Opinions on big guy short boards

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by SFinnn, Apr 15, 2019 at 5:27 PM.

  1. SFinnn

    SFinnn Member

    I'm sure this subject has been brought up before. Im an older guy, say 54, weigh about 230 and I'm 6'4" -- not a little person. Probably been surfing 35 years. Generally fit, been riding modern retro boards, both singles , a 7 ft stinger and a 6'8" Takayama outline concave diamond tail. I like them both very much, I don't do airs, I power carve.....
    So, I've been in Nicca for a week and it is not Central Fl, I'm finding the boards I love so much don't do late drops or catch waves as well as I think they should, I'm not a pro, wouldn't even call myself advanced.
    All of that being said, do any of you older/bigger guys have a particular big guy short board you like? What do you like about it? I'm kinda looking for the best of all worlds, needs to paddle decent, I need to be able to duck it and of course get into waves easier and ride well. I'm just curious, with decades of board building experience, I'm seemingly missing something. Appreciate all and any views.
  2. antoine

    antoine Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    we need to know a bit more, if you're in central fl how about checking with ricky carrol in rockledge ,,, sounds like you might need a custom and years of knowledge that he can supply,
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  3. SFinnn

    SFinnn Member

    That's a given when I get back, I worked for Ricky a while back and he actually shaped my two singles, the quality of his work and breath of knowledge is amazing. Thanks for your input
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019 at 7:16 PM
  4. UnfurleD

    UnfurleD Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    it's gotta be a wide shorty is what i've come to find out for myself is best for my 6'4 frame. i can't get too comfortable with the skinny, mini-guns you could call them. smallest that i found like could be an urryday shorty is 6'2. get yourself a fisch tho i like the sound of your boards. post pics if you could
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  5. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    I have been surfing for a long time. I am NOT your size, (6ft, 170lbs) but to answer your question with a suggestion--do not listen to those who are NOT your size. No matter how well intended, they CANNOT have the answers you seek. Simply because size brings special considerations smaller guys have zero understanding about. It is NOT just a simple mathematical ratio or conversion factor
    Your best bet would be to talk with a shaper that has made plenty of boards for larger guys. Even at my height, many shapers consider me "large".
    just a suggestion. And good luck; you will find what you seek eventually.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 9:25 AM
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  6. sigmund

    sigmund Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2015
    Wide and thick is your friend. As I get older and fatter, my boards get wider and thicker. Soon my board may be wide as it is long.

    I'm 6', 190, 52, and I'm having a lot of fun on this board right now (6'2" size and mine is *not* yellow), Rides like a low rocker fish, fast and highly maneuverable. Fun in the small to medium stuff -> https://www.solidsurfco.com/the-lunch-break
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  7. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Agree. But got to be careful there. If ther shapers not a bigger guy and didn't shape SBs for bigger guys often.... you'r in the same boat. Mr. B got a Roberts "big boy tri", maybe he will chime in. Im 5'8 and 145 so im no where close to you guys. All i can say is that alot of big brand shapes make "big guy shortboards". Worth taking a look.

    I know i suggested Mr. B go with the Roberts big boy tri. Reason being, Roberts is a big guy. And Roberts listened and made suggestions and tweaks to help it fit Mr B. Barry is right but if your going to talk to a shaper why not talk to a shaper who is a big guy himself and surfs SBs? Seems like a no brainer
  8. beachbreak

    beachbreak Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    He's right. My shaper surfs with me and knows my physical problems so i have a special quiver of boards because i am very big and crippled on the popup, which is critical.
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  9. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    So there a two ways to look at this question. One way is to assume it's the board and not the rider, and that very well may be true, and if that's the case then you would want to get with a reputable shaper (there are many, not just RC) and tell him you want a board made specifically for places like Nica, which wouldn't be a bad idea regardless, especially if you plan on surfing waves like that somewhat often. Which brings up an important question, how many times in the last 10 years have you been to Nica or similar destinations and surfed waves of that size, power, speed, and are that critical?

    The other way to look at this question is to assume it's the rider and not the board, some say "it's the Indian not the arrow". 9 times out of 10 I believe this to be the case. Now don't take this the wrong way because I don't know you and I'm just going on what you said about yourself plus my own personal experience.

