Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Maiden Voyage

Here's my new 2011 Starboard Element 9'8" SUP surfboard. It has a mast track for light wind wavesailing. I demo'd the 2010 version of this board at Bolsa Chica (Huntington Beach, CA) last year and liked the feel of it. After talking to Andy about what I've been riding (SOS 10'10" Big Blue), my intent and goals for dropping down in SUP surfboard size, and the conditions I would mostly be in, I settled on this board (thanks for the help Andy - remember readers, support your local shops!). She's a beauty...check out the thruster fin set-up.

First chance to get in waves - Isle of Palms, SC with Rob (left, with his Starboard Ultimate Blend 11'2") this past weekend.

We had some wind in the morning...a bit too much for paddling, so we stuck our 5 meter sails on our boards and went light wind wavesailing in 10-15mph side/side-off wind and waist high waves. I was able to turn the Element immediately down the line and get a couple of good top and bottom turns on most waves before they completely broke. The Element caught waves very nicely. The waves weren't rad by any means, but we had a ton of fun out there. I do look forward to seeing what else the board can do in bigger, longer and cleaner waves.

The walk of shame thanks to the fast current from wind direction and wind swell running in the same direction (and being awfully close to the inlet).

All photos above taken by my wife. Kris. All photos below taken by Rob.

After the morning windsurfing session and the wind/waves dropping off, we woofed down some mahi mahi and shrimp burritos for lunch. After refueling, it was off for some afternoon flat water paddling with our better halves. Here's our lucky dolphin on the flat water SUP paddle in the intracoastal waters behind Isle of Palms. Kris wanted to see dolphin and she was not disappointed.

Me, Dawn, Kris

Kris and I, the inlet behind us (between Deewees Island and Isle of Palms)

My friend the pelican. I want to be a pelican in my next life.

I look forward to getting the board in some nice paddle surf conditions. Its still a stable flat water board for its size. It was nice to have taken only one board for the weekend....waves or flat water, wind or no wind...this board appears to handle it all.

The rest of the weekend was spent hanging out in Charleston, eating some fine low country cuisine, taking in the historical sites/homes, and seeing The Old 97s in concert.

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