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Messages - surfafrica

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1
Gear Talk / Re: L41 Bruce Wayne model
« on: October 10, 2023, 09:08:39 AM »
I've never ridden a Bruce Wayne, but I owned a L41 ST (SIMSUP) for a couple of years.  I think of it as a gateway board for me. It really opened my eyes to surfing on shorter SUPS. I was riding 9'0s at the time and went down to a 7'11 on the L41. The difference was massive (in a great way). After a while, the wide tail started to feel sluggish though. At that point, I actually considered a Bruce Wayne but I ended up deciding on an Infinity RNB which took things to a new level.  The RNB still had a wide-ish tail and parallel rails for stability, but was more maneuverable on the wave. My guess is the Bruce Wayne would have fit the bill there too.  After a while on that RNB, I was still wanting something even a bit more agile (even more like a surfboard than a SUP surfer) so I had Kronos shape me a Nano and it was love at first ride--that's my magic board.

2
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: October 10, 2023, 08:56:05 AM »
Pono, I'm actually looking at what the moto guys are doing and am armoring up for the mtb trails with gear they use.

Even more than doubling down on physio, I'm paying huge attention to this latest Medicine 3.0 movement. I recommend everyone read Outlive by Peter Attia. And bonus points to listen to podcasts by Attia, Andrew Huberman, Brad Stanfield and Rhonda Patrick (all on Youtube and other main podcast sources).

Here are some things I've added to my general daily routine these days:
- cold plunge (4 minutes, 7 degrees C)
- 30 minute zone 2 cardio (the odd zone 5 interval day)
- 45 minute strength/balance/physio training
- sauna (15 minutes, 90 degrees C)
- more protein (+ creatine & collagen)
- getting on statins (even though I'm still under the old school threshold of LDL levels)
- I'd add more things I'm up to, but it starts to get into the weeds


3
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: October 04, 2023, 02:50:41 PM »
Always good hearing from you Creek.

My big dilemma is my nearest surf break is 6 hours (and $200 in ferries) away.  I can be mountain biking on the world's best trails in 10 minutes.

....but I hear you. I'm changing my mindset on the trails moving forward. I'm 50, not 18.

BUT, I surfed this weekend! ...on my 7'6.  And minus some rust on getting from my knees to my feet, it felt like I never left. On wave it felt natural (and great!).

I'm starting to think about a trip to El Salvador (tips welcome!).

4
Gear Talk / Re: Yet another new board thread
« on: September 14, 2023, 05:26:04 PM »
The Infinity RNB was a game-changing board for me and two of my friends. Stable with a some performance in its DNA. Super fun, user-friendly board. Smaller ones will rip, larger ones will cruise.

5
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: September 14, 2023, 05:22:01 PM »
OK, I'm going to give this comeback another try at the end of September.  I broke my wrist mountain biking in July (punishing f-ing sport) which put a damper in it. Cast came off last week and my physiotherapy gave me the thumbs up to try some SUP wave action at the end of the month if I stay diligent on my exercises. 

My stretch goal is to get back into enough form this fall/winter so I can make a tropical surf trip at some point in 2024. Maybe El Salvador? I love me some right point breaks.   

6
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: June 13, 2023, 09:48:24 AM »
Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the comments.

Turns out forest fires have put a dent in my comeback plans this weekend.  Roads are all closed. What a season!

....but that just gives me more time to get my SUP legs back!  Current "physio" (body & soul) is to get a mountain bike ride in in the morning, and then a flat water paddle on my 7'4 in the afternoon. This part of physio is way more fun than the previous few years.

So Creek, anymore boat trips into the tropics over the past few years? I still dream about that one you did a while back.


