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Topics - OkiWild

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1
Sessions / Typhoon #9
« on: August 12, 2019, 11:58:55 PM »
Again, not my best effort filming...but I'm trying here.

A segment on my surf chariot, a bit on trying to film POV, and then some surfing.

Two locations in this video. First spot was still shallow and ledging. Lots of people standing around contemplating, so my buddy Adam and I charged it. Got bounced hard a couple of times, reef rash on the foot. All of this footage was from the nose cam. Very hairy wave with a lot of wind. Was barely able to control the board on the chop, and it really wanted to take flight, so wasn't ready to mess with a new camera set up...sorry to those who hate nose mount. As soon as we started taking waves, about five other SUP's paddled out, three quickly retreating back to the beach :-)  Then came the prone surfers. Everyone was really cool, but too crowded for my comfort.

We moved to a different spot, with a lot bigger wave, but better wind protection. Moved the camera to the helmet mount, but the GoPro was low on battery, so I only filmed a set from the channel, then filmed about two or three rides towards the end. After four hours in the water, and I was really beat at that point.

The POV footage from the helmet makes wave size look incredibly small. However, many people seem to like this angle better. I'd appreciate it if people would let me know what they think, and prefer. I'll try to tailor filming to what people want to see. Thanks.



2
Sessions / Small Kine Super Secrets
« on: July 26, 2019, 07:39:50 PM »
East side swell is holding steady at...1 meter...all spring...

So still a great day with a couple of friends at a local (to me) secret spot. Flat reef without a bunch of holes, that will set up for some longer rides with enough swell. When it gets overhead, it becomes almost exclusively rights (unless you want a big paddle back out). It's a barreling wave, but not top-to-bottom, so less heavy, and really fun. Limited to light winds, as it's a km paddle from the closest put-in.
Surfed about four hours, and these were some of the better rides I caught. When the really good ones pop up, I always forget the camera...but I'm getting better at it. Nose-cam, as the bite mount really affects my surfing still.

On the NP10 (10'x28"x127L) with quad GL2.

Enjoy, and thanks for watching. As always, critiquing on filming welcome!



3
Gear Talk / My Single Thruster Quad Battle
« on: July 23, 2019, 01:18:15 AM »
Reading around the Internet, there’s a lot of information on the single vs. thruster vs. quad fin set up. Some of it dead wrong or bass-aackwards, a lot of contradicting info from site to site, and almost none of it applying specifically to SUP. I’m “data driven,” and had a really difficult time ferreting out anything but anecdotal opinion. Where quads are concerned, a large part of the problem seems to be mis-application of the info, where the intended use of the board, and therefore fin setup, is completely different. For instance, the term “quads are a lot looser,” or “fin release is a lot better” is thrown around quite a bit. If that’s the bottom line, then why do so many big wave guns now run a quad set up that’s touted to have better hold when turning or on a steep face? Most of us know it’s a different application, and different fin placement. On one, there’s a wider tail with the rear fins tucked up closer to the forward fins. The other has a narrow tail and the trailing fins are farther back, and farther from the rail. But someone just coming in and looking for info on fin setups will be bombarded with info that won’t make sense, or is irrelevant to their application. The standard surfing SUP has the same issue, where it doesn’t really meet the criteria of either of the above boards, and outside of reading people’s personal experience on this forum, there’s no real detailing of how it all works for this particular type of board. In this case, the “particular board” being a somewhat standard surfing template, in the form of a blown-up prone board. Wider tail than a similar surfboard, and a wider fin spread than a similar surfboard. My purpose in writing this up is to potentially help others in search of real-world experience, should they spend some time in the forum search section, as I did, looking for people’s experiences with the different fin configurations on a surfing SUP.

