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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: scrooner on September 05, 2020, 04:08:06 PM

Title: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: scrooner on September 05, 2020, 04:08:06 PM
I got a Carbon Playa earlier this year for a trip to HI that ended up being cancelled, but I'm thinking about learning to surf on it on the Oregon coast.  Anybody have any experience surfing this or a similar inflatable in these waters?  How big of a kook will I be?  I'm not execting high performance, just a reasobable amount of fun and success riding waves.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: surfcowboy on September 05, 2020, 06:11:07 PM
They claim you can surf it. If youíve never surfed before, take a lesson with a 9í or bigger longboard and a teacher. What they teach you about waves will pay off in spades.

Surfingís easy. Catching waves and not getting hurt or hurting others is the hard part.

As to kook status? There is nothing kookier than learning to stand up surf. But most people on this board have been there. If you wanna be cool take up skateboarding. ;) You will have a ball for sure.

One tip on the inflatable. Iíve never had one stiff enough to catch a wave. If it feels like itís bucking up in the middle as you catch the wave, give up or pump it up more (if it wonít pop). If you feel that flex itís really hard to catch a wave as itís sticking to the water and  absorbing the energy instead of sliding. My cruiser inflatable does this (itís not made to surf.)

Have fun and donít worry about what people think. They arenít thinking about you. We are all self centered.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: jondrums on September 05, 2020, 06:20:13 PM
I've done a lot of SUP surfing and I thought it would be fun to try to surf my 12' inflatable.  Wow, it was really really difficult and honestly not all that fun.  Go for it, but if you don't have luck, chalk it up to the gear and try again with a different board.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: Area 10 on September 06, 2020, 07:42:26 PM
Inflatables suck for surf and downwinding. They are OK to learn to surf if you are a total.beginner. But that's it. They stick to.the water, flex like crazy, and the big fat round rails and voluminous tail makes them a nightmare to turn - very slow pivot turns is the best you can hope for. There are some activities where the performanceof an inflatable isn't too far off a hard board. But surf and downwinding are exceptions.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: scrooner on September 08, 2020, 09:42:17 AM
"They are OK to learn to surf if you are a total.beginner."  That would be me!  The Carbon Playa is a little bit thinner (4.75"), has carbon stringers top & bottom to cut down on the flex, and nose/tail rocker so it should do better than most inflatables, but yeah, my expectations are low.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: surfcowboy on September 08, 2020, 12:49:30 PM
Report back man! But just be careful to not blame yourself if itís hard. Surfing is hard enough on the perfect gear.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: Wetstuff on September 09, 2020, 05:58:42 AM
Cowboy's comments on flex may be why Body Glove stopped making their 8-2 surfboard but continued with SUPs.  ...or, Wavestorms killed them off.

Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: surfcowboy on September 09, 2020, 07:46:41 AM
At my weight on a 12í6Ē board it was almost a kook of the day clip. The middle bows up over a foot and almost tossed me into the trough on a waist high wave.

That said, Iíve had a lot of fun surfing ULI demos back in the day. That 10í Lopez is constantly on my mind for a travel board.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: PonoBill on September 09, 2020, 08:00:05 AM
The only guys I ever saw surf well on an inflatable are Steamroller (Clinton Yap) and Chris Koerner and they can surf on anything. Steamroller could rip on an air mattress. The bigger problem in this case is surfing on the Oregon Coast, which is always a challenge. Not only is the water cold, but the swell almost always comes from multiple directions and you have to get out through shorebreak in most locations, which is never easy on any SUP, much less on an inflatable with its bug fluffy nose preventing easy penetration. By the time you manage to stand and start paddling you'll be shoved back to the beach. It's almost impossible to paddle out on your knees--you present too much area to the waves in that position--you'll just get shoved back to the wet sand a little faster. Your choices are standing or paddling prone with the paddle under you, and it's ever so much easier to ditch the paddle and do that on a longboard.

