Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Quest For The Magic Surfboard

Article published 09/07/14 -

The David Constance Design Hand Gun from WAWA

If you break yours in half, no problem, just use Balkotan to glue it back together.
What David Constance has to say.
I’m not going to put words in David's mouth here, but a more passionate, insightful designer of hand planes or hand guns as I like to call them you’ll be hard pressed to find. If you are in the Muizenberg area pop into the WAWA factory and chat to him, you’ll be so glad you did!

Note how far forward the hand slot is. This gives you more bite and control and is much safer on your wrist than if the pivot point is further back

What John McCarthy has to say.
This beautiful wave riding vehicle came into my life by surprise about 4 years ago and it has changed the way I look at waves and how I think about riding them. If you think of bodysurfing as equal parts zen and goofy, foolish fun then this little guy here is your ticket to the parallel universe. You don’t actually need a handgun or flippers to bodysurf, but they make it a hell of a lot easier and much more fun to experience. You’ll be amazed at the rides you are able to have once you get the hang of it. I’ve ridden mine in everything from grinding New Pier and solid Cave Rock to fun little bowls and here is the thing, it is just SOOOOO much fun. Somehow the purity of the action and that your body becomes part of the surfboard, combined with the playfulness of rolling around and sliding up and down wave faces makes me so stoked. I’ve tried quite a few different models and I think I like the wood better but maybe that’s just what I’m used to. Good comfortable flippers are a bonus. I started with a single Churchill that I found washed up on the beach. That served me well until I lost it on a big day at Ansteys (same day I split my handgun in 2 pieces on my forehead - thanks to Balkatan I was able to glue it back together), these days I use a pair of Stealths which I’m sure you can get in most surf shops, I got mine at The Surf HQ in Durban who I know also stock a variety of Handguns. If you are bored or jaded or just not feeling it at the moment my humble suggestion is to go back to the ancient art of bodysurfing and tap into the real essence of what wave riding is all about. Pure Fun!

Check out the concave on the bottom deck

Helpful hints.

When choosing your Handgun, make sure that the pivot point is well forward of the mid point or you end up with serious strain on your wrist and far less control of the planing surface.
Rockers do not work well in hand guns, the flatter the better.
You should not need to use a leash. You need to learn the 'tuck and roll’ of pulling the Handgun into your body when you crash so that your shoulder doesn’t get ripped out of joint. Letting your hand plane go in a whipe out is a fast track to stitches in the face and a trip to the casualty ward.
Different strokes for different folks. Experiment, learn, share with your buddies. You’ll quickly get a feel for what works for you.


Top deck and trysty Stealth Fins which you can get from The Surf HQ in DBN