7
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: June 08, 2023, 09:39:58 PM »
Hellooooo Zoners.  Man, it's been a looong time. I've had 5 surgeries since my last surf in September 2019.  I think I might actually be done with the scalpels.  I thought I'd jump back on the forum here, 'cause in a little over a week, I'm going surfing!  I've been out on some flat water paddles with my small board over the past week, and it's feeling OK.  I know waves will be a different beast, even after just a few paddles, it felt like some of the muscle memory was coming back.

Anyway, here's to hoping it all goes well.  So I can surf, and have something to contribute to this forum (which I've missed).

- SA

8
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: November 22, 2021, 03:17:56 PM »
Hi all,

Well, it's been a while since I've trolled the posts of the Zone--one of my favorite past-times for a few years there.  Just thought I'd send an update. 

Not gonna lie, I've been to hell and back....welllll, I actually wouldn't say I'm quite back yet....but hopefully on my way.

I've been nursing a back injury for close to a decade now--my two lowest joints are basically f-cked (L4-L5-S1). In November 2019, it took a turn for the worse.  In June 2020, I had a back surgery performed that installed some posterior dynamic stabilization rods (see my post above).  I went into that surgery hoping it would stabilize things enough, but knew there was a 50/50 chance I'd need full fusion.  The procedure helped a little, and after 9 months of physiotherapy (by spring of 2021), I was starting to mountain bike again and was thinking about getting back on a SUP (I haven't been on my SUP since September 2019--booooo!).  But things took a turn for the worse in May and I ended up having fusion surgery in July. Then, I had surgery on my right foot in September 2021 to take care of a bone-on-bone joint from when I broke my heel in 2018 (I had subtalar fusion).

So I'm in the middle of a pretty crazy recovery.  I've just started walking again after 7 weeks.  My body is weak--especially my right leg and my core/back.  My right calf, quad and hamstring have fully atrophied.  My glutes do not want to fire. I'm in a lucky position work-wise to be able to take a full year off to focus on rehab and that's what I'm doing.  Besides my family, it's now 100% my focus (so I guess it's 60% my focus?).  I see a physiotherapist and a massage therapist weekly.  I do a prescribed physio routine daily.  I walk and squat in a pool every other day.  Some practitioners keep saying "you'll get there in 3-6 months".  But the ones that I really trust say I'm going to need 12-18 months at least. So who knows how far I'll get, and when I'll get there. It's early stages and walking hurts like crazy.

With so much downtime on my hands this fall, I've been back to editing videos to help keep my mind working. I'm posting quite a few mountain bike videos, but I'm starting to upload some old SUP videos I made a few years ago (mash up clips of rippers like Mo Freitas, Giorgio Gomez, Kieran Grant, Jess Leedy, Kai Lenny, etc). I'll be posting them every other week or so well into January. If you are interested, have a look at https://www.youtube.com/c/IDoBlues/videos

For while, I was making quite a few mash-ups. Two of them were of Zoners:

Creek
https://youtu.be/L_xckyMp5Z4

Pono
https://youtu.be/ESCL8XnMa4g

Anyways, here's to hoping that in 2022, I'll get back in the waves and back on the forum sharing the stoke.

- SA

9
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: November 22, 2021, 03:00:23 PM »
Sorry...deleting a duplicate post here.

10
Random / Re: Lemonade out of Lemons
« on: September 14, 2020, 03:29:40 PM »
Bill, if you could Python, can I hire you? Bonus if you know Django and React.

TallDude...your son is on the right path.

11
Gear Talk / Re: Winter wetsuit question
« on: September 11, 2020, 04:17:08 PM »
Canadian here (but west coast, so not as cold as you might think).  In general, I find I need less rubber on a SUP than surfing prone (more time out of the water and working harder/less sitting still).

I use a 3/2 most of the year and have a hooded 1mm long sleeve polypro shirt and some polypro shorts that I wear under it when it starts to get colder (Apr/May and Oct/Nov).  If things get really cold (ie, Dec-Mar) I have a hooded 5/4, but don't like having the thick rubber as much.  I also have a heated vest that comes in handy when it gets frigid (does wonders for the hands and feet).

https://www.quiksilver.com/cypher-heat-vest/

I've managed to get away with 3mm boots and 1mm gloves. 

