Costa Rica 2014

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PhillyViking
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Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by PhillyViking » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:18 pm

Here is the guys in Costa Rica.
CR2014MARCH_BOARDS.jpg
CR2014MARCH_BOARDS.jpg (56.79 KiB) Viewed 3570 times

Atlantasurfer
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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by Atlantasurfer » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:32 pm

That looks like a good time! Its cool that so many different style of prone surf craft were in at the water at the same time and place. PhillyViking, what are your impressions about the performance differences between mats, wooden boards, and foam boards with fins? There might not be a clear answer to this, but which is closest to the ideal for the type of waves you might encounter in CR this time of year?

I think I can guess how Rod would answer that question. :)

Atlantasurfer
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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by Atlantasurfer » Sat Mar 22, 2014 12:34 pm

Actually, let me open this question to anyone who wants to add his 2 cents.

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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by rodndtube » Wed Mar 26, 2014 12:49 am

Atlantasurfer wrote:Actually, let me open this question to anyone who wants to add his 2 cents.
The truth be known I was more enthralled in evaluating the relative performance & comfort attributes of the DaFins and Vipers V5 Yellow Dots (discussed elsewhere). Nonetheless we had a "daily bipolar discussion" (or was it tri-polar?) on the 4GF regular mat or the Xylem with extra lamenting about not trying out the 4GF Lotus. Then after trying out Ted's Xylem it was back-and-forth between the Preacher and Malama Kai models (now we are at the Pent-Polar level?). It was a great way to evaluate the surf on the bluff while drinking morning coffees or sunset refreshments.

Meanwhile, "normal guys" like Griz and I stayed with our singular model boards! Although I might go bi-polar if my Bonzer arrives in time for my June trip.
rodNDtube
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PhillyViking
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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by PhillyViking » Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:58 am

It was in fact a great 1st world problem to have. Its a bit hard to sort through because of the changing conditions and my own evolution. However, the actual differences seem to play out as expected.

I really love the natural experience of riding a mat... and there is nothing like the speed you get when you get yourself positioned in a wave and it takes off like a rocket. I ride the fin-less Xylem preacher as well the 4GF surf mats knowing that they are not going to make deep turns like a finned paipo. However they turn "more than good enough" .. I can take off in white water and turn to get to the wave face. I can late take off at an angle. I can position in the wave for the setup of the best sections etc. I simply place more value on the natural feel than deeper turns. I get why others might have a different priority.

Actually, I will circle back and revisit finned paipos in the next year. I started riding paipo on a Austin 52" big boy. At the time, I thought I needed the bulk for my weight and sloppy E-coast wave I normally ride. However, I ended up feeling it was too big and evolved to mats rather than getting a lower profile Austin. Part of that direction was shoulder surgery .. I thought the mat would be kinder. Yes Rod, it would be optimal IF I could get the natural feel of finless AND deeper turning on a finned Austin S&S. But, for my go to ride I will select feel over deep turns if one ride can not do it all.

My primary motivation for taking the Xylem Preacher and 4GF Lotus was that last June in CR I felt a bit beat up in situations where I had to fight my way out. I was also just plain curious about the authentic Xylem and love the idea of wood in general. The downside of mats is that its very hard to duck dive and in some conditions that can be exhausting. The Lotus is a lower profile mat than the Omni and the Xylem wood is close to neutral buoyancy. As expected, the Xylem was so much easier to get out than the Omni Mat and the Lotus was in between but closer to the Omni. However, I also found that as a result of some combination improvements in my skill and conditioning I could use my Omni in a broader range of conditions this year than last. So, I am more free to select the ride based on riding experience and other factors rather than getting out experience.

Travel / baggage costs is a consideration for me .. no board fees for the mat that deflates and rolls up but potential big fees for the Xylem or Austin. I would prefer to just travel with the Omni Mat (most conditions) and the Lotus (nastier conditions). However, I still can not say that Lotus will do as well as Xylem in getting out so for now I will take the Xylem as well as the mats. I might have been able to give a more definitive answer to that if were not for the point that I can now ride my Omni in more diverse conditions.

I really love the Xylem as well as the mat. It also has a natural but different feel than the mat and turns good enough. At this point I have more experience on the mat than the Xylem so I can manage the mat a bit better. I still consider my self a novice on both. You have to work the rails differently on the Xylem than the mat. I did find that I can hang on in bigger white water and find the my way to the face on the mat than on the Xylem .. the mats buoyancy seemed to help get out in front of the wave enabling a turn to the face than Xylem that seemed more susceptible to thrashing. However, its hard to separate board characteristics from my skill / experience riding them.

I have poor positioning taking off on the mat as well the Xylem. The Xylem is more effected. Proper form for both is to get the ride out in front of you forming a "long board" and then slither / or pull your way up once you feel the catch. Ted nails this on his Paipo rides. I am working on it. On the Xylem, the wood allows you just pull yourself up when the time comes .. on the mat you must slither up less you crease the mat and tumble. I can get away with starting further up the mat but the neutral density Xylem is less forgiving. So I would say the mat is bit easier for me but I need to correct by technique on both.

So, what a problem to have .. for me its not whether the mat, finless or finned paipo is "better". Its what do I want to take along and ride on a given day. Some of that is driven by conditions, my skill evolution, travel costs and some is just plain what I am in the mood for. Its fun to just let the preferences bubble up.. diversity is the spice of life.

David

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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by GeoffreyLevens » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:14 pm

David, ever try swimming a mat out uninflated and blow it up outside? The time spent blowing might be more than compensated for by the faster easier trip out, depends on conditions etc.

PhillyViking
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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by PhillyViking » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:46 pm

yes, I have been in situations where I immediately deflated the mat to avoid getting hammered... its extra effort but works. Do you ride mat?

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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by GeoffreyLevens » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:56 pm

Did for several years and love it! Last few have lived in Arizona then Colorado Rockies and now Andes in Ecuador. Much more focused on meditation it seems but I like to keep tuned in to the mental bits as someday I have a feeling that "I'll be back." (be sure to read that last part with an Austrian accent)

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OG-AZN
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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by OG-AZN » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:37 pm

How were the waves, and where are the pics?? Also, looks like and HPD XP in the photo. How did that ride?

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Re: Costa Rica 2014

Unread post by rodndtube » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:19 pm

Ted is the proud owner of the HPD (not sure which model it is -- one of the new designs). He rode it once (or twice) and rode a mat he brought with him (once and last time). Ted spent most of his time on the Xylem (Malama Kai). We have some pretty sunset pictures!!! No "action shots" although Ted was fiddling with a GoPro a few times.
rodNDtube
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I love my papa li`ili`i

"The sea doth wash away all human ills."
-- Euripides.

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