I usually ride a 8' boad a Ricky Carol epoxy. Have had it for about a year now and I really enjy riding it. Proir to that I had a a beaten boat of an 8' board. About two years ago I bought a 7' Ricky Carol thinking that it would be better to use during the bigger swells since I would be able to duck dive instead of rolling with the 8' board. I am so use to riding the 8' and have such a blast riding the 7' always stays in the truck. Even during the bigger swells. The 7' board paddles slower and wears my arms out sooner cause I don;t ride it much. Paddling out in bigger waves is all a time issue mostly anyways. I have learned to watch what the water is doing and if a set is just starting I wait it out till I paddle out. There is usaually a rip or channeI to ride out where I go as well. I still take one on the head every now and then but I love to ride the board I like and am use to. Even thinking of going larging and getting a real long board.