Your dream board is out there. Arm yourself with knowledge
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 August 2016 - It’s a great time to be a surfboard consumer. The menu of surfboard options from designers is staggering. But with a little know-how you can get precisely what you need in your quiver (or find that one all-around board.) Explore the below compilation of designs from some of our favourite board makers to see what’s on offer this season.
If you’d like a refresher course on design, see the below synopsis on template, tail shape, rocker and bottom contour. If you are well-versed in these theories then scroll past, straight to the board candy…
Over-simplified overall design theory: The more of the surfboard that comes in contact with the water, like a longboard, the faster the board will plane - especially through slow parts of the wave. The less of the board that comes in contact with the water (slim banana-shaped designs) the slower a board will go BUT the more manoeuvrable it will be. What most of us are looking for is the perfect balance for our level of surfing, the waves we ride and how we want to surf (realistically of course.)
Template: A curvy outline will help a board turn quicker and fit in tighter parts of the wave but can sacrifice down-the-line speed since not as much of the board is in contact with the wave as a parallel-railed board. A straight outline will help a board go faster since the water comes in contact with more of the board, thus more planing surface - think of a virtually parallel railed mini-simmons design.
Tail shape: Big, blocky squash tails will float through flat sections but can be harder to release an edge. Thin, pin-tailed shapes provide control at high-speeds (think guns and tube-shooters) but will bog in the mush. In between there are swallows, round tails and more but they all have the same principle: more tail is less responsive, but planes better. Less tail outline and thickness provides more control.
Bottom contour: How water is pushed over the bottom of a board and under your feet is very critical to a board’s characteristics. Roll, vee or flat bottoms release water quicker making it easier to turn a board, but these features will also slow it down. Concave provides lift and speed as water is forced through a small area. This is popular to place under the front foot and can act as a front-foot accelerator on a board, however too much concave can ‘lock up’ a board, especially at high speeds. How the water exits out the tail of the board is usually done with vee or double concave depending on how much release one wants in the board. The best designs take into consideration rocker and tail shape when doing this.
Rocker: The more tail and nose rocker a board has, the better it fits into hollow, steep waves. Conversely, its speed - in both paddling and while up and riding - will be sacrificed if it has more curve. Most shapers combine various rocker formulas for different functions, i.e. flat under the chest for paddling with, say, extra curve exiting the tail for turns in critical parts of the wave.
Rails: Thick, boxy rails work in slow waves while thin, knifey rails tend to be more responsive and precise. That said, we are seeing more thick-railed boards fall into the high-performance category as shapers are blending other design elements to make boxy rails responsive.
Flex: Standard polyurethane boards have certain flex characteristics we’ve all come to love. But PU boards lose their magic flex over time, break easily and can vary from one blank to the next in flex properties. One option to PU is Firewire Surfboards whose boards are built with measured, consistent, life-long flex characteristics.
Editor's Note: Accompanying board descriptions are provided by the boardmaker. Enjoy
Clay Marzo is probably the maddest cat we know. His signature pro model—the Mad Cat—features all the elements that allow him to go mad on everything from waist high slop to double overhead perfection, from deep pits, to mind bending rotations. With extra width in the nose for paddling power and nose pick recoveries, full, boxy rails to match his power, and a pulled in, rounded square tail to keep things quick and tight, the Mad Cat is Clay’s ideal sled and will most likely be yours. All the features that make this board perfect for Clay’s mad, raw style also make it forgiving, easy to paddle, and ultra smooth in rail-to-rail transitions.
Wider forward outline, pulled in via hip in the tail
High performance rocker
Single to pronounced double concave
Tri Fin | Rounded Square Tail
Ride in your favorite shortboard dims or as a step-up
Mad Cat graphics by renowned Maui artists Plate Lunch
Available in custom dimensions/specs
2016 Marks the introduction of the Fling // GT. Built on the legacy of one of our most popular and innovative designs, the GT version is a Quad only and features a slightly updated outline; subtle increases in nose and tail rocker for added performance in critical sections; and a mild hip above the fins with a split diamond “hatchet” tail for extra pivot and traction. The // GT gives versatility and performance everywhere you need it.
Wide, fishy outline
Low, Moderate, and Continuous rocker
Single to double concave to V off the tail
Split diamond tail
Ride 5-7" shorter than your and the same volume as your favorite shortboard
Available in custom dimensions/specs
Now your favorite travel board is available for smaller surf. Keeping with the theme of versatility and paddling power we slammed down the Pig Dog to sport sizing for use in everyday surf from 1” to head high+. You’ll get in early and still be able turn on a dime. The Pig Dog // S gives you innovative performance in everyday conditions.
