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Paddle ability

Posted By: surferx

Paddle ability - 12/23/18 10:07 PM

Trying to design or buy a new board for Bigger east coast days. Post storm, strong offshore well OH hollow steep
Beach breaks with lots of water moving. Heavy full wetsuit. Daily board for lighter wetsuit and under head high is like 32 liters 5'11, 19.5x 2.44. Not cutting it on these bigger days. Current step up is too thin and has a narrow nose. Looking for something that above all, paddles and let's you into waves as early as possible before "air drops" or super late become necessary.
Torn between something short and thicker/wider for steep drops or something longer for trying to "get in early".
So what really makes a board an easier board to paddle? Length? Width? Or thickness? Will a shorter wider thicker board paddle better or as well as something longer and narrower? Or is length always needed for paddle ability?
Posted By: Duffy

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 01:11 AM

The may sound a bit out there but I’ve found that quads and twin fins catch waves easier than thrusters or single fins....

Also I think shape, rocker, foil, bottom contours are at least as important as volume.

And distribution of volume is also important.

I have a 29 liter 5’8 that catches waves better than the 33 liter 6’8 I just sold.
Posted By: Maz

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 02:10 AM

Sounds like a Ghost or PigDog to me. Get more volume than you think you need.
Posted By: retodd

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 02:13 AM

Depends on your body type too
Are you tall and thin?
Stocky?

Rusty slayer and dhd sweet spot are 2 that come to mind for what u need
Posted By: ciscojaws

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 02:16 AM

Originally Posted By: Maz
Sounds like a Ghost or PigDog to me. Get more volume than you think you need.

What he said.
Posted By: Oceanslide

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 02:16 AM

IMO, just adding volume doesn't solve your problem, although it definitely helps.
I ordered a board recently with a similar outcome in mind...slightly longer than some of
my stubbies, but not much, width/thickness to ensure more volume than most but
with foiled out rails, and a widened and snubbed nose as I don't love hpsb narrow anything.
We'll see how it goes, but that was my approach.
Posted By: Oeste858

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 03:50 AM

Who did you order yours from? I've been looking for something similar. The last couple years, I have been riding mostly short & wide alt boards (Mandala, Tomo, keel fish). I'm 6', 180lbs, and most of my boards are 5'5"-5'9". But after a trip through the spin cycle trying to get back out under a 10-wave set during last week's massive swell, I really need a legit step-up for real waves like that. Since we only get a handful of days each year in SoCal, I've been looking out for something on CL... maybe something like the Rusty Slayer as I like the idea of a longer effective rail line for getting in early enough, but with a shorter length (than a traditional step up) for maneuverability. Anyone ridden one on bigger days and would recommend it? Or I may opt for more length with a 6'8" R. Blackbird model as I've heard these catch everything nice & early and nothing but positive reviews.
Posted By: Duffy

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 04:05 AM

Originally Posted By: Oeste858
Who did you order yours from? I've been looking for something similar. The last couple years, I have been riding mostly short & wide alt boards (Mandala, Tomo, keel fish). I'm 6', 180lbs, and most of my boards are 5'5"-5'9". But after a trip through the spin cycle trying to get back out under a 10-wave set during last week's massive swell, I really need a legit step-up for real waves like that. Since we only get a handful of days each year in SoCal, I've been looking out for something on CL... maybe something like the Rusty Slayer as I like the idea of a longer effective rail line for getting in early enough, but with a shorter length (than a traditional step up) for maneuverability. Anyone ridden one on bigger days and would recommend it? Or I may opt for more length with a 6'8" R. Blackbird model as I've heard these catch everything nice & early and nothing but positive reviews.


