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Need some help understanding the SP

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  • Need some help understanding the SP

    Hey everyone, just got myself a 5'8" SP with Controller fins on it a couple of months ago and really having a good time on it. I surf this board at Doheny, which is a real slow moving, thick, longboard wave. I'm about 5'7" tall and weight around 175 lbs, skill level is beginner and fitness level is probably average. As I've gotten to know the board better I started developing some questions which I was hoping some of the more experienced surfers could help me answer.

    1. In several of the threads on this forum, people had said the important thing about getting this board going is driving off the back feet with the feet over the fins. I've tried this a few time, where I start to do my bottom turn on my backside, shift my weight to my back feet over the tail pad, and the back of the board just sinks and comes to a stop. Is there something I am missing or should be doing? I find this especially happens more when trying to surf my backside. Keeping my weight forward seems to get the board going better and then pumping, turning etc is no problem.

    2. How big a deal are fins? The controllers seems to do well for me, but I always had this feeling they were a little big in ways I don't really know how to explain (my last board, a 6'2" fish had smaller fins), but would changing to a medium size fin make a big difference to the way the board feels?

    3. I read on the forum that it's possible to sit as far out as the longboarders do (most of the people are riding 9ft+ boards where I surf), however I find I need to take off and get up far later than them in a portion of the wave where there is still some drop to it, even with my weight way forward and an intense amount of paddling. Is there a secret trick to getting the board gliding early and getting waves as far out as the longboarders?

    4. What is the trick to paddling the SP into waves shoulder high and above? I find that i have a hard time getting the board up to speed to match the speed of the wave in the bigger shoulder high sets.

    5. Everyone here seems to recommend the smallest SP possible. I bought a bigger SP because I wanted to make it easier to catch waves and was willing to trade the turns in exchange for wave catching ability. However, I was wondering, could a SP that is too big possibly make it harder to catch waves because it is so corky? could a bigger SP limit the wave range I can surf in as a bigger board gets harder to handle in shoulder high waves?

    Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Hi DOHO,

    I had an SP before trading it for a BP. But the board did get into waves pretty fast, almost too fast at times. And it does seem to get on top of the wave quickly.

    Since just starting out, you gotta work on your paddling which comes with time.

    One can read paddle technique all day long but the only way to make it second nature is paddle time. Kinda like running technique, etc...

    I know that wave, it was my first wave ever and will not for get it.

    And yes, the board, as most boards seem to have a sweet spot or power spot if you will, over the back fins. Sounds like the stalling problems are due to putting all your weight on back.

    Surfing has complex mechanics with many a nuance, not that I am one to talk as my surfing is mediocre.

    If you can, have some one video you for later analysis.

    - aurf


    • #3
      thanks Aurf!


      • #4
        Thanks Aurf, had a good session yesterday and learnt quite a bit more. Waves had a little more shape due to the low tide and with that shape, yes, found I could sit way out with the longboarders in those circumstances. Also found out yesterday that keeping my back foot back against the tail pad but keeping legs spread further apart helped to prevent the stalling.


        • #5
          "Practice. We're talking about practice." If u know American basketball u might get the practice joke. Anyway. Time in the water is the answer. Just keep at it. Watch a Ton of videos. I have a slew of u tube videos on my iPhone. Check out chuy or Daniel jones on their potatoes. Dane Reynolds on his Sperm whale is a good one too. Love watching pros rip small waves. Just saw buttons kaluiakalani (did not spell this right) ripping jersey junk this weekend on a quad fish. Rasta videos on his fish are helpful too. Keep at it though. FireWire boards including the sp have without a doubt made me a better surfer as well. Good luck.


          • #6
            Thanks for the tip Bumper. Funny you mention Rasta and his fish. On a whim I bought his signature quad fins from futures and replaced my controllers and now my SP skates all over the wave so much easier. Love this setup. Not as much speed as the controllers and needed to pump harder down the line but it was a trade off I was happy to make as I like the more reactive feel from the rasta fins which are more flexible.

            Love the video of Dane on his sperm whale as well. Fantastic style.


            • #7
              I have the rasta fins for my pnator. I'll try them out on my sp too. Thanks.


              • #8
                Hey Bumper, when you do have a go at the rasta's on your SP, let me know how it goes for you. I'm curious as to what you think. My personal take is that I should be using the controllers for small days and rastas for big days. Counter intuitive i know.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DOHO Rider View Post
                  Hey Bumper, when you do have a go at the rasta's on your SP, let me know how it goes for you. I'm curious as to what you think. My personal take is that I should be using the controllers for small days and rastas for big days. Counter intuitive i know.
                  I dont think thats counter intuitive at all. Controllers provide a lot of lift and you dont need that when you create more speed in bigger waves. They also have more surface are which provides more drive..again you dont need that in bigger surf. The Rastas are more typical and far more suited to bigger surf than the controllers...


                  • #10
                    yeah DOHO i agree with FW-Fan and your initial perspective!

                    controllers = smaller waves, rastas = bigger waves...