Thoughts on Bigger Shortboards

Discussion in 'All Discussions' started by GrantLee, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. GrantLee

    GrantLee Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    Hey guys,
    I'm looking at making the transition to a shorter board; I've been riding a 7'4" and want something easier to duckdive and more maneuverable. I'm bigger than the average surfer; 6'3" and 192ish and have been trying to decide what size and dimensions of board to look for. I would say I'm probably an advanced beginner and don't want to make too drastic of a jump and go through a long and frustrating relearning process by doing so. I was thinking something around 6'8" with maybe 20 inches width and 2 1/2 or 2 5/8 thick. But I was reading on swaylocks and some guy had these things to say about longer shortboards,

    "the 6 6 to 7 foot range boards are no mans land. the only performance surfing you will do on these boards are in heavy powerful barreling waves."

    "i see lots of bigger guys and old guys riding big guy type shortboards and mini doesnt do their surfing any good, because they all surf to far back on the tail due to the your feet, relative to the rocker makes you unable to switch weight forward for rail drive. Its sad watching these guys stalling the board and trying to surf top to bottom and blowing out all the speed."

    So that got me wondering and looking for some other thoughts and advice. Do you agree with him or not? Maybe I should look for something 6'6" range with a little more volume and thickness to it? Thoughts are much appreciated.
  2. RIsurfer

    RIsurfer Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2012
    6'4'' x 20''1/2 x 2 5/8 Channel Islands Gravy. Perfect board for any conditions.

  3. njsurfer42

    njsurfer42 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    be careful w/ swaylocks...there's some great info & advice to be found there, but it's mixed heavily w/ eccentric oddballs. BUUUT...i agree w/ that. i would suggest something like an egg or the like from your local shaper. where are you located? ricky carroll makes some great boards that would fit what you're looking for & still allow you to progress your surfing. he also works primarily w/ eps/epoxy, so his boards tend to be a bit more dent & shatter resistant. i think your idea of dims is pretty solid, too.
  4. njsurfer42

    njsurfer42 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    worst. surfboard. ever.
  5. GrantLee

    GrantLee Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    I'm in VB so that gives you an idea of the waves I'm surfing most of the time and the occasional OBX trip
  6. evandj

    evandj Member

    Mar 6, 2013
    Not sure about the gravy, buuutt

    I was just in the same position and got rid of my 7'2" funboard. The shop I sold it to gave me credit on a used 5'10" channel islands biscuit in great condition. Supposedly it's good for smaller waves. I've only had a chance to ride twice in not-ideal conditions but it seems like it's going to be a fun ride and a good transition board to a short board. Turns a hell of a lot better than my 7'2"!

    I heard the CI Pod is a good transition board as well.
  7. njsurfer42

    njsurfer42 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
  8. cackedinri

    cackedinri Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2012
    6'4'' stealth that zag posted would be ok for sandbar barrels. but what do you want--more waves or performance? i'd keep riding the 7'4'' til you got experienced enough to know what you want. but once you get on the new board ledge its hard to walk a thick,wide fish. don't go too small. 6'6'' x 21. get used to trimming down the line. any board around 20 inches wide will be easy and fun to ride.
  9. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009

    here's my 2 cents..I personally love riding boards in the 6'2 - 6'8" range. But the one "big guy shortboard" I once had I didnt like. It was a Tim Nolte 6'8" x 20" x 2 5/8" and it was not much fun in anything smaller than shoulder high and even the slightest bit mushy. Like the Swaylocks guys said, big barreling waves it was fine, but that was about it.

    I have since had a couple of 6'4" - 6'6" tri fin eggs (like 6'6" x 20 5/8" x 2 5/8") with a decent amount of rocker that paddle better than the big shortboard, barrel ride as good, and arent that much different to duck dive. VA beach has pretty soft waves too...I'd stay away from the scaled up shortboard shape if I were you.
  10. es-dot

    es-dot Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    go for a 6' hypto krypto plenty of volume and its a blast to ride
  11. sinnid8472

    sinnid8472 Member

    Sep 20, 2009
  12. GrantLee

    GrantLee Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2011
    Thanks for the various suggestions guys, as I expected there are many different opinions and schools of thought. Here's what I'm looking to do and where I think I'm at. By no means do I think I have maxed out the possibilities with my 7'4", it's a versatile shape, but my biggest frustration is the difficulty I have duckdiving it and I don't think its as quick and snappy as I'd like. It's dimensions are 7'4" x 21" x 2 7/8". Anything over chest high I get worn out so much quicker because I mostly suck at duckdiving it (especially as the session goes on) and its too light to turtle roll. I'm at the point where I'm trying to maintain speed down the line/pumping, actually make sections, surf a wave much more top-bottom rather than mostly at the bottom, and so forth. I don't what I'm doing, or probably not doing, but I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall. So I am kinda looking for a shorter board that's versatile and more user friendly because in no way do I rip. Something to ride in thigh-overhead surf and that could progress with me to a certain level. Am I making sense?
  13. mushdoc

    mushdoc Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2013
    Get a fish. 6'3" by 21 or so. Easy to ride and easy to get under a wave.
  14. fins369

    fins369 Well-Known Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    I'm about your weight, and a little shorter, and ride a 6'2" x 18 5/8 x 2 3/8". I am probably more advanced than you though. I would recommend something in that length, but with a little more bulk.

