I don't know how old ya'll (youze guyz) are, but as you get older foam becomes your friend. I surf a 6'8" Orion swallowtail that is about 2.6" thick and has a widish semi fish tail, so it stays loose. It gets me in early, still duck dives great, and is great in anything from shoulder high plus. I use a big (6'6") thick (2.75") fish for waist to shoulder plus. I used to ride smaller boards - I am only 5'9" and weigh 165#. I used to be younger. I have no shame in hogging waves early and riding them to the beach without having to chop hop through the flat sections. Foam is my buddy. Hi foam! Lets go play!
I have a 6'2" dhd that I ride when its big and hollow, Has a good narrow round tail. I used to ride it in everything, but now I strictly ride a 5'8 locally shaped groveler unless its a few feet over head
foam is definitely our friend, but it's more about how the foam is distributed, IMO, than the actual amount.
i'm 33. i weigh in around 200lbs, plus whatever the absurd amount of rubber we have to wear up here weighs. but i'm a big believer in keep oneself fit for the task at hand...if you want to keep surfing in all kinds of conditions, you have to take care of yourself & keep fit. i don't want to see the day of the year come around in january & not be able to surf b/c i'm out of shape & put too much weight on. i see a lot of guys my age who, b/c they've let themselves slide physically, are riding bigger boards than my dad, who is almost 70 & has an artificial knee. it's about priorities, i guess. do i want to sit on the couch, stuffing my face w/ a cheesesteak while watching "lord of the rings" when it's flat or do i want to get in the pool & do some laps or go out for a run?
my comment about crutch-worthy volumes was geared toward the above...a lot of surfers, like the rest of society, seem to be taking the easy way out. instead of keeping themselves in reasonable shape, they compensate for their lack of fitness w/ excessively voluminous boards like the walden "mega magic". just one more example of the "fair weather warrior" devolution of surfing. maybe this is a rant better suited for the "pussification of surfing" thread, b/c that's how i see it. once upon a time, you had to be fairly fit to be a surfer. now, just shoe horn your supersized beer gut into a 4/3, grab your 7'6"x23"x3 1/2" 50L crutch & go surf, b/c the sun came out & wind stopped!
You can swim 2000 meters 3x a week, do yoga, tai chi and mountain bike and be reasonably fit. Old age still takes its toll. I used to ride a 5'9" up till about 23. Then a 6'0" to 6'2" in my mid 20s to mid 30s. Then I went to a 6'6" in good surf until I hit 40 something. Now I have a 6'8" for good surf. It gets me in earlier and still carves. I can switch fins out for real big waves. I once made a big boo boo the first time I went to Costa rica. I bought a 7'2" Channel Island and took it out in DOH plus. It sucked duck diving and I lost it and had to swim for it. I sold it as soon as I got home, and rode my 6'8" step up the rest of the trip in well OH conditions. So I agree, too much foam is too much foam, but don't get all uppity if I want to use a "crutch". I may get a lazyboy lounge chair with an umbrella and a cupholder for my new custom log I'm shaping. Then you can rag on me all you want, but I'll be in the shade, sipping a beer, whilst getting shotted at the Cocoa Pier all day err day.
old age...iam riding some of the shortest boards I have ever ridden and approaching the 50 mark...tho they are a tad wider. never imagine I would be riding a 5'5" (33 liters) groveler and 30 liters 6'1" my standard shortboard. My weight is 175.
I would agree, foam is your friend, but I just cant bring myself to foam up yet...still feel good surfing my lengths and volumes.
Idk just depends what you want to do and if you prefer sitting really far inside and late drop scooping on a smaller board or getting in really early and getting to the bottom of the wave and setting your line. Take pipeline for example on a standard day you have guys sitting super inside late dropping on shortboards and then you have guys looking for that chip in takeoff so you can set to the bottom quicker before the wave face gets even steeper. Personally I like that earlier takeoff on hollower waves so you can get to the bottom turn faster and have more time to make decisions and draw a certain line before it gets too square. Or you have a few special guys (mike gleason comes to mind) with smaller quads and just takeoff under the lip every time and hope their fins engage and come flying out, but their skill level is super super super insane. I dont mind a little bit extra volume cmon were in 4-6 mm with gloves and boots most of the year whos gna catch more waves and stay out longer? Its all preference its apples to oranges and is super specific with what spot and what swell it is. Pretty stupid discussion to look down at people for choosing a different approach to the wave. And as far as im concerned the hard offshores and rips and doubled up irregular nj beachbreaks in a 6mm is pretty tough whatever you feel comfortable with. My next good wave board is going to be a quad tho.
Sometimes a little more foam lets me sit on the inside and do a rocking chair no paddle takeoff under the lip. Just lean back real hard, let the board get pushed forward by the water displacement, and stand up. Works great unless its offshore and hollow. Then the extra foam lets me paddle down the face faster and into the pit. Reading this thread does make me want to try a 5'6" egg and go slide on some mushburgers.
^^^^+1...Wide with lots of foam, very rounded pin tail, five fin set up, what more could you ask for, perfect Florida board. The length all depends on how tall, your weight and how much experience you have. I forgot to mention that I'm an old fart too, and by gosh golly, (in my old voice) don't get in my way you young whipper snapper.
Last edited by fl.surfdog; Apr 29, 2014 at 10:00 PM.