Wavestorm 101: Buying, Prepping, Care, Returns, Etc.

Listen up kids, here’s everything you need to know about buying a Wavestorm, prepping, installation, care, return policy, etc. Just don’t ask me how to surf the thing, kook.
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Jamie O, Backdoor. Photo: Baesman

Buying the Board.

How do you buy a Wavestorm? You have three options.
1. Go to Costco.
Get a Costco membership card ($60/year) Ravage the samples. Get a chicken bake. Check out the flat screen TVs. Proceed to the “water sports section” and pick out your $99 Wavestorm. Don’t even think about the SUP or little fish thingy. Put it in a shopping cart, or under your arm and proceed to throw shakas all the way to the line. Don’t have a Costco card? You can either “Hey Mister” a unsuspecting shopper in the parking lot, or try option 2.
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You Like Try Sample?
2. Buy one on Craigslist/Ebay/The Darkweb
I once found a mint condition early model Wavestorm that was a package deal with a box of tackle for $40. Deals are out there. Lots of people will put up brand new Wavestorms on Craigslist for around $150, preying on the unfortunate who do not have a Costco Membership. I’ve gone this route before. The downside to buying a board on the internet is that you can not take advantage of the epic return policy.  There’s also the chance of getting murdered by a craigslist rando in an Arby’s parking lot.
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RIP SILK ROAD
#3 Buy One from Amazon or Wavestorm.com
This is not a recommended option. Expensive and not sure if you can exchange if it breaks. But if you want it, you can go the Amazon route or the Wavestorm official route. Looks like Amazon is cheaper.

Prepping The Wavestorm

 
Once you get that sucker home, unwrap the laminate and breathe deep. That’s the smell of questionable Chinese labor practices and environmental destruction. Cherish it. Use a knife to cut through where they keep the fins and the leash. Throw away the leash (they are for dogs). I’m not kidding, take the lid off the can and dump the ankle choker.
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Leashes on a soft top? Who needs them?
Install the fins. This should be simple enough. Want to try something different? Try a twin fin setup from Fang Surf Fins. or single fin from The Perfect Storm. Hell, leave them out and go for a finless spin!
To wax or not to wax, young grasshopper? I do a couple diagonal strokes of wax just to rough it up and then rub some sand on it. I don’t wax the Wavestorm regularly, it doesn’t really need it after the slippery coat of Chinese slime and factory workers tears whisk away into the ocean. Cherish that too.
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Chinese Factory

Return Policy at Costco

 
I recently took a 14 month old snapped-in-half Wavestorm to Costco, waited in the return line, fully expecting that they would not take this sunbeaten, waterlogged board. I waited for about 10 minutes, got to the front of the line and the Costco employee said “What happened? Shark bite?” I said yes, what is your return policy? She said they accepted returns within “a reasonable  amount of time.”
I thought I was screwed, I asked if over a year is a reasonable amount and she agreed it was, And asked if I wanted debit or cash. I took the cash and went right back to the aisle and grabbed myself a new stick. So, the return policy is very lenient. Don’t abuse it though or you will ruin it for the rest of us.
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Photo: Chris Nomad

Conclusion

At this point if you haven’t packed your purse, buckled up in the drivers side of your 4 seater, and punched Costco into Google maps already, it’s not likely you have a pulse (in which case, get yourself seen by some medical attention). Happy surfboarding kiddos!
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Let It Ride: Betting on The Quiksilver Gold Coast

I’ve got the itch. You know the itch you get on 4 pm on a Friday to grab a cold beer? That’s the one. I’m not itching to drink but it feels the same. I’m looking to throw down some bets on surfing.

NCAA Tourney Draws Fans To Las Vegas Gambling House

The first stop of the tour, The Quiksilver and Roxy Gold Coast, is days away and you can see the Ubet favorites here. Below are a couple of our favorite underdog bets for the Snapper Contest.

Here’s how it works. Ubet assigns each surfer a number that correlates to their odds of winning. For example, John John Florence is the favorite for the 2018 WSL Championship and his number is 3.25. If you put $10 down and he wins, you would get a $32.25 payout. Alternatively, an underdog like Zeke Lau has a number of 151. A $10 bet on the Hawaiian would pay $1,510. Get it? Good.