That Carbon Playa is pretty, but I'd consider it marginal in the far more user-friendly spots in SoCal or Hawaii south shore. I might take it out at a few Oregon spots, but only to see if I could manage to get a few rides. I wouldn't expect success, and I've been doing this a long, long time.

Speaking of long, long, it's a long, long coast, where are you planning to try? There are a few spots that are easier to reach the lineup, or at least a place where a beginner might find a few waves. Indian Beach which is north of Cannon Beach comes to mind, Pacific City on a small day, as well as a few spots near Newport. But if you're seriously interested in surfing, Surfcowboy's advice is right on. Get a Wavestorm longboard and try to find someone to give you some lessons. Not an easy job in Oregon, where the vast majority of beachgoers stay the hell out of the frigid water. With a Wavestorm you're unlikely to hurt yourself, so even if you can't find someone to teach you, just get in the water and go. Watch some video on how to longboard, the best of the best IMHO are the ones from a Japanese guy who really breaks down the important elements. I don't remember his name but dig around on Youtube and you'll find them.

You'll also need a good wetsuit--really good. Something that's not only going to keep you warm but that will be flexible enough for you to move easily. The cash outlay is not too bad. Two hundred for a wavestorm, and about $350 for great wetsuit like the O'Neill techno butter 3 4/3 suit with a zip-on hood. You'll want booties too. You can buy cheaper suits, but don't.

I guarantee you'll be a total kook, but don't let that stop you. I've been doing this shit for half my long life and I'm still a kook. Who cares. It's fun, and that's what matters.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: surfercook on September 10, 2020, 06:45:48 PM
Everyone has an element of kook, scrooner...well, maybe not Laird or Jerry. Just go for it and that Carbon Playa looks nice.  Uli's are definitely the best inflatables for surfing. Not even sure they are still in business though. What's your height and weight anyways? Also what level of surfing are you at?

  I had some pretty decent success on an Uli Mini Quad a few summers ago. It was surprisingly loose and surfed WAY better than I had ever expected. Then I tried a larger Peak inflatable sup which was not nearly as performance oriented. Check da vids if you like. Thanx and good luck!

Peak Inflatable (Hop on it at the 03:30 mark)

Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: scrooner on September 11, 2020, 07:20:27 PM
I was mostly thinking about small days at Pacific City or Otter Rock.  My friends from Portland who SUP surf seem to go to those places the most, and I planned to tag along, have a look, and secretly hope for smaller waves.  I might rent a board or borrow something from a friend if the inflatable is just overmatched for Oregon surf.

This will no doubt disappoint you but I bought a full wetsuit last week before your recommendation, a Quiksilver Syncro 5/4/3 with hood, and I've got some 5mm Flash Bomb booties.  Getting in & out of the wetsuit made me feel like Harry Houdini.  I bet it's harder when it's wet.

I plan on taking some lessons from Cascadia SUP & Surf, but it looks like I got started late and they are all done for the year.

To answer surfercook, I'm 5'6" and about 155.  Complete beginner at SUP surfing, though I did once try and fail to catch waves in Hawaii on a rental board in 2010.  Thanks for the footage!
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: surfcowboy on September 12, 2020, 08:55:07 AM
Wetsuits loosen up. As to wet, bring a plastic bag and put it on your feet and hands, itíll slide right through.

Put an ad on local craigslist. There is an instructor out there who will take you out for sure. You have gear.

Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: Badger on September 12, 2020, 11:11:04 AM
I can't imagine learning to surf on an inflatable. It's got to be ten times more difficult than a hard board. I wonder if it's even worth the time and effort.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: scrooner on September 13, 2020, 09:53:00 AM
PonoBill, are you recommending a Wavestorm longboard for SUP surfing, or regular surfing?  They've got a 10-foot single fin and 9-foot tri-fin -- is that what you mean?
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: PonoBill on September 13, 2020, 05:05:04 PM
The longboard. Mega cheap and surfs really well. I tried a Wavestorm SUP once and thought it kinda sucked, though I saw a girl at Doheny on one of the kids versions and she was ripping, but the wavestorm longboard is bulletproof, surfs very well, and you'd have to work really hard to get hurt on it. I like the three fin version. Usually about $195 but I've seen them on sale for much less. Cheapest ever was the Costco in Dana Point--$89 bucks. There was a feeding frenzy, but I bulled through and got one. Used it for two weeks and gave it to a kid on the beach when I left.

