20 surfboards to consider this holiday season
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 15 December, 2015 - Catalog shopping for a new surfboard was once thought of as impossible. But as surfboard makers began launching specific surfboard models, buying a new board has become much, much easier. Easier than fitting a surfboard under a Christmas tree.
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. Thank you technology!
What we have for you now is a sampling of the top surfboards on the market. The purpose of this guide is to provide the reader with a as much information as possible so he/she can make an informed purchasing decision. At the very least, this feature is a grand invitation for some hardcore virtual window shopping. Enjoy
Editor's Note: Accompanying board descriptions are provided by the boardmaker.
Clay Marzo Mad Cat
Clay Marzo is probably the maddest cat we know. His new signature model—dubbed the MadCat—features all the elements that allow him to go HAM on just about 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.
The SUPERbrand Mad Cat has been nominated for "Surfboard Of The Year" by SIMA
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.
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.
Firewire Carbo Hydro
"The Carbo Hydro is a fresh look at the Baked Potato. The new nose and tail allow for a more parallel outline which increases drive without compromising the wide skatey tail. You’ll need to put your back foot back and drive it hard from the tail through flat sections. The bottom is an updated single concave under the front foot that flows into a heavy double barrel through the fins. The bottom contours and rocker along with the fin location is key in designs like this. The Carbo-Hydro has smooth transitions with those three components working together towards the common goal of speed and maneuverability. The Carbo-Hydro is destined to fly in a wide range of surf especially surf thats on the small side.”
Firewire Greedy Beaver
"The Greedy Beaver has a real shortboard feel with a compressed longboard outline, a true crossover board with mid length retro glide and shortboard maneuverability. Put it on rail while engaging the single to double concave, step on the rounded pin and it surfs like a shortboard in the pocket. Or take advantage of the single to double concave and large planing surface to trim effortlessly over dead sections, The beveled rail reduces the overall thickness, adding performance including rapid direction changes. Raise your wave count every session with the paddle power of the greedy Beaver while turning on a dime as you thread your way through the pack.”
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. 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.
Our most popular shorty and the board that JJF rides in most conditions and comps ( he finished 2nd at Trestles1st in France and 1st at Volcom Pipe 2015, all riding his Bastard). This is obviously a very versatile board. We took some design aspects of our two shortboards, the Flash and Pinky, and blended them to create the Bastard.
It has a touch more rocker than the Flash for a snappier feel, but still keeps it’s drive and speed through flatter sections. Single concave throughout adds to the speed and the subtle hip in the tail makes it easy to redirect. The tail is a touch more pulled in, giving bite and drive through turns, and we flattened out the deck to re-position the volume for a lively feel.
This board works great for big carves in powerful waves, and still feels great in weaker surf. A great board for everyday sessions in all kinds of waves.
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)
Comprised from all natural, 100% pure agave, this surfboard raises the bar for sustainable surf design – awarded Best Use of Traditional Material at the recent 2015 Boardroom Surfboard Show. An innovative solution to typical surfboard materialization, which relies on toxic resins and fiberglass, this new composition fuels a safer future for shapers and most importantly for the planet. Each step of the shaping process has been carefully considered to ensure the best end result across all key goals of this unprecedented project: design, sustainability and functionality.
The Quiver Killer is 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 doing some tweaking to the design. At this the point, it would be unfair to continue calling it by the same name. Beginning with the ShortRound, we added a couple inches of length, moderately added to the overall rocker, and pulled the nose outline in a bit. 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 small-ish surf while still precise and forgiving in solid surf. Staying with the ammo theme, we swapped the stubby little speeding bullet for the new logo, an elongated, Spitzer influenced munition. The Quiver Killer... a shot straight through the heart.
Next in line of our continuing collaboration with Taj Burrow, is the aptly name “Tube Pig”. This one came about in 2014, when building a quiver for Taj to ride at home, in WA. We made a handful of boards specifically built to withstand beatings from, and perform on, the battering wind-buffed barrels of his beloved beach breaks and radical reefs. Not concerned so much with contests, ultra-light weights, or whipping airs and “finners", we built a bit of substance into a few boards in hopes they would last and fit the demanding conditions. One board in particular was just over 5’9” 18.32” 2.25” and 25 liters of volume. Featuring a more pronounced round pin tail, with a narrower than average hip between the feet, and a slightly wider than typical nose, it ooozed of drive. Married to the outline is a pretty typical high performance rocker profile, but with less concave throughout, which runs the rail rocker pretty parallel to the stringer line. This results in no radical curves or breaks in the rail line
The Love Buzz
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.
The Piranha was one of our most popular designs. It was primarily built for small surf, but it ended up being a very versatile board. We have re-tooled this design with a clean, full, round pin, and are calling it the Smoothie. It has a timeless outline designed to accommodate a wide range of conditions.
The bottom starts with a slight roll in the nose transitioning to a light single through the center. This shallow single blends into a sunken double concave in front of the fins and an elevated double concave between the fins that finally ends in a double barrel vee of the tail. If you can’t appreciate the tech talk, just know that the board surfs fast & smooth.
The Barking Spider is a hybrid short board combining the outline and high volume of the Hustler with the performance rail and rocker of the Yes Thanks, making it Clint's go-to in waist to overhead surf. The pronounced double concave under the rider's feet creates smooth and effortless rail-to-rail transitions. Adding a subtle hip in the outline and a sharp, shallow swallowtail allows you to snap off a turn anywhere you want on a wave.
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.
The Flying V
The Flying V is rapidly becoming the favourite alternative board for the Starboard Surf R&D team. The Flying V is a simple redo of the classic fish shape that is simple, loose and easy to ride.
Built from the latest Flex Carbon Technology from Starboard Surf, it features a stringerless PU core that is laminated by hand using ultra light biaxial and unidirectional carbon, fibreglass cloth and the best quality epoxy resin. This board has flatter rocker throughout the whole outline allowing it to generate heaps of speed. The bottom consists of a deep double concave combined with a big V in the tail allowing the board to release when needed. Ridden a few inches smaller than your traditional short board.
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.