So, I’m relatively new to SUP. A lifetime shortboard surfer who first stood on a SUP in late July of 2017, and quickly went all in. Sold all my shortboards, and acquired a fleet of SUP’s. I found that with a surfing SUP, the fin setup is much more critical, and to a much greater extent affects how the board works compared to a traditional shortboard. The following is my two-year battle with fin setup on the surfing SUP. Of course, it’s not all inclusive, but I think it’s a good all-around observation. The two boards I really worked with are an 8’10”x29”x116L gun, and a 10’x28”x127L performance longboard. Both with a five-fin setup, including adjustable center box. Both have pulled-in, thinned out round-pin tails, and tapered rails. Specifically, they are the Blue Planet Ninja Warrior and NP10. The fin selection tops $1,500, some cheap Amazon specials, many expensive with someone’s name on them.

*Note: In the following observations, I’m not saying something is good or bad for all, only for me. Others may like the way a certain fin configuration makes a board feel. What I’m trying to impart is the difference I observed for a given setup.   

On the gun. First with a thruster, as that’s what I came from. Yea, it goes OK, but what I found is that compared to a shortboard, I can overpower the board, and slip the tail without much effort. OK for some. Not something I like. Bad knee injuries from years of sliding the tail, I like to keep the board connected now. Where a shortboard, with its much narrower tail and closer-grouped fins, will just hook and book, the wider tail (more surface area?) and fin separation on the SUP makes the board want to slip. I can’t put the board up on a rail at high speed, and just jam it. I have to think about how much it can take, and sometimes let the board decelerate first. Tried a bunch of different fins, with small gains and losses. The deeper Futures GL2’s worked the best. I also experimented with the “2+1, using several 7” center fins (FCS II Kai Sallas and Up Surf generic) . Although this would control the slip a bit more, it would make the board a dog; lose more speed through a turn, noticeable loss in rail-to-rail transition response. I have to ride it with the center fin all the way in the back of the box. The board snaps around easier with the fin moved forward, but hold is decreased.

One day I thought “OK, I’ll try the quad.” Past experience on shortboards had kept me away from doing this, but that experience can be summed up with quad templates put on thruster boards. With the full GL2 quad set up, the board came alive. First thing I noticed was that instead of maintaining speed in the first bottom turn, the board felt like it accelerated hard. So quickly in fact, that before I was ready, the board was heading right back at the top of the wave. It transitioned over to the other rail very quickly, and I put it on the opposite rail to a point way past where I knew the slip was coming…but it didn’t slip. The board just carved around and accelerated back down the wave face. It was magic. I tried several different quad setups, and like the thruster, small differences, but the overall massive difference was between thruster and quad. I could never get the thruster close to the quad in hold and acceleration, but I could get the quad close to the thruster in turning circle. Not quite as tight as the thruster will pivot on a slow-speed turn (not talking about paddle turns), but overall, much better. Larger rear fins would make the board stiffer to turn in a tight arc. Smaller rear fins like the Futures QD2 3.75’s make the board like a Japanese shopping cart (all four casters swivel) when at speed and the board is flat, but it turns tighter. 

When I picked up the NP10, I was still on the quad high from the gun, so the first thing I did was put in another set of Futures GL2’s…and it was horrible. So bad, in fact, that I paddled about a km back in to switch it to the GL2 thruster. The board just wouldn’t turn for me. The rub here is that the thruster didn’t make much of a difference. Better, but not by much. Keeping in mind that this board is pretty flat, designed to be a nose rider, and I’m trying to ride it like a 6’ shortboard. Eventually, I learned to surf this board, and it’s now my favorite board (I own 8 boards, and have tried dozens more). The problem wasn’t the fin setup, the problem was me. I had no idea how to surf a long board. At one point, after learning the board, I tried to go “traditional,” and experimented with several different single fin sizes, largest being a 9”, all of these being the standard generic single fin template (Up Surf, etc.).  My first surfboard was a 6’ squash-tail with glassed in single fin, and I’ve owned many single fin boards, but a longboard is new to me. The single fin doesn’t rail turn anywhere near as efficiently as the thruster. If I try to turn it hard on a rail, the fin slips…hard, and the board stalls…hard. Great if you want to pop it around, stall, and run to the nose, but not my thing. The things I found good about the single fin was being able to get up to the nose easier, and glide. The nose stays much higher, with less propensity to pearl when you're up front. I attribute this to less lift in the tail than the multi-fin setups. Still completely possible to get on the nose with the thruster, just not nearly as easy. On small waves, the drag feels way down, so the glide is up. Goes straighter and faster when paddling. Not sure why I left this board a thruster for so long without trying quad (until today), but that’s what happened.

