I have hired the worst car in the world for my stint on Oahu. It has no power and has the turning circle of a small planet, but I am letting it off because it is a Chevvy Malibu and a Malibu board is what I have surfed most of my life.

After being woken by the wild roosters running around the garden I take it for a spin to check out all the surf spots and see what king of boards the islands can offer me. However there are surprisingly few surf shops on the north shore. I have only seen two which actually sell boards or even wax! It is like trying to buy surf supplies in North Wales back in the Eighties.

Whatever I do end up buying will be my trusty chariot for most of this trip so it is important I get something I like and that suits my style of surfing. Several years ago I bought in haste what I call my ‘rebound board’ after snapping the Williams longboard I had surfed for over a decade. I have never liked the rebound board and even now rarely take it out. In many ways it is like a dance partner and some are just better suited to one another than others.

Historically I have always surfed a bigger board, not least to ensure it is bouyant enough to keep me afloat, but because it is also suited to my style of surfing. However anybody who has tried to move a surfboard without a car of their own (as I will have to do freqeuntly on this trip) will tell you the longer it is the more ungainly it is and at times it is just a painful experience. I remember crossing London at rush hour once with a board under my arm. Never again. As a consequence what I buy will be a compromise between portability and surfability. Buy a performance shortboard which is nimble but unstable like a rowing boat or a cruisy longboard which is very stable but hard to turn like an oil tanker. The bigger the board also needs bigger fins to control the turning and they are not always suited to the reef breaks which I will be trying to surf along the way. Decisions, decisions, decisions!!! So many to choose from, but a board from the islands is a necessary souvenir of this trip.

Strive Bully SmallAfter a lengthy chat with Bruce at Surf N Sea in Haliewa I opt for this stick that is known as a Strive Bully board. It’s dimensions are 7’10” x 22½” x 3″ with a swallow tail and it has very funky concave grooves on the deck by both rails which supposedly add strength for extreme aerial manouevres (not that they are that likely with me riding it.)

Like the stoy of my love life it is not necessarily the prettiest thing in the shop window, but will guarantee me a great ride, and we are going to have lots of fun together while it lasts, even if it is ultimtely not what I want long term. The sophisticated ones with the best legs and styling were a little out of my price range and I failed to talk them down to my level. However I will make sure she is not neglected whilst in my company regardless of all the above and I will make every effort to get her wet every day on this trip.

I think that is about as far as I should push my double entendres don’t you. ;o) I do however need a nick name for it and would welcome suggestions.

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3 Responses to “Surfboard Shopping”

  1. Pete says:

    Hi Rob, just reading about your new board. It looks sweet. I’m hoping it’s got a multi-change cd player as well…just imagine 🙂

    Catch a few waves for me!

    Pete

    p.s. I’ll get back to you with a half-baked analysis of the effect of the grooves on the board strength shortly (first guess is that it’ll actually reduce the stiffness a teensy bit so you’re going to have to make sure you spot the landing well on the rodeo airs)

  2. Clem says:

    Sounds like you’re having a great time, I hope you are attempting the pipeline, it would be a shame to go all that way and then bottle it! I notice you were mentioning a slightly smaller board you used to have that you didn’t really like, is this the same one you tried to kill me on in South Wales?!?! Hope you’re having a great time mate, the trip looks awesome, I hope to see you in time for Aus!

    • Rob says:

      You big girl’s blouse. If you thought that was scary you should try paddling into the water here. I like your web address by the way. Only just spotted it.

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