|Sorry for the lack of action shots... gotta get my photographer to come out for a session soon. In the meantime, all you get is my smiling mug...|
New Year's Day brought a fun little swell from the north. I got out at Silver Beach in St. Joseph, Michigan after meeting with friends Jen and Nick from Live Love SUP. They are growing their charity:water project and apparel line and it was fun to catch up with them and hear about all they're doing. I'll post more about their cool little company in the near future.
The surf session was a new low for me, temperature-wise. The air temp was 19-degrees. If you click on the photo above, you can see that my beard is embedded with chucks of ice... that was a first. I surfed for about an hour and my fingertips and toes were a little chilly at times, but otherwise I was perfectly comfortable. So, still no bottom to the threshold for comfortable winter surfing. I'll keep trying.
These are the next two surf boards in line for my Great Lakes Shakedown project, searching for the ultimate SUP surfboard for Great Lakes conditions. Yesterday I rode the 8'5" x 30" Pocket Rocket (the red one). Unfortunately by the time I went out the conditions had deteriorated and I only caught a handful of decent waves, so I don't really feel like I have enough info to give a review of the board yet.
I will say that at 130 liters and 30 inches wide, it is the smallest board I have tried to surf so far and I was curious to see if stability would be an issue. I'm happy to say that it wasn't. It was definitely more challenging to stay on than my 9'5" Wide Point, but not too challenging... and this brings up an important point about progression in SUP. When you're getting new gear, it's a good idea to shoot for the board that's just a little difficult for you to use at your current skill level. You will see that your skills will quickly improve to meet the challenge. Just be careful not to take too big a step... if the gear is too far beyond your current level you may get frustrated and give up before your skills elevate enough to match the gear.
Speaking of challenging your skill level, I'll leave you today with a video of the slightly bigger swell that crossed the Pacific on New Year's Eve. This was shot by my friend Matty Schweitzer. Matty is an up and coming videographer from Maui and he posts new videos all the time. Follow Matty's YouTube channel for a constant feed of SUP and surf action from around the globe. This vid was shot at Peahi, the break known as Jaws.