    I bought a CI Pod, 6'2", a few years back as a "transition" board. Was great, and despite it being way too big for me, I could still have fun with it, as it turned very easily, especially for a quad. Sold it to my brother who is 6'7" 230, and it floats him fine. So you could probably even ride a smaller one.

    At your weight, and skill level, you should probably look for a board with a volume around 35 liters.
  15. MFitz73

    MFitz73 Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    this is a problem that i have been wrangling my way through... Im roughly your size. 6'2", 195 to 210lbs depending on the time of the year. when I was younger (185lbs) my 6'6" was my go to board. I could paddle it no problems and I could duck dive the h3ll out of it. But.... as I got older and heavier it got harder and harder to paddle and stay competitive in the lineup... so I had no choice, had to go bigger. my go to board right now is a Desert Island Rusty. 8ft and really thick. Its very manuverable, can paddle all over the place with it and I wish I went to it or something like it earlier and its great for bigger guys and pretty much for every type of surf we get on the east coast.
    the problem is that I can only get about a 60% of my usual duck dive out it.
    Now Im looking to solve that duckdive problem and keep the benefits of the larger board... so instead of dumping big money on trial and error I picked up a 7'6, 2.5 inches thick used board thats in great condition off craigslist. If it works out as I think it will I'll probably get a custom to those specs, maybe drop the size to 7'4" or so.
    The days of the usual "short board" are completely over for me. but at my size, the desert island is completely manueverable and aside from the duckdive, has not held me back at all. my point is a short board for you is not the same short board for a sub 6foot guy.
  16. Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor

    Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    whatever you go with, make sure there is ample room for a rear-facing go pro cam. They're all the rage. Nothing, and I mean nothing, thrills me like the site of a strange mans calves riding a surfboard.
  17. johnnydon'tsurf

    johnnydon'tsurf Active Member

    Mar 10, 2013
    what's up Grant... i don't know if your intentions are just finding one that looks good off the rack, or working with a local shaper but i wouldn't stray too far from what you're currently riding. what i'm trying to say is to probably keep your current width and thickness, just drop the actual length. something along the lines of 20 and a half inches x 2 and 5/8" or there abouts. but if you're working with a local guy, you can see if he'd recommend keeping some of that volume in the upper third of the board to help with your paddling/catching more waves than you miss. now the length, that might be the trickiest issue. in the modern times of surfing, so many people are riding boards that are exactly their same height, or actually quite shorter. that used to be unheard of 10 to 15 years ago. but as long as the overall "volume" of the board hasn't been compromised, you'd be surprised with how short you can actually go. if you stand at 6'3", you may be able to get away with riding a 6'2" to a 6'5". especially if you don't go too thin and narrow with it. but a 6'8" funboard style or a 6'0" little beefstick could make you happy as well, it just depends on the amount of volume that you go with.

    i'm average height/weight at 5'8" 155lbs and my standard shortboard is a 5'10" (although when i stand next to it, it's my exact height). i've also got a little 5'4" traditional twin fin fish that i enjoy. both boards are heavy in the volume department, they're very filled-out while still being very different boards.

    it sounds like you will be dropping at least a foot of length from the old board to the new one, so that in itself is going to be kind of "shocking" when you take it out that first session. i'm willing to bet that you will be performing legit duck dives for the first time in your life. for those of us that won't be turning pro, i just fully believe that the single most important aspect of a board is that upper third towards the nose. i'm a proponent of volume. show me two almost identical boards, one being a potato chip the other thick and curvy... and i'll be choosing the one with the most volume.

    good luck with everything. if your finances allow, definitely hang onto your 7'4". you never know when you might need it, or if you've got a friend coming into town that you want to introduce to surfing.
  18. wave1rider65

    wave1rider65 Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2009
    OK.......... Forget the I have to have anything over 7'. You don't. Get a board made for you by a local shaper. 6'8 to 6'10 is fine and you can have plenty of performance on small waves not just big if you make sure the tail is drastically narrowed. I ride a 6'10x21x2.75 shortboard ( custom ) shape. Works great in large and small surf with the reduced tail. Not bad on ducking but you have to hold a bigger board further up the nose when diving it. Single to a deeper double out the back with your foam under the chest and waist but thinner rails, not the boxier rails most bigger boards have. I'm 6'1 210 and 50yrs old. You also might want to try a quad set up. Some of my friends who are big guys also like it much better than their thrusters. Just a thought. If you want to see some pics on what i'm talking about let me know and I'll send them to you.

    I put my stats in this volume formula and it works out precisely to the shortboard I ride now. Sure you can go smaller but if you fine tune a board this size you'll catch more waves and still have performance. Only way you can do that is with a custom board.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  19. suzyq

    suzyq Active Member

    Jan 7, 2013
    made that transition a 2 years ago, yes im only 98 pounds and 5'1 so natrually my dems are a little different because im so tiny,im on a 5'8 fish. Check them out they are a fun option.
    Last thought, fins.. Tighter feel -quad Looser-twin.
    just my 2 cents.
  20. REDDZ

    REDDZ Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    If at all possible, try one out first before buying. Borrow a board that looks good to see how it feels. You'll be amazed at the differences in how they handle. You may change your mind... or fall in love.