I moved to Oahu about 8 months ago to go to school and kinda put my pilgrimage in. i have spent my whole life surfing the north east atlantic specifically new jersey and north carolina, with some trips to chile and puerto rico too. my goal when i first came out to Hawaii was to get comfortable in 6-8 Hawaiian scale surf, like double to triple over head, but i got a hold of a couple of boards and im finding my stride in some bigger juice. ive had a couple sessions out at ten foot sunset and himalayas, along with a small 10-12 foot bay day. what im getting at is that there is so much out there as far as information on what to ride but im havin a hard time navigating it all and finding whats appropriate for my style of surfing. i would consider my surfing as more of a working mans, i dont care to much for being undergunned so i can do snaps. i try and train but im not really looking to make a ten foot drop at himi’s any harder than it has to be cause for the waves ive been trying to ride its mostly about the barrel or just gettin a good high line to the shoulder. that being said im not one to shy away from performance either, just want a good mix. i guess what im saying is i want functionality in bigger waves and im trying to tune my equipment for that. right now when the surf get 8 to 10 i mostly ride and 8’3’ rick holt shaped under the brewer label, its beefy but still pretty foiled out for turns, i also ride a 7’6" tokoro chip which is a dream but i find it a little to light and hard to get over the ledge at the more open ocean spots. that all being said i rode an owl chapman 9’2" single fin the other day at himalayas at 8-10 and it rode like a dream, got in pretty early and came off the bottom better than my small boards i figure cause of the weight making it stick to the face better. so thats my first problem, i see most people on days like that with much smaller boards and i wonder if im cheating, i know this sounds ridiculous but im only 25 so i want to push myself a little. now that being said i come to my main topic, above ten foot! i recently got a hold of a beautiful 9’6" bk gun and its super heavy and just looks amazing and im dreaming about stepping it up on the bigger days at himalayas and maybe the bay on this board but it seams like there are a lot of ideas about boards in this catagory, i also have a 9’8" brewer but it has almost half the rocker and is more narrow in the nose so im gettin confused. i see that half the guys paddling out to waimea are on under 10’ boards and the other half are on 10’6" or around that. i dont plan on surfing the bay really as i will focus mostly on the outer reef lefts but lately ive been thinking that if i start goin for the 12’ plus surf i want something bigger than the bk. im not kelly slater, im not interested in taking off under the ledge and doin turns, i wanna get in, maybe get barreled and make it out, and im thinkin that a bigger board will really help even at this size, especially to get out of the way of cleanups. this is only my first year in the islands so i think i might limit myself to 12, cause being from jersey, everything seems huge haha! but i want to paddly out on 15’ days and just get a feel and also i just want to be prepared. im wondering if my line of thinking has any merit or what cause this is all very new to me as i never thought i would be contemplating a 10’6". how do yall think a 10’6" would go in 12-15, i am about 6 foot and 180 pounds. i know that people ride them when its maxing out but it seems like a good move for someone just starting to get their feet wet. and this brings me to another line of thought, shapers. i have heard of guys incorporating paddleboard design into there rhino chasers and this sounds like a great move to me but i dont really see those elements in the main north shore guys like brewer and rawson. and also fins, what to choose, im thinking quad but i have had good experience on single fins too. im really curious on all aspects of riding big surf, stuff that doesnt really get talked about a lot is leashes and leash strings. ive got a 10’ big wave leash that seems to do the trick but sometimes puts the board so far away from me that it takes too long to get it back. as far as leash strings go, what makes the best kine, and should i double it up or any other tricks?
as far as training goes, i mostly just surf, and throw in a little diving, hiking, and swimming too. whats effective on season training as well as off season training, i plan on doing a lot more diving and i want to join an outrigger paddling team but i don’t know if there is muscle or stretching training that might help. as of right now i can static apnea breath hold 2 minutes which is a nice bit of mental reassurance but i would like to go longer.
i know this all seems like a lot of words but ive been mulling it over for a while now, and it seems like this is the kind of information that, for good reason, is just glossed over. being that im new to the island , i didnt get to grow up with a legend or mentor who could pass this sort of knowledge down and it would really help if some of you nice folks could maybe point me in the right direction. i really would like to push myself intelligently and safely and with a lot of hard work
A hui ho!