Wider outline with a slightly pulled in tail
Low to mid rocker
Single to double concave with V off the tail.
5 Plug setup for tri/quad Option
Slghtly pulled in rounded pin
Ride 4-6 inches shorter than your shortboard
Pig Dog // S graphic by Sketchy Tank, get his story here!
Available in custom dimensions/specs
Designed by pro surfer and ocean advocate Rob Machado, the Almond Butter surfboard just says FUN all over it. Rob has always been known as one to carve his own path in the surf world which his designs express. The board is versatile enough to surf in small waves on up to over head hollow conditions. The classic short board design with Rob's own special sauce makes this a fun board for any surfer. With a 5-fin setup the possibilities are endless.
Shaped by the style master himself. Rob Machado has created a low entry rocker, 70's inspired board coupled with a curvy fuller outline in the tail to allow quick direction changes yet still provide effortless gliding. Whether you are driving off the bottom or setting some serious high lines, you'll be sure to do so with Rob's nonchalant style.
The PyzAlien is a great all- around performance board, designed to keep speed and flow in weaker conditions, while feeling lively and loose in all types of waves. The fuller outline, wider tail and slightly wider, flatter nose help to produce speed and drive, and make it a fast, easy paddler.
It has a lot of curve through the tail rocker, and that, combined with the bottoms contours of single/double concave running into a nice bit of VEE off the tail keep snappy yet controlled when you tip it onto the rail. A great board for a wide range of waves and conditions, the PyzAlien feels just as good in waist-high slop as it does in overhead juice and will help you get the most out of your everyday sessions.
EVO (Evolution) is a new take on the MPH design,utilizing softer features and more outline curve to encourage a smoother transitions and a more ‘in the pocket’ line of attack. A wider central wide point comparative to the Vader, the EVO should be considered favorable to smaller weaker waves, however like most Tomo MPH Designs , the EVO will still be quite functional in overhead waves conditions.
Maintaining an almost symmetrical outline and a completely unique and highly innovative “Double inside single concave into split quad concave” planing hull, The EVO feels as if it’s almost ‘levitating’ on the water! Yet once on rail, it has a precise rail sensitivity and hold. The EVO should be ridden as short as possible with user friendly volumes packed into the shortest MPH sizings yet offered by Tomo.
The Vader represents the current pinnacle of Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson’s Modern Planing Hull (MPH) Vision. Dan describes the Vader as a Mind Surfing Machine, which reacts instantaneously to desired directional changes with incredible bursts of speed. Controlled, drawn out carves and radical tight angle snaps are achievable with an effortless and intuitive shift in a surfer’s weight.
In addition, paddle power and generally 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. Versatility …. 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 Deluxe is ideal for weaker, small to medium sized surf. It's rocker- lower nose and medium tail- is designed to help you gain and hold speed easily, while still allowing for quick and precise direction change in less than ideal surf. It has a slightly fuller, boxy rail that will add to the flow and keep you on top of the water through flat sections. The fast single concave runs all through the bottom, blending into double in the fins and running into a double barreled V off the tail, providing lift, drive and looseness. The outline has a nice hip to add snap, and a wider tail-block for lift (speed). The Deluxe is a great all- around shortboard that excels in slop. Ride around your height or +1'' , 1/4''to 1/2''wider and a touch thicker than your good wave board.
With the Nugget, we took one of our favorite designs, the Short Cut and basically made a step DOWN version for the surfer who wants an easy paddling, fast, responsive little board that can turn weak waves into fun, andstill works great in good waves as well.
The stubby, wide nose (almost as wide in the nose as the tail), combines with a round tail to keep plenty of curve in the outline, making it loose despite its flatter rocker. The bottom has single concave with double dropped into it to help the wider board go rail-to-rail with ease and a touch of vee out the back adds to that even more.
The flatter rocker and fuller thickness through the nose make this little board paddle great and glide through the weakest sections with ease. Designed to flow and have fun, everyday, in all kinds of conditions, the Nugget will always leave you smiling. (Also comes in winged swallow tail or wide bump squash)
The AMP comes about from working with JJF to create a board that excels in smaller, weaker waves, giving more flow and drive when the waves aren't that good. It is now a part of his world travel quiver and comes out when the surf gets slow. The outline is slightly fuller through the nose and tail, and has a nice little hip going into the tail before the fins to keep it loose. It has a medium rocker with a lot of single concave (more than any of our other shortboards) which gives a lot of lift and planing speed, and keeps it maneuverable when going through slower sections. Overall this is a great board to add to your smaller-wave game and is a good all arounder for most places in the world with less than epic waves. I recommend going an inch shorter than your good wave shortboard, and a little wider/thicker as well. A little extra foam is always your friend in less then perfect conditions.
