Surfboard design has left me behind

Discussion in 'Surfboards and Surfboard Design' started by Toonces, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    I'm 6'1, 190, and 53 years old.

    5'5ish Mini Simmons
    6'0 twin keeled fish
    6'4 shortboard
    6'6 step up
    7'0 East Coast gun

    While the trend is to ride shortboards at a length shorter than you are tall, it's not uncommon to ride them up to a few inches longer than you are tall. And that's what you're used to, because 20 years ago, the standard shortboard length was 6'2, with the average adult male at 5'10. Then shortboards dropped to 6'0, and now they're at 5'10. So them most popular board lengths sold today are around as tall as the average surfer.

    At the same time, thicknesses went from nearly 3", down to just over 2", now their around 2.5". Same with width... from 22" and 23", down to nearly 18", now back up to around 20. Same with rockers... flat, to super rockered out chips, to now what's commonly called "relaxed" rockers.

    So yea... things have evolved out and back over the past 20 years. And surfing in general has benefited from it.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  2. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    Anytime dude, and you'll be happy when you realize you can go even shorter and still get waves.

  3. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    This ^^^ is exactly what winners do. And they do so by finding their own solutions, distant from herd mentality. If that means a shorter board, so be it; if means a bit longer and more comfy, then that should be it.
    Oh, and btw, weight, height, volume, are not the only items within the board choice paradigm. Age plays a big part and there is NO WAY to enter that into a phony, marketing, mathematical equation......
    Especially not an equation 99.999999999999% of surfers understand (morons, remember?).
  4. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    I got to say. I'm short at 5'8....i always rode boards longer than i am tall until the past 2-3 years. There's nothing wrong with surfing a board longer than you are tall, especially if that's what your used to. I used to think anything under 6 was not necessary, especially on the EC. After getting my 5'8, i realized i was surfing boards to long. I never thought I'd be surfing a 5'8 as a DD SB. I was skeptical, but i got to say it was the right choice. I feel the board fits my body better. Not as much need to shuffle around, board just feels like an extension of my body.

    Now of course it's personal preference. But to the OP who thinks a 5'10 or so is to short, you might be surprised. Especially if your only 5'4. I'm not saying short is the way to go, just that in my experience what i thought was way too short ended up being just right for me. But again, different strokes for different folks.

    I'd suggest getting a sub 6 board in your volume and try it or grab one cheap on CL. If you end up liking it cool, if not then now you know.
  5. Average Joe

    Average Joe Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2014
    Got it. I think you might be interested in more of a hybrid board, but if you still want the performance short board feel, check out the Fred Rubble by Channel Islands. I think that you'll find the volume to length ratio is more like the longer boards you've surfed in the past.

    Stock dims are below:

    5’11 19 2 5/16 27.2L
    6’0 19 1/8 2 3/8 28.6L
    6’1 19 3/8 2 7/16 30.1L
    6’2 19 5/8 2 1/2 31.6L
    6’3 19 3/4 2 9/16 33.0L
    6’4 19 7/8 2 5/8 34.6L
  6. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    He said he usually takes a bit off both nose and tail, but he needs to see the blank first to see the curves of the rocker and planshape and where it is thickest, etc. I like what you said about a more gradual rocker to get you in faster. I guess the wide point south of center gives you a bit more lift on the takeoff?
  7. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    Traditional wisdom is that more foam forward allows you to paddle into waves easier. Using that line of logic, pushing the wide point forward should shift volume forward. But it's MUCH more complicated than that. Foil... the flow of thickness from nose to tail and from rail to rail... combined with planshape, lets you move volume all over the place. Rocker also has a LOT to do with how a board paddles into waves. So wide point forward does not necessarily translate into a board that paddles into waves easier. This takes superior knowledge of design, and excellent craftsmanship to execute that design.

