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Mount a seat onto a big board for double-bladed paddling?
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20657

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the prospect of the seat getting in the way is a big, maybe prohibitive, issue. I really miss the days when I simply vaulted from deep water to standing upright on my WS boards, with no contact with the deck by anything but hands and feet (not very likely with a surfboard).

dllee wrote:
That's why "dump the seat"
Fall off, you crawl onto your belly like a surfboard, swing legs wide, push up to sit with legs on either side.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20657

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope my dissections of you guys' suggestions aren't discouraging any responses. On the contrary, each comment has focused my options and added fresh insights. Keep 'em coming, as my whole life, education, career, and countless large and small decisions have been based on such analysis, without which I wouldn't be here and would probably never have found or successfully immersed myself in WSing to begin with.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 10312

PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not buy a surfboard that you can prone paddle using your arms. If you build up to it, paddling around can be a pretty good workout that you can do at your own pace. Easy to take breaks too, and no balance issues. Also, given the fact that surfboards are relatively narrow in width and not too thick. paddling around is much easier than boards used for windsurfing or SUP. One important element that greatly improves glide and performance is a narrower pointed nose, especially when paddling into chop.

Having been a dedicated surfer for well over 30 years in my younger days, I spent a lot of time paddling out to ride the waves and hold my spot in the lineup. It was the working side of surfing. The bigger the waves and water conditions, the harder you had to work to be successful.

One time of day that I really enjoyed was sunset. The the changing light and reflections on the water can be phenomenal and very rewarding overall.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20657

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first reaction to your idea of "prone paddling a surfboard on the river" was "seriously?" I've tried self-rescuing a de-rigged heap of WSing gear in that mode with zero success, but as I read further and thought about it outside the box, your suggestion grew on me (no surprise; I greatly respect most of your WSing advice and experience). Comments and questions began flooding into my mind.

Is a surfboard with enough glide and buoyancy still narrow enough to prone paddle easily?

Is it low enough that moderate wind won't dominate the scenario? (I suspect that windage is the primary reason we don't see kayaks or SUPs on the river on windy days doing anything but downwinders.)

Could I actually take this toy into the small swell and chop of 20 mph winds without fading into the downwind horizon? How about bigger wind with swell sufficient to glide down while still prone?

Could that be fun (with little to no opposing current to boost me upwind), or just hard, freaking, incessant work? (If all I'm getting is a gut-busting workout, the gym is much simpler.)

This would mandate a TON of conditioning, as you suggest, as it uses muscles WSers are not accustomed to beyond short sprints to catch our gear. Being lower to the water would help, and when resting I could lie on top to travel downwind or drop into the water to reduce windage and take advantage of any upwind current.

I have ready access to water with or without current, FLAT or choppy or swell, wind or no wind ... just about any environment I want for conditioning or fun.

I had to chuckle at your observations about the aesthetics of a sunset. Our afternoon sun is getting right in our faces on starboard as Fall approaches, and what used to resemble sailing on a sea of brilliantly lit mercury is now primarily disorienting. Maybe at slower speeds I could focus again on the aesthetics.

This sounds sufficiently intriguing to consider, and the Softech line may suit my objectives very well. I hope to have plenty of time to sort all this out and choose a new fallback toy, but then why wait if it's fun in its own right, especially considering my easy access to water and the number of light air days we have?

I can see the look already on an Oregon coast surf shop dude's face when this geezer hobbles in and inquires about selecting a board just for prone paddling. ("Pa, try Home Depot. They sell plywood") Smile

Then, ultimately, as a last resort at the other end of the spectrum, there's the sit-down jetski/PWC. Too boring on flat water, but intriguing in swell.

swchandler wrote:
Why not buy a surfboard that you can prone paddle using your arms. If you build up to it, paddling around can be a pretty good workout that you can do at your own pace. Easy to take breaks too, and no balance issues. Also, given the fact that surfboards are relatively narrow in width and not too thick. paddling around is much easier than boards used for windsurfing or SUP. One important element that greatly improves glide and performance is a narrower pointed nose, especially when paddling into chop.

Having been a dedicated surfer for well over 30 years in my younger days, I spent a lot of time paddling out to ride the waves and hold my spot in the lineup. It was the working side of surfing. The bigger the waves and water conditions, the harder you had to work to be successful.

One time of day that I really enjoyed was sunset. The the changing light and reflections on the water can be phenomenal and very rewarding overall.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20657

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmm ... Popular surfboards seem to run something like 19" and have maybe 35L of flotation. Their buoyancy depends mostly on speed, i.e., planing. I have WS boards narrower than that with displacement in the 60s. They still need planing speed to support my weight, but at least I'd be much less submerged, and thus create much less drag, on one of them. It makes sense to try your suggestion that way first.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 10312

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a photo of my surfboard. It's 8'8" and really not that thick and corky like you would expect with a windsurfing board or SUP. Floaty enough, yet you're still in the water a bit. Remember, it's a surfboard for riding waves, so you don't really want to be entirely on top of the water since you need to get under and through breaking waves and soup.

