Pics/Thoughts - Surf Paddle Gear

-- Last Updated: Oct-22-05 9:55 AM EST --

Some have asked to see the pics of the ONNO NeWave paddle. So, I took pics of that, comparing to my other short paddles. Also, took pics of my current surf crafts:

Paddles are (from left to right): ONNO WWSurf, NeWave (185cm), Big Spoon Prototype (180cm), Werner Player (185cm), Seven2 Iso (191cm), Cricket woodend child's touring paddle (190cm).

Thoughts: The ONNOs and Big Spoon are my favorite paddles for surf and white water. Lots of power and stiffness with the carbon construction. The NeWave is very interesting. The sharp blade tips allow a very quick, quiet entry but quickly provide power once the thicker sections of the blade get submerged. The NeWave also provides the surest bracing and rolling in the surf zone. Practically no thought on my part. Bracing and rolling happen. When I first started to surf in a short boat, coming from a couple years of long boats and GP, I liked the Seven2 Iso because the blades on this paddle are polymer/plastic that flex. Very forgiving on the muscles. Currently, I no longer like the Seven2 nor use it. I find when I am in the surf zone, I want power, acceleration and direction control like NOW! The Seven2 just doesn't give that to me. The Cricket child's paddle actually can be used in the surf zone. It's stiff enough. The blades are moderate sized and stiff enough. However, it acts like a GP in that I have to fight the bouyancy of the paddle to get the blade deep in the water. Consequently, I don't care for it. Like I said, when I want something to happen in the surf zone, I want to have it to happen as soon as I think it. Not split seconds later.

Surf crafts shown include: Island custom high performance (red) surf ski at 7'6"x23.5"; Island intermediate/advance (creme) waveski at 7'10"x24.5"; and the Mega Venom HP kayak at 8'8"x23.5". The Venom is my second surf boat (after the Boogie). While it's supposed to be high performance (HP), it is really "old school" by today's standard where HP boats are mostly 8' and under'. The Venom is a 'tween from the International Class (IC) boats that are 9'3" and over and today's HP boats. The Venom has wicked sharp rails, pretty much 90 degree edges from about the thigh section back to the stern. It also has double concaves on a slight tri-plan hull bottom that channels the water and speeds up the boat. The boat is a speed demon that carves really well. Of course, it has very unforgiving edges. A trip-up will result in a catapulting crash and roll across the wave face. I had a very hard time making the adjustment from the more forgiving pronounced tri-plane hull and relatively rounded rails of the Boogie. However, I have since gotten used to Venom. It feels very surefooted to me even in messy, windblown 6' plus waves. Consequently, I jacked up the seat and added a seatbelt to keep me in the cockpit. This higher position allows me even greater leverage in lean-out, carve turns.

The creme waveski is in the dimensions of a high performance surf kayak. It initially felt very unstable for me as I sit about 2-3" above the water line. Now, it feels very stable after riding it most of the summer. I began to find it wanting in the speed department on bigger, steeper waves. It's probably because of the rounded rails that went all the way to the back and the lack of a double concave bottom. The rounded rails were shedding the water fast enough. I modified it by building up the rails from the knee section back with epoxy/filler mix and glass. I then sharpened the rails to a quarter inch radius rather that the 3/4" to 1/2" radius from the knee section back (these are the red sections of the rails in the pics). I yet to really gotten good clean waves to really evaluate the difference. If the speed is not where I want it, I will likely carve and then glass some double concaves into the hull bottom. The beauty of buying this ski used ($250) is that I have no compunctions about modifying it. In fact, I had to fill up and cut new footwells in this ski since it was sized for someone bigger.

The little Red Ski was my first purchase, not realizing that this is a high performance custom ski, designed for someone very likely 20 lbs or so lighter than me. Besides being low bouyancy, it has very sharp 1/4-1/8" radius rails from the footwell back. Initially, I could not even sit on it without falling over. After getting the creme ski and getting some experience there, I decided to modify the red ski to give it more volume. I did this by epoxying and glassing another inch of foam all around the back hump. This seemed to have done the trick. Truth is that the ski is still probably outside the envelop of my current skill level. I took it out in clean 3' foot waves and had a difficult time getting out through the break zone. I had to concentrate very hard on my balance point while paddling, otherwise It was very easy for me to do a head over a$$ backflip when trying to paddle over an incoming wave. This is not a fast ski to paddle. I miss catching a lot of waves that I could easily catch with my venom or creme ski. Finally, I figured out to really be discriminating about the wave to pick and to commit once I do. Basically, I have to take the wave where the peak is about to break right near me and to jump onto that critical seciton with a couple of strokes. Once I am on the wave and in the pocket, the little red ski shines with its speed and incredible manuverability. The speed gives it much greater stability than when I am sitting still or trying to paddle it. The red ski is definitely a pocket rocket and is probably best left to a good point break where I don't have to go through a long break zone to get outside. On a beach break, the little red ski demands a full payment in work (and back flips) to get an all out exhilarating ride.


