Todd & Charissa:
I am soo stoked you guys had a great time in Bali! We need to organize and go together or at least hook up next time.
Indo is insane – nothing compares, I’m ruined as far as surf trips go!
Also, have you found it hard to get fired up since you’ve been back?!
The Mentawaii Islands are unreal! I see what all the fuss is about now. Surfing here in California so long, it took a session to get used to all the open ocean water moving when the swell was bigger, but I soon adapted.
We surfed so many world class breaks: Kandui, NoKanduis, Rifles, Hideaways, Ebay, Beng Bengs, A Frames, and the break right out front 4 Bobs.
It was consistently head high to overhead nearly everyday and we had only one day that was flat by Indonesian standards – still was chest high on the sets that flat day.
We were so fortunate to be booked the same week as a group of top pros, the experience of surfing, hanging out and talking shop with these guys was priceless. It was pretty common to be eating lunch, having a beer or getting boated to surf with the likes of Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Shane Dorian, Ross Williams, Martin Potter or Kai Garcia. Kai took me a couple of times on the back of the jet ski to check Kandui! I played cards with Martin Potter (Martin Potter!) and just hung out and talked w/ the rest of the pros like we knew each other for years. ESPN2 and Transworld Surf were filming every hiccup these guys did and we got to watch the footage each night over dinner.
Surfing the same waves and watching what these guys were doing 10 yards deeper than any mortal wanted anything to do with, over nearly dry coral, was a real eye opener.
I got cut so many times, I thought I was going to need to be airlifted to Oz more than once. That’s the thing with a lot of these places! The videos make it look so perfect, but what you can’t see from these videos is the dry coral or exposed rocks in front of the person taking off or when they are driving a barrel. Speaking of that topic,
your epoxies must have kryptonite in them! I snapped 3 leashes and lost both the SR71s to absolutely dry reef
(like 20 yards of it) and both boards suffered minor scratches that I just rubbed out and one minor spider crack.
Not one ding!!
Same thing happened to the Blackbird two days later at a different reef. I was being clever trying to get one more snap too close to the end section and I was absolutely thrashed on the reef, bleeding everywhere (still have cuts!) and convinced the Blackbird was toast. After a 20 minute swim around I went in to shore to pick it up off DRY reef and it only had the same type of scratches as the SR71s from a few days before.
Rubbed them out and the board is as good as new! No one could believe these boards survived! Everyone was impressed!!!
I’m stoked to hear of the design updates for the SR71 and the new Rascal II. I spent a considerable time talking with Kelly and he is absolutely convinced that going shorter is the new way to go. I am thinking of bringing down the 6.0 to a 5.11 or 5.10, but thickening it up to like 2 3/8 maybe even a 2.5 so I won’t lose any paddling foam. The Rascal II looks like a guaranteed winner here in grovelling type waves. What do you think of a 5.8 x 11.75 x 19 x 14.75, 2.5 moon tail.
I hope all is well with you both!
Take care and God bless!
Paul Pence, Cardiff, CA
Proxy custom epoxy SR-71: 6’4″ x 18 1/4″ x 2 1/4
Proxy custom epoxy SR-71: 6’1″ x 18 1/2″ x 2 3/16″
Proxy custom epoxy Blackbird: 6’0″ x 11.25″ x 18/5″ x 14″ x 2 3/16″