I have been using a fun board 7"0 Rusty (super nice) for the last couple of years, but have been surfing more regularly and feel like I need a change. Mainly, because Jersey waves are fast in the winter and hollow, which makes it tough for me to drop in on my 7"0 and catch speed to go down the line. If the waves are barreling I either sink my nose with this board (unless I grab the rail going backside) or do not have that speed capability off the drop and dig my rails like a short board can do.
Lastly, this board is just a pain in the ass paddling out to some lineups, it really tires me out trying to duckdive on this thing during some days with strong currents. Even in Portugal which I surf every summer some days get hectic because its too big and cant continue to duckdive because the board is heavier then your standard short board. Plus I weigh 155lbs so it's not like I can push the board down with incredible hulk force.
I'm thinking of getting a short board, in the 6"3-6"7 range. I have surfed with short boards before, just little harder to catch waves since I'm used to the fun board. Maybe a fish with a little thickness to catch more waves but also great board for maneuvers and speed? Since I can't surf everday, I still get tired out there so a board that does not paddle well or tough to catch waves in is no good--I'm not slater.
Anyway, any insight would be great--much appreciated.
It's always good to try out friends boards and see what you're into before you make a buy (although buying any board is always exciting). If you are looking at a retro shape like a fish. I got the Rainbow speed-dialer this summer and the thing is amazing. The quad fin really makes it snappy and it has tons of drive. I've ridden it in everything from knee to head high and its great. Gets a little sketchy on drops at times until you get the feel for it.
Anyway. The one main thing I would say is the wider the better. A few years back, I bought my first short board and the shape was really aggressive. I couldn't get the hang of it because I made such a big drop from my 7' 0" fun shape to my 6' 4". A few months after I found a nice, cheap used board that was about the same size but wider throughout the board and into the nose. After a few rides on it, I really got my footing for a shortboard and soon after could ride my aggressive thruster. I wouldn't get anything too nontraditional until you know how a shortboard should feel. Tuflites and firewires might be good after you have a idea for the feeling.
Since you weigh 155 I wouldn't go any bigger than 6'4", that is the size of my gun and I weigh a good 30 lbs more than you. If you want to ride big hollow waves dont get a fish, I would recommend a 6'4" squash with a little more volume, maybe a 6'6" with a little less volume. you should go to a shop where you can ask a lot of questions and see the boards and feel them...
Typically it's not really about the length of the board as much as it is the physical conditioning of the rider. That being said, pearling the nose is also NOT a factor of length as much as it is a factor of both skill and conditioning. If what you want is a stable board, I wouldn't recommend a fish, especially for winter waves. If you're still learning, a short fish will turn on a dime and that is something that you really have to get used to- but it's not easy if you're still working out the turn issue.
Are you doing top turns, or bottom turns mainly? I would concur that if you have friends with boards you'd like to test ride, that's the best way to try before you buy. Bottom line, surfing is about 30% surfboard, and at least 70% surfer's skill level. It takes time. Take a lousy surfer and put him on a $1,000 Firewire board, and you'll still have a lousy surfer. Put a skilled surfer on a 12' Pop Out log from 1962 and you'll still have a skilled surfer who can adapt his style for the needs of the board.
if you can bottom turn and ride down the line on your 7'0, you probably could step it down to a 6'6-6'4 swallow or pin, if you want to ride big hollow surf.but to be honest, i would try a 6'0 fish for the smaller abundant jersey juice.
Dredge, maybe try getting a board about the same size but with a shortboard shape? You're still gonna lose alot of volume in that change alone. So it will duck dive easier and carve like a short board. A jump from a 7" funboard to a 6' 6" short is huge in terms of wave catching and riding. I'd also look for things like low entry rocker, width/hips etc...
Look at the Merrick 6 10 Red Beauty or something like that? Makes more sense too if you're only gonna have one board. Just trying to save ya some time and money. Peace
Thanks for all of the feedback much appreciated. Although, I did want to respond to one comment about "pearling the nose" is not so much a factor of length of the board but skill and condition. I definitely agree, but at the same time it is much harder to drop in on fast barreling wave on a 7"0 fun board then a short board even on a 4-6ft wave. Unlees, maybe I'm taking off too late and by the time I drop in and look to make a bottome turn my nose is already under water.
I make bottom turnes fine, I go down the line fine, I'm just looking for more flexiblity in the board which will provide balance between good wave catching capablity and being able to progress in starting to combine different moves on a wave.
go talk to brian wynn of Wynn surfboards. Its worth it to build a relationship with a shaper, and that guy is by far one of the best shapers on the east coast, mainly because he grew up in NJ but shaped for years in socal
Ya ive been lookin for a new board for a little while now. I'm movin down from a 7'2 and wanted somtin like a webber afterburner but i'll take anything that floats. I'm lookin for somtin in the 6'2-6'6 range. if anyone know of any cheap boards that float in that range giv me a private message bout it.