Whats up guys,
Long time question that has been on my mind is what is the best type of "barrel riding board". Do you want more rocker so that it is easier to drop down the steep faces, do you want more length and volume for easier paddle power, a combination of both? I have a 5'8 fish, 6'4 sashimi, and 6'6 sharp eye. All good boards, but it's hard to judge which is best to take out when. I usually take out the 5'8 because it is a ton of fun but when it gets big and hollow it is tough to ride.
Also, I've just assumed but never really asked anyone, do you usually use a bigger board in the winter because you're wearing all the rubber? This winter was the first winter I tried riding the same board I do all summer, and I didn't have the best results. I usually use a 6'4 with a ton of volume, but this winter I tried riding like a 5'8 fish and I felt I wasn't getting the same results. Does it really matter that much?
Rambling a little bit, but overall, what makes a good barrel riding board, and what makes a good winter board?
Hey 34th personally I like my hollow wave boards to be diamond tail quads for the hold and speed, the amount of rocker you want if somewhat personal preference but to a certain point the more rocker the easier it is to make the drop. And in the winter the weight of a suit can make a difference so I usually ride a slightly larger board which for me i going from a 5'5" to a 5'7".
need a little more info on the dimensions and shapes of each board. but best barrel riding boards are typically pin/rounded pin tails, an inch or two longer than your normal SB, a little more foam under your chest to get you in early, and a little more rocker.
If you need speed, and its truly a "straight line" type of wave, go with a quad. if not, go one size up in the fins you are using, and upgrade if you are using stock fiberglass fins.
oh, and this is all highly technical advice. no offense, but if you don't already know this, your skills aren't of the level where it will matter.
95% of the surfers, in 95% of the waves, don't need the board i just described.
thickness, and where the wide point of the board is. high performance boards typically have the wide point of the board in the back 50% of the board. allows the board to pivot off it. The further forward the wide point is, the stiffer the board gets. But, the further forward the wide point is, the more foam you get under your chest, and the straighter line it will draw. look back at all those Lopez/Lightning bolt boards from the 70's that were built for Pipe and Mexican beach breaks. very drawn in tails, big, wide front ends.
look for a board that has a larger thickness, but has a domed deck. basically, its very thick in the middle, but it does not carry to the rails. still get high performance rails, but you get extra foam under your chest for paddling.
and also, no matter what your skill level, having the right board will always help. but don't focus on it too much. Just make sure you don't have a board that will hold you back, (like some wide, stub nose fish in hollow waves), rather than focusing on getting that board that will make you better (cause that doesn't exist).