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Author Topic: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves  (Read 1452 times)

strbrd

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Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« on: December 07, 2020, 06:34:29 PM »
This year is my first year at attempting overhead waves on a SUP. Getting out past the massive amounts of whitewater has been a real challenge. My Whopper Jr. is my best bet as my other boards are too small for my level. They work great in summer calm but any chop and I am swimming. I just get tossed in the air backwards. The Whopper's nose can sometimes catch the whitewater and shove me back too which is where I am a bit concerned. It is a lot harder to handle and it can pull me for a while. Not to mention getting whacked in the head. I can usually step back on the tail on the approach of the whitewater and as it lifts the nose I can then take a slight step forward. I was watching some other guys that were having way less problems than I and the shape of their boards was about as long as the Whopper but appeared much thinner and point at the nose. I am sure it is a combination of both skill level and gear but wondering if anyone else has used the Whopper Jr in OH waves or if it is more designed for smaller waves? I should also note that I only get out a few times a month especially in winter. I should also clarify that 'overhead' meaning 6-10 feet. Any input is appreciated.

jondrums

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 09:56:34 PM »
Get into surf stance with the paddle on your strong side.  Take one last strong paddle stroke forward before the white-water hits.  Then you want to do a skateboarding ollie move with your weight shift: initially on your back foot to get the nose up on top, then immediately get forward before it throws you backwards.  Do it right and it'll launch you right up on top of the rough stuff.  Do it wrong and the nose will point to the sky and throw you off the back.  Don't try to ride it out if that happens, jump sideways and back off the board to avoid getting mixed up with it.  I've got a couple of broken ribs and a nasty cut in my mouth from the board snapping back into me from the whitewater of overhead waves. Get the paddle back in the water as soon as you can to keep your balance.

If you're going over a wave that hasn't broken yet, but is steepening up and about to break, the move is different.  Still from surf stance though.  Push the nose down as hard as you can just before you get to the peak of the wave and it will duck dive under and pull you out the back. 

strbrd

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2020, 07:36:00 AM »
HA! Glad I'm not the only one getting their ass kicked by their own board.

Great advise and much appreciated!

I have never tried your approach on a steep unbroken wave. That is the make or break moment for me where I just go for it and I rarely make it but when I do it is almost as gratifying as catching a wave.

Need to find a break with an easier outlet.  ???

sflinux

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2020, 07:47:54 AM »
Clay made a really nice video on the topic:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeo_SgCWvLI
I've noticed that after popping the nose up, you need to move your back front forward before the wave hits you to have success.  It is also important to get your momentum up, then do a stroke before the wave and remove the paddle before the wave catches it, or the wave will pull your body's weight back.  Try to keep paddling (after the wave hits you) to move forward and/or maintain balance.
My first winter SUP surfing, I also broke some ribs.  I fell in front of the board and the wave pushed the board into my ribs.   Now I wear an impact vest under my suit as per Beasho's recommendation:
https://vimeo.com/user413605
I grew up bodyboarding and would get sore ribs from prone paddling.  My ribs really like prone paddling with an impact vest.  I have tried Nike Pro Combat Hyperstrong "football" padded compression top and like it (cut off the shoulder pads, and trimmed excess fabric around the armpit).  I wear it in smaller surf, with my smaller boards, or when it gets too hot for the neoprene impact vest.  Then when the surf gets big and cold, I wear both inside my suit.  When the surf gets over double overhead, I wear an additional pullover impact vest outside my suit.  My waist leash does a good job of keeping it secure.  This winter, I also started wearing impact shorts under my suit (I have been recovering from sciatica due to a skateboard injury), with no impact on mobility, but with added floatation.  With all of these layers, I can get overheated in 52 degree water, wearing a 3/2 backzip full wetsuit. 
Here is a cool picture of J-Bird on a Whopper:
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 08:37:32 AM by sflinux »
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

strbrd

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2020, 10:04:05 AM »
Really great tips sflinux!

I never really thought of using protective gear in the surf but it makes sense.  I really don't like wearing anything restricting and I run way too hot. 3/2 in 50 degrees and I'm a tomato head. Should look into a different suit as well...?