Give the FCD F-Rocket a look....
Posted By: Oeste858

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 04:10 AM

surferx-
Like Duffy said, distribution of volume is key: I've found that my more retro board shapes with volume (width x thickness) under the chest (aka wide point forward) really help in paddling power. I think rocker is a factor too, but I'll defer to others on how significant. Low entry rocker seems to paddle better to me. Length (or at least a longer rail line) will paddle more efficiently than short & wide, catch waves early, and ideally avoid the need for late drops. Many of my more "rectangular" boards have plenty of volume, but are not great paddlers. Take a look at those prone paddle boards (not SUP) used to race between Oahu to Molokai. They are all long (10ft.+) and fairly skinny.
I'm thinking 6'8"-10" would make me feel more comfortable paddling when it's bigger and there's a lot of water moving around. Plus, turns get drawn out when it's OH- double OH.
Would be curious to hear what you decide on. Keep us posted.
Posted By: dirtandrib

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 05:07 AM

I have ridden two boards in those conditions for the same application. Lynn Shell shaped version of a Super Pig Dog (6’1x19.75x2.5)glassed strong by Gale Force Glassing and a Stretch 2x4 with heavier glass and thicker (‘2x19x2.5). Both have close to same volume. Wide point forward on Shell Shaped PigDog and at midpoint on 2x4. More overall rocker in 2x4.

The Shell Shape paddled well in the conditions you described. Slightly better than 2x4. Not at all as agile and quick as the 2x4. The Shell shape offered slightly more ‘glide.’ Rails were slightly less foiled and so engaged into the face better than the width might suggest. 2x4 is like a much better paddling shortboard but not like a needly chip step up.

I would say the Shell Shape PigDog is designed for paddling in and making the drop with the ability to knife the rail if necessary but also with the help to get int with the offshores. The rocker and tail outline seems to very gunny where you are holding your line in the fast, intense nature of our post frontal days.

The 2x4 has more rocker though relatively lower entry rocker. Again more agile.

I think both designs are applicable to our post frontal days your describe. It depends on how much shortboard feel and capacities you want.

There is a good bit of design work going on with local guys for these niche designs. Lynn has a new take on it with wide point not as forward. Others (josh Peterson) have designs that more more toward the quad egg outline. I saw in Redbull video of the guys in Ireland riding these style of designs in their slabs that looked even to have more width upfront and low entry. As you know these days are pretty slabby with a difficult wind that leaves your dropping in almost blind sometimes so it seems Ireland would have similar challenges to address. Made me curious.

I also think how quick and nimble you are plays a significant role. Brett Barley is very quick and spry so short Pig dogs are his call. If you are slower and not so agile with your feet and body mechanics I think taking some elements from revisions of this forward wide point and foam thickness would be sensible. At least for me the board needs to fit my abilities and play to my strengths while minimizing my weaknesses not only apply to the conditions.

Trying some local East Coast Shapers in the Outer Banks might be a good way to go. I think there will be some more of these designs for just the conditions you describe by local shapers who are supplying the most local chargers of different ages and approaches.
Posted By: ciscojaws

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 11:29 AM

Check out the Portal Gun by Jordan Brazie.
https://valaricsurfboards.com/portalgun
Posted By: nightfly

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 12:38 PM

I'm looking at a Pig Dog for these conditions. My go to board is a 5'6 and I'm looking at about a 5'10 Pig Dog for winter Noreaster kind of waves.

I've also got a 6'8 Aloha that's probably 20 years old that I keep around for really big days. It's a typical circa 2000 shortboard step up, 18 3/4 wide and about a 2 1/4 thick but the volume goes to the rail and it feels like the 2 3/8 thick boards I typically ride. This was before they wrote volumes on boards so I have no idea how much it is. I'd guess 30-32 liters compared to my usual 28.

Gets ridden once every few years and the glide is refreshing but the thinner, narrower nose and excess nose rocker seem kind of insane after riding short/wide boards for so long. I'm often tempted to cut 6 or 8 inches off the nose. But when it's bombing, it does the job and doesn't cost me anything to keep around. Gets in easy, feels very controlled on big bombing waves but doesn't fit tight curves so well. Better for big rolling waves than short punchy ones hence the desire for something like a Pig Dog.
Posted By: VaB

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 01:02 PM

https://www.realwatersports.com/collections/rawson-sniper

https://www.realwatersports.com/collections/christenson-nautilus

Posted By: acnjusa

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 01:19 PM

i was watching the ever competent locals surf their 5/4's and 5/6's while wearing a 5Mil wetsuit complete w/gloves
and boots and they all got the same ride. caught the wave, turned, turned again, flopped and fell.

they dont get that the extra suit and water within and its resultant weight MUST be compensated for.