Enter the Blue Planet Pocket Knife. 8’8”x29”x116L. Set up as a thruster with GL2 fins, center fin all the way back, the board will wrap up a cut back in such a tight circle, it blew my mind. Hold was there, turning circle is there. Tail of the board is completely different than the Ninja Warrior. It’s a squash, and more of a traditional shortboard thruster look. I've not tried this board in a quad, but it convinced me that I must be doing something wrong in the Ninja thruster setup because "quads are all bad" and I'll prove it...  Wrong. I go back and forth with the setup, but the Ninja works better as a quad. Period. Soon I'll try the Knife as a quad.

Behind the scenes, I queried a couple of Zone members on their thoughts about the quad on SUP, and decided to give the NP10 another go at it this morning. Again, the board was magic. I have learned how to surf the board, and with the quad in place, it was doing things it could never do as a thruster. Being a longboard, slipping out on a cut back was never an issue as a thruster. The tail and fin set are 1.5” narrower than the Warrior, which probably helps a bit, I don't surf it in nearly as powerful surf, but the board will never turn like something more shortboard-ish, anyway. First difference I noticed was that as soon as the outside rail lifted to turn, the acceleration was much quicker. Almost banana-peeled off the back on the first drop in. The wave I was on goes into a deep section after the bottom turn and about one good cut back. You have to work to keep it in the wave, where it will reform on the inside, and if you make the reform, it can be hard to gain enough speed to get over the next section that will break in front of you. For the quad, this was no issue. The instant speed generation entering the reform was right there, and the section was easily makeable. I’ve surfed this wave loads on the NP10, and it’s never been so easy, not even with a single fin. It was unbelievable. I could feel no degradation in turning circle with the quad.

Paddling either board in a straight line feels like it tracks better as a thruster. Quad wants to swing side to side more. However, inline speed and drag feel the same to me. Ease of catching the wave feels the same.



These have been my observations. Comparing shortboard fin setups to SUP fin setups feels like apples and oranges. The side fin leading edge spread on the Tokoro shortboard is 12”, where it’s somewhere around 15.5” on the NP10, and 17” on the Warrior. When up on a rail, I think there’s not as much fin in the water on the SUP, which goes to making the board unstable as a thruster (slips) compared to a shortboard thruster. As a quad, with the wider tail and fins, the leading and trailing on one side are acting more like closer-grouped shortboard thruster than trying to compare it with a shortboard quad, with the exception of both fins pointing in the same general direction, making for less drag. Of course, the slip over that of the quad may be desirable for some, and of course, different SUP board and fin templates will work better or worse, depending on the desires of the rider. But I think this is a good “this did that” set of information, that hopefully will help someone else who is digging for info. And of course it’s not a closed case for me. All I do now is surf and think about surfing. I welcome all thoughts and am open to trying the new and different.

Cheers. 

4
Sessions / Last Day of TS Danas
« on: July 20, 2019, 08:38:21 PM »
Yesterday was the last day of tropical storm Danas. Wind was brutal at 20-30kts, making most of the normal spots on the west side unsurfable. This spot faces just enough north to be side-off at mostly side. Very short video with not very good clips...but I do my best. I originally went out at a spot just down from here. A couple of other guys were out on SUP, but were struggling badly with the wind. They were paddling in as I was paddling out. It was solid double overhead, breaking fat with the lip landing about 1/3 down the face, and long crumbling right shoulder. I caught three bombs there, and then it went flat... So I paddled back in to put on a hat and pants (UV protection), changed the GoPro battery, and paddled out to a junky spot (this video), where it was at least shallow enough to break.

Then I noticed that the GoPro was sitting at 1 video... Something happened when I swapped batteries, and the card formatted or something. All previous footage was gone...sigh. Probably the best footage I've shot to date.