Clay's method of kicking the board over is a great tip though not as gratifying. I suppose after you get nailed enough times as you guys have, you'll come up with ways to avoid the worst possible situation.

J-bird on a Whopper! I wish I could experience that.

supthecreek

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2020, 02:21:53 PM »
Hi strbrd, welcome to the zone.

Great post, this should be fun!

Getting outside when there is size is something that many people find challenging.
I believe it is because they try to fight it.
I do not.
I study how the water is moving. When there is size, there is a lot of water trying to drain off the beach, back into the ocean.
There is almost always a rip. Study the water surface and find the rip and which direction it is going. USE it!
I use the rip to my advantage, paddling with the rip for maximum speed

I will go over reasonable whitewater, but after a point I wait.
If a long set is coming, I slide off the board and either hold my board by the railsaver or let my leash do its job.
(of course I keep the area clear behind me... it's part of a good paddling out plan)
Holding the board gets you dragged further inside.
Letting the leash work allows me to go underwater and hold my ground.

When there is a lull, I hop back on and paddle as fast as possible.... if I get nailed again, I repeat my plan, but at least I have gained ground.
On your Whopper you should be able to paddle pretty fast.
Everyone says never knee paddle... I say bull $h/T. I can paddle very fast on my knees and never have a problem getting out.
I tell everyone:
"if you want to get out when it's bigger... watch an old guy" they can't fight it, so they have to think their way out.

Ok... about bailing when the whitewater overpowers your paddle over:
When white water is slamming into you, you have given control of your board, to the wave... that can end in serious injury.
My cameras catch soooo many people getting hit or almost hit as they try to jump away from their board as the whitewater slams them.... terrible idea IMO
The explosion from the whitewater can sling the board right back at you... even if you jump to the side.

My approach is to ALWAYS control when and where my board and body go.
My feet do that, and they do it before the wave takes over.

Some options
#1 - I kick the board OVER the whitewater and it is waiting for me as I come up.
notice my feet stay on the kick pad as I go under water. I keep control till I am clear.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TaMCdKjy3U

#2 - I kick the board through the lip as I fall back under the water. My feet never leave the kick pad until I have the board going where I want it to go.
I have hours of footage of this, so now I have a good excuse to make the video. (I made a short file of one kick through from last swell ... maybe I'll throw it on YouTube and include it here)
ok, done!  :)
Notice I have a firm grip on my paddle with both hands. I hold the paddle in front of me to protect me as I fall back under water.
I make sure to penetrate deep enough to be safe from the board.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmr5xqQPu_w

There is so much that comes into getting through waves efficiently and safely.
People talk about nose thickness or board shape, but I pretty much do the same on any of my many different boards.
It's more technique than board shape or volume.
It's about studying the rips and using them
It's about being smart and being patient... then paddle like a madman when you see a break in the action.

I am posting a lot about kicking a board over or through because I have seen too many people hurt when jumping off during a failed whitewater climb.
I know what I can get over and what I can't.
When in doubt, I choose kicking it over or through.

email
supthecreek@gmail.com

My YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHRI23a8H21jASPdVCQUpog/videos

sflinux

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 02:32:50 PM »
Everyone says never knee paddle... I say bull $h/T. I can paddle very fast on my knees and never have a problem getting out.
I tell everyone:
"if you want to get out when it's bigger... watch an old guy" they can't fight it, so they have to think their way out.
Great pictorial Creek.
Joe Blair has a video where he describes the knee paddle method (<10 ft of white water) (~5min mark):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY9MytrZjhw
In windy conditions, the board has struck my head with this technique (board caught wind and flew).  I do find this technique effective in relatively strong onshore conditions, where you have more surface area when standing up versus on your knees.  I think this technique is better than trying to prone paddle through white water when the waves get bigger, but I prefer the "ollie" technique when the waves get overhead.
With regards to overheating, my arms are the last thing to get cold.  A short sleeve wetsuit is worth considering.  If a 3/2 is too hot, a 1.5mm is worth considering.  And if your arms get cold, throw on a 1.5 mm top.
A lot of heat is lost from your head.  I like to keep my ears covered to prevent surfer's ear.  For hoods, my head can get cold with just a wind stopper fleece hood in winter conditions (good for air>55).  A 1-1.5 mm neoprene hood is just enough to keep my head warm (good for air 50-55).  A 3/2 neoprene hood can be too warm if the sun is out (good for air <50). 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2020, 03:29:24 PM by sflinux »
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

strbrd

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 07:33:46 PM »
Thanks Creek!

