Rolling with Rocky (HMB Jetty)

Posted by: on June 10th, 2011

Last night when I slid my 7’0″ Emm into the boardbag, I noticed a small ding near the tail rail. I’m guessing it involved an unfortunate encounter with a barely submerged rock when I got knocked down in the shallows at Cowells last week, although I’m surprised I didn’t notice it sooner. There’s a sharp shallow dent with delamination that strangely extends under the tail guard. I was going to tape the ding and surf anyway, but thought better of that. The board is dry now, and best to get it fixed right way. So instead I loaded my 5’8″ Surtech Xanadu Rocky into the car for dawn patrol. I’ve been riding Emm since late fall and was curious to see how the session would go on the shorter board.

I talked with Vanessa in the parking lot before she dashed across the road for a quick surf ahead of her trip to Sayulita later today (lucky!). Deepak and I were next into the water, and took a spot near the main peak while Vanessa surfed farther down the beach. The sweet solitude lasted a mere ten minutes before shortboarders clotted up the main peak, pushing me to the next one. While I didn’t have trouble catching waves, it took me a while to get my feet planted anywhere close to where they needed to be on the little board when I popped up. Too far forward, sinking the nose. Then overcorrecting, many times, too far back and close together. Those rides were consequentially brief. Every once in a while a head-high set would roll through, giving the shortboarders nice rides, and I tested out my remarkably rusty duck-diving skills (that is, lack thereof). As the first wall of rumbling whitewater approached, I thought, OK, what do I do again? Push the nose down and also–. The wave answered: Too slow! You are going for a TUMMMM-BLE! After dozen more of those, I found some of the rhythm again and my duck-dives became at least partly effectual. Not so much my popups, although I count it as an accomplishment that I stuck the landing and made the drop on one chest-high wave (which sadly closed out at the bottom and chucked me off).

Rocky &; me, a few years ago

Emm was shaped to be a transition board between my 8’0″ Magic and the 5’8″ Rocky, although I wasn’t sure if Rocky would be a good fit for me even if my skills improved. Now I know it’s not, and I’m starting a list of what I don’t like for my shaper. The board felt too light, like it was hollow or made of styrofoam. I know it actually is lighter of course because it’s more than a foot shorter than Emm, but it felt like it didn’t have enough density and was getting tossed around like a pool float. The board also seemed too wide when I was sitting on it, but based on a straight comparison of Rocky’s numbers (11.75″ x 19.5″ x 14.875″ x 2″) to Emm’s, I’m not really sure how that could be, unless perhaps it holds its wide width father back.

Regardless, Rocky’s years with me are almost up. My next birthday present to myself will be the same as the last: a custom board shaped by Ward Coffey. Something smaller and more maneuverable than Emm, and also duck-diveable. I will be a decent shortboarder one day.

Surfline: 3-5′. Inconsistent SW (205-220) groundswell holds as short to mid-period NW (295-310) swell-mix mixes in. Most better exposures have waist-chest-shoulder high waves, while standout spots are seeing better sets. Winds are light-moderate onshore out of the SW-WSW for some healthy surface bump and texture at most breaks. Buoy46012: (Wave) SWELL: 6.6 ft at 9.1 s NW 45 / WIND WAVE: 4.3 ft at 6.7 s NW / WVHT: 7.9 ft / APD: 6.8 s / MWD: 315° (Met) WSPD: 14 kts / GST: 16 kts / WVHT: 7.5 ft / DPD: 10.0 s / WDIR: 320° / ATMP: 53.4° F / WTMP: 54.1° F. Tide: 3.5′ falling to 2.5′.

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