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  1. #1

    Transitioning to shorter board from 6'9" hybrid...Advise please? Thanks

    I'm new to surfing (about 1 year), but in the last 2 months the addiction has really got me...3-5 days/week (after work and weekends), usually 2-3 hour sessions. Current board is a 6'9" x 21" x 2-3/4" hybrid funboard (pointy nose, full in the middle, rounded pintail, thruster). I'm 5'9", 160 lb (1.75m, 72.5kg).

    This board was beyond my skill level when I stubbornly got it (after 2 months on a foamie), but something clicked and I finally got a hang of it over the summer...more confident popups (no knees), transferring weight back-front (no sideways pumping though) to generate speed, gettin real low, carving long arcs. Local surf is usually small and mushy, knee high, occasionally chest high.

    Sooo, I'm wondering how much farther I can push the board given my size, its size, and the local surf. I have been tempted to get a shorter board so I can learn to maneuver quicker on it in small waves-- maybe something in the 6' - 6'4" range, 20"+ wide, fullish in the mid-section, fishy tail. But is it too soon? Should I be able to pull of sharp cutbacks, etc. on my current board first?

    Additionally, my board has been getting dinged pretty regularly, so it might be nice to have a second board to take out instead of sitting on the patio waiting for multiple curing stages -- filler, sanding, glass+resin, sanding, more resin...

    In particular, there is a Channel Islands Pod-style board in great condition, that I could get used for a steal. 6'0" x 20.5" x 2.5" quad-fin.

    Thoughts? Thanks in advance to those with constructive feedback.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    That's a pretty big drop off in volume most likely and you will have definite challenges, as you found when jumping right to a hybrid off the foamie. My advise would be to keep mastering what you have, but if you need / want another board I wouldn't go any smaller than a 6'4"-6-6", and I would make sure it's got some volume to it still. In short, baby steps...

  3. #3
    I think you can go for the transition. I surfed a 6'4 and bought a 5'6 Pod and had no problem. The board has great float ability and catches a lot of small waves (knee to chest). It is not a performance board though so it doesn't rip like you may want it to. However, it definitely can get you some nice carves and top turns. If you can get it for under $400 go for it. You should also look into the Firewire Dominator. Doesn't have the fish-like shape as the Pod, however, surfs better. Go for it.

  4. #4
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    That's actually not too bad of a transition. I'd say go for it. That pod has plenty of volume to help with catching waves and paddling. If it has a swallow tail it should help keep it pretty lively. You could always play with different fins or even have a 5th box added to ride it thruster. The Fishcuit is also a good choice. Good luck

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    9" is quite a transition in surfboards, but you will get used to the smaller size (eventually) and surfing small waves will be exponentially higher performance and more enjoyable..."in the pocket" will take on a whole new meaning.

    I'm 6'1" / 175 lbs and rode a genuine 6'2" CI pod for about a week. The reason I didn't keep it was the rails are too thick/"corky" (kinda bobs through turns). Kinda got hung up in the lip dropping in a few times, but it paddled very well, was fast, and, like most CI boards, it was extremely stable riding (made it out of a maneuvers, Kelly style, I probably woulda fallen on most other brands).

    As far as the tail shape, don't be swayed just by the rad looking swallow tail design...most of them ride about like a similar width square tail. The only tail I've noticed a major difference on is a pin tail because they're so stable (for barrel riding and bigger waves).

  6. #6
    Thanks for the advice so far.

    DawnPatrol and Waterbaby -- yeah I figured 9" might be too much...might kill the current progress "momentum" due to the board's learning curve.

    DBSlim & JLevy - The Pod is tempting. Turns out it is actually the real deal, not a clone, and thus a crazy good deal.

    I'll have to think about this. I'm basically just scouring local CL to see what pops up for under $300US.


    In the meantime, are there any shortboard type maneuvers I could feasibly practice/pull off on the current 6'9" hybrid?

    Pumping for speed?
    The two times I've tried to do (what I think is "real") pumping, it seemed like the board didn't want to respond/turn quickly so I just fell into the face of the wave (on what would have been the first "half" of the pump process). Maybe the problem is with my technique and not the board though haha.

    I know my bottom turns could use some work...my success rate right now is about 50% on them, in terms of being able to stay in front of the whitewater.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    The 6' pod has 39 ltr of foam. Which will float a 200 lb man or women. Of course it's gonna take a little to get used to it, but its plenty of board. Plus the swallow tail is not for looks, it adds volume to the tail plus sharp edges for release, it is much more snappier than a round pin. Round tails are for more drawn out turns and tend to slide out on sharp bottom turns. If the price is right.... Go for it!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbslim View Post
    ...swallow tail is not for looks, it adds volume to the tail plus sharp edges for release...
    well, I disagree. Volume would depend on the thickness of the foam left on swallow points (granted on the pod it's left pretty thick), but the V cut out of a swallow removes the volume that would be left in a similar square tail. Unless it's a squash tail, the sharp edge/release will be the same....but I don't even think the rounding would make a significant difference.

    pumping is all about rhythm and, sadly, most surfers don't have any. Do you have rhythm? (it's either yes or no, not kinda)...if you don't, pumping out of sync is just going to make you like a flailing kook

    I tried someone's 6'9" a few weeks back and I couldn't pump or turn on it at all. May have been that I just wasn't used to it...also coulda been a crappy shaped board (it happens). I'll go out on a limb and say, if you can't pump it or turn it, the board is probably too long for you (you may as well get an actual longboard and just stand there like the majority of them)
    Last edited by waterbaby; Oct 2, 2012 at 02:45 AM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by waterbaby View Post
    pumping is all about rhythm and, sadly, most surfers don't have any. Do you have rhythm? (it's either yes or no, not kinda)...if you don't, pumping out of sync is just going to make you like a flailing kook

    I tried someone's 6'9" a few weeks back and I couldn't pump or turn on it at all. May have been that I just wasn't used to it...also coulda been a crappy shaped board (it happens). I'll go out on a limb and say, if you can't pump it or turn it, the board is probably too long for you (you may as well get an actual longboard and just stand there like the majority of them)
    I certainly hope I have rhythm...been playing in bands and recording music for the last 10 years (hobby, not pro); if not I feel bad for people who were at the gigs.

    That sounds like a good tip though, I'll pay attention next time I'm able to get a clean face for long arcs -- an easy carve back and forth with consistent timing. It won't be pumping but might help out once I get a board with pumping potential. Thanks

  10. #10
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    Any board you get smaller than the funboard is going to be much different.I hate the term "Hybrid Funboard", it just doesnt work. A funboard is a funboard is a funboard. Personally I think you have the right idea with a 6' to 6'4x20 and keep some foam so say 2.5 to 2.75. A funboard is an ok learning tool but if you can do a long carve its time to move on. Look for a fish or a shortboard with a little more nose. At your stage I like a pulled in squash cause it helps keep the rear stable but still allows for good digs in sharp turns. Of course I always recommend talking to a local shaper about what you want out of your surfing and let them help guide you in the right direction.
    Last edited by wave1rider65; Oct 2, 2012 at 01:27 PM.