My New Longboard

29 07 2012

I surfed yesterday. It was supposed to be a small, no swell day so it was no surprise that it was just that. But something else made it a great day. I got a “new to me” used longboard on Wednesday of this last week so the excitement and anticipation of my go out was all that was on my mind leading into yesterday.

Why did I get a new board? Well, it all started when…

Two weeks ago I surfed with my crew. JB was along on this trip and he had just gotten a used poly-urethane glassed 9’6″ single fin Robert August “What I Ride” (WIR). I ride an epoxy sandwiched 9’0″ 2+1 fin set up Walden Magic 3 performance longboard. It’s my all time favorite longboard because not only can it go places on a wave that my short board can go (a 6’0″ quad fin with a swallow tail), but I can get five toes over the nose. It’s a great nose rider for me. I haven’t gotten ten toes over, yet, and probably won’t on it, but it’s a great board.

JB offered to let me try his WIR. He even let me ride it without a leash as I was riding mine without a leash this day (no leash brings a lot more freedom to me).

So I caught a few waves on this single fin and really liked it. It wasn’t as loose as mine, but the waves I rode were enough for me to think it was time for a new “used” board, but without giving up my Walden.

I got home with the “wheels turning” in my head on how to accomplish this since I don’t have a “new board fund” in my budget (our family’s budget). “Sell some stuff!”, I thought.

I used to lead worship for Jr Higher’s at my church. I’ve been winding down my 17 years of Student Ministries this summer to move up volunteering in College. It won’t require me to play guitar and I haven’t been playing for over a year. So what better to give up than my Epiphone Les Paul ’56 Gold Top? It was my dream guitar, but when playing around the house, we still have two really nice acoustic guitars, so I wasn’t giving up playing at all, just selling something I wasn’t using to get something I would be using.

I threw it on Craigslist (CL) and started looking for a WIR.

You have two search options on CL; search the title, or search the body of the ad. It’s not a bad way to go, but I would enter “Robert August” and a lot of other boards would pop up with the Robert August. I started putting it in the title, but would miss some really good non-WIR’s.

There were plenty on there and I decided I would be okay with a 2+1 epoxy, too, as long as it was 9’6″. I found a 9’0″ and a 10’0″, and other August models; Wingnut II, Mike Martinson, Paul Straus, etc., but I wanted a poly glassed single fin WIR.

Someone was interested in my guitar and came by to see it and play it. After 30 minutes of playing around on it he realized how awesome it was and gave me the cash. I was stoked it was going to someone who would be playing it and he was much better at the guitar than I am (I’m more a rhythm guitarist than a lead guitarist, anyway).

So now I had the funds, I just needed to find the board.

One ad that came to my attention was a Tyler “Sleek Zeke” model, poly urethane glassed with a single fin and 9’4″. Not exactly what I was looking for, but that’s not because I wouldn’t want a Tyler.

Tyler Hatzikian shapes in El Segundo and is a master craftsman. New, his boards get near $1500. So looking for one used wasn’t going to be in my price range, but this one I found was only $100 more than I had from the sale of the guitar so I had to at least look at it.

I met the seller at his work in Marina Del Rey and got to look at this beautiful used Tyler single fin. The rails are quite different from a WIR, but the overall shape of it looks similar. Not the same, but similar.

After looking it over, telling each other our reasons for selling/buying I decided I would want it and give up the desire for a WIR. It’s a rad enough board I could always sell it and go back to trying for a WIR if I couldn’t surf it well. After all, I’m not Joel Tudor, or Tyler himself, who can ride anything.

He took my offer, plus the $5 in my wallet for a savings of $95 to me and off I went. Proud third owner of a Tyler. I couldn’t wait to surf if, even though the forecast called for 1 – 2 foot waves.

Tyler H. surfs El Porto so I had to have my maiden voyage there. It’s local for the board. She’s definitely more traditional than my Walden so there’s going to be a learning curve, but as always, I had fun. I surfed with my buds, 70 degree water temps in the South Bay, 5:10 am Dawn Patrol, and the first one’s in the water.

I can’t wait to get the board out in better conditions to see what more I can do with it. As you can see from the video, I didn’t turn as fast, or walk as much, but as I get used to it and ride better waves I am sure I will grow to love it more than I already do.

I put my daughter’s 7’9″ BIC Wahine on CL because now she’s the recipient of a gift: a Walden Magic 3.

Hope you all have a great week.

Thank you and God bless,

Surfer Yoda

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