I ride an 8'6" thruster. It's not a china made pop-out board, it was shaped here in the US. It performs awesome in knee high mush to overhead barrels. I'm looking to buy my first board (this one was given to me from dad) and I definitely want to go shorter. My dad is pushing me to get a shortboard in the 6.8-7' range, while I wanted to get a 6'2"-ish fish or shortboard. His reasoning is that in the winter with the added wetsuit weight will hinder my surfing if I'm on a board as tall as me (I'm 6' 175 lbs). I'm in great shape and I'm not worried about not catching waves at all, he just says it's not as much fun on a shorter board in the winter.
So all this got me wanting input from you guys, why is everybody trying to go so damn short? There is post after post about people wondering how short they can go before the board becomes practically un-rideable. What are your thoughts on getting a 6'8" short-board to at least get me through the winter (maybe something shorter for next summer?)
You ride an 8'6 thruster or 8'6 longboard?? if you are riding an 8'6 thruster the board is riding you, not you riding the board. Surfboards have changed ALOT in the last 5 years. The trend used to be longer, thinner, and less width. Now they are shorter, wider, and with more volume generally. A 6'8 at your size/weight/age is for double overhead pumping surf. If you are scared to go too short get a nice 6'2" all around shortboard. Something like 6'2 x 2.38-2.5 x 19 for your size. If you are fit and can catch waves easily a 6'2 is a good board for you and will be able to be used in some bigger surf (over head) as well without feeling like you are on a really short board. If you want a board for the really bombing winter surf then you want a step up like a 6'6 -6'8, but those are only a couple days per winter, so you are better with an all arounder. The reason people are going shorter now is that they can. The boards carry more volume in them then the elf shoe rocker, super thin potato chip shortboards from 10 years ago. Shorter means added manueverability and they fit it the wave face better...they are way more fun and user friendly than the designs of 10 years ago. Just watch a couple surf videos from 10 years ago...the short boards look like canoes and even alot of pros look awkward riding them.
It's kinda similiar to this board http://cf.mp-cdn.net/a9/16/b30a618f0...0d2f99f915.jpg but with a little more volume towards nose. And I'm not scared to go short, my dad says I shouldn't because he's been surfing since the late 60's so he's the "expert". But you make agood point that he doesn't get because he hasn't surfed in 12+ years.
The 2 I was thinking about was a 6'2" WRV fish or a 6'2" x 20 x 2 3/8 Al Merrick shortboard
It's all personal preference. How do you want surf? If you want to surf in a high performance style, you really need to go shorter. But you can surf with style on a longer board too-- it's just different. Neither is better or worse. It sounds like you want to surf a modern short board, so get that. You dad's reference point is from a time where shortboarding was riding a 7 footer. That's cool too, just different.
It's all about volume. Don't get too caught up in JUST the length of a board, consider how wide / thick it is too. I have a 6'4" that floats me better than my 6'10", and it catches waves easier too. Get with a shaper and have him dial you something up that will work for you when you got the extra weight of a wetsuit on.
Your dad is still thinking about the clark foam days when boards weren't as buoyant. US Blanks and all the new foam is more bouyant than Clark was. Assuming you're buying standard poly foam, you can go 3 inches or more shorter nowdays than the same board in clark.
imo, a 6'8" is too big for you as a shortboard. I'm your same size and am riding a 6'4" max in my high performance short board and under 5'10" in a stub/fish board. Choose the type board you want to ride, then look at the volume charts to determine the best size for you. Too floaty and you're not going to be able to sink the board at all...not floaty enough and you're going to sink to a screaching halt in anything but punchy perfection.
another reason I stop at 6'4" is that's about the longest I can go and still have the board fit in the pocket of most standard everyday wave sizes
Last edited by waterbaby; Jul 15, 2013 at 04:24 PM.
volume schmolume,i'm sick of everyone who thinks this is all you need to make the shortest board for your poor dame reynolds imitation.volume,ok,yes,but length,rails,rocker,outline,bottom,fin,etc.,etc.,e tc.,too.awful surfing on awful too-short/too much volume crap boards these days.let the boards breathe so you can just ride the wave and have fun instead of looking like a bunch of constipated,frustrated,pent-up kooks.a lot of bad surfing these past few years on these volume boards.
...My dad is pushing me to get a shortboard in the 6.8-7' range, while I wanted to get a 6'2"-ish fish or shortboard. His reasoning is that in the winter with the added wetsuit weight will hinder my surfing if I'm on a board as tall as me (I'm 6' 175 lbs). I'm in great shape and I'm not worried about not catching waves at all, he just says it's not as much fun on a shorter board in the winter.
I'm assuming that you have surfed with your dad and he knows you style/ability and his suggestion should carry some weight. Foam has changed as well as the design/planshape of boards and I think you possibly could transition to something much shorter. However, your Dad has seen you surf and is likely honest with you regarding your ability, you may want to split the difference between his recommendation and your desire to go shorter and look for something used--6'5" thruster--maybe even a flyer or something of that nature. That way you are not as invested... Step down even more next year...however, if you are set on going for a shorter fish...upsize it a bit more...foam won't hurt/hinder you at this point...especially in the winter.
i surf in 654 winter suit on a 5'10 lost motivator. im 6'3 210lb and catch 3/4 waves I go for. 6'4 with thickness may be a nice option for a board too. I had an awesome walden cd4 mini magic with a lot of foam in 6'4 and it caught everything.