Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

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Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Goat » Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:04 pm

As a follow on from:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=44148&p=444076&hilit=magic+carpet#p444076

Despite being a ‘regression’ of sorts, I was really enjoying the 7’0” magic carpet. Caught tons of waves, really nice to draw carving turns on, glides nicely, way more manoeuvrable than a longboard.

But of course…I got greedy and craved some of the speed and manoeuvrability of the performance boards I used to surf (6’0” speed dialler and 6’0” Empire Lumus).

After lots of discussions with Jools at Gulfstream, I ended up ordering a (very beefed up) 5’10” Keel Fish from them, which held slightly more volume than those 2 boards above. Sold the magic carpet.

Had 3 surfs on the Keel Fish, across conditions of 1-2ft weak, to 4ft semi clean, decent waves. And sure enough, I caught probably 25 waves over those 3 sessions. But regardless, a large proportion of waves were missed, and the initial pop-up phase was far more critical than on the carpet. So a fair bit of frustration was experienced.

It’s a fast board for sure, but (to me) it felt a bit distant in turns, was alien to surf backside. The 2 + 1 rounded pintail of the carpet gave far more satisfying drawn out/carving/smooth turns. Hard to explain. and fundamentally…I missed the glide, earlier wave entry and high wave count of the carpet too.

Humble pie time. While I could surf the Keel Fish and got a moderate number of waves on it, I suddenly realised that for MY circumstances, fitness and ability, it would not MAXIMISE enjoyment per session, and would always represent a compromise too far. I only go every 2-3 weeks. I suppose it comes down to where you want to make compromises as a non-local surfer, balancing off performance with wavecount.

Anyway, back to Gulfstream with my tail between my legs. And this is where the praise for a local shaper comes in – they very kindly offered to offer me an exchange, for a very modest fee. Despite the Keel being used. Everything was talked through with them, and we ended up coming to a suitable compromise, which should provide a great balance of wave count, glide, performance, style of turns I am after, without resorting back to the fairly barge-like magic carpet.

Ended up choosing an Eggplant - 6’10” x 22” x 2 3/4” - 45.8L volume

Will be going with an MD3 Flex fin, for responsiveness and drive. Very excited. :-)

So Gulfstream have been absolutely amazing, and it just goes to show the value of going to a local shaper who knows their stuff, and gives a real personal level of service.

And second lesson…learning that just because you can surf a board, doesn’t make it the right one for your circumstances.
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby buttholesurfer » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:26 am

As you've said sometimes boards just don't 'click'. I've ridden keels for over 27 years and you do need to adjust your surfing to suit the way the board surfs, usually it's down to input, but they can be tricky and you need to stick with them. But as you've stated if your not getting much water time, you've made a smart move. Like the look of the Egg Planet, seems a more all rounder than a carpet.
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby buttholesurfer » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:29 am

I'd go with the Flex fin as a single, try a small Kai Sallas and sides .... I can guarantee you'll prefer that setup and feel than a single.
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby WeAreMemories » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:45 am

Beauty 8)
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Archy_is_God » Fri Apr 28, 2017 9:50 am

Jory and I have been discussing the virtues of a well-made egg for a long time now... It is the everyman (and everywoman) board that can be satisfying to ride whether you are Joel Tudor or retired brickie with a dodgy shoulder and hip :lol:

Bizarrely, I have found myself missing those days in the late 90s where people were commonly riding shortboards about 5-6in taller than their height. The lines that they took are not a million miles away from those you can take on eggs in some ways (if you had the right board under your feet).

Since shortboards have become increasingly shorter over the last 7/8 years, carving turns are rare to see these days, replaced with a lot of snaps that, to be critical, are not based with much power. There are only a few young guys locally who can do committed roundhouse cutbacks now, it seems.

Longer boards and/or longer rail lines (like a fish) allow a good carve to flow through from start to finish if you set your rail right.
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Jory » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:21 pm

Image

Indeed we have Archy!

Devon Howard had some wise words about them in a recent TSJ article which I'm struggling to find online to quote but he thinks they are the best one board quiver for most surfers!
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Goat » Mon May 01, 2017 5:25 pm

Cheers Butthole surfer - they only had a TK Flex 7.5" in stock, so went with that and sidebites.

Jory/Archy- yep, I'd agree with that. And Devon Howard's surfing on eggs is majestic.

Finally had first surf on it today - 4-5ft lumpy Putsborough. Only a few rides but wow. Just "feels right" - fast, drivey carves along the face, but buttery smooth off the tail, just the right amount of glide, and feels "connected" to the wave in a way the fishes didn't, if that makes sense.

Can't wait until next session.
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Goat » Wed May 17, 2017 11:35 am

P.S. Jory - is that board yours?! It's beautiful. Unusual tint.

Surfed mine a couple more times; it's great, the standout quality has to be how smooth (and maneuverable) it is through top turns. Must be the pulled in, foiled pintail I guess.
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Archy_is_God » Wed May 17, 2017 11:42 am

Bit of swing weight through the nose too probably
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Re: Reality check (and in praise of a local shaper)

Postby Jory » Wed May 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Yep!

It's a beauty although I still haven't really had the perfect session on it yet. Either too windy or small or I haven't had it with me!

Tint is really cool in person, I like to give Matt and Jools a challenge! Mines not an eggplant, it's unofficially the eggs benedict model. Flat, foiled and performance rails
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