    Also, keep in mind that cutting the length from the nose moves the wide/thick point back, and flattens the entry rocker. The reverse is true if you cut the length off the tail. Removing a bit from both ends conserves the natural rocker of the blank, and leaves a little bit of thickness at both ends to adjust flip in the nose, and kick in the tail. Removing all of the length from one end or the other leaves little room at the opposite end for adjustment. For example, removing all of the unwanted length from the tail gives you much more thickness to play with to shape in a tail rocker that might not have "fit" into the blank if no length was cut from the tail.

    Finally, I'll add that your shaper is right. If he hasn't shaped a billion boards out of that particular blank (it's either an A or an EA; both have different rockers) he needs to look at the curves before he decides where to remove the length.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  8. Agabinet

    Agabinet Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2012
    6' 155lbs and 58 years, surfing RI . . . I never thought I would surf anything shorter than a fat 6'6" and that was for really good days. I usually liked my long board. But the Firewire Tomos changed my mind. The 6' Evo packs 44 liters. It's a very rectangular shape, and had unusual bottom contours.

    I will say that even though the board floats nicely, it's still short, and I have to be a lot more nimble to pop up than I do on a long board. I'm not catching waves on the shoulder on the Evo.
  9. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013
  10. sisurfdogg

    sisurfdogg Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2013

    I was gonna order the 7'2" EA, (US Blanks doesn't have a stock 7'1" EA) I think it has a more relaxed rocker than the 7'1" A blank. Am I wrong? What's the difference regarding performance with the A and the EA blanks?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  11. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    I made a comment in another thread that even seeing a 6'2" - 6'6" board on the rack is a rarity these days. Board lengths jump right from 6'1" shortboards to 6'10 - 7"6" funshapes with a whole of nothing in between. The closest two boards i have to good wave shortboards are both 6'2" and i'm just 5'9" 155. Way longer than any sizing chart would have me on, but its what i'm used to in good punchy medium sized+ waves, i feel like i can do the turns I enjoy doing, and have no desire to go any shorter in a performance board in good waves. I'd never be able to replace either of these two boards off the rack.

    The concept of an all around small wave shortboard has evolved a lot in the past 15 years.

    Channel Islands Flyer is a whole lot different than a lost Quiver Killer:


    Last edited: Nov 23, 2016
  12. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2016
    If I can find something used and reasonably priced, maybe I'll go ahead and try one of these much shorter boards. I'll report back. I've typically not even looked at the under 6' boards so I don't even know what's out there.
  13. LBCrew

    LBCrew Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2009
    That's news to me... they used to. The 7'1 EA and the 7'1 A had different rockers and planshapes, with the EA being more of a midlength "funboard" blank.

    The 7'2 EA is an all out HP stepup/semi-gun blank... a lot more rocker and a lot less width. Unless they totally changed the molds in the last few years...

    (5 minutes later)

    I just downloaded their 2016 catalog... the 7'1 A and EA are still offered... if the 7'2 isn't really what you wanted.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2016
  14. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2016
    Man, I hate to admit this, but I think I'm going to go full-on old fat guy short board. I am just not working out enough, nor surfing enough, to be able to surf anything less than a 6'6 well. I was out on my everyday short board the other day and I felt like I could barely move with all that gear on, and I couldn't ride it for crap. The last thing I need are fewer inches under me.
  15. kidde rocque

    kidde rocque Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    worry less about the inches, and worry more about the volume. Chicks dig girth.
  16. 252surfer

