Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Angulo inovations, wind public relations and reggae radio stations

The name Mark Angulo is marinatated in years of admiration amongst us old surf/ wavesailing windsurf and now kitesurf salty ocean crowd. We used to see him when visiting Maui to wavesail there or Jhone's over one of his custom wave shapes at our local beach in Malibu or up at the J/Central Coast or Santa Cruz that a friend had scored. Mark always was innovating and ahead of the curve on what he would throw down in the waves with some wind in his sail. It came as no surprise when my bud Klaus, who is also an old windsurfer and now a die hard kiter started adding Angulo kite board shapes to his board room full of Angulo SUP boards etc. His Angulo SUP is his all time favorite wave board and incorporates some very cool bonzer tech. I tried that one and it certainly impressed me. I was able to test some of his early designs in kiteboards as well and witnessed the early planning of his customs for our very large friend who needs some real interplay of proper rocker, outline and volume to get going in our local flukey Ca winds. The boards just plain worked. He was trying all sorts of crazy rail designs, etc in the early models and came up with some very solid boards and yes they worked in the surf.
I have always been working on the best combinations to get out wave sailing in the light stuff and am gravity challenged myself. We have routinely tested all sorts of large kites and board combos to get the earliest planning. In windsurfing the racing domain breakthroughs in technology in which Angulo was one of the masters, led to more efficient wave boards for the light wind surf application. Lots of us missed some of that as we had traded out our twenty years of windsurfing for the kite boards about 12 years ago. It seemed logical then to keep and eye on what was happening in the kiteboard racing circuits as light wind is what races are often held in and kite tech alone wont get you out and winning races. Some of this tech would have to translate to feeding our wave and wind addictions. Low and behold, it just came to my attention that that old windsurf wave ripper and shaping genius Angulo came up with a series of kitesurf race boards so damn efficient and fast that in the prelims of a recent race they literally ran circles around everything else in the field. The superiority of the designs were so evident that the kitesurf racing board forbid access of the new rockets in the event. This is like a Ferrari showing up at the riding lawn mower race around a formula one circuit. Guarantee there are heaps of shapers out there trying to copy the breakthroughs Angulo came up with and will try to get them into the race circuit tech specs. We all know however that the perfect combo of rocker, fin placement, volume distribution, etc is not something you can copy... Well without a laser scanner and a board to copy anyway So hats off to our hero Mark Angulo. Word is some of the specs from his break through race board has been passed along to a board that you can race and ride waves with... Now does that mean changing out the race fins or... is the shape a hybrid... not putting any pictures on yet but Klaus does have on order and he is going to let me take it for a spin when it comes in.

There have been a bunch of great C Street Ventura wind and wave days during Santa Anna Switch today.. Wish i could be there.. as well as just clearing gradient winds up there and of course at the J. Cool to have kite bros to give me the story and vicarious highs of great surf and wind days up north. Was able to get up to County between baby duty and jobs last week for a few hours of heaven, first on the 09 PL tube kite proto which is now far updated to be the new Peter Lynn Fury and then sizing way down as the wind went ballistic to throw up an old six meter Eclipse Kima. The little craigslist quad round tail SOAP surf board I have been surfing in slop down here was the ticket in the up and down slamming gusts and was super possitive off the top and bottom. The thinner board round tail means less early planning but great all around and far better than most strapless rides. The old trusty Surftech Xanadu 5'10 repaired a million times and with it's hundredth set of fins is still the light wind go to till we give Angulos board a whirl and the only strapped boards for those really out of control days are an old step railed Mark Angulo round pin of Klaus's and the old trusty six four underground thruster of yesteryear also with about a bazillion rock and skull induced repairs.

This is the year my wife picks up kitesurfing with our instructor Tom doing the honors this time as teaching your own wife is really not a good idea and hopefully that little fireball Aiden will be up on a board soon as well. The little guy is running around nailing that soccer ball at 18 months and lovin reggae music, blues, rock, or anything else that can get his arms gyrating. Looks like disco is the favorite right now with Parlaments classic tracks giving him a full body contorsions worthy of a crack addict on electro shock therapy.. So basically he dances like dad... Dooohh.. Sarah gets a laugh out of that. Here is a shot of him with the trusty bottle and soccer ball as well as on a sponge at the creek that leads into our old Sycamore Cove Beach lifegaurd headquarters area that painted so many great memories on the gray matter canvas of this mildewed brain.

We were able to take Sarah's mom and step dad up for paragliding flights tandem off of the Santa Barbara mountains during the holidays and it really did give them a huge rush. Some of us take the adrenalin stuff for granted as it has been in our veins since childhood. Nothing beats seeing the grin on loved ones face when they do their first flight off of a mountain under a canopy or do their first run on a kiteboard. A bit of single track for a newbee mountain biker or even a first body surf splash in the ocean for your infant puts the biggest smile on this mug. Sharing the stoke is certainly what it is all about.

Good wind, surf and innovations everyone and hopefully see your out in even lighter winds in the surf sooner than we thought. Spring is just around the corner and with them clearing winds and surf.. YEAAAHAAAA!!!


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