Yesterday arvo I took a new board out for a surf, one that I'd shaped myself, a 5'6" x 21" fish, and before I'd even caught a wave on the damn thing a hail storm closed in and started pelting the beach.
I'd seen the storm coming but wasn't too concerned, we'd had one every afternoon for a week, yet none of them had dropped ice from the sky. This one did. First the hail was the size of peas, then a bit bigger and a clean shot on exposed skin would hurt.
I was torn between using my completely new, totally unridden board as a shield and getting an unplanned dimple design, and just taking the hail on the chin, and cheek, and the head etc.
Chose the latter, but thankfully I wasn't surfing at Bondi where the hail was large enough to smash car windows and surfers did take shelter under their boards - took videos of it too.
Imagine getting pelted by this one?
Crikey, that puts new meaning to death from above.
That happened to me while visiting Sydney last xmas. We were surfing at the far end of Palm Beach when it started hailing, which meant there was no shelter not even a tree for about 500 metres so when it started getting heavy we had to use our boards as protection. Not looking to blow smoke up Firewires arse, but the bottom of my PU board was messed up, even had fibreglass broken, while my cousin's FW had hardly any damage.
When we showed a friend the first thing he asked was why we didn't put the boards deck up?
In the rush we didnt think of it, so hot tip if you're caught out. Point your deck up so youve at least got two layers of glass for protection not one.
Been caught in a small hail storm on the Adelaide metro beaches (12 degrees, storm force onshore winds), but that was just mild torture - I reckon yesterday's Sydney hailstones could easily kill you if a direct hit scored the right part of your noggin.
A lot of cheap (but uninsurable) cars off the lot after this one.
Hmmm it seems common sense is not that common........... always protect the planing surface of your craft, that is where your glide is generated. The deck, as said above is stronger, and the layer of wax is also going to help a little. Then there is the fact that you can hold on to the fins to keep the board over your head and not put your fingers at risk.
Oh and stay in the water if you can to minimise hits to the rest of your body.
Correct action Stu. Much respect. As a grom I saved many a biscuit falling off my skateboard. Usually iced vovos, but I’ve also been known to take a fall for scotch fingers and honey jumbles
Just saw some footage on tv. Had old mate with gopro in the surf holding his board on his head. Thing is he had the board bottom side up Doubt if there is insurance for surf board damage by hail.
Even if there was the excess would likely be worth more than the board.
The advice from above makes a lot of a sense re double strength glass on top equals wax side up.
I'd like to suggest another recommendation;
If you can see and hear a storm is near,
get ya board and ask yourself "what the fuck am I doing here!"
If you see a storm like that approaching what are you doing still in the water .....lets not forget about the lightning .........
Anyway Stu hows the Phil Myers edge board going?
That's when the old gath helmets with the visor use to come in a treat.
Hey Stu how does your new board go?
The new board I shaped?
Yeah, it's alright. It's unlike anything I've ridden lately, even the fish I occasionally pull out, as it's so flat, thick and fast, but hard to control too. Lots of volume and a real wide tail make turns an adventure. Maybe I'll get used to it...
The edge board is going unreal, though I've iced it during this run of tiny waves. I'm also waiting for a new set of fins which I think will improve it.
On the topic, few nights back I had a late night rendevouz with Mick Mackie up on the highway in the escarpment behind Wollongong. He was driving back from Sydney to Ulladulla and I intercepted him. Empty carpark, light fog, drizzle too, the full noir scene, probably looked like a drug deal in the eyes of the law, 'cept he pulled his new flex tail edge board out of the car. Crazy stuff. And I showed him my edge board which, despite the late hour and his bleary eyes, Mick slowly felt up and clocked the different angles on it.
Also, during the latest swell at Mavs, two guys - Grant Washburn and Hunter John - have been riding edge guns - Washburn on a 10'0" Marc Andreini gun.
So....lots going on with the edge board design which I'll prob document in the new year.
Stu - How would you alter the design of your fish if you were to attempt an improved version?
And if you’re feeling sus meeting a dude up on the escarpment after dark , perhaps stage your next rendezvous at Loftus oval dunnies ? Apparently guys meet there all the time. Particularly if you’re discussing unconventional rides.
Less thickness, less width, just generally less foam, plus a pulled in tail for some modicum of control. On the plus side, despite being only 5'6" it can outpaddle craft twice it's size, which also means it can catch waves only longboards would look at. It's a capital G groveller.
Loftus oval dunnies, eh? Never could figure why the council woudn't spruik for 'vacant' signs putting holes in the doors instead.
You reckon you’ll have another shot at the same style of craft ?
Mayb Something else ?
Or flick the shaping deal ?
I chose that design becasue it was crude and simple, bugger all rocker, thick rails, and as a first hit out there was less room for error. I'm keen to shape more but I'll refine them down a touch. If the rocker is out of whack or the rails don't match, then so be it.
But yeah, keen to do some more.
You'll do well at loftus oval with the extra width and thickness.
hahaha speaking from experience LD eh..
Glad the board survived unscathed, Stu.
Taking it on the head wasn’t an option at tama...luckily I’d just got out of the water. the lightning strikes were getting big cheers from the crew when they hit the water and I decided to get out. car windscreen is all cracked.
That’s Huey’s way of saying get the fuck out of Sydney.
Run like you stole it.