I spent the morning getting my old sailboard, a Hobie Alpha 230a, cleaned up and ready to try out as a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP). The only problems found with the old board was the rubber nose cone and daggerboard seals were rotted, but those problems did not keep me from trying it out after lunch. I went over to a local lake that is limited to sailboats and paddle powered craft and put in at the kayak and canoe launch. I had forgotten how heavy old sailboards are and barely made it to the water before dropping the board. The fin on the bottom of the Alpha is a replacement I had to get many years ago before putting it away and is actually well suited for the job as it is a large fin with a shape that is thin where it leaves the box with a large bean shape at the bottom. Once on the water, I found the board to be pretty tippy, but I headed to the other end of the lake directly into the wind. I was doing pretty good until about halfway across the lake where I stopped paddling and as the board slowed I lost some stability and took a dip. Getting back on the board was really hard, but I managed to get on it, stand up and start paddling. But before going too far, I stopped and kicked the dagger board down. The daggerboard seemed to help with the stability of the board even if it did cause some drag. With it down, I made it all the way to the far end of the lake before taking my second dip, but getting back on this time was much easier as the water was only about three feet deep. I tried to follow the shore to get a little shelter from the wind as I turned back. My wife Debby showed up and I headed over to the boat rental hut to talk to her for a minute before heading back to the launch to call it a day.
I will have to say the experience was a good one even it did show that I need some gym time to work on lots of muscle groups. The one thing I know is that being on the water made me realize how much I miss sailboarding. So I am off to the hardware store in a minute to find something to replace the rubber nose and get some shower door seals to stick on the bottom at the daggerboard box. Then I have to look at the sail and rigging to see if I need to do any work on those. I know my Magnum Nova sailboard is unsailable at this point as the rubber mast foot is so rotted that it broke when I barely bumped it and while it could be a candidate for SUP it has V shaped bow and is more narrow than the Alpha. I am going to try the old board a few more times as a SUP before Great Outdoor Provision Co. has their next demo day on the 17th. At that point I can compare a new technology board with the old sailboard and see what I am missing, if anything.