Help me pick a board shape for better wave catching
Hi everybody. Iíve been lurking on this board for a while and getting a lot of good information, so I thought Iíd ask your advice about getting a new board.
Some background. I started surfing about 6 months ago. I surf in Rhode Island at beach breaks exclusively so far (donít see this changing soon). Iím 6í0Ē, 170 lbs, 34 years old, in good physical condition. I have a job and kids so I only get to surf once a week. Because I donít really get to pick when I go, Iíve been surfing a lot of days that are knee high at best.
Iíve been riding an 8í0Ē Walden Magic Model (poly) that I picked up used. I do pretty well once Iím up and riding it (can turn and ride the face of the wave), but Iím missing a lot of waves. Iím sure thereís a lack of rider skill element, but I feel like I could get a board the same size or even smaller that might be shaped better for catching the waves I surf.
The boardís other dims are 22 inches wide at the wide point and 2 ĺ thick, so I donít think itís a flotation issue. The board does have a lot of nose and tail rocker, which Iíve read might reduce the ability to plane early. The result is that I canít sit way outside with longboarders and when I sit inside and make later drops, the overall length of the board seems cumbersome.
I donít really want to go to a full longboard because Iíve already sort of started to get the hang of a somewhat shorter board. Ideally, Iíd find a better shaped board of similar or shorter size that would help me catch waves better. Iím willing to put in some time for a transition if it would pay off in the long run, but Iím wary of taking too big of a leap and stalling in my progression. I feel like eventually I'd like to ride a mini simmons since they seem designed as a longboard alternative for crap surf, but it seems like a huge leap to that. Also, Iíve got a board budget and am committed to surfing for the long term, so I donít really need to mess around with whatever random board comes up on craigslist.
Agree with dr bill. Six months @ once a week is the main reason you are missing some waves that you will soon be able to catch on that 8 footer with ease. The 8 foot x 22" Walden is BASICALLY as good a wave catcher as you will find in any board short of a long board.
The very things that might get you a bit more wave catching power (flatter nose rocker, increased board width and thickness) have real drawbacks in beachbreak, unless your talking real mush. Getting a 7-8 foot board with even more width and flatter nose rocker will bring its own set of problems in many conditions. The reason the Walden has a normal amount of rocker is because it is tried and true. You need to improve your paddling to improve your wave catching, the board you have is great.
OK, thanks for the replies. I think you are right-- I just need to be patient and get better. I think my issue is that I feel like I am starting to get the hang of it and now when I screw up, it is more frustrating-- whereas a couple of months ago I assumed I would screw up every wave.
I bought a new board after six months. Sold a 10.6 log and moved down to a 9.2 Wingnut. Now I realize it wasn't the board. Keep your chin down and paddle harder to catch more waves. If you cannot get out more, get a power band and exercise at home to strengthen your paddling muscles. Waves have been ****ty lately too. Beach breaks in RI can deliver short dumping rides that suck. Move over to the rocks as soon as you feel comfortable
i use to have the same problem and i found that you have to adjust how far you are towards the front of the board depending on waves. i read you ride a lot of "knee high at best" waves. for that you can really get towards the front of the board and just barely have the tip of the nose above the water. the bigger they get the more you have to scoot a lil back. when you first start experimenting you might pearl a few times, but thats ok and eventually you will figure out the right spot for each size and types of waves. i hope this helps.
Board positioning advice is very helpful, thanks. Also, the bands are a good idea. I work out with free weights regularly and do pullups and stuff, but I can see how bands would more directly translate to paddling power.
I don't think I'll be getting another board at this point, but out of curiousity for future reference, for those of you who did make this transition, what did you step down to and if you had to do it again, what would you pick?
I agree with the doctor's orders. Given your experience, you're board is perfect. Steve's Magic Model is straight magic - enjoy the ride and start saving some bones for the next one.
agree with all above posts, gotta put in the water time...that board will suffice for probably a good 2 years, before I would think about getting anything else.
talk about magic, i picked up a 5'6 Sweet Potato RapidFire yesterday and took that carpet ride out in very small surf and caught more rides then i can count. I've never had that much fun in 1-2 ft. conditions, ever...
Last edited by Koki Barrels; Jul 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM.
Somebody in the industry told me that the Walden Magic is the #1 selling board worldwide. That's poly, SurfTech... you name it. That says something... but it means nothing if it's not right for YOU.
I agree that you should try to master that board before you give up on it. Take it on as a challenge.
But to answer your question, you could go shorter, into the 7'0 range, and look for a good hybrid... OR you could go with the "modern fish" type board, that is wider, thicker, and flatter than your performance shortboards, and not as quirky as a simmons or retro fish. You need something you don't have to figure out. You need something user friendly.
BTW... I rode a Magic in GOOD surf, and the thing rocked.