What no Maverick?

– Last Updated: Oct-22-05 7:19 PM EST –

You're lagging behind Sing. Quite a fleet you got going. I don't dare take a picture of all my boats together, my wife would figure out a waveski snuck in there this summer. My son made me promise I would not tell her and see how long it took her to notice.
I'm currently suffering from waveski-back syndrome; two hours surfing in small waves and then after eating lunch I'm really stiff. Time to go out and cut more brush in the yard! We were supposed to get a really good swell here tomorrow afternoon, lots of kayakers are meeting in Lajolla for a gathering.

You’re a surfaholic dude.
That’s not a bad thing.

I was riding some 2-3’ windwaves on the bay yesterday in my CD Extreme, definitely getting stoke.

Do you think I could do a spin with the Extreme?

No decked craft currently interests me, except maybe the Jeness II made by my buddy, Tim. I am really enamored with getting a Tsunami waveski. I like the adjustability of this design and how it takes off above what’s provided by Wavemaster. The import cost however may make it unaffordable for me. Nevertheless, I am shooting for a higher performance ski more suited to me for next summer. We’ll see.

I really much more enjoy sitting and riding an open craft in the summer swells. :slight_smile:


The thing I like about the waveski
is I can sit in the middle of the boardies and blend in, I hate the paddle out though.

Do It!
drop the seat area by an inch. It’ll be worth it.

I got some clean chest to head plus sets today. The new rails on the creme ski worked great. I was just ripping on the green face and going in and out of the pocket. I am glad I took the time and effort to modify the ski. It’s just some much more enjoyable. After Wilma swells mid-week, I going to carve up the hull bottom and put in double concaves. I want more speed. I want enough for air.


Seat Belt Boxes
The adjustable seat belt are in boxes with sliders tha look pretty much like huge fin boxes, it looks like I would end up doing major surgery. I asked a guy who has wavemaster customs, his solution was to buy a stabilizer comp. I think I would probably be board with it, so I’m just working on getting better balance for now. Maybe if I loose 35 lbs? Would make my wife happier too.

Blend In?

– Last Updated: Oct-24-05 12:41 AM EST –

"The thing I like about the wave skis I can sit in the middle of the boardies and blend in."

If this is true...I’m extremely jealous. Sitting in the middle of the boardies at San Onofre is inviting the wrath of the stand up crew... and an almost instantaneous visit from a Park Ranger...with citation book in hand. No act of kindness or display of courtesy seems to sooth the loathing a handful of the these guys have for anyone with a paddle in hand.

It seems to be a territorial thing and has nothing to do with they will try to argue. The skill level and degree of control of paddle surfers is, almost to a person, better than most of the boardies...and yet some of the least talented howl when they sense any kind of perceived incursion into their territory.

Sadly, the State of California has backed this form of segregation with specific regulations that define a boundary across which paddlers must not cross. Conversely, no such restriction is specified for those on boards...and thus, they are free to ride in the area supposedly set aside for paddle surfing.

Blend in at SanO? Never happen.....

how to convince you. If you cut out the glass and reshape the seat, it’s just as easy to include the sliders at the same time. Shaped the entire area, and coat with the epoxy filler. 2 layers of glass over the seat area, 3 layers over the slide box. Just masking tape over the slots of the sliders when you glass. When the epoxy/glass dries, take a razor blade and cut out the glass to expose the slots again. Sand and touch up a little bit with epoxy and you’re done.

Nevertheless, if you’ve got the patience and drive to keep at it, fighting and paying in the breakzone to get out for some rides, then stay with it. As long as you don’t lose sight of the stoke that is the payment in return at some point.

I know if I stuck with the little red ski, I would have given up eventually. And, I consider myself a pretty stubborn guy when it comes to these things (challenges). However, the admission price was just too high when I know I can just get back on my Venom and rip. Having the easier creme ski made all the difference in realizing the potential of a waveski. Being able to up the potential by some modifications were well worth the effort to me. Especially after the STOKING session I had yesterday.


No, We Don’t Blend In
yesterday, me and the crew rode much better than they did. They knew it too. It was a pretty windy offshore day. We had much easier time catching the big ones on the outside break.

There are some trash talking boardies on the local boardie bulletin boards. I have a stink eye here and there but thusfar I have not had a run in with any boardies out on the break. But, then, again, I rarely get right in the middle of their line up and prefer to be on the outside. I always let some of the waves pass for them. I am stickler for ettiquette when it comes to the boardies. This is really important when I do have to get in the line up with them because the waves are focused at a certain place at a particuler break. And the biggest thing is that if I jump in the line up, I want to be sure it is on waves that I can hold my own with them, if not better. I don’t want to any griping about wasting waves. Generally, I find I surf better than the majority in the lineup. No brag. Just fact. There are usually a few really exceptional boardie riders but the majority are average joes/janes.


