Sport > Quad Fish

Quad Fish

Published: February 18, 2011

"I got a new board, it is pretty hard to surf..."

"But you like difficult things!"

Well, I'm certainly attracted to them, I'll admit that much. And this fits the bill. My daughter gave me a lead to a good surf shop. I called to inquire about hours and what they had for sale. I got the hours and the guy hung up before I could ask the second question. Score! The sales guy seemed to be even more of a misanthrope than I.

Walking into the store, he was everything I hoped for and less. After aimlessly bumbling around the store, I finally tracked him down and explained my surfing situation. Now he couldn't stop talking. The topic was no longer store hours, it was surfing. And apparently that was all he talked. There was a torrent of words...thrusters, tail cut outs, fin arrangements, tight rides, squirrelly rides...length, depth, width...then he did the smart thing. He pointed out three boards that would work for me. Ah a visual, that was better than words. I went back to my daughter for her input and the deal was done. I had a new board.

It's a 7 foot quad fish. Compared to my long board, it is squirrelly. The tail end is all over the place. But the sales guy was dead on. It is a perfect transition board for me. I can get on top it and surf it. My first day out was a decent enough day at Point Mugu. The signature A frame breaks were working and I did get a few decent rides.

The idea behind the short board is that it turns. My long board doesn't really do that. The long board is fine for just standing up and cruising long period waves. But in this part of the world the waves are shorter duration. Hence the shorter board.

The first challenge with this board is getting vertical fast enough. On the long board I can meander up to one knee then stand up. This calls for more speed getting vertical. I'm working on that.

In fact that was mostly what I did on the first try. Lots of work. My first surf instructor had a broad definition of surfing. Wave behind you, board beneath you, shore in front of you. If you had that, you were surfing.

I had that quite often. But there were a number of creative positions, one knee, one leg, one shoulder...something was on top the board. At times, it was both feet. Other times I was doing a bi-plane with just my hands on the board as I ended up in white water after half missing the wave and just decided why not body surf?

The one constant throughout the test drive was...adrenalin. Surfing is often decribed by failed surfer's as simply "a lot of work". It can get that way on bad days out there. But when the adrenalin is pumping, time is blurred. You are warm, buzzed and stoked even in 57 degree waters. It is other worldly.

I had planned to leave this board at my daughter's place and just use it when I was teaching north. Save the back and forth. But, um, the thing is...

Ah who am I kidding. I have four bikes in my garage. This is only board number three...

I have some more shopping to do.


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