I picked up on layering from a post on here a few years ago (I believe started by a guy from Sweden). After that post, I ditched my 4/3 and went with a 3/2 + optional 1mm undershirt.

I love O'Neill's Technobutter suits--easy to get in and out of, super light weight, and so so comfortable.

A few of my friends use the Rip Curl suits with the fleece linings ("E5 Flash lining").  They get away with 4/3 year round in those (maybe with a polypro undershirt when it gets really cold).  They are a bit heavier with the lining, but my friends say the added warmth is worth it.

12
Gear Talk / Re: Looking for SUPs for a couple of lightweights
« on: August 20, 2020, 10:38:56 AM »
Hi Klein,

Welcome to the forum!

I'm also a lightweight (5'8", 135-140 lbs).  I'm currently sidelined with injuries, but when I'm surfing stand up, my comfortable board is 7'6 x 28", 95 L.  My higher performance board is 7'4 x 26, 81 L.  I'm an intermediate stand up surfer.  The volume makes a big difference for light riders.  Too much volume can be really corky out on the water and feel wobbly.  Big boards for lightweight riders can also be difficult to control.

A while back, me and some friends (beginner-intermediates, 135-255 lbs) did some pretty geeky analysis on volume based on  4-5 guys trying 15+ boards.  Here's what we came up with (aimed at intermediate riders).

135 lbs: 79-95 L
145 lbs: 85-101 L
155 lbs: 91-109 L
165 lbs: 97-116 L
175 lbs: 103-123 L
185 lbs: 109-130 L
195 lbs: 115-137 L
205 lbs: 121-144 L
215 lbs: 127-151 L
225 lbs: 133-158 L
235 lbs: 139-165 L

I'm sure some on here might disagree with those numbers, but those ranges have really worked well for my crew.  For beginners at 105-125 lbs, you may want to try something in the 80-105 L range (for surf).

You'll be surprised how fast you'll progress and how much better a board feels after a 3rd session on it (vs the first).  If you feel really comfortable on a board the first time you stand on it, it's probably too big and you'll out-grow it quickly.

Width is key for stability and rideability.  32" wide for your size is probably a bit to wide for surf (in my opinion).  I'd suggest trying something between 28-30" wide (again, thinking about surf), though at 5'5 & 105 lbs, you might be fine on something 26-28" wide.

Length won't effect stability overall as much as width & volume, but will really effect how the board surfs and glides.  My suggestion would be something 7'5 to 8'8 to start (but that is a rough suggestion).  Of course, the shape of the board (rail lines, rocker, etc) will really effect how it feels out there.  I'm also a fan of lightweight boards for light riders.  For me, light boards make all the difference (to carry, to get out past the break, and to surf on).  I've never regretted spending a little extra money for a lighter board.

One board shape that me and a few of my friends have really had good luck on that works well in a lot of conditions is the Infinity RNB.  It's a stable shape (parallel rails, good volume in the nose) and fun to surf on.  In SoCal, you might find some good used options out there. 

13
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Hydration, Walker & Runers
« on: June 06, 2020, 05:44:35 PM »
My partner runs ultra-marathons. Her community is almost as nerdy as ours when it comes to gear.  A lot of those runners use vests that have soft flasks in the front.  Here's an article talking about them:

https://www.trailandkale.com/tips/using-soft-flasks/

14
SUP General / Re: Surfboards (Longboards)
« on: May 27, 2020, 11:50:16 AM »
I love that you are talking with a local shaper.  For me, riding a custom board that you discussed with a shaper and watched as it went from a blank to a glassed board actually adds to the experience and joy surfing it. 

15
Training, Diet, and Fitness / Re: Back surgery advice
« on: May 25, 2020, 03:34:35 PM »
Here's a (not-so-short) update on my back. 

