A combo of TS Alberto and other coastal systems heaved solid swell toward the Long Island coastline, enticing me and Jon Ford to hike east and meet Andy Brant for some SUP-sailing. For the first 30 minutes, we sailed starboard tack in meaty head high waves, and caught some fun rides. Sadly the wind died, but with the building surf I de-rigged, grabbed my paddle and headed back out.
When I reached the far outer break, which seemed further out than we'd ever seen, sets were rolling in well-overhead. I caught a couple half-ride wipeouts, and let one wave pass under me which felt like a small house. Suddenly, out of the fog, loomed Poseidon's monster. With glee I started paddling, trying to match speed with the hulking mass. Speed, though was not the problem -- the 1-2' overhead and now pitching wave: problem. I dove off to the side, held my breath and experienced a massive pummeling. After getting thrown like a rag doll and dragged under, I swam for the top, and swam more, and finally lungs bursting reached clean air. I had survived; my precious Starboard Ultimate, had not.
The Ultimate will be repaired and retired to flat water paddling. I now search for a new SUP surf board. I've ridden Starboard's 8'10" Wide Point, and 9'8" Element in solid surf, and next will test the Fanatic AllWave. I'm looking forward to changing up to something new, but will always miss the original.
The Starboard Ultimate Blend 11'2" standing ready for waves in better days: