Monday Mailbag: Reader Questions Answered


I always wear a leash when i surf but some of my little grom buddy’s say that not wearing a leash improves your surfing are they right?
Thank you
Hannah Van Veen
Encinitas, California

Not wearing a leash doesn't make you surf better, but it provides less drag when surfing small waves and will whip you into shape swimming after your board. Grow a pair (maybe a poor reference for someone named “Hannah”) and go leashless!

Winter is almost over, and I wonder what would be the best way to store my wetsuit without hurting it until next winter?
Malo Ouallet,
Clearwater Beach, Florida

Rinse it thoroughly with fresh water, hang it to dry in a cool, dry place. When it's completely dry (both inside and out) you can fold it up and stick it in a plastic bag in your closet.

My friend and I have had an on going debate about cold water surf wax. He feels you should never us any wax softer then cool water once you have booties on because the booties give you extra traction. Using too soft of a wax will cause too much traction and could cause potential injury like twisting your knee. I feel when surfing in the frigate water temps of New Jersey in the winter you need all the traction you can get.
Stephen Jochum
Suffern, New York

Your buddy is tripping if he thinks too much traction will result in an injury. I've always found that when you're wearing booties you hardly need any wax at all.

Where’s the ideal hiding place to secure your car keys while out surfing? Are there any ideas other than in the gas tank door?
Christian Llamas
San Diego, California

If you have one of those new electronic keys that can't get wet you really should get a spare that can be immersed in water. If that's not an option, carry your key down to the beach where prying eyes can't see you hide it. Hiding your key anywhere near your car is asking for it to be stolen.

I have noticed in photos many of the “crazy hellman” that ride large surf have two leash plugs glassed in the deck. Is this for the use of a double or dual type two leash type set up, or usage of dual ties at the end of the leash?
Bill Parker

The dual leash plug theory is used to attach one leash with two leash strings. The thinking behind that is if one leash plug fails you still have the other one.

I thought fishes were made for having fun on crappy days when the waves didn't have enough energy, but I see guys riding them in hollow days just as often. What's the deal?
Terence Loose
Coast Magazine

That's the best part of surfing—there are no rules. That said, "Fish" style boards can be souped up to handle bigger and hollower surf by adding a trailing fin or bigger side fins.

Adam "Biff" D'Esposito at Teahupo'o. Photo: Humbert

Adam "Biff" D'Esposito at Teahupo'o. Photo: Humbert

I notice in pictures of Teahupo'o (above) that the wave breaks way below sea level and was wondering how the wave works?
Douglas Murguia
Mission Viejo, Ca.

That's a pretty complicated question and more suited for someone with a degree in physics but here's the dumb downed (our specialty) answer: The water just past the wave at Teahupo'o is really, really deep. So when a wave approaches it is unimpeded by anything until it hits the shallow reef and basically folds over itself giving the impression that it is "below sea level."

Hey there!
I live in Montreal and anywhere I’ll go to surf nearby-ish, even in the best of times, ill need to wear a wet suit. Thing is, once I’m locked into a suit and hear the waves crashing, it doesn’t take long before I have to pee. So is it ever ok to pee in a wetsuit? In other words, what is proper wetsuit peeing etiquette?
Nikki Johnson
Montreal, Canada

Have you ever met I.P. Freely? Pee away Nikki! It's also fun to pee in your wetsuit, then, as you're walking toward the water kick your leg toward a friend giving him or her a small kine golden shower.

I stripped the screw on my fin system and now I can’t get my fin out. Is there a way to get it out or am I bummed?
Addison Lana
La Jolla, California
There are a few ways you can go about this problem… First off, try another fin key to make sure that’s not the problem. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s not the key that is stripped, it’s time to get that stripped screw out. FCS makes a tool (above) that has a “Easy Out Bit” that works pretty well. If you don’t have one of those, put a dab of super glue on the tip of a fin key, insert it into the stripped screw, let dry for five minutes, and screw it out. If none of that works, you’re (ahem) screwed. Thanks go out to Robbie at Encinitas Surfboards for helping me out on this one!—JC

Is it possible to contact the “Pipeline Posse” to:
a) Buy them a Keg of Beer
b) Provide a fully catered Hawaiian BBQ
c) Hire them to block at Pipe, so I could attempt to drop in, get barreled on my kneeboard?
It is on my bucket list.
Also, will you ever consider doing a story on the history of kneeboarding or on kneeboarding in general?
Thank you,
Wolfram Kalber
San Diego

That’s a good idea but probably not gonna happen. Why? A few of the boys are sponsored by beer companies so free suds are always flowing, Tai Van Dyke BBQs better than anyone, and money can’t buy you barrels. That said, just paddle out early in the am, there’s hardly anyone out there early during the late season.As far as the kneeboard articles, send a few photos over and we’ll see what happens…