In December, I dove into the program put together by Dr. Stuart McGill (see posts above). I found a local practitioner, and he's been great. As part of the process, he took a deep dive into my MRIs and had me get a series of X-rays with me bending forward and backwards. He was able to diagnose my issue (after many different doctors, surgeons, chiros, physiotherapists and osteopaths were unable to do so).

I was born with a slight defect in my S1/L5 facet joint of the spine that made them weak and susceptible to trauma (called a pars defect). Eight years ago, I ended up cracking the bones in those joints (see first pic below -- spondylosis). That caused my S1/L5 joint to come out of alignment (see second pic -- spondylolisthesis). It also caused that joint to become quite unstable and ultra sensitive to movement. Somehow, I managed to develop the stabilization muscles in my core enough over the years that I could keep surfing waves on a SUP (prone was out of the question). But something happened in 2019 that caused that joint to become more unstable and more sensitive. It's become way more intrusive than being about to surf or not to surf--it effects my day-to-day in a pretty major way.

As hard as I've tried to stabilize everything by developing my core muscles following McGill's system, I haven't been able to do it. My back is more tender than ever. So I started researching surgical options. In North America, the go-to is spinal fusion. But man, that scares the shit out of me. Fusion is super-invasive and there is no turning back if it doesn't work. And even if it does work, it often causes further problems up the spine over time. So I dug deeper and discovered a procedure they have been doing in Europe for the past 25 years called dynamic stabilization.

The idea with dynamic stabilization is to stabilize the spine with non-rigid materials while preserving the natural structures and movement patterns of the spine. It allows some motion (which helps prevent issues on adjacent joints) but offers motion control, stabilization and some help with load bearing.

Dynamic stabilization is a fairly minimally invasive procedure (small incision, minimal damage to the muscles which will heal, and no damage to any supportive tissue of the spine), is easy to do, and is reversible. If it doesn't work, I can opt to take the next step and get a fusion done later on if that's something I decide to consider. The main recovery point for dynamic stabilization is giving your body the 6 weeks needed for the screws to fully set in the bones--you can walk immediately after the surgery, but you have to be careful about bending and making any uncontrolled movements for those first 6 weeks.

The first version of dynamic stabilization is the Dynesys system by Zimmer: https://www.zimmer.co.uk/medical-professionals/products/spine/dynesys-dynamic-stabilization-system-ous.html

A second version has come out called the ShineShape system by SpineSave. It was co-developed by one of the guys who invented the original Dynesys system: https://spinesave.com/the-solution/

The newer SpineSave system is not yet approved by the FDA (still too new) so isn't available in North America. About 800-900 people in Europe have had the SpineSave procedure done over the past 10 years. So I started contacting neurosurgeons in Europe and heard back from two of them in March. They both took a look at my MRI and X-rays and gave the same diagnosis as my local McGill practitioner--joint instability at S1/L5, congenital spondylosis further worsened by trauma, and minor post-traumatic spondylolisthesis.  And both recommended dynamic stabilization.

So I went ahead and scheduled surgery in Switzerland for mid-April.  But due to the pandemic, that had to be cancelled. So now I'm waiting for the Swiss border to open.  Once it does, I'm going to book myself back in. I'm going to be having a two-level rod inserted--a medium-flex rod between S1/L5 with a step down to a high-flex rod between L5/L4 (like a step rail, really).

After eight years of working on this (and trying almost everything), and a year of getting progressively worse, it's time to take the next step. I'm just happy that there is a step between where I'm at and fusion. This is a new system and a relatively new procedure. I've dug into the research on all this and have decided I'm OK with the risk/reward profile. Call me a guinea pig. I'll make sure to report back on here about how things go.  ...and will hopefully get back to posting important stuff like rail shape, board volume, foot placement, board construction, and searching for the perfect right point break.

Here's a video of the system:


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