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April 11, 2021
Traveling by air was beginning to feel like a distant memory.
Here in Southern California, just about a year after the first COVID-19 lockdowns kicked in, I broke a self-imposed no-fly rule and booked a flight mid-March to spend close to a month somewhere far warmer and bluer than home. My wife and I got the NAAP tests for travel clearance, wore the masks, and then six hours later walked outside of the Honolulu airport and smelled the beginnings of what a post “pandemic” life can offer.
I was anticipating a whole lot of stress surrounding air travel protocols one must follow to get on a plane these days. It ended up being pretty chill, though. Other passengers appeared to be ok with doing what was asked of us, most of which included sucking on the same HEPA filtered air through our masks.
That said, this recent trip over to Hawaii was not entirely devoid of stress. There was some deep thought over which boards to take. A first world problem? Yes. But a real problem to solve nonetheless.
As a general rule I ride traditional single-fin longboards when it’s shoulder high and under, and switch to eggs (aka midlengths) for shoulder high and above. Among those I have a lot of variety in shapes, bottom contours and fin set ups. All of which are meant for different lines and vibes. It’s rare that I ride a true shortboard. Not against them at all, but just not something that typically interests me, save the odd ride on a fish.
Because my wife also surfs, she brings her own boards as well. This adds to the logistics of bringing a big bag of boards but the upside is, I can ride them when the opportunity arises too. While I’ll admit a total of six boards is excessive, each one had its purpose to address the ever-changing conditions of Oahu.
The boards were brought included:
6’11’ Channel Islands, custom twin midlength 21 1/8” x 2 ¾”
7’0 Channel Islands, CI Mid – 21 1/8” x 2 ¾”
7’1 Channel Islands, custom tri plane hull single – 21 3/8 x 2 13/16”
7’6 Channel Islands, CI Mid – 21 ¾” x 2 7/8”
9’9 Wayne Rich, Model D – 23 1/8” x 3 1/8”
10’1 Skip Frye, Eagle 23.5” x 3”
After a month, happy to say all the boards have been thoroughly ridden. Amazingly the 7’6” is still in one piece after a really big day that included me getting rag dolled across the reef most of the time. From North Shore to South we were able to adjust for the knee high to double overhead plus conditions, depending on where we were. In all honesty, you can pull off a trip like this with one board. But it was pretty sweet to be able adapt as we went along, allowing us to optimize how we rode waves each day there.
Written by Devon Howard
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