    252surfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    toonces, check out The Fling model by Superbrand. I'm 6'2 180 and I ride a 5'6 in stock dims and have no issues even with all of my winter gear on. I could honestly ride a 5'4 and still be fine. The board is incredible in chest high and below. it has a fishy shape but still surfs almost like a HPSB. It's been my go to board in everything under head high even when it is a little steep. I ride it as a quad but it has a 5 fin setup so you can switch it up when you want. it may look like an odd shape but I highly recommend this board. it gets into waves early, sits in the pocket and is FAST. sorry ive been gone for so long guys but ive been working and surfing ALOT since I moved down to the outer banks. we've had a pretty good run of waves down there this fall
  17. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2016
    ^ Thanks for the suggestion. In this case, though, I think I'm going to go with my gut (pun not intended) and stick with what I know. I found a good fat guy shortboard at the local surf shop last night and I think I'm going to pull the trigger on it. It's slightly longer and thicker than my everyday board, which is exactly what I'm looking for. Come summer I can look at going with something radical for the summer waves.
  18. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2016
    Ok, so today was the day of reckoning.

    I had a chance to handle one of those Fling boards; I think it was about a 5'8 or so. It is definitely an odd shape and seems like it would be quite floaty and work good in smaller surf. The tail was huge.

    What it came down to is I thought about the problems I having right now, and also the breaks where I usually surf. One is a beach break. The other is a very hollow reef break in the Newport area. When these breaks are under waist high I have plenty of boards to choose from, from my longboard to my SUP to my fish. It's when we get into the chest to head+ like yesterday where I'm struggling. The idea of paddling something like that Fling into a pitching 8' barrel, especially with all the water moving around just getting around the lineup, just didn't seem like the right call.

    So...long story short, I had a chance to look at a ...Lost Quiver Killer, a 6'6 Merrick Flyer 2, and a 6'8 Byrne Easy Rider. The Quiver Killer is a nice board, but was almost $800 and just handling the board I can tell that the 6'4 would have been too big. The 6'0 probably would have been perfect, but I'm not sure it would work in the reef break; the rocker seems kind of flat.

    So it came between the Merrick and the Byrne. I went into the shop expecting to buy the Flyer 2. Propped up with the Byrne, and my everyday board I'm riding now, the Flyer 2 was noticably more pulled in, especially in the tail. At 19 1/4 wide it wouldn't seem to be narrow, but the template looked really pulled. The Byrne was noticably fuller in the chest area, and definitely had more foam under the chest. The tail is still more pulled than my everyday board, which should help with getting it around.

    So, after a lot of thought and comparing and playing with both of them, I went with the Byrne. Yes, it's a big board. But it fills a niche between what I ride and my semi-gun, and at the end of the day I need that extra foam to compensate for my poor paddling ability. It's 2" longer than I wanted, but I don't think it's too long to make the drop at the reef because it still has a lot of nose rocker. The overall template is flatter than the Merrick; the tail on the Merrick was definitely more, which I interpret to mean the board is going to need to be moved to keep it's speed. The Byrne should be a bit cruisier to make it through flatter spots.

    I'll provide a report on how it rides when we ever get surf again. The outline reminds me a lot of the MBB, so I expect to like it.

    It was $400 out the door, and I got 50% off some FCS honeycomb carbon fins or something like that. I'm pretty stoked.
  19. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Byrnes are ALWAYS a great choice for most of us. I have had several of them; I have Mike Baron (Byrne shaper) make me customs and they are always exactly what I asked for. Exactly.
    I always have a Byrne in my quiver; will never be without one. The one I have now is a gunny 7'6", great to take to PR when firing. One of my all time favorites. Will be glad to hear how you like it.
    Have fun.
  20. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2016
    ^ Agreed, Barry. I have 4 of them now. Back about 15 years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to buy one of Tom Carroll's used boards at Surf and Sea. Awesome board, but super thin and a real ***** to paddle. Sadly I sold it off before I left like a dummy.

    Anyway, I thought it was interesting to see all the boards I was considering side by side. The left-most is my everyday board now, a 6'6 6-Channel. The Easy Rider is next. Then the MBB followed by the Flyer 2. Looking at the picture, the Merrick doesn't look as pulled in as it did when I was comparing them in person.

    What the pictures don't show is how much more foam is in the Easy Rider; it's substantially more, which I was looking for. I'm definitely curious to see how it rides.