29 April 2014

Blind Takeoffs and a Broken Fin

SoCal temperatures are running 15-20° above normal for the next few days. Before mid-morning it was above 80° as a Santa Ana wind blew hot desert air toward the ocean.
Those offshores were so strong that I was paddling into waves blinded by spray, and got held up at the top of the best one I caught. That also meant I had to take off even deeper than usual to get into the soft Pumphouse waves, often making a whitewatery start and sometimes getting over to a short shoulder.
After a wipeout, I found my lightweight comp leash snagged on a loose piece of the leading edge of one of my side fins. Pro Teck performance fins have a flexible edge surrounding a rigid core, and a 2-inch piece of the front edge was dangling. It seemed secure enough to not cut my session short, and I thought perhaps I could Superglue it down later. Alas, by the time I rode a couple more waves and came in, the piece had vanished into the sea - and I feel guilty for littering. The bad news is that SurfCoHawaii claims the fins on my 2.5-year-old board are more than 10 years old (say what?!) so the edge material is brittle due to age and I should buy new ones. The good news is that I have an extra set of Pro Teck Future fins, which were held back when I sold my 7'0". They're 4.5" though, instead of 4.25", and Power Flex* instead of Performance** fins. We'll see what difference that makes, if any.

*Power Flex is a Pro Teck Fin with a medium core flex. The fin bends on turns, and then springs back, creating a forward thrust similar to a swim fin. The medium flex core and flexible training edge makes the board turn smooth and fluid with continuous speed. 
**Performance Fins have a rigid core that creates good drive and projection off bottom turns and cutbacks. The combination of the flexible edges and rigid core will help to make your board ride smoother, faster, and easier to turn.

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