I am no longer board-less! Aaran from our local surf shop, Earth, Wind and Water, phoned me yesterday to say that he'd received a couple of second-hand longboards, a 9ft 2inch and a 10 ft as he knew I was looking for a second-hand board, so I went along to the shop after work this morning (I work part time, very part time) to see them. I ideally wanted something that would fit inside my Renault estate, both for security and fuel consumption (laws of physics: stuff on the roof=drag=increased fuel consumption+the laws of common sense: stuff on the roof=potentially nicked) but thought anything more than 9ft would be too long. As it happened, the 9' 2" fit perfectly with an inch or two to spare, so I didn't even bother looking at the 10 footer.
The new board is an NSP epoxy longboard, exactly what I was looking for. Some people turn their noses up at epoxy, a.k.a. 'pop out', boards but, frankly, as I am just getting back into this lark after 14 years out of it, a fibreglass board is going to get smashed up in no time and, for now, I'd rather have a durable pop-out than ding the fuck out of a custom job and there's nothing wrong with them anyway, save being a tad on the heavy side.
Anyway, it cost the princely sum of £250, which I've raided from my savings.
Here's the new-to-me board in its new home
It was a nice day today and Magic Seaweed indicated some decent surf at Compton, it'd have been rude not to, really, so off I went, via a detour home to get my wetsuit and other bits.
Things didn't get off to a great start, firstly the wind meant that the thing was hard to carry, even the smallest breezes can turn a longboard into a sail. I've decided I want to get good enough to ride something short so I can trot down the steps like the guys with shortboards...! Ain't gonna happen though...
Secondly, my right knee which has a touch of osteoarthritis in it, decided it wasn't going to play nice when I descended down the first flight of steps, locking up and with the pain indicating something was catching on something else, meaning I had to sit at the top and rub it for a while and wait for it to unlock. I felt I was being watched from the car park, they probably thought I was hesitating because of the steps so, with an Oscar-worthy performance, I made a few overly pained faces and exaggerated rubbing my knee. I hate getting old! >:o(
Got there in the end though, attached leash to leg and into the water.
Aaran said the board would catch everything, even little waves and he wasn't wrong. It does. Anything over 9ft does catch all the waves, even slow 1ft slop, which this wasn't. The surf was 2-4ft, messy, at intervals of 6 seconds and the stiff breeze was cross-shore.
The board was surprisingly easy to paddle and I caught everything I went for. Unfortunately I found it harder to get up on this board than on the foam ones I rode on the previous couple of occasions I got out, back last month. I have no idea why. It was more stable than those and I had put plenty of wax on but, for some reason (possibly not wanting to aggravate the pain in my right knee), I was too slow and just couldn't get up, and on the couple of occasions I did, I stalled and fell off. I must have looked a right prat from the beach and car park! Decidedly unstoked and feeling more than slightly kooky, I packed it in after an hour. However, practice makes perfect and I'll be out again as soon as possible; I also put it down to not having done pop-up practice for about a week. Wish those effing steps weren't so steep, though, my poor knees and not easy carrying a longboard down - I am sure those steps have got steeper over the years and they probably have, I think these are replacements of replacements of ones which periodically get destroyed when coastal erosion takes down yet another section of cliff.