Surf The Winter Wonderland

Posted in Jack's Surfboards on November 26th, 2012

np-winter-surfThe time is finally here for big north swells, offshore winds and awkwardly tan faces…it’s winter! Well, to be completely factual winter does not officially begin until December 22nd, just in time for Santa Claus to bring us new wetsuits, we wish we had two months earlier, new booties that we always try to get out of wearing and cold water wax with its perfect holiday fragrance. But for surfers, winter starts much sooner than the winter solstice.

The holiday season for surfers starts as soon as the kids go back to the classroom, as soon as the summer time shredders retreat inland and those who “don’t do cold water” hibernate until the summer months. “Winter” is the best time to be a surfer in Southern California.

It’s that magical time of year when spots in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Orange County finally start to work, and the number of electric blue soft-top surfboards littering the lineups starts to diminish.

Winter is the time of year when the beach breaks that have been walled up all summer long finally start to take shape as peaky barreling right handers. And the rain brings forth bittersweet feelings of polluted water with the hopes of great sandbars.

But winter is not so sweet for everyone. For those trapped inside of a classroom (or office) who can only watch a flag blow straight offshore, who know the tide is low and there’s swell in the water…winter sucks.

Breaking Down the 2012 Title Race

Posted in Jack's Surfboards on November 13th, 2012

It looks like the ASP World Title race between Joel Parkinson, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning is going to be as contestable as the 2012 presidential election, with Kelly playing President Obama, Parko as Mitt Romney and Mick Fanning playing the unlikely successor, but still hopeful Roseanne Barr.

Here’s the breakdown as the ASP moves to Hawaii for the 30th Triple Crown: Parko is currently in first place with 53900 total points, closely behind is Slater with a total 50700 points and still in the title hunt is Fanning with a total 47000 points.  For either of these three men to win the world title there are a plethora of if/then scenarios that must occur:

  • If Parko finishes 5th or lower at Pipeline:
  • then Slater needs a 5th or better to win his unprecedented 12th world title;
  • then Fanning needs to win the contest to win the title (Slater cannot finish 5th or better)

  • If Parko finishes 3rd at Pipeline:
  • then Slater needs a 3rd or better win the title;
  • then Fanning needs to win the contest to win the title (Slater cannot finish 5th or better)

  • If Parko finishes 2nd at Pipeline:
  • then Slater needs to win at Pipeline while simultaneously becoming the ASP champ;
  • then Fanning cannot win the title

  • If Parko wins at Pipeline then he will be the 2012 ASP champ.

Let’s take a look at the past to try to forecast the future.  Last year Parko took down Kelly in the semifinals and Fanning did not surf the event.  During the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters, Kelly made it to the semifinals again, while both Parko and Fanning lost in the third round.  In the 2009 contest, Kelly lost in the final, Fanning lost in the quarters, and Parko lost in the third round.

Personally, I think Kelly is too strong of a competitor to lose the title when it is within arms reach.  That being said, Parko’s three Triple Crown victories and Fanning’s two World Titles cannot be ignored, but an incumbent is hard to dethrone and Kelly has proven time and time again that he is king.

Wetsuit Hoods: The Unsung Heroes of Winter Surfing

Posted in Jack's Surfboards on November 8th, 2012

xcel surf hood

xcel surf hood

You may have heard the old bit of folk wisdom about how most of your body heat leaves through your head. It turns out that, in general, this is completely false. The amount of body heat you lose depends on the surface area you have exposed, so a larger surface area, like your leg, naturally loses more heat than your head.

But if you’re already wearing a full wetsuit, then your head probably is your biggest source of heat-loss—it’s the largest uncovered surface on your body. That’s why a good wetsuit hood is one of the unsung heroes of winter surfing in California (or year-round surfing in colder climates).

If you live in California—and not in the far-flung northern reasons—your go-to wetsuit probably doesn’t have a built-in hood. Most of the year it’s unnecessary and only gets in the way. But for a few months of the year, having a hood can make the difference between a fun session and a session where you dread every duck dive.

That’s why we carry a number of hoods that you can use with your current wetsuit. The Rip Curl Flash Bomb 3mm, for example, is a great hood to wear with your 3/2 fullsuit. It has flash lining, which means that the hood is warm and comfy, and that it dries in around fifteen minutes. Which is great, because the only thing worse than putting on a wet wetsuit is also putting on a cold hood.

If you want something super warm to go with a 4/3 or 5/4 wetsuit, we recommend the Hyperflex 5/3mm Bibbed Surf Hood. Not only is it a bit thicker for additional warmth, but it has a bib. Basically, the bib tucks under the neckline of your wetsuit and extends to your upper chest, which means that there’s no gap in your neckline to allow water into your wetsuit or into the hood.

O'Neill 2MM Sport Cap - Men's

O'Neill 2MM Sport Cap - Men's

For a hood that you can use year-round for warmth and sun protection, check out the O’Neill 2mm Sport Cap. It’s super light and unobstructive, but it’ll protect your ears and face from the sun, and it’ll give you a bit of warmth on windy days or early mornings.

Hoods are relatively inexpensive, and they’re a great addition to any non-hooded wetsuit—and you won’t have to worry about exactly how much heat you lose through your head.