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struggling with my grovelers

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  • struggling with my grovelers

    i'm 6'3", 198lbs. and have surfed 5 days a week for nearly three years. i'm an intermediate surfer. can surf, pump and cut back but don't rip. i normally surf a 6'8" alternator (39.9L) and love it. it feels great up to 8' but i thought i should try out some grovelers for the bumpy crappy beach breaks i surf.

    i have a 6'2" spitfire (38L) and a 6'4" stealth (38.5L) as my grovelers. i don't feel nearly as comfortable taking off on either of them. they're both slightly less volume than my alternator but i thought the lack of rocker would make them about even in the wave catching? i'm surfing t in 2-4' anything or 5-6' mushy, bumpy, choppy.

    my biggest issue is on take offs. i feel like the board is either squirting out from under me when i'm trying to grab a breaking mushy shoulder or that it is really rigid like riding a plank down the face instead of easing into the curveiture of the wave like my alternator does. i definitely like how fast they are in the flat spots and how loose they are for the small waves. but am wondering why it feels so weird to me on take offs? i've ridden them both maybe 10-15 times and experience the same issue with both although maybe more on the spit.

    i'm trying to figure out if :
    - i got the wrong size grovelers;
    - i'm surfing it in the wrong waves; or
    - if it takes a higher skill level to surf a flatter board and i just need to stick it out


    44, 198 lbs., beginning intermediate, surfing 3 years, 5 days a week, 6'8" alternator

  • #2
    Scott, those sizes sound right, just a hard transition to a different board. ride the Spit fire more youll get used to it.


    • #3
      if the board is "squirting" on the takeoffs get a bigger fin and something with a little more rake to it (curvature backward as opposed to upright) what fins are you rocking?


      • #4
        I feel that squirtiness from time to time myself. This is my take; you're unconsciously slowing your paddling speed to match wave speed and consequently having a late takeoff. So you're going from near enough to zero to flying in milliseconds. That's exacerbated in mushy wind swell waves as they are often "on you" quicker than you think. They're typically short period waves after all, compared to the lined up, long period days you are using the Alt. my tip is maybe sit 5 feet further out and consciously paddle like a demented lunatic for each wave. You'll hit planing speed earlier, and with less of a speed transition. Some windswell days though a steep takeoff is basically normal, and you just need to be ready for it/adapt.


        • #5
          I'd try the Spitfire in some better waves too. It's a lot easier to dial in a board in better conditions!


          • #6
            Kdropin. thanks for writing i notice you are also riding a 6" difference between your alt and dom (dom almost same as spit) so you're the person to talk to. i was wondering if i should have gone 4" difference instead. i am riding the mayhem gmb-5 as a thruster. do you think the 6" difference is a good call or do you wish you were at 4?



            • #7
              thanks buzzy and pjr. good advice. i'll give it a go!