Welcome to the Surfersvillage Spring Surfboard Preview. We’ve collected three new designs from seven of the world’s top board makers.
While there are currently some really exciting things happening in board technology like Varial Foam, Firewire’s LFT and Hydroflex glassing, the consumer end is still focused on the end shape and design for that sexy new surfboard model. Tech impresses, but curves and lines create a love-connection.
Since the advent of the shaping machine shapers have been able to take what works with one board, tweak it, and then run with it on another design thus creating a line of master craft with the best traits from all previous models before them. Impressive no?
What we have for you now is a sampling of the top surfboards on the market, some with new wave materials and others in traditional materials. The purpose of this guide is to provide the reader with a as much information as they can get to make an informed purchasing decision. At the very least, this feature is a grand invitation for some hardcore virtual window shopping.
Editor's Note: Accompanying board descriptions are provided by the boardmaker. Enjoy
The Cornice in FST
The Cornice combines Firewire’s board building expertise with design collaborator Dan Mann and Eduardo Cenzano from Trinity Technologies interpretation of an effective side-cut design for surfing. The side cut shifts volume from the middle of the board towards the tail, leading to the most effective area in contact with the water. The board literally displaces less water, leading to minimal friction and increased speed that is noticeable. Dan Mann explains further, “with such a narrow design, it takes less force and time to tip the board on its rail. That fast twitch sensitivity, especially on late drops or hollow waves, is where you feel the side cut really engage, and the wide tail still allows for speed in the flats”.
The RNF in Timbertek
The world’s all-time best selling fish model. Still goes fast, still allows hard carving turns, still allows a wide range of performance in varied surf, still paddles great…still makes you look good. Designed with low overall rocker and a central concave for lift, into a spiral vee in tail, for control. The RNF5 features a wider tail and 5 fin setup for playing with a multitude of fin options.
The Spartan in FST
The Spartan maintains drive and speed through flatter sections. The single concave throughout adds to the speed and the subtle hip in the tail makes it easy to redirect. The slightly pulled in tail gives bite and drive through turns, and true to Michel’s style, The Spartan loves big carves in powerful waves, but still feels great in weaker surf. A great board for everyday sessions in all kinds of waves.
The Vader represents the current pinnacle of Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson’s Modern Planing Hull (MPH) Vision. Paddle power and general usability have been increased with a larger volume distribution throughout comparative to the Vanguard, which encourages surfers to ride the Vader even shorter than previously considered functional. The Vader ticks all the boxes and is a stand out performer from waist high to double overhead, offering a natural Quad-fin option which creates significantly increased speed in weaker conditions, or switch to a Tri-Fin for a high-speed surgical attack when the waves demand additional control.
The outline of the Vanguard is the foundation and driving force of this highly innovative surfboard. Ultra parallel lines allow the design to be ridden smaller and narrower. This is achieved by maintaining ideal rider volume with balanced foam distribution. The parallel outline reduces drag, increases planing lift yielding more speed via less water resistance. Works Well In: Point Breaks, Beach Break, Hollow and Full waves.
The Nano is the stock MPH (modern planing hull) and a true example of a 21st century modern thruster. It is a user friendly all-around board but a radical performer with free flowing speed and a very natural controlled ride. Effortlessly fast and loose, yet predictable and drivey. Works Well In: Point Breaks, Beach Break, Hollow and Full waves.
Initially created as a small wave groveler, the Toy morphed into a high performance yet user-friendly model. Low rocker and a wider outline make for great paddling power and a subtle single to double concave creates drive through sections. As well, soft, forgiving rails make it a great board for intermediate surfers looking to step up their shred game or for advanced surfers looking for a little give in critical situations.
Yes, it has a fishy outline. But this ain’t retro nostalgic nonsense—it’s a modern take on a deep swallow fish. You’ll be able to bury a rail, cook down the line, and set four fins free, all with equal vigor.
Built for speed and agility, the Unit is designed for small waves. With a curvy outline and a rocker and concave combo built for speed, the Unit delivers an exceptional balance of drive and control in the pocket, on the face, and off the lip. A bit of extra width in the nose provides for added paddling power, too.
The Puddle Jumper
The Puddle Jumper is a con-caved, planing surfacer speeder. Domestic bliss with a twist. Based off the outline of the Bottom Feeder, but with reversed bottom and rocker curves. This board, unlike the past Domestic models (like The Bottom Feeder and RV) features a concave bottom that transitions to vee in the tail. The wide outline makes for easy wave catching and down the line glide and stability. The concave bottom adds lift and increased rail curve, which allows radical top to bottom surfing. The straight rail line and vee in the tail keep the board moving forward and hold in during hard carving maneuvers. “This is the most excited I have ever been about a small wave surfboard. Personally, it’s the best small wave board I have ever ridden. I have never made a claim like that about any board before”
The Short Round
Our latest high performance hybrid. In the tradition of the Rocket and its many knock offs, the Shortround bridges the gap between easy riding “cheater” boards and the HP Shortboard. Tested all around Southern California in the summer of 2014, this board has more than impressed. The buzz about it is spreading fast. The speed comes from a low entry rocker and wide-ish nose, with a forward wide point and generous concave throughout. The performance comes from a moderate, but not flipped up, tail rocker, a double concave through the fins and the same sort of modern bump squash tail that you would find on a typical contest style, small wave HP shortboard. All combined, it doesn’t look like anything fancy and there are no gimmicks, but some times less is more, and there is a lot packed into this little board.
