Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sneak peek at Scott's new Nova...

Ray is working his magic on this new 9-6 Nova for Scott in Ojai. In addition to the Ice Blue resin tint bottom and rails, board will have a dark blue pinline on the lap and blue glue lines on the custom 3/8" bass stringer. Those are the kind of details you can't get off-the-rack. Why buy what's left off-of-the rack when you can get exactly what you want for less from Thomas Patrick Surfboards?? New boards currently delivered in 4 weeks, but Summer is just around the corner. Don't wait, beat the rush and order now.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Surf has been hit and miss...

Sunday was a hit, despite the crowd. This one lined-up pretty good for me.

I surfed my 10yr-old 9-9 Infinity because it was Sunday and my new 9-9 was in the shop having a ding repaired from last Sunday (yep, got a rail bash during my second session). Lesson learned: No new boards on the weekends when the surf-desperados are out in full force. Monday was smaller, but less crowded and I had my blue 9-9 back in water. I really like the feel of this board. It catches waves easy, but not quite as easy as the Infinity. That wide-tail really helps getting into waves. But, my Classic feels much more responsive than my Infinity. The Infinity has a wide 15-1/2" tail with a 7" tailblock, while my new 9-9 Classic has a 14-3/4" round-pin tail. Tail rocker is about the same in both boards. The round-pin has a smooth, predictable turn and a much smaller turning radius. I'm experimenting with the True Ames Greenough 4A 9.25" fin and it seems to fit this shape pretty well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keepin' busy scrubbin'...

"Scrubbing" is the term used to describe the process of finish-shaping a machine-cut blank. Here is one of seven SUP blanks I've agreed to scrub for my buddy/glasser Ray. It's an 8'10" SUP.
At this point, I have the right side of the deck ready for finishing. Next I'll do the left side and then the bottom. The nose and tail, where the blank is held by the machine, needs a slight bit of shaping. I like to do the rails last. Then I fine-sand the whole blank and put it in the rack for glassing. Yeah, I know, not very exciting. This process of scrubbing machined blanks is how 80% of the boards you see in surf shops are done.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Classic Blues....

I'll be the first to admit that shapers are pretty spoiled when it comes to new boards. I pretty much ride a new board every couple of months. And with that kind of frequency, its pretty easy to fall into the "just-another-new-board" mentality when it comes to evaluating the latest-greatest stick in the quiver. But this blue board is special...really special.

When I started to design this board I was aiming for a true classic noserider (even considered doing a Pig), with wide-point slightly behind center, 50/50 rails and nose concave. I wanted a LB shape that would work well in the small, slow, point-break surf that that I find about 70% of the time at my local break. And to better compete for waves with the young hipsters on their old-school logs, I knew I needed a little more volume and a lot less rocker than my 9-6 Nova. I decided a 9-9 x 23 x 3-1/4" would offer a good compromise between float and responsiveness. Nose rocker would be 4-1/4" and tail rocker would be 3-5/8". I chose a round pin tail shape to make the tail easier to sink when turning and when making steeper/later take-offs, and kept the nose at 18" to compensate for the flatter nose rocker. A lot of shapers like to put a 19"-20" wide nose on their noseriders, but I don't care for the aesthetics of the wide nose, and they make the outline too parallel and move the wide point forward of center. As always, I drew up the board in Aku, and printed out the spec sheet. This would be my shaping plan.

I found that my shape would be easily accommodated in a 10-2B blank with natural rocker, and after a quick visit to Fiberglass Hawaii in Ventura, I had the blank on my shaping racks and my planer in my hand. There is an old military saying that the battle plan is the first casuality of contact with the enemy. Same is thing is true for shaping when not doing a board for a customer. When the dust settled, I had what amounted to a progressive single-fin longboard.

Dimensions stayed the same, but I pinched the rails for a more foiled look and added plenty of tail V for smooth turning. The three tone resin tint job turned out great thanks to Ray at Lucke Glassing. 

I decided to go with a  9"True Ames Greenough 4A fin in matching blue.

These pix were taken last week, just before I waxed it up for the first session. I lucked out with some nice shoulder-high waves and a small crowd in the water.  Board paddled easy, caught waves with little effort and turned very smoothly. Noserides were stable and seemed to last forever. In short, this board may be the best LB I've ever built.