind of like riding a skim board on my belly. It's so crowded most days that I've turned around because I couldn't find parking. Just trying to find something that would be fun without dodging longboards, standies and young whippersnappers...
deathbedpaipo.blogspot.com

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by Nels » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:27 am

It's so crowded most days that I've turned around because I couldn't find parking. Just trying to find something that would be fun without dodging longboards, standies and young whippersnappers...
Glad to find out I'm not the only one "noticing" the batshit craziness we are awash in lately. I'm right there with you. We don't have rolling beach breaks in my area so I've taken to the closeouts - and I greatly prefer something soft or small for that - but this past summer it was such a horror show just getting near the water that I pretty much abandoned it south of Pt. Conception until everybody went back to school and the crowd was cut by maybe 10%.

Whitewater....the final frontier.

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by GeoffreyLevens » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:00 am

Nels wrote:Whitewater....the final frontier.
I do remember as a young child having an absolutely ecstatic, wonderful time ducking under whitewater. Maybe there's something in that to consider!

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by nomastomas » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:59 pm

bgreen wrote:Bottom line with small closeouts is that they will remain small closeouts. If they have no power you're not going to be doing much other than experience getting wet and soaking up being in the water. The thicker the board the less sensitivity/more out of the water you are.
While I agree with Bob for the most part...there is some satisfaction in catching a re-form that develops into a miniature barrel just prior to the inevitable roll up the beach.
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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by zensuni » Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:01 pm

Small but clean waves with a curl, I would go for a plywood paipo, with more or less a UK bellyboard shape, meaning narrow, long and flat. This is my all around board, I can catch really small waves on it. It is easy to ride, it is fast, it fits in micro barrels and being closed out is kind of fun, cause you have less board's width to deal with. In these conditions, an alaia might be fun too (I have never tested).

Regarding bodyboards, even a large one has its limits in small waves. You may catch small waves with a big board, but the lack of stiffness might result in difficulties to build speed during the ride.

I would not recommend surf mat in weak small waves, I think it needs some power to start going fast (unless you have a lot of experience). However, if there is enough power, they can fly and can be very fun to ride, plus they are safe. Sometime I start with the paipo, then if it gets bigger I'll switch to the surf mat.

Another interresting option when it closes out too much is to simply bodysurf, using an handplane...or not. It is something I have been wanting to practice more these days.

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Re: Am I asking for too much?

Unread post by PhillyViking » Sat Oct 27, 2018 2:36 pm

I ride 4GF and G-Mat surf mats in conditions from tiny to OH+. There are fatter mats available for small conditions but I find that technique on an all around mat can do the job in small junky conditions.. Less air (I mean barely any) makes catching waves easier (reverse rocker suction effect) and the superman takeoff turns you and your mat into a long board.

Mats are easy to carry when you have to walk way down there to get away from the crowd and there is no fin to catch in shallow tiny surf.

Depending on the break and conditions I switch to my Xylem paipo with knubster fins when duck diving a mat (downside of mats) becomes an issue.

I also use my 52" Austin big boy in small conditions (it works well) but I like the mat feel better. Some of my OBX buddies say I perform better on the Austin than mats in small conditions but this is not about the spectators.

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