...Lost "Couch Potato" / a review
SIZE / CONST: I'm 6 ft/180 lbs, riding a 5'8" Couch Potato (2" over the top end of the recommended sizes for my weight). Mine is standard poly.
PROS: My CP isn't too thick and, even at 36.5 liters vol, it duck-dives easy. It's rails are relatively thin and swing weight is manageable.
I love the CP's ability to connect sections and trim all the way to the beach, yet still do small, shortboard-esque maneuvers along the way. "Nose rides" are stable and, if you crank the tail, it'll throw buckets.
CONS: Mine is glassed heavy. Weight carries momentum and cuts chop...but, to me, it just makes it harder to paddle and takes longer to get up on a plane. In hindsight, EPS would've been the way to go.
Despite the full nose and widest point forward (dead center), the poly version really doesn't get in early...so don't think you can get away with taking a poly CP out in punchy/dumping waves (you'll get pitched). However, you're still going to need a relatively jacked up takeoff to get this craft going...it doesn't catch rolley, unbroken waves like a longboard can. The lightness of EPS would probably help in this area.
Mine has zero flip in the nose*, so, even when just paddling, keeping the nose out of water is extra difficult (in anything other than glass). Furthermore, you have to skooch way up on the nose to get the best paddle out of the CP (top of your head literally inches from the nose).
At 22 inches, my board isn't unacceptably wide, but the 17+" tail is. Most of the sensitivity to turns (I've grown used to on my pulled in thrusters) is absent...especially toeside. Getting my CP on rail is not effortless nor "front footed". Bought mine just before the Lost volume calculator was available...if I would have had that, I would've bought the next size down for a proportionately narrower tail.
FINS: Of all the fins I tried, the Seaworthy's minimal drag from their swept back shape gives them the best glide in any size wave. They'll let the board go vert, but the CP's lack of rocker makes re-entries super sketchy. They still perform little maneuvers even if a wave dwindles down to ankle high.
More upright front fins make this board higher performance...but only in the mid-higher end of it's wave size range. With T1 fronts+Seaworthy trailers, it turns more responsively. I could easily do tighter, rail skashing turns with them. T1s/quad trailers would be my choice on this shape...even though, when a wave gets really small, they don't perform as well as the full Seaworthy set.
I also tried just the T1 twins+TT1 center (no quad rears) and the board acted bizarre...at times, not turning at all. So far, the quad trailers appear necessary for this board to turn consistently.
Not sure why Mayhem added a 5th box. If the waves require more "bite" than as a big finned quad, the CP probably isn't the board you should be using.
CONCLUSION: There are basically two types of grovelers: those that always need input (working rail to rail for speed), and those that can trim w/no input without bogging. The Couch Potato is in the trim category. It doesn't "rip" as easily as hybrid fishes I've had, but the CP has good qualities they don't...and it's for a smaller wave, anyhow.
The CP will trim all the way to the inside on almost any wave, but, unless you're a paddling machine, don't think you're gonna paddle the poly version into ankle-high mush like a longboard (EPS might). Bottom line, just don't get the the CP too big (don't go over the Lost vol calculator recommendation).
*It appears Lost has recently revised this shape to include a quick flip in the first 3" of the nose.
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