Bet 1: Silvana Lima 

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I know this one is risky. I’d put $10 on Silvana Lima making the finals of the Roxy Gold Coast. The Brazilian veteran is coming off a great 2017 campaign with a win at Trestles, taking out Lakey Peterson and Steph Gilmore in the process.

Ubet currently has Silvana Lima at 17 points, meaning a $10 bet would win $170. I’d hedge this bet with a couple safer $5 bets on Tyler Wright (2.75) and Steph Gilmore (2.75) and possibly throw in Sage Erickson (13) in there as well.

Bet 2: Gabriel Medina

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We at Surfheater HQ have a feeling Medina (7.5) is going to come out of the gates firing in 2018. Gabe took home the trophy in 2014 and had a great second half of 2017. He’s definitely due for another big win. The only two surfers with better odds are JJF and Felipe both at 6. That’s not a bad bet, but we think Medina is the one to target.

Bet 3: Connor Coffin

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Snapper is a wave well suited for the California kid and this year Connor (17) has something to prove. We’re putting $10 that he will make the finals. I’m not as confident in this bet as the others (and Vegas isn’t either) but I think there’s a solid chance of a hit. If you are feeling lucky, you might want to take a look at Kanoa Igarashi (17),  Wade Carmichael (30) or Adrian Buchan (30).

It’s interesting that they are not offering odds on the Brazilian Rookie Michael Rodrigues. We’ve seen some recent clips of him ripping in Australia and feel he may be a surprise underdog.

We’d love to hear your bets. Leave them in the comments. If you know of a quasi-legal way to bet on the WSL in the USA email us at surfheater@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram.

 

 

 

Single Fin Wavestorm The Perfect Storm

Product Review: I Turned My Wavestorm Into A Single Fin

I’m in love with soft top surfboards. I started surfing them in the 90’s with an old, heavy waterlogged Doyle and spent most of my teens and early 20’s running a surf camp on INT soft tops (see below) and spending more time on the softies than hard boards.

Taylor Lobdell Soft Top Surfing in Newport Beach.

 

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Surf Camp Days 2004

Lately, I’ve been recovering from some surgeries and mostly surfing a Wavestorm up in San Francisco. It’s a surprisingly good Ocean Beach board. No joke. Paddles fast, you can hunt down waves and get in them super early.

Last month, I surfed with my cousin down at Pleasure Point. As we were suiting up, I noticed he had installed an obnoxiously pink single fin to his Wavestorm. I gave it a whirl in solid 6 to 10 foot Pleasure. I honestly couldn’t feel much of a difference because the waves were so good, but I was intrigued.

I looked around online and found “The Perfect Storm” single fin which promised to “Turbocharge your Foamie.” I ordered one off Amazon and about 2 days later (thanks Prime) a small cardboard box showed up at my doorstep.

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Installation is super easy, and you can actually do it on the beach because all the tools, including a pink screwdriver are included. You basically punch an extra hole through the “deck pad” of the Wavestorm and screw it in. There are plugs for the two side fins so they don’t take on water.

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My first real session was in 2 to 3′ playful and glassy Ocean Beach. As I was paddling out, I saw a little wedgy peak on offer so I swung and went. I faded the take off and did a quick shimmy to the front half of the board. I crouched low and the board stayed in the pocket for a good 4 seconds! It was an effortless trim. Usually, with a thruster set up, it’s a chore to set a really good line and hold it in the critical part of the wave.

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Photo by Perfect Storm Fins

I caught a couple more waves. My best one was a backside left where I was fairly deep but it was a solid little chest high runner. I set a line, and again just stuck to the wave. I felt like I could really push off my bottom turns as well. I’ve surfed with the single fin for about 2 weeks now and really don’t think I will go back to the thruster set up.

The highlight of the whole experience was this week at Ocean Beach. It was a dreamy day. About head high with crossed up low tide barrels. I pull in one, in full trim and going fast. I pull out and no other than pro surfer Ace Buchan is “Yewing” as I pull out. Stoked.

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Downsides? Honestly, the pinkness of the fin screams kook. But you don’t really paddle out on a Wavestorm trying to be serious anyway, so it sort of works. I could see it being a good gift for a younger Wavestormer who wants their board to stick out from the rest, even if they don’t have the skills to really notice the performance. Another downside is that the size of the fin makes it hard to ride the board all the way to shore without possibly breaking off on the sand/reef/etc.

