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  • trouble figuring out my grovelers

    i'm 6'3", 198lbs. and have surfed 5 days a week for nearly three years. i'm an intermediate surfer. can surf, pump and cut back but don't rip. i normally surf a 6'8" alternator (39.9L) and love it. it feels great up to 8' but i thought i should try out some grovelers for the bumpy crappy beach breaks i surf.

    i have a 6'2" spitfire (38L) and a 6'4" stealth (38.5L) as my grovelers. i don't feel nearly as comfortable taking off on either of them. they're both slightly less volume than my alternator but i thought the lack of rocker would make them about even in the wave catching? i'm surfing t in 2-4' anything or 5-6' mushy, bumpy, choppy.

    my biggest issue is on take offs. i feel like the board is either squirting out from under me when i'm trying to grab a breaking mushy shoulder or that it is really rigid like riding a plank down the face instead of easing into the curveiture of the wave like my alternator does. i definitely like how fast they are in the flat spots and how loose they are for the small waves. but am wondering why it feels so weird to me on take offs? i've ridden them both maybe 10-15 times and experience the same issue with both although maybe more on the spit.


    i'm trying to figure out if :
    - i got the wrong size grovelers;
    - i'm surfing it in the wrong waves; or
    - if it takes a higher skill level to surf a flatter board and i just need to stick it out


    thanks

    scott
    44, 198 lbs., beginning intermediate, surfing 3 years, 5 days a week, 6'8" alternator

  • #2
    I'm not familiar with the spitfire, but I am with the stealth
    One noticabl efeature of the stealth is that it has really hard rails right through up to the nose, unlike the the alternator which has fairly neautral/soft rails
    that hard rail is a little less forgiving than the soft rails and I think this is what may be affecting your take offs (would account for the rigid feeling you're getting)
    I personally don't think the stealth is an out and out groveler in that with its hard rails you want it on fairly clean waves where it can cut into the wave face without bouncing around everywhere
    The el fuego for example has a lot softer rails and is more forgiving

    The other thing to consider is that these boards have their wide points shifted forward, which can result in the nose catching rail if your weight is too far forward plus they're flatter boards than the alternator which can also result in rails catching on take off if you're not on the sweet spot

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    • #3
      great advice. your right. this is not a forgiving board and i'm trying to surf it in chop bad call. gonna save it for the glassy rollers. i've had a blast on those days!

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      • #4
        the stealth and spit are pretty different.. stealth is geared towards the better wave as the spit is more towards a lesser wave.. less tail rocker to handle flatter waves

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        • #5
          thanks kdropin. just orderef a 6 4 spit for the junk days

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          • #6
            I think a big problem for a lot of guys when it comes to groveling is they don't push hard enough. You really have to paddle hard or harder than you would to catch a big wave. You want to get as much speed as you can right away and that starts with the paddle. Just because you have a board with less rocker doesn't mean you can just cruse and pull off turns. This video was a big help to me when I started to view small crap days as days to refine my good wave surfing.

            http://vimeo.com/4160937
            Last edited by saxman1; 03-01-2012, 11:07 AM.

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            • #7
              Great little vid you posted there
              Some good tips
              I think setting some goals every surf is good otherwise you become a bit lazy
              Like me

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              • #8
                I also noticed in the vid how low volumed the boards being surfed are
                I think it takes a bit of skill to get HP boards moving when it's small
                The days I just grab my Dom I probably should be surfing my HP every now and then

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                • #9
                  if it were only as easy as the video makes it seem. a lot of those waves were pretty decent though. plenty of punch.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris View Post
                    if it were only as easy as the video makes it seem. a lot of those waves were pretty decent though. plenty of punch.
                    True enough. One thing I have been doing a lot more lately is doing the little fat cut back into the froth instead of pumping down the line. It keeps you close to the pocket and if and when the wave does double again you are ready to give it a shwack.

                    I have a pic of myself surfing a waist high wave on my 6'0" quadraflex. I'm throwing some good size spray on a little wave with a very low volume board for a guy my size. It was all made possible by low tide building to high. The waves had a nice little bowl to them that day.

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                    • #11
                      cant see the hard front (i.e near your chest/head area - forward of the mid point i mean) rails being an issue on take off...the only time i found the stealth to have an issue with the hard rail is the rail catching doing big arching cutbacks

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                      • #12
                        staying close to the power....key....

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