Anyway, the spot in the video peaks up on the outside where you can catch it on a SUP, mostly on the knees this day due to the wind. When the tide dropped, it then doubles on the inside reef. One of the clips shows this well, and there's an air drop into the head-high double up. The reef is short and goes deep again on the inside, dissipating energy quickly and making for a short ride. Not a good spot, but better than not surfing. Got a lot of waves, just not very long ones. Met new friends, Japanese paddle surfers down from mainland Japan

When the tide dropped, the original peak I was at started working (but much smaller), but 8 surfers had already taken up residence, so I called it a day. My jaw muscles hurt today from clinching the bite-mount so much...LOL

Anyway, enjoy the wind noise. Not long enough to add music. Thanks for watching



5
Sessions / Spring Small Wave Blues
« on: June 30, 2019, 06:15:54 AM »
This spring has been a nightmare. The westerly wind band that blows between Hawaii and here is way south, so the swell has been really small. The local wind has been south to southeast, making the coast facing east too beat up to surf, but the swell is too small to wrap into wind-protected areas...

Wind finally dropped a little and switched to SSW, so I was able to surf Friday, Saturday, and today, taking a little video today with POV. Still small at waist to chest, but took probably 35 waves, so I'm set for a few days ;-)

Just under 5 minute video. Really short rides, so actual surfing is slowed to .7 speed.

Riding the Blue Planet NP10 at 10' x 28" x 128L. Awesome board for these conditions.





6
Technique / Getting Shacked
« on: May 22, 2019, 12:12:01 AM »
...and what to do with the stupid paddle...LOL

So I've been at this SUP thing since August before last (lifetime surfer), and finally feeling confident enough to paddle into the bowl or peak in larger surf. The way the water moves across the reef on an approaching set makes it really difficult and intimidating when standing and stroking into a wave, but we're finally getting there. Our surf here is primarily shallow reef, and drains and slabs when it starts getting bigger.

This last weekend it was around double overhead on the sets, but really draining and sketchy, so I stuck with the just-overhead to head-and-a-half waves. Pulled up into the barrel three times, two of which I got blasted. Front-side, goofy-foot. In video, I find that I normally ride in a steep section with the paddle in front, lightly slicing in the wave face. The two bad ones I found that the paddle would get pulled back and up, rotating my upper body from squared-up, back to facing the wave. This, of course makes the board turn up the wave, and it goes quickly "up hill" from there. The one where I made it, I accidentally had the paddle on the outside in one hand, and my left hand on the wave face.

So I got to thinking... What do most people do with the paddle? The only real reference I see on Youtube is Jess Leedy. He seems to hold it on the outside in one hand, but man that seems like a vulnerable position where the wave can really get at it, and you're almost certain to land on it.

All tips and tricks much appreciated. Typhoon season is coming!   

7
Sessions / Drop and Pop
« on: April 18, 2019, 08:02:55 AM »
Short, fast, steep bowling wave on the east side of Okinawa (same tiny spot as last week on the race board). Steep drop, especially when it gets overhead, then empties into a channel where the wave goes flat, and you can give it a little pop with a small snap or cutback. Sets this day were double overhead on the face, but unmakable as the inside section would close out (not enough water). So a few of these are just a couple of feet overhead. Had a serious case of spaghetti-legs today...just one of those off days. Super fun, though. Hooking up with my buddy Carl (prone surfer who paddles over the wave in front of me), who I haven't seen in 20 years. Also met up with a Japanese guy I was a team rider with for a local brand...also about 20 years ago...LOL.  Three of us on the peak having a blast.




8
Sessions / Raceboard Days Are Here
« on: April 07, 2019, 05:03:12 AM »
Spring is when we go flat. Between winter storm swell from up north and typhoon swell in the summer/fall. Today was about as small as it gets on the east side (.7meters @ 8 sec.) as the Pacific does it's thing. Far away storms will push it up overhead once in a while, but for the most part...this is spring. So with the wind switching more west, out come the raceboards.