I longboarded before I did standup, though I was never all that good at it, but the small number of longboard skills I had made SUP surfing so much easier. I think people who start surfing on SUPs have a really big barrier to getting decent at it--they have a hell of a tough time learning to move their feet. For some reason, SUP mentally locks you in place. I've known people who have SUP surfed for many years who never get their back foot far enough back, and when they do they lock themselves in a stinkbug position. In fact, they rarely move very far out of the parallel feet position of flatwater paddling--they turn from the middle of the board--poorly. I'm sure there are a lot of people who will say I'm nuts, but if you spend a few weeks on a longboard learning to surf and actually trimming the board as it MUST be trimmed to make it go, you'll be a better surfer in week one on a SUP than you will be after a year of purely starting on a SUP. You can get away with all kinds of crappy surfing with a paddle, because you can make the board go when it would just stall out of the wave with a SUP.

The first time I saw Creek surf I knew he was an old time longboarder. Same for talldude.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: strbrd on September 13, 2020, 08:35:38 PM
Hello and Thank you for this great forum!

First time poster here but I have frequented the site for tons of info for all things related to SUP.

I can relate to scrooner as I tried to learn with the exact same board 4 years ago. Was looking for the all-around intro board that I could travel with. Learning on the Hala on the Oregon Coast was insane!I am surprised I stuck with it. Granted I did not know how to read or understand surf reports that well and caught myself in surf that was not the best for learning or surfing for that matter.  I finally caught a small surf day and it was great!

I took the Hala to Maui and it was even better. Decided to try a hard board while in Maui and didn't surf the Hala for at least a year. Now I have three hard boards and the Hala. On rare occasions I will take it out and it is fun and floaty in small surf. I usually replace the flex fins a single hard fin.

P.City was great this weekend for learning minus the smoke. I was out for a couple hours this morning.

I don't want to knock the Hala too much as I have received compliments on how well it can surf (probably not as good as the Uli) but it isn't the best for learning unless you can regularly find the right waves and that isn't going to happen here.

Take it down for some white water before the rain comes. I took it down the Clackamas river and it was a blast.

Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: PonoBill on September 13, 2020, 09:15:44 PM
Basically I'm echoing what surfcowboy said back in the second post of this thread. As usual, he's spot on.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: scrooner on September 14, 2020, 08:55:50 AM
Thanks everybody, this has been really helpful!!

dmilt, did you go to the Cove?  We were planning to stay by our usual beach this summer (Kamaole I in Kihei), and the Cove is a short paddle north from there, and is supposed to be a great beginner spot, so that's why I bought the Playa.  I'll be taking it there next summer with the credits from our cancelled flight, if travel to HI is possible by then.  I had planned to use a rigid surf fin too....the flexy one doesn't seem like it would be very effective in the ocean.

Last summer we were camping by Sunset Bay in southern Oregon, and we went out to the beach to watch the Sunset.  There was a guy there SUP surfing 1-foot waves there on a longboard, and it was the most beautiful thing to me.  He'd just casually paddle out, turn around and ride straight in on the first wave that came by, and then head back out and do it again.  He never fell in or missed a wave, and was just cruising.  I would be happy as a clam in those conditions, though I could see why it could be boring to experienced folks.  It would be terrible without a paddle.
Title: Re: Surfing on Hala Carbon Playa
Post by: strbrd on September 14, 2020, 09:24:42 AM
I have been to the Cove. Great spot to learn but might be crowded in the summer.  Board rentals right across the street. Rent a hard board for sure. Many spots to learn there and within a short distance. I surfed the Hala at Launiupoko all day long but the hard board is way more fun.
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