Saturday, 01 June 2019 - Posted by Roger at 1:57 pm
Tony’s Quiver Part 5: MID LENGTH MINDFULNESS
It feels like it’s been a long time between surf’s. Coming off one of the most consistent Summer and Spring surf seasons I can remember we have entered into the realm of Winter. The soulstice is upon us with equal day and night length telling us spring and summer are on the distant horizon. There has been the odd hit and miss swell along the coast, and tales of long lines marching down the far north points with 100’s of eager punters rearing to go keep the adventurous surfer spirit alive.
So often when things slow down, it allows us the opportunity to reflect and start planning the next phase. However, that space between the past and the future is called the present and that’s where I came up with the title for this blog – Mid Length Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of living in the present, paying attention to the moment. Well this fine art is something I directly connect with the art and mastering of riding a mid-length. Of course I am reflecting about my love affair with mid-lengths, and that “retro feeling” you get when it all comes together and you “flow” down the line. But in essence that feeling of freedom you get when you find yourself in perfect trim is “mindfulness” at its purest. Living in the present, feeling every little intricacy of the wave as it glides past.
The first mid-length Roger shaped me was a 6’8″ Magic Carpet. Nice pulled in tail, single fin and classic Red. That thing was an absolute treat to ride. Not really made for fancy off the lip tricks, more for setting the rail whether it be in trim or arcing through a cutback. I took that 6’8″ to Bali with me and enjoyed the long walls of Uluwatu and punchy peaks of Canggu with ease. I got some of the best barrels of my life on that board, one session at Taupo Bay on a big cyclone swell sticks out for sure.
In retrospect that MC was a little short to be a classic “mid-length” so the next step was to build a Flow. Roger and I discussed this board at length, and with the idea in the back of our minds (this board is not a mini-mal) we settled on a 7’2″ single fin Flow. I’ve always been an advocate of single fins, I enjoy the smoothness and freedom.
The Flow has a nice soft plan shape, with an almost Egg styled outline. Rounded nose, round tail, wide point forward to capture paddle power and planing, with a relatively flat rocker and very easy on the eye.
After a summer of sliding and gliding Roger and I made a few minor adjustments and The Flow V2 entered my life and has been a go too board for me ever since. Like all boards, I try to experiment with different fins to extract the best ride-ability out of the shape, something I suggest every surfer should do whether it be one fin or four.
Originally my 7’2″ Flow came with a Rob Machado 7.5″ Single Fin which is a stiffer fin, and good in punchy conditions. But after trying a few variations I have settled on the Futures Fins 9” Tiller Longboard Fin. This fin has excellent flex and drive, and enough base to allow for movement back and forth in the fin box – set it forward for loose, set it back in the box for more stiffness.
All in all I feel that I have found the perfect combination of length, volume and fin set up to truly enjoy “The Flow”.
Fast-forward to being in the present. I drop in on a clean head high right hander (on my forehand of course) and when I get to the bottom of the wave I drive through my bottom turn and rise into the curl of the wave. The board allows me to set a rail and find the perfect trim.
Sometimes I’ll take a step forward and get into a cheater five, or just stand tall and fell the glide.
After the section has released me out onto the open face, I slide out onto the corner and project back through a nice, smooth carve or cutback or even a lay-back carve if the section allows.
I have been truly impressed by the freedom and magic of riding The Flow. It has allowed me to be truly present in my surfing. Mid Length Mindfulness.