Today was about waist high, with a deep tide, which has the waves rolling across the reef mostly without breaking. Sets up for pretty long silent glides. Couple of other SUP's out, but they were struggling :-) I picked off probably 30 waves on this small peak by myself. Same wave yesterday, but I brought a 10'x28" long board SUP. Not nearly as effortless as a 12'6"x27" displacement race board. 

POV, with some annoying looking left and right... part of the challenge of surfing this stuff is staying in the wave as the peak behind you dies, and it reforms to the right or left.   



9
Sessions / Windy Bowls
« on: April 01, 2019, 09:30:45 PM »
Last Sunday at a spot on the west side of Okinawa. Blowing 20kts+ side-shore, making conditions pretty horrible (but fun). Mostly waist to shoulder, with the occasional head-high set. Sweet little bowl that drains on a shallow reef outcrop, then the wall stands up on the inside. Super short rides this day, but on a bigger day and deep tide, it really fires.  It's been interesting navigating it on a SUP, as it's really hard to fit a board in the bowl without pearling.

Farther down the coast than most surfers want to paddle, so it's almost always empty. 

I left in all the wind and heavy breathing to give the viewer a sense of how annoying the conditions really were :-)



10
Sessions / Okinawa West Side 24 March
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:51:53 AM »
Fun bowling wave I frequent in the winter on the small days. This day was waist to shoulder. Wave bowls up on a shallow reef outcrop, then goes a little fat on small days, reforming on the inside. On head-high and larger days, the bowl can get quite sketchy (you can see how it drains on these little waves), but makes for a hollow, barreling left.

Shot in POV with the GoPro bite mount, so sorry about the heavy breathing... Started getting really good as the tide was dropping, but battery ran out just as that happened...of course.

On a side note, as a prone surfer, I hated surfing long boards. Just couldn't make them work for me, and only used one to take my kids out on when they were little. I'd ride prone, and let them stand up on the nose. Once I started on SUP, I found that I really like the 10' boards, especially on the small days. The walking back and forth to turn and trim the board out. So much fun. I think I'm having more fun now than I ever have, and I've surfed my whole life. My buddy called me a "50 year old grom" today...LOL  Hope some people find the small days somewhat interesting. With typhoon season rolling in, the bigger surf firing up, and finally feeling the confidence to stand up paddle into larger hollow stuff without falling off, should have better footage. 



11
Sessions / Okinawa Zampa Morning Session
« on: March 20, 2019, 02:58:21 AM »
Quick session this morning at Zampa Misaki, or Cape Zampa. It's a headland that catches winter north swell directly. Usually surfed when the west side has almost nothing left from the swell, and the wind turns east. Today was pretty tame, but at head high, it turns into a slabbing monster that stands up really quick, and can be hard to get into. Today wasn't very clean, not very long, but still fun. Last clip, I drop in and immediately pull out of a closeout, with a good shot of the reef...LOL

Once again, really bad camera work that doesn't do the wave (or me) justice :-)

Still a bit under the weather from a cold, but great to get in the water at dawn!




Not my video, but a better shot of what the inside peak looks like at head high.






 

12
General Discussion / Okinawa Intro
« on: March 18, 2019, 07:09:49 AM »
I originally posted this in the Sessions section, but was requested to post it to General, as it's an intro, and Sessions doesn't get as much traffic. Sorry for the double post.



Hello all. Enjoyed a couple of hours out by myself yesterday afternoon at a break close to the house. Only about waist to shoulder high, but clean. All I have are "me" shots, as filming myself is all new. One shot with some backdrop. Only have a GoPro 7, and still trying to figure out the best way to use it. Don't really like the nose camera, but not real happy with how POV turns out, either.  All tips and tricks welcome.

About me. Turned 50 last January... Lived in Okinawa Japan for most of my life. Surfing here for almost 40 years, and a recent convert to SUP. Same old story...painful shoulder when prone paddling, old knee injuries, etc. Been pretty inactive for the last 5 years, as far as surfing goes. Injury plus tired of the growing crowds, hassling for every wave, and hostilities I see towards less experienced surfers. So I mostly left the lineup and hitting more remote breaks by sea kayak, and by myself.