    If you need evidence, there's no shortage of videos of guys getting tubed on a soft top LB at Pipe or riding gigantic waves on nothing but a skim board. Granted, many of those folks are pros, but if you watch them, they aren't doing anything special on the take off as far as technique that you can't do, they just have the repetition built up over the years and the confidence to make it happen.

    I believe there are 4 main factors that you have to consider. I'll list them in order of importance, and this is all opinion so take this with a grain of salt:

    1. Skill - Either you have it or you don't. You admitted you are not an advanced surfer, but you are trying to surf what most would probably consider an advanced wave. The only way to get better is to put yourself in similar waves as often as you can. Repetition is how you will develop that skill. My first trip to Puerto Rico was a wake up call, the 2nd one went a lot better, the 3rd trip I felt dialed in, the 4th trip I got overconfident and injured myself lol, now i'm headed back for a 5th trip after developing my skills a lot more than I had in the past and having more respect for the wave on a big day. My advice if you are having trouble with late drops is to find some shore pound close outs and take off on as many as you can and try to make that drop, over and over and over again. Yes you'll get smashed, but eventually you'll get it dialed in. Start with smaller waves and work your way up as your confidence builds. I should probably do more of this myself to be honest.

    2. Confidence - Nothing else will mater if you don't have the confidence to take off and make the drop when that lip is crashing. It won't matter how much skill you have if your mind says "no way I can make that". I have talked myself out of waves that I know I have made before simply because my confidence was low that day, especially coming off an injury and near drowning episode. It took me a couple years to shake that, no lie. I finally got my confidence back and am surfing at a level above anything in my past.

    3. Fitness - Being in good shape not only helps you athletically but it also helps you mentally and gives you confidence. I'm not going to be on the cover of muscle mag or anything, especially when I drink too much and let my gut get too big, BUT when I get dedicated to my fitness and get myself down to my ideal weight I notice my surfing improves dramatically. I'm currently in a slim down mode myself, I've lost about 15lbs recently and am shooting for another 10 - 15lbs over the next month or two and then maintain it this time, because I have a bad habit of getting lazy for a while and then I have to get back on track, so try to avoid that mistake. I would suggest at 6'4" 230lbs that you may want to consider getting yourself down to 205lbs. This may be a challenge, but I bet you can do it.

    4. Equipment - Having the right board for the conditions is important, but I believe it's less important than we make it out to be. With enough skill, you could make late drops on just about any board, this has been proven. That said, being that you are not a pro or even advanced as you mentioned, having the ideal board can only help and not hurt. I believe more than anything, having a board that you BELIEVE is the correct board for the wave will give confidence, which is really what it boils down to. Having that confidence is the 2nd most important thing, so if getting a new board will give you that confidence, then by all means, do it. Just keep in mind that no matter what board you have, if you don't have the skills to make late drops in general, then it won't matter what board you have under you.

    Here's a video you may find helpful in building those late drop skills, enjoy and good luck in your pursuit!

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 10:11 AM
  10. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    I misread the title and thought this was another Frost thread, "opinions on big guy board shorts" lol. Dyslexia is fun.

    Who was that really big guy sending pix back from Indo? Talk to that guy, his shaper must be doing something right. That guy was slaying it on a big ass board with what looked to foiled nicely.
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  11. JayD

    JayD Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Sounds like you are set for hometown waves. Traveling brings in a special perspective.

    All I can add is if you are surfing heavier steeper surf, get the tail right. I like the rounded pin with appropriate fins, then go with as much volume (especially around shoulder area) as you can to accommodate the weight. It’s a balancing act that a shaper can help you dial in.

