About ten months back we had a run of swell down here that was pretty special. A succession of big, long period swells with real grunt.
I had been working on my Tales from the Chook Shed webisodes for Maurice Cole. The chance came up to get some footage of Nick Carroll at big Bells, and to talk to Nick, as a very technical observer of board design, about the direction Maurice Cole is going with deep single concaves, and smaller boards in bigger surf. As we've discovered as tow surfing has grown, and lately ebbed a little in popularity, is that you don't need a lot of board once you're on the wave.
Even me, old plonker that I am, do ok on waves in the 8 plus range on a six two or so,.. added volume helps me in but, wisely placed, doesn't hinder once there. The concave, volume distribution and the location of the concave, make for, as Nick says, a board that is fleet of foot, no hang ups, and very, very fast. Of course it all depends on the surfer but I for one never imagined I'd still be on boards in the below six foot range at 56, so something is working.
Naturally there are many wonderful ways to skin a cat and these boards are for those that like to surf on rail and go fast, which skins lot of cats, if you ask me.
The surfing in this episode is from two sessions on the same day, one at Bells in the ten foot range, one at very big Voldemort (the break we dare not name), and a session post last year's Quikky Pro at Kirra. Graciously, Jack McCoy allowed us to use the Kirra footage in this, and some of this session may end up in his new film, A Deeper Shade of Blue, which, from all accounts, is destined to be a beauty.
Surfers are Tony Ray, Ross Clarke-Jones, Nick Carroll and Kelly Slater.
And, if you'd like to see it a little larger, you can.. here.