The 'Work smarter, not harder' approach is probably what I should do. My lack of patience and excitement makes me just run out there since I am coming from inland by 2 hours. I also feel like I need to get outside as fast as possible but I probably waste tons of energy. I will work on this.

Your vids make me want to get out and practice tomorrow but I will have to wait until this weekend.  Great source for info. Wow!

I should be catching waves like J-Bird by next winter..  ;)

sflinux- Another great vid! I actually have an older used Joe Blair. I rented one about 4 years ago when I first started then found a used one. I love it in smaller clean conditions but I am not there yet for head high and above.


Dusk Patrol

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2020, 02:44:01 PM »
A search will show a lot of previous Zone discussion about tail handles, too.
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Badger

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2020, 04:03:12 PM »
Tail handles save you a lot of time when you need to get back on your board fast.

They also dramatically lessen the diameter of the kill zone compared to a loose board at the end of its leash. Prone surfers have actually thanked me for using my tail handle.
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surlygringo

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2020, 04:18:03 PM »
Strbrd, I havenít surfed the Whopper jr. but I had a regular Whopper when they first came out and I did ride it in some larger surf. All of the tips above are great. In addition you might try knifing the nose of your board just under the top of the whitewater. I found this technique to work really well with the whopper and every board I have surfed since. You donít want to go as deep or quite as flat as a duck dive, but if you can sort of penetrate the upper corner of the white water it helps keep the board steady and also stops it from bucking back at your face.

strbrd

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2020, 06:04:43 PM »
I need to order me a tail handle. I have them on my other boards and they are helpful. Not sure though in bigger surf as holding on to that boat creates a lot of area for the water to catch. Pushing down on the tail in smaller surf helps with my other boards. I will search this site for more input as suggested.

Interesting technique, surlygringo. I have seen people use it before with bodyboards but never thought of it with a SUP. I'll give it a try.

My favorite technique of all is diving over the front like the dude in Creek's pic. I thought it was fun until the board came back on my knee. Then there was a nice dent and early out back to the lot.

Always learning the hard way it seems with the most funnest, hardest sport I have ever done. Yes, 'funnest' is a word... ;)

Thanks for all the great tips.


sflinux

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Re: Starboard Whopper Jr. in OH waves
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2020, 06:55:16 AM »
In windy conditions, the board has struck my head with this technique (board caught wind and flew).  I do find this technique effective in relatively strong onshore conditions, where you have more surface area when standing up versus on your knees. 
We had relatively strong onshore conditons yesterday.  When it is windy, when any part of the board (i.e. nose) gets off the water, the wind will catch it can throw it.  You can see this when you try to push a board over a wave with your hands.  That is why the board whacked me in the head.  For the knee paddle method, you want your knees to be in front of the handle.  Get speed, then as the wave is about to hit, lean back and pop over just like in the video.  If you are positioned far enough forward, the pressure from your knees will keep the nose of the board down enough so it doesn't catch wind.  You can practice the technique with your hands.  If your front hand is too far back, the wind is strong enough to pitch the nose of the board up.  As more surface area is exposed to the wind, the pressure from the wind grows dramatically.
One inquisitive local self-proclaimed big wave surfer (Non-sup) asked me if I only stand up paddle to make it to the outside.  Thanks to Clay's video, I said I do whatever it takes to get to the outside with absolutely zero shame (prone, knees, stand up).  My shoulders are not strong enough to soley prone paddle out on big days on any surf craft.  Being able to paddle on knees in addition to standing allows me to hit different muscle groups, which is an advantage to make what feels like a marathon paddle out on big beach break days.   
@surlygringo: Nice tip, thanks for sharing.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2020, 06:58:53 AM by sflinux »
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

 


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