    I think Barry nailed it...really hard for me (200lbs @6’) tell you what will work. I took a 6’4” rounded pin and a more gun like 6’8” to Indo. B/c the volume was so perfect on 6’4”, I never used the bigger board and it handled (except for maxed out day...lol). Good luck
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  12. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    Al Merrick and Rusty P. are both pretty big guys, and Greg Noll's son is a big dude who rides big waves and shapes boards. I'd check out their websites for dims on big guy models as a point of reference, then interact with your guy RC to get it right for you.
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  13. SFinnn

    SFinnn Member

    IMG_0296.JPG Sorry these are upside down.
    A lot has been mentioned, so, I try to get down to Central America at least once a year, not a world traveler, not gonna be one. Most of the time the surf in Fl is crap, when it's on, I'm in it. Anyone who ever did an 6-8 ft day at RC's or monster hole or Stuart Rocks knows what I mean. That being said, deciding how "advanced" one is , is well, subjective. In my mind I like to think humble, we all always think we are better then we are, something I learned in the ring. Something lots of surfers need to learn ....
    While I do believe the surfer makes the surfer, a good/better board makes a difference. A great guitar player can make a pos strat wail,a dork can't tune a Les Paul. Yes pros can ride a soft top at Pipe. 99% of pro surfers are under 5'10", they dont weigh 230 lbs.
    Since I primarily ride retro style boards and my experience here was a lot of the other folks in the water were riding newer designs, it simply occurred that maybe I should consider a big guy modern short board, not a single , a tri or quad. I had a great Schriver tri years ago, loved it, so did some one else.
    I'm simply looking for opinions of bigger guys on what they found worked for them. 'Don't mean to be a dick, but the experience of someone 25 years old and 145 pound is irrelevant. My dog weighs 145 lbs..... I should be about 215, at 205 I look like a corpse. That issue is not alluding me, but that being said, muscle weighs more then fat, the fitter and stronger you get, the more weight you carry. When I fought , I was a solid 228.

    I'll also add ,while I find Pangas to be serious business, it's not
    that much heavier then a top day in Satellite Beach. Granted it's not triple over head this week, if that's an advanced wave,sweet.

    Thanks for everyone's input. If you are a big guy and have a board you like, please share.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 3:24 PM
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  14. Yankkee

    Yankkee Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    Man, post a pic of that dog bruddah :cool:
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  15. oipaul

    oipaul Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2006
    5.5' x 25" x 4.0" :D Yeeeaaahhh baby! Ride or Die!
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  16. SFinnn

    SFinnn Member


    Attached Files:

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  17. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Are you trying to skinny shame me for being 145? Not my fault im short dawg. I start to get a baby gut at 150. Apparently i look like im 160+. Everyone always looks at me sideways when they hear im 140-145.

    By the way im just joking. Sarcasm. Skinny shame me all you want. Is that a rottie? Love rotties.

    What did you train/compete in? Im a judo/bjj guy. Your comment about thinking your better than you are. So true. Combat sports will do that to you. Gotta be humble. Anyone can get caught. Always someone better bigger and stronger.
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    SCOB3YVILLE Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2016
    I would assume FL is more of a mushy groveler wave and nica is top to bottom pits.

    The boards I ride in NJ are a lot different than the boards I ride in CA. I wouldn’t go too thick if you’re trying to sling yourself over a ledge. Maybe take your daily FL driver and reduce 1/4-1/2” off the thickness.
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  19. SFinnn

    SFinnn Member

    Skinny shame , that's funny! I'm actullay a skinny guy, just big.

    Yea she is a Rottie, a lot a silly slobbery brute force. I'm actually Goju Karate guy, I got into full contact kickboxing when I was still a kyu rank, and it was real. I learned a lot from it and while it initially terrified me, I made me confront my fears. I got clocked a few times, but never went down and made who ever I was fighting pay. I never fought out of anger, extreme focus maybe.

    Yes , Florida waves are generally mushy, for the mush, it's a 9ft log. When it's decent, we have breaks like Trestles and a few others, I ride the singles in the photo , if you clickon it , it gets full size and rightside up. Those are very 70's ish boards, im not sure much can be done with that style . Im thinking a big thick thruster with modern rails, rocker, and bottom.

    The breaks I've been to in Nicca:
    Pangas-meaty reef break, been told similar to Sunset. Never been to sunset myself, but Pangas is a punchy beast.

    Playgrounds, like Trestles or Satellite beach when it's on.

    Lances -- Left point, fun, soft . I'd like to get it on an 8ft day!

    Thanks for the replies
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