Volume is good.

i'd tell them....if they even said hello....but they dont and are not interested in discussing what i have learned
in over 50yrs of shortboarding......so.....I use the issue to procur more waves.
Posted By: rts265

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 01:29 PM

Ive been riding fish and alternative shapes. Like someone said, get my ass kicked when real swell hits. Tried a bunch of boards from shapers of my fish and whatnot. I finally just got a hold of a local shaper that surfs the area told him what boards I surf and that I need a winter board.

Contact your local shaper is what I’m saying
Posted By: mundus

Re: Paddle ability - 12/24/18 01:44 PM

As others have said don't go too long, have a 7'2" that I have tried on the real big days and just doesn't fit the curve.
Posted By: Oeste858

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 06:45 AM

surferx- Did you end up finding something like you described or did you order a custom?
I 'd been looking for a few weeks, and finally tracked down a 6'8" Rusty Blackbird on CL today. The seller was my size (180 lbs.) and said it paddled really well and got into waves early, so I'm optimistic it should tick all the boxes I was hoping for in a SanDiego winter step-up... low entry rocker, wide point slightly forward, nice long rail line for OH-DOH waves, but still small enough to duck dive comfortably. Looking forward to testing it out in this week's solid swell.
Posted By: trevorbc

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 06:51 PM

I'm in need of a board like this too but am a bit stymied.

What is holding me back is the last time I was in search of a board like this it didn't turn out so well.

I got a Lost Rock Up thinking I would give the wider fuller nose step up a try. I'm 6'0 180, wear 6 mil suits in the winter. Board was 6’2" x 19.38" x 2.50" | 31.45

This thing was such a great paddler and wave catcher that I thought I was in love...then I tried to turn the thing. I'm not sure if it is all the years on needle nose step ups or what, but it felt like so much board in front of me and I don't mean length. It felt like I was trying to turn a submarine. So much swing weight... One session and it went to the used rack at the shop.

I told Matt at a shaper's night about this experience and he said that board is supposed to be ridden at your daily driver/HPSB length not at your step up length. I understand this concept but no way the 5'11 or 6'0 would paddle and catch waves as I was envisioning. Or maybe it would?

From this experience I've been thinking I just need an old standard needle nosed step up.That doesn't seem right either. Hence being stymied.

Any suggestions?
Posted By: daave

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 07:07 PM

Maybe try a hybrid of the two - like a fairly normal outline with just the foil shifted more forward - I'm thinking more like a ghost or rusty blackbird (tend to be a little more 'normal' outline) than lost rock-up/rusty slayer (which to me have curvier/more alt outlines).
Posted By: Aruka

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 09:40 PM

Originally Posted By: Maz
Sounds like a Ghost or PigDog to me. Get more volume than you think you need.


Bingo.

I have 2 ghosts and a pigdog pro.

The ghosts paddle pretty well and catch waves better than expected but the pigdog pro is like cheating. I think the width/volume forward and low/moderate entry rocker are the main factors that make these type of boards much easier to get into waves than a standard ish board. If you really want something to get in early go with a pigdog or pigdog pro at a couple liters more than you currently ride.

My ghosts are custom and narrower/thinner to hit my usual volume and my pigdog is stock dims and quite a bit more volume than I normally ride so it's not an apples to apples comparison but I still think the pigdog has a wider nose and less overall rocker so will paddle and catch waves better all else being equal. It's more of a point and shoot board, not nearly as good for high performance surfing as the ghost but it is still fun to turn and I've enjoyed it in big waves that aren't barreling. For barrels it is mega confidence inspiring and feels like it really holds a line deep in the tube better than just about any board I've ridden.

Just for reference I'm 6'3" 175lb +5/4 suit and board dims are:

XTR Ghost 6'3" x 19 3/8" x 2 1/2" 30.4L
XTR Ghost 6'5" x 19 1/4" x 2 1/2" 31L
PU PigDogPro 6'6" x 19 3/4" x 2 9/16" 35L

I was going to get the 6'4" Pigdog Pro which is 33L but they didn't have it in stock when all the Super boards were on sale. I think it would be a better fit and would still be an amazing wave catcher while being a little more responsive. I may try that size or go custom some day but honestly the 6'6" is really fun and I like that it's a little overkill for some of the many big and tricky days we have here.
Posted By: trevorbc

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 09:48 PM

Who makes the PigDog?
Posted By: Waterlogged05

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 10:00 PM

superbrand
Posted By: trevorbc

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 10:16 PM

Looks identical to the rock up. “Meant to be ridden at your normal shortboard length.”
Posted By: Oeste858

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 10:45 PM

Originally Posted By: trevorbc
I'm in need of a board like this too but am a bit stymied.