As far as buying a surfboard, I remember that there used to be a surf shop, North Pacific, in Hood River, and I believe that Al Colyer was the shaper. When it comes to surfboards, you want a custom made board, even if it is one of their standard models. Why not buy local from a experienced guy like Colyer? Like I pointed out earlier, you want a pointy nose like in my board, especially if you're going to hit the water in windier conditions. Also, keep in mind that you can avoid a lot of crazy water conditions by paddling around fairly close to shore.

Lastly, being on the water getting your exercise easily beats hanging out in a gym, and you're not getting all sweaty and uncomfortable in the process.



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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20657

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea of the volume of your surfboard? If not volume, how about a thickness estimate. I have many -- because I prefer -- WS boards with that general planform, most much shorter, and can buy shorter yet for the cost of a burger.

Well, with fries.

I'll ask Art about the idea. We sail together very often and he's my Go To repair guru.

I know of only one small spot on Da River with breaking waves. Not a problem.

I don't mind the gym. Ours is huge, the wind and weather are totally predictable, there are no wind shadows, the variety of toys is outstanding, there are neither crowds nor egos there, I have my own set of custom gut-busting pool toys, I can reserve a pool lane days in advance, it's just minutes away, it has free hot showers, most of the trainers have degrees in various exercise sciences, it's open about 19 hours a day, with cables and weights we can get some decent air with lateral spans topping 20 feet, we can sprint on either track, I don't drift away if I take a break between HIIT sprints, no skunks or rattlesnakes, no dogs crapping on the ground, and WETSUITS/HARNESSES/HELMETS ARE NEVER NECESSARY.

HOWEVER, it's still just the gym, and as such is a poor substitute for -- a stepping stone towards -- a good day on the water.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 10312

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, no volume numbers. While the board is buried in storage right now, I've attached a partial sideview of the surfboard to give you some idea. The greatest amount of volume is out of the picture, but you can get some idea from the original photo. The darker area on the waxed surface is where my chest would be. If I was to estimate the board's thickness, I guess that it was be 2 1/2-3" at the centerline at the chest position.

With regard to using a windsurfing board, the textured deck could be a significant problem leading to chafing and abrasion. Also laying on a textured surface is exceedingly tough on your wetsuit or skin. A waxed surface is the ideal standard. Enough adhesion without being abrasive.

Lastly, having a custom board made, you can specify the length you want. That said, I wouldn't go under 7 feet given your age. The longer you go the better glide and overall speed you can attain paddling. If you go too short, your lower legs will be hanging off the end of the board. Ideally, for paddling, it would be best to have your feet on the back of the board.



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windyjoe



Joined: 04 Jul 2008
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:01 pm    Post subject: Surfboards Reply with quote

Mike way before sups ever came around there were prone or kneeling on top surfboards guys used for training when it was flat no waves ask Art about something like that Question
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 20657

PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All good points, Chandler, and I can see that your board is much thinner than all but one WS board I've ever seen*. I'd pad the entire deck for comfort. It may just be time now to rash guard my body (I can pick up a full functional wetsuit for $10 at a swap meet) and give the concept a try on my smallest WS board (I just sold two < 70L, about 8' long). If that is promising, it may be time to visit a surf shop, Art, and a swap meet for more information. Thanks for the idea.

WHOA! I just slid an 8-3, 73 L, 20" wide board off the rack, laid on it, and looked forward. Two observations were obvious:
1. At my shoulders it's narrow enough ... < 19" ... to hand-paddle with no interference. Check!
2. Straining to look up through my raised eyebrows at max neck extension, I can see only about 3 feet in front of me. No way can I look straight ahead. Deal-breaker!

Reality check: I stood with my chest and toes against a wall with my head centered directly beneath a mark on the ceiling. No WAY could I look up at the mark. Besides, when I Googled surfboard prone paddling images, almost every one is in the kneeling position. No way do I have the balance or knees to do that.

Back to the double bladed paddle concept and toys that accommodate it. It's apparently time to try a kayak paddle sitting on my Sea Lion (it's too wide for true prone hand-paddling anyway).

* It was about an inch thick, with thicker bumps to accommodate the fin and deck boxes. I saw it sailed, with abandon but sans aerials, on a windy day at the Hatchery. It was designed and constructed by a Boeing composites engineer for his own use. Graphics were flawless and unworldly.
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