Blog #2

Belly Boarding Bliss

11/17/20232 min read

What's up, y'all? It's been a good three days since I've been out in the water. These days with the daylight, my options in scoring a session are either butt early in the morning or on the weekends. I get out of work a little too late to catch much sunlight. I'm feeling like I'm having salt water withdrawals.

As mentioned before in the last blog, I have met a lot of extraordinary people through surfing. One of those people is a new good friend of mine named Bobby. He is the master paipo builder behind Archerfish Surfcraft.

We came across each other through Instagram, like most of my new surf buds. I was always a big fan of the tube shots he'd capture with his GoPro. We paddled out a few times at various spots around. I would either take my boog or mat, and he would ride one of his paipos. He's got a knack for getting shacked... a "knack for the shack", if you will.

Newly inspired by the more alternative forms of surfing, I decided to go ahead and make myself a paipo in the belly board fashion. I did some quick research, picked up a $30 piece of plywood, sealer, and a paint brush from the hardware store, and I was off to the races.

Years ago, I was apprenticing as a woodworker. So, I have a good amount of tools left. I used a jigsaw to shape a basic belly board template, sealed it, and waited a few days. It was time to debut my new board

Being a bodyboarder, I found that my skills translated well to the belly board. It has such a natural feel. It feels very earthy and grounded. This 1/2 inch thick piece of plywood surfs amazingly well. You can duck dive like crazy. You can get way down there, but it'll want stay down there, since it's not as buoyant as other surf crafts. You really have to swim it up to the surface.

One of the best things about the belly board is that it really excels in non flattering conditions that other crafts would not be rideable. It really opens up possibilities with a majority of your body in the water much more than a bodyboard. You're just sitting so low in the water. It easily makes you perceive waves a foot higher than they actually are. It can make a 2-3 foot day seem almost chest to head high.

This craft is a barrel machine. You can find yourself slotted into the tiniest of barrels.. again attributed to the fact of how low you sit.

Well, that's enough for now. I think I just talked myself into taking out the paipo to one of the next sessions. Chase it, y'all.