Noa Deane’s latest the ‘Sista Brotha” is developed from his free-surfing travels. This performance shortboard excels in conditions from beach breaks to point breaks. The Sista Brotha features a single concave, moderate entry rocker and a low tail rocker with a fuller rail making this a lively board that allows Noa to execute his arsenal of maneouvers without thinking twice…Sista Brotha from Noa Deane.
New for 2016, the Heckler is a Fish with some new ideas. We've utilized a "fishy" outline with a shallow dovetail and pronounced wing to produce a lightening fast small wave wonder. The proven Venturi bottom design that has been so well received on two of our other models, the Rooster and the Hustler, adds a new dimension for fishing and Fish lovers
The Zeppelin is a hybrid that really likes to fly! This board is packed with foam and float where it counts,featuring a triple concave bottom, a full outline, low entry and low tail rocker. The grab rails provide for a thinner, more positive, feeling rail that allows for smoother rail to rail transitions.
After 8 or so years of non-stop world touring, it's fair that Mr. Burrow would want to enjoy himself a little. This past summer, with the upcoming birth of his first child and knowing he would be passing on a couple events to be home for the big day, Taj requested "Something short 'n fun, but still a (normal) board. Nothing too fishy. Right about, or just over, my typical volume, but just squished down and playful". Going to work, we started with his 5'9 18.25" 2.25 24.5cl (personal dims) BeachBuggy, and revisioned it at 5’6” 18.63” 2.25". We filled in the rails and foil until it sat at 25 liters flat, then relaxed the entire rocker, so the new bottom curve nestled perfectly within the curve of the original 5'9".
We sent the first one to Tahiti and after his unfortunate exit from the Teahupoo event, I received the text: "That little board is ludicrous. I just surfed a soft little beachy here in Tahiti, and the thing went bananas''. After some subtle tweaks, we made a couple more, and decided on a fitting name. Like every new father, there's impending daddy duties and Mr. Burrow needs a new ride...The Baby Buggy! Domestication with a High Performance twist.
The Quiver Killer an extension of our recently released ShortRound model. With myself and so many people enjoying the ShortRound, it quickly became clear that the short, relatively flat and stubby board was an easy answer for fast fun in smaller surf, but with some limitations. While spending time in Bali this summer I began getting requests for custom "round tail” ShortRounds. After building a few of these boards I inevitably began doing some tweaking to the design.
We then changed the tail to a forgiving, rounded “thumb" tail without narrowing it too much where the front fins are. The overall outline and rocker lines are a minimalistic and simplistic continuous curve. The surface area and volume are still generous enough to create speed and feel lively in anything but the smallest, or true “grovel” surf. The rounded tail, reduced nose area, and the added rocker, prevents too much rail being wetted at once in small surf, and allows control and ease of pocket and power surfing in proper waves. Free and easy in smallish surf while still precise and forgiving in solid surf.
Over the course of 2015, we made a few of these round tail PJ's as custom orders mainly for people looking to get a little more range out of a board design they really liked. It’s essentially the same board as before, but with a rounded tail that is narrower in the last 18', and with just a subtle bit of extra rocker bent into the tip and tail. The stock dims are scaled a bit differently, taking into account that many people will ride the round tail 1" - 2" longer than the original squash tail PJ.
This board will still ride very small waves with ease, yet can be ridden in much larger and powerful surf than the OG Puddle Jumper. The curvier outline (and slightly extra end rocker) fits better in tight radius beach breaks while holding long arcs with control in large, open face point and reef waves...all without forsaking paddle power and stability.