The V2 Grinder
Short n wide…with tons of glide. The “V2-Grinder” is a V2-SB squished into a stubby, squatty little firecracker. First built for a few of my “Domestic” buddies whose surfing can be described as “ former pro level, now grown up, with kids and a job, surfing crappy beach breaks with my kids…whenever I get a chance”. Pleasantly surprised by rave reviews from the older, local heroes, we placed a few under the feet of some WCT and QS “Grinders”. Ends up, the board is a superb small wave contest machine. With the likes of Carissa Moore and other world class competitors using them in lackluster conditions to great success, we included it in the line. To the V2s distinctive low entry and noticeable tail lift, we married an outline that resembles the classic Sub Scorcher. The wide tail block provides drive, lift and a stable platform in meager conditions. The short rail line and healthy amount of tail lift (paired with full and forgiving rails) still permeate the water and allow proper rail turns in small, tight, quirky shore pound. Don’t be afraid to go Short n fat with this one!
…Lost “V3 Squash-it” featuring Varial Foam and Hydroflex 3D glassing, shaped by Matt Biolos.
…Lost took the V3-Rocket and replaced the Rocket tail with a smooth little squash tail. For more down the line projection we relaxed the rocker through the center of the board. The rocker in the nose/tail is still curvy and fits into tight sections, but the board has a ridiculous amount of glide. The overall stock dims are pulled in closer to that of a small wave HP shortboard. The subtle changes make for a balanced and conservative board that further closes the gap between Rocket type hybrids and the HP Short board. This board can easily be ordered in more playful dims, that are similar to the V3-Rockets proportions, as well.
Roberts “Meat Cleaver” featuring Varial Foam, shaped by Robert Weiner
A perfect all-around board with extra tail rocker and a round tail that allows the board to do tight turns at high speeds. Designed for the guys that love to ride shorter wider boards like the White Diamond 2 in your normal knee to head high surf. It has drive and speed on the more normal days and when the waves do get good or bigger it still holds in tight turns.
Surf Prescriptions “New Toy” featuring Varial Foam, shaped by Jeff "Doc" Lausch.
A double bump, round tail, quad – perfect for less than ideal conditions. Incredibly fast and loose. Order 4”-6” shorter than your every day shortboard. This holds the distinction as Surf Prescriptions’ fastest selling new model.
Puddle Jumper By …Lost
This board features a concave bottom that transitions to vee in the tail. The wide outline makes for catching and down the line glide and stability. The concave bottom adds lift and increased rail curve, which allows radical type to bottom surfing. The straight rail line and vee in the tail keep the board moving forward and hold in during hard carving maneuvers.
LibTech’s Extension Ramp is designed for surfers of all abilities and can be a longboard for the smaller guys while maintaining shortboard qualities for larger surfers.
An everyday board, the Ringer was designed by Huntington Beach and Global couch surfer Ryan Carlson as his personal shape. Ryan built his double winger swallow tail Ringer for high performance surfing, acceleration and control in all conditions.
Shaper: Glenn Pang. Deep Single Concave with slight Vee off the tail it comes with a standard squash, swallow or round tail. High Performance small wave shortboard with a fuller outline with a low entry rocker allowing the board to plane thru the flats, the tail rocker allows the board to turn tight in the pocket. Should be ordered at least an inch shorter and a little wider than your usual dimensions.
Shaper: Tommy Tanaka. The Glide is an easy-to-ride small, long board shape. It has a full outline with a narrow round pintail. Allowing the board to carry it's own speed but still turn on a dime. It also has a concave nose fading to a rolled vee in the center, to vee off the tail. Can be order with the five fin truster or quad set up.
Shaper: Makani McDonald. Full, Chubby-Stubby. low entry rocker with a slight kick in the tail light single to light double.Hip-Squash. Can be ordered with no hips or with a round, Diamond or Swallow tail. Best ridden with slightly bigger fins but works with almost any thruster set. Good for waves 1 to 5 ft. 4’10” to 6’0″ should be ordered 2” to 6”shorter, 1/2” wider and 1/8” thicker than your shortboard.
The Sweet Tooth
The Sweet Tooth features a fuller outline than your normal ripper, shred-sled, shorty, as well as a deep single concave bottom, low entry rocker and "aggressive tail rocker allow driving turns and tighter arcs." They push it as a round tail, but it’s also available as a swallow or squash.