After my Roxy failure, I made two determinations:
1) Don’t get a soft-top. While it would give a little if it were to sail into my noggin, my knees couldn’t take it. After an hour on the thing, they looked like those of a nine-year-old who had fallen off her bike.
2) Don’t get something too narrow. Admittedly, trying to remain upright while sitting on the board was a fun way to stay occupied when waiting for a wave (I mean, who doesn’t like a challenge?), but it wasn’t so fun when I’d miss a wave because I had inadvertently rolled over right in front of it.
So I decided to look at some boards at a surf shop to see what they had in stock. But, before I had a chance to go, Ted stopped by Mr. Surf’s to get some recommendations.
“The salesman suggested a fun shape for your height and skill level,” he told me. “Maybe we should borrow a board to see if it’s a good fit.”
I liked the idea; that way we’d know what to keep an eye out for in the used board inventory, but the only problem with borrowing a store’s board is that you can’t put wax on it. Still, I could at least get an idea of how the size worked.
The next day, there was some small surf – perfect for a push session – so he was going to pick up the board from the shop and we’d hit the beach after work. He came into my cube just before I packed up for the day and as we were chatting about something, he pulled out of his pocket a bar of what looked to be soap and started smelling it…intensely.
Now, he does the same thing with citrus (something about growing up in Miami and smelling the grapefruit hanging from the trees in his grandparents’ yard), so I blew past it at first, but then the deep inhalations became distracting so I asked what he was smelling.
“It’s Mrs. Palmer’s surfboard wax, tropical scented,” he explained between sniffs. I assumed it was for his board since we couldn’t wax the one I was going to demo, but then he told me it was for me.
“What do you mean it’s for me?” I asked cautiously. “What did you do?”
He didn’t answer my question, nor did he let me peak in the surf bag in the back of his car as we drove to the beach, but when we got to the sand and unzipped the bag, there it was – my new board. I can’t explain it, but I just knew it was going to be a keeper. It was a real board, no soft top here; it had a good size to it (7’6”), but most importantly, it was GREEN! My favorite color!
At the nose of the board, it’s lime green with a dark green trim and it fades to white with yellow trim at the tail. It’s made by NSP and it’s more durable than traditional boards because it’s made with epoxy instead of fiberglass-covered foam, which gets dents and dings relatively easily.
Once the board was covered with a healthy layer of wax, we walked down to where the waves were breaking nicely. It was definitely a small day but having someone push you can compensate for some pretty weak waves. When the first surfable wave came, Ted told me when to start paddling and then shoved the board. When I felt the small wave start to pick up the back of my board, I popped up and rode it in toward the beach.
The board felt great! It’s a foot smaller than what I’ve been learning on so it’s faster to paddle and faster to ride, and it feels a little more maneuverable. I rode wave after wave until the sun sank down below the horizon and people started packing up their beach chairs. I can’t believe I have my own surfboard.
I think I’ll call her “Greenie.”