The hidden gem in the DHD range, the Pocket Knife catches plenty of waves. The low rocker creates speed in small conditions while maintaining manoeuvrability. Glassing — 4 x 4 x 4 Standard; Rocker — Medium to Low, Flat to Low, Medium; Concave — Flat, Single to Double; Carbon — Carbon Re-enforcements Fin’s & Tail; Fins — Five Fin *Futures or FCS 2
The Twin Fin has been Designed for Summer Fun! A little nostalgia with a modern day twist makes this perfect for 1 to 4ft surf. Glassing — 4 x 4 x 4 Standard; Rocker — Medium to Low; Concave — Single to Double with Vee; Carbon — Carbon Re-enforcements Fin’s & Tail; Fins — Twin Fin *Futures or FCS 2
The Ducks nuts round tail is Mick’s step up board for perfect surf conditions. This board needs to be in every travel quiver. This is the exact board has the exact dimensions and construction that Mick surfs in competition. Glassing — 4 x 4 x 4 Standard; Rocker — MF Signature Rocker; Concave — Single to Double; Carbon — Narrow Cross Extensions; Fins — FCS 2 Five Fin; Optional — Round Pin Tail, Rounded Square Tail
One of the most versatile surfboard models in the world, this is the board that gives you the greatest chance for maximum fun and peak performance in all conditions. It’s by far our most popular surfboard globally, and in HYFI, it’s only getting better.
Two years in the making, our patent pending Hybrid Fiber Diamond (or HYFI) is an exclusive multi-layer construction that feels like nothing else out there. Think of it as a futuristic exoskeleton for a surfboard that allows it to be lighter and stronger than ever before, while still maintaining the perfect flex for maximum performance. With the Blak Box II being a clear favourite for surfers chasing a board to rely on in everything from average summer beachies to peeling pointbreaks, it has the perfect blend of strengths to make it the ideal model for HYFI’s coming out party.
It creates speed instantly when the waves are small thanks to its fuller outline and low entry/exit rockers, yet still has the ability to handle when the swell’s up due to its subtle bottom contours and performance hip squash tail. All of these design features combine to create an incredibly balanced EVERY DAY ALL-ROUNDER. For the widest range of people, and the widest range of waves, the BLAK BOX II is your new best friend!
The Psycho Nitro is a modern twist on my original all-time favourite the NITRO. I have given the Psycho Nitro a fuller nose with a slight vee and added more foam under the chest to give you even more paddle power. It has a smooth, flat, continuous rocker with a single concave under the front foot which runs into a double concave through the fins and finishes with a vee out of the swallow tail.
Psycho Nitro comes with a flyer which reduces the area through the back of the board and provides a pivot point to turn on a dime in the pocket on small waves. This provides a fast, reactive feel that will let you draw lines in average conditions that simply aren't possible on other boards. Summer conditions have well and truly set in here in Australia and this new model is a perfect way to keeping us all surfing between swells. It’s super quick, paddles amazingly, turns incredibly well and has everything you need for a fun surf in every day waves.
Psycho Nitro comes standard with a 5 fin set up so you can ride it as a thruster or a quad. Ride the PSYCHO NITRO 4 - 6 inches shorter than your normal short board.
Monsta Box is two of my favorite boards rolled into one! By fusing the 2 best selling boards in the range together I have created a board that suits an even wider range of surfers and conditions. The Monsta Box has less rocker then a Monsta 3 and more rocker than a Blak Box 2. The outline is wider than a Monsta 3 and narrower than a Black Box 2. I've blended the M 3 and Blak Box 2 rockers to create a perfect combination of entry and exit rockers and given it a single to double concave. Monsta Box comes standard with a 3-fin set-up. Whether you’re travelling light or the budget's a little tight, Monsta Box has you covered. If you could only take 1 board to the beach then the Monsta Box is it!
Channel Islands Surfboards is pleased to announce a surfboard design collaboration with Kalani Robb and Mini. By incorporating our common passion for performance and having fun we developed a versatile surfboard that performs in a unusually wide range of conditions. The Mini offers a ultra relaxed rocker, wider nose, wider squash tail, thinned rails, and aggressive single to double concave with vee out the tail. Taking a page from Al’s popular Skinny Fish design the Mini incorporates all the speed and wave catching ability of a traditional fish with the performance benefits of a squash tail. Designed to work best in knee to head high surf. This board is best positioned as your go to groveler in your quiver. Ride this board 3″ – 6″ shorter than your height.
The Twin Fin has a retro 70’s feel, with updated performance qualities. It was originally designed and hand shaped by Britt Merrick when asked to compete in a surf contest where shapers ride retro boards they have created themselves. Inspired by a twin fin that his father Al had shaped for himself in the late 70’s, and that a friend had recently found at a garage sale, Britt took a template off it, drew it on a blank and updated the rocker to have a more modern feel with added positive drive and carving ability. Thus, the new CI Twin Fin was born.
