Wednesday, July 28, 2010

what is this...a barrel for ANTS!?!

ankle biters on tap this AM, but it was relatively nice out and i just got a new sony tx5 camera that i've been dying to test out, along with a new wrist shot strap from a cool local company called Golden Hour. i'll post a more thorough review when i'm able to test the setup in more serious surf for a longer session, but so far so good. the 10mp resolution is 2x better than that of the GoPro cam, and I'm a sucker for the 10fps burst mode. perfect for capturing those critical moments. it also does a lot better in low light, has a 4x zoom, touch screen display, panorama, etc. basically it's a fully featured slim little point and shoot that also happens to be waterproof to 10ft and shockproof too. my only gripe so far is that the touch screen is too sensitive in the water for my fat fingers, i end up pressing things and get stuck in the menu by mistake. It's probably something I can disable in the settings, I need to play with it some more. The new wrist strap from Golden Hour worked well so far, although like I said, the waves were tiny and I was only in the water for half an hour, so I can't really give it an accurate assessment yet. It appears to be a well made peice though, and the velcro is strong so I expect it will hold up well. Stay posted for a full review soon, and pray for surf...
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Monday, July 19, 2010

the dawning of a new era

i haven't been blogging much lately, although I've still been surfing a few times a week. part of the reason for the neglect of w2h is that i've been super busy, both at work and at home. another reason is that the waterproof housing on my GoPro is busted (actually I broke 2 of them...) so I haven't been taking as many photos, which is usually the main reason I post to w2h. but really, I've mostly dropped off the radar because I'm gonna be a dad -a baby girl on the way, due in late November. so obviously priorities have shifted, and dawn patrolling every day has been replaced with things like shopping for cribs and painting the baby room.

in any case, I've actually had a few memorable surf sessions in the last month. for a few sessions when the waves were small, I pulled the 2 rear fins out of my Wu Wallace quad and surfed it as a twin fin. It was super fast and super loose, a lot of fun going frontside, but really out of control going backside. I rode it like that for a while, and then one morning the swell came up significantly, and I found myself paddling into 6-7 footers. The speed is ridiculous, and turns are a lot harder to get a feel for, but it was a lot of fun. One good wave I caught that session I was flying down the line while some dude on the inside was throwing shakas and hooting. Overall though it was not enough control, so I put the other fins back and rode it as a quad for my next couple sessions.

In one of my next sessions, there was some tiny but fun little combo swell in the water. I was out trading waves with maybe 5 or 6 other guys, and as I bottom turned into a left, an older guy on a hybrid ditched his board right in front of me. I clipped the back of his board with my right side rail and two huge chunks got taken out. So unfortunately my favorite small wave board is currently out of commission. It's repairable, but it's not going to be pretty. As a replacement, I'm currently 80% done shaping a 5'6" fish, the template based off of a Shane Stoneman fish that Matias rides. My goal is to finish it before the summer is over.

In the meantime, I've been riding my own 6'4" as my everyday board, and starting to really get it dialed. I've had some solid head high days on it now, so have gotten used to the way it handles at speed, and I'm quite pleased with the performance. I've made some really late drops on it, pulled into some nice barrels (although haven't made it out of a clean one yet) and have even landed a couple of small airs on it. If anything, I would say that I could've put more concave into the tail, to make it a little looser and easer to snap the tail around. Going fast it seems harder to slide the tail than some of my other boards.

Lastly, I just ordered a new Sony TX5 waterproof camera. Coupled with the new WristShot universal strap that I bought today from a really cool local company, Golden Hour I think it will make an awesome surf camera. The ability to zoom, shoot 10fps bursts at 10mp, and shoot HD video should make for some quality surf pics. I just hope the camera will stand up to the abuse. As soon as my new camera arrives I'll post a review of it, along with the wrist strap too. I'm really stoked to be moving up in terms of image quality for my water shots, without having to sacrifice the convenience of a wrist cam.