I had NO IDEA that SUP surfing was even a thing. I knew there were people on super tankers here and there, but that was it. So July before last, a friend who knows I surf, starts telling me that he's taken up "downwind sup racing," how it's a great workout, and that i should try it... First thing out of my mouth was "SUP's are for kooks." LOL. After thinking about it for a week, I called a friend who owns a large surf shop I used to ride for, and ask him what he had for "race boards." He sells me a 12'6" Kazuma displacement board for about $1,500 off of local retail, a paddle, and it's on. Used it for daily 5-10km flat water paddles, and even tried to do a few down-winders on it.

One day while out on the big bay by my house, doing my daily work out paddle, there were some small, knee-high, rollers coming in, and I thought "I wonder if you can surf this thing?" Wave after wave of 200 meter glides, and I was absolutely hooked. Started surfing it in larger and larger surf, and had so much fun, it was nuts.

But I sucked so bad at the downwind thing, I went to Youtube, and found all the Blue Planet downwind videos. Pretty quick, I ordered a 14' Bumprider from them, and the world of SUP surfing opened up to me.

A year and a half later, I've sold all of my surfboards, have the two race boards plus four surfing SUP's, four paddles, etc. Back to surfing 3-5 times a week without bad shoulder problems, and have a whole new respect for how hard it really is to paddle into waves while standing up. Especially the 99% reef break we have here. I've found the local Japanese SUP surfer community I never knew existed, and everyone is super cool.

Super stoked to have found this part of surfing, and this community. Wasn't easy getting access to this board...LOL

Cheers,
Matt

13
Sessions / Okinawa Intro
« on: March 18, 2019, 03:42:42 AM »
Hello all. Enjoyed a couple of hours out by myself yesterday afternoon at a break close to the house. Only about waist to shoulder high, but clean. All I have are "me" shots, as filming myself is all new. One shot with some backdrop. Only have a GoPro 7, and still trying to figure out the best way to use it. Don't really like the nose camera, but not real happy with how POV turns out, either.  All tips and tricks welcome.

About me. Turned 50 last January... Lived in Okinawa Japan for most of my life. Surfing here for almost 40 years, and a recent convert to SUP. Same old story...painful shoulder when prone paddling, old knee injuries, etc. Been pretty inactive for the last 5 years, as far as surfing goes. Injury plus tired of the growing crowds, hassling for every wave, and hostilities I see towards less experienced surfers. So I mostly left the lineup and hitting more remote breaks by sea kayak, and by myself.

I had NO IDEA that SUP surfing was even a thing. I knew there were people on super tankers here and there, but that was it. So July before last, a friend who knows I surf, starts telling me that he's taken up "downwind sup racing," how it's a great workout, and that i should try it... First thing out of my mouth was "SUP's are for kooks." LOL. After thinking about it for a week, I called a friend who owns a large surf shop I used to ride for, and ask him what he had for "race boards." He sells me a 12'6" Kazuma displacement board for about $1,500 off of local retail, a paddle, and it's on. Used it for daily 5-10km flat water paddles, and even tried to do a few down-winders on it.

One day while out on the big bay by my house, doing my daily work out paddle, there were some small, knee-high, rollers coming in, and I thought "I wonder if you can surf this thing?" Wave after wave of 200 meter glides, and I was absolutely hooked. Started surfing it in larger and larger surf, and had so much fun, it was nuts. 

But I sucked so bad at the downwind thing, I went to Youtube, and found all the Blue Planet downwind videos. Pretty quick, I ordered a 14' Bumprider from them, and the world of SUP surfing opened up to me.

A year and a half later, I've sold all of my surfboards, have the two race boards plus four surfing SUP's, four paddles, etc. Back to surfing 3-5 times a week without bad shoulder problems, and have a whole new respect for how hard it really is to paddle into waves while standing up. Especially the 99% reef break we have here. I've found the local Japanese SUP surfer community I never knew existed, and everyone is super cool.

Super stoked to have found this part of surfing, and this community. Wasn't easy getting access to this board...LOL

Cheers,
Matt

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