Purists will say these Chinese made boards have no soul. They are killing the industry. I get it. I’m not saying for everyone to grab Wavestorms, tell your local shaper to suck it and join the soft top revolution, but it is a nice addition to your quiver for when the waves are too small, too big or you just want to pack closeouts and not worry about shrapnel from a 6 foot piece of fiber glass.

In conclusion, the Perfect Storm single fin is an insanely fun addition to an already fun board. Would recommend to anyone. See you out there.

 

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Power Rankings

With Snapper just around the corner, we’re here to evaluate the top 34 surfers with our pre-season power rankings.

#33 Tomas Hermes – Brazil – Rookie

The 30 year old WQS journeyman finally qualified after a strong second place finish at the US Open and a semi-final finish in Haleiwa. His stature (5’5”) and style remind us of a regular footed Tom Carroll with a penchant for big finishing moves. If he can link together a couple big turns and throw down some airs at Snapper, he could have a good start to the season.

#34 Michael Rodriques – Brazil – Rookie 

An explosive air game and powerful hooks define Michael’s surfing. The relatively unknown rookie qualified with a strong showing through Europe and hopes to make a splash at Snapper. If he can overcome the rookie nerves and surf with confidence, he may turn some heads with a solid result on the Gold Coast.

Worst Waves of the World: San Francisco Edition

99 times out of 100 I walk out of the water from a surf session a changed man. No, seriously. I have more energy. I breathe easier. My skin feels good. I get to my car, shake off my wetsuit, turn on the radio and feel good.

Last week, I found myself on the wrong side of that ratio. That towel change was not serene. I was seething. Why the fuck did I paddle out at Fort Point, one of the worst waves in the world?

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This is a mirage Photo: Jeremiah Klein 

To those not familiar, Fort Point is the not-so-secret spot located right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The wave looks idyllic. Swells come from the Pacific Ocean, cross under the bridge, and wrap around a man made point.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers began working on Fort Point during the civil war, arming the structure with 103 cannons and soldiers stood watch for an enemy that never came. The history is interesting and the setting is beautiful, the wave is not.

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Fort Point Photo: 

The wave only really breaks at a low tide and requires a rock dance like no other to approach the water. Once your in the cold water, you are at the mercy of the tides. Usually, the tide is trying to suck you around and through The Golden Gate – straight out to the Pacific Ocean.

If you can manage the current, you then have to deal with the locals who consist of SUPpers without borders who paddle for every bump in the water, sea kayaks, kneeboarders, kooks who paddle out for the Instagram shot, and maybe a couple rippers who have the spot dialed and catch the one wave that barrels every 30 minutes. It’s truly a menagerie of kookiness out there.

After about 30 minutes of paddling, positioning, paddling some more, getting stared down and then repositioning I thought to myself “Fuck it – I’m going for one.” I tried sitting deep. I let the current take me out. I thought I could somehow go deeper then everyone else. I didn’t realize it’s almost impossible to stay in the position for a good one out there. I paddled back in to where the SUPpers were on the outside.

Right at the take off spot, there’s a submerged rock that shows its face on the bigger waves and causes a huge boil mid face. It’s not good kind of boil that you see before a wave really throws. It’s a boil boil.

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Damn Boil! Photo: Daniel Won

To be fair, there are a couple good barrels to be had out there if you want to sit inside of the rock, towards the point and dodge SUPs all day. All the good waves you see in pictures are of this wave. It barrels for about 2 seconds and you come out and there’s no shoulder to ride.

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Are We Having Fun Yet?

To the few that have it dialed and can weave through that one barrel every so often – you can have it. I’m done with it.

After 30 minutes of not getting any waves, I paddled in to about mid point and caught an absolute mush burger. Rode it straight and hit the lip on an inside section and had to bail mid term because it was jacking up over the rocks. Admittedly, a kook maneuver and I paid for it. My ass was dragged across a rock and I hit my foot on another.

I shame paddled all the way over to the pier, did another rock dance and headed to the car. The fog horn’s moan echoed my deepest thoughts. Fuck this place. I’m never going back.

I don’t ever want to feel like I did that day.

 

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You Can Have It