Come on down to Cardiff
Jerry come down and surf at Beacons, Cardiff Reef, Seaside or Lajolla shores sometime. I’m already at work by 8:00 AM but there is a group of retired guys surfing Seaside at 8:00 AM most Mondays, Wenesdays and Fridays.

No guff on waveski
So far nobody has given me any problems on the ski but I’m not surfing the main break at Swammi’s either. I’ve actually made some friends with the mid-week crowd. Last winter a guy was giving us some s…t when my son was on his ski and I was in a kayak. We paddled over and told him we would stay out of his way if he could stay out of ours and he left. I’ve found when they see that Onno paddle blade up close, and you are wearing a PFD and a full helmet they tend to back down. But if someone looks Psycho I just paddle down the beach a bit; lots of good spots where I live.

Would like to try on a ski I dont care

to be honest I like the way the ski surfs when it’s on a wave, and don’t want to mess it up. My younger son’s friend made a surfboard with his dad; his mom acciedently tracked epoxy into the house on her shoes. The surfboard cost about $4000 bucks in new carpet. My wife was telling me this saying at least I’m not messing around making boats ;> (I just kept quiet.) I’m still working on figuring out how to paint my Mako before Jalama this year.

Forget The Paddle And Helmet…
it’s the darn fixed blade hanging on the PFD. No doubt in my mind that can be much more intimidating.


There is a flip side to segregation…we do ride at SanO with little hassle from the boardies. Of course, one reason is that we have been relegated to the proverbial back of the bus when it comes to quality waves. But saying that…what has evolved is a tight knit bunch of paddle surfers who value the absence of the aggro-behavior found at most prime surf breaks.

Today…there were a dozen paddle surfers riding 3’ - 6’ surf…a “crowded” day by our standards. To realize how good we actually have it…all we had to do is look 50 yards to our north and see the mass of boardies, competing for an open spot on the waves. For us…there were enough quality waves that we could pass if someone had a better position. Which is as it should be anyway…

So I guess there really is an up side to being shunted off to the back of bus.

I Used To Think The “San O” Idea…
is a good one but I don’t think so anymore, at least not in our neck of the break zone. I just think the segregation continues to promote the this idea of “we and (vs) them.”

Heck, overwhelmingly, we get along with boardies on the different breaks. As long as control and etiquette are there, there should is no problem. It’s the uninformed, the selfish and the out-of-control, over-the-head “kooks” that need to be talked to on a break.

I truly get stoked when I see a good/great ride from boardies. Heck, I even got totally stoked watching one female sponger who ripped through these head plus sets. :slight_smile: Upto that point, I thought spongers were just reformed wave riders. I have also gotten my share of “thumbs up” and big smiles from boardies in the line up when I get a good ripping ride. The “aloha” spirit and the stoke should be shared by all those who like dancing on waves.


Waveski Taming
I took my ski to a pool session last night and worked at paddling around with my feet in the straps; it is really tippy with both feet in, but I was able to pull off paddling in the pool that way. I found if I took off my PFD I did a lot better, so I guess Mike Johnson was correct about that. I got to where I was feeling pretty comfortable, getting my feet in and out of the stirrups while paddling, so I hope this helps for the paddle outs. I’m trying to surf it one or two mornings a week. Although I’ve rolled in the ocean I had a heck of time even doing hip snaps with it in the pool, it must either be the motivation in the surf or wave assist that makes it easier in the ocean.

I actually find that it helps me. I do more of a layback roll, so the floation of the PFD helps get me closer to the surface. I sweep back, do a foot flick (as opposed to a hip snap) and sort of scoot back over onto the stern hump and sit up.

I have never surfed without a PFD (or helmet for that matter). I think not having it, at this point, would have a psychological and thus a performance impact.


Stronger Skeg box install…same
materials but more work…

Light coat of wax on inside surface of box, fill slot w/ a chunk of foam packed in or if you are good with tape just tape the inside lip of the box if a little resin gets past no big deal … it will flake right out later because of the wax and box being plastic anyway.

Glass over as normal. A couple more plys would be better if installing box in unglassed foam ( Better to glass board THEN install boxes BTW). Babysit and razor trim the glass as close to box as you can … DO NOT PULL UP … cut only on downstroke.

If installing box in fresh unglassed foam file so glass runs right up to the lip so glass is supporting the side loads from fin.

If installing box in already glassed board … do the slot fill / glass over / razor trim but this time just slightly bevel the glass with a file @ the slot opening so fin DOES NOT touch when under side loads… keep it close though and the next time you slam the bottom that glass will be there to support the lay up rather than the skeg box blowing out.

Remember to file / cut only on the down stroke or slide … no pulling.

If you know where your belt is going to be Sailboard footstrap plugs are a cleaner install and will not pull out.

Sail Board Hardware
Sounds like an interesting idea. I know where I want my belt and feet … I may try it. My first project is going to be repainting the Mako, I was going to try something like this… but don’t think I can make the checkerboard work…