The Twin Fin has been tested by Britt, Dane and CI Factory pilots in everything from weak beach breaks to good Rincon and has proved to be a fast and fun wave catching machine. To offset negative characteristics of a usual high-volume retro design, the Twin Fin’s rails are tapered and relatively thin feeling for added sensitivity and responsiveness.
The Twin Fin comes with two CI Futures fins, perfectly tuned for the design, and an all-new CI trailer that we hand shaped and foiled at the factory just for this board.
Ride the Twin Fin 2” to 4” shorter than you are tall; 1/2” to 1” wider, and 1/8” to 1/4” thicker than your normal shortboard.
We kept seeing custom orders for super- short versions of our popular Waterhog. The results were too fun looking to ignore. With a wide nose and generous rocker throughout, the Hoglet is a fun wave-catcher that can turn on a dime.
The New Buddy is the next generation of our LIL BUDDY model. It is essentially a groveler designed for performance surfing in very small to slightly overhead conditions. The outline has a full nose and full bump squash tail. The bottom features a deep concave running nose to tail, with a slight double concave between the fins which helps to get the board on rail. It is a great board for the surfer that likes to ride a standard thruster in even the worst conditions.
This board was created for all the people who love their New Buddy and want to ride it all the time. The Buddy is made for smaller softer waves so when the waves get bigger and better we designed the F Money. It has the same fuller nose out line and lower entry rocker as the New Buddy but the tail is much more high performance, I pulled the tail in and added tail rocker and concave. The concave is a single to double through the bottom and running off the tail is quite deep, this is where all the amazing speed comes from. What really stands out is how the speed is carried through the turns. This might be the best received model Surf Rx has ever produced.
Love Buzz is a performance shortboard, described as the ‘Love Child’ of the Hypto Krypto and The Ando model. Hayden’s latest model addition to the range, this model is a favourite of team rider Creed McTaggart and spent more than two years in development. The design blends surface area, rocker and performance curves to create a very all-round, fast and flowing short board. It will always carry speed yet give you that sensitivity to surf in all areas of the wave.
It has a medium / flat entry rocker for easy paddling and plenty of speed down the line or through flatter sections. It has the signature HS flatter rocker through the center of the board for flow and speed, similar to the Hypto Krypto. Out the back end it has a medium lift to allow the board to fit into critical turns.
It starts with a slight single concave in the entry through to medium single in the center of the board. This blends into a deep double within the single, with a medium vee double out the last 3.5” of the tail.
RIDERS: Craig Anderson, Creed McTaggart, Marti Paradisis, Warren Smith
The Shred Sled is a fish design tweaked to be an all-round surfing board. It has a smooth connected feeling that is fast and flowing. Although it may appear to look like a small wave board, The Shred Sled will surf waves up to 6ft in all conditions.
The unique outline allows a full plan shape, yet a wide round tail is positioned behind the wing to give plenty of performance and curve to fit into all types of waves. The wing allows a straighter outline in the center of the board, which provides plenty of speed down the line. The foil has plenty of volume, yet it is shaped to allow the board to sit in the wave face creating a very smooth connected feel. The wing breaks this connection and water flow to give response and release when you want it.
The Shred Sled is Designed to be ridden 4-5 inches shorter and ¾ to 1 inch wider than your average performance shortboard.
RIDERS: Creed McTaggart, Marti Paradisis
Currently one of the most in demand and best selling surfboards globally, The Hypto Krypto is a balance of tradition and modern performance. Suited to the elite level surfer to the everyday surfer, it is often referred to as the ‘one board quiver’ for its versatility across all types of surf conditions – from small 1-3 ft beach breaks, to barrels of up to 8ft.
It has a high amount of volume under the chest, which enables it to paddle like a dream. It’s designed for surfing on the open face, to draw fast flowing lines. The outline resembles an old school twin fin in the nose, yet it draws back to a tight rounded pintail. The wider straighter outline up front creates plenty of speed, yet the round pintail allows tight turns in the pocket.
The foil has plenty of volume around the chest and center area of the board, yet it refines out to a thinner, pinched rail to keep the board connected to the wave. The rocker is flat throughout, although holds a little extra lift in the entry, which helps when taking off late or turning in the steeper sections of the wave. The design of the rocker is focused around speed, to enable surfers to make sections that they don’t normally expect to make.
The concave runs from a rolled vee in the entry to a slight single, blending into a vee double out the tail which gives the board great speed and control from rail to rail.
RIDERS: Craig Anderson