What is holding me back is the last time I was in search of a board like this it didn't turn out so well.

I got a Lost Rock Up thinking I would give the wider fuller nose step up a try. I'm 6'0 180, wear 6 mil suits in the winter. Board was 6’2" x 19.38" x 2.50" | 31.45

This thing was such a great paddler and wave catcher that I thought I was in love...then I tried to turn the thing. I'm not sure if it is all the years on needle nose step ups or what, but it felt like so much board in front of me and I don't mean length. It felt like I was trying to turn a submarine. So much swing weight... One session and it went to the used rack at the shop.

I told Matt at a shaper's night about this experience and he said that board is supposed to be ridden at your daily driver/HPSB length not at your step up length. I understand this concept but no way the 5'11 or 6'0 would paddle and catch waves as I was envisioning. Or maybe it would?

From this experience I've been thinking I just need an old standard needle nosed step up.That doesn't seem right either. Hence being stymied.

Any suggestions?

I'd think Matt would know! haha. Those are designed to pack the volume into the shorter length, allowing the pros to ride smaller boards for turns at tour waves like Fiji (like Josh Kerr on the R. Slayer), so I do think you would have to keep it short to get the benefit. I just saw a 6'1 Slayer on CL and it packed 37.5L(!). It sounds like these types of boards are good for guys who are used to riding smaller (wider) boards as their DDs.
Anyway, I'd suggest you take a look at the Rusty Blackbird. It's more of the traditional StepUp outline you are taking about, but with the wide point maybe just slightly forward; pretty thick under the chest (along the stringer), yet with nicely-foiled rails & tail. So, you will still get the length you are used to for the volume you want. I'm really stoked on mine!
Posted By: Oeste858

Re: Paddle ability - 01/10/19 11:15 PM

came across this old thread about the Blackbird vs. Slayer. Might be of interest.
https://forum.surfer.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2413730
Posted By: Aruka

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 12:58 AM

Originally Posted By: trevorbc
Looks identical to the rock up. “Meant to be ridden at your normal shortboard length.”


Pigdog Pro has a little wider tail and a wider beak nose. Compared to the Rock Up I rode the P-dog feels faster and more lively. Rock Up I rode was a while ago so it was the old file with a really narrow tail that felt super anchored for better or worse.

I've also ridden a Round Up which has a more similar tail width to the P-dog but whereas the P-dog carries it's foam up front and more centered along the stringer maintaining nice medium rails, the Round Up carries more foam out into the rails so it felt porky and with less foam up front it didn't catch waves as well.
Posted By: retodd

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 01:03 AM

...lost is kinda lost at this specific board

Thats fine cause plenty of there nailed it

Rusty
Pyzel
CI ( my m18 is sick )
Super
Stretch
Posted By: ifallalot

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 03:22 AM

My vote for this kind of stuff is an Album Ledge in 70s dimensions
Posted By: GromsDad

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 12:48 PM

Originally Posted By: surferx
Trying to design or buy a new board for Bigger east coast days. Post storm, strong offshore well OH hollow steep
Beach breaks with lots of water moving. Heavy full wetsuit. Daily board for lighter wetsuit and under head high is like 32 liters 5'11, 19.5x 2.44. Not cutting it on these bigger days. Current step up is too thin and has a narrow nose. Looking for something that above all, paddles and let's you into waves as early as possible before "air drops" or super late become necessary.
Torn between something short and thicker/wider for steep drops or something longer for trying to "get in early".
So what really makes a board an easier board to paddle? Length? Width? Or thickness? Will a shorter wider thicker board paddle better or as well as something longer and narrower? Or is length always needed for paddle ability?


Veteran of the conditions you describe. You don't want shorter wider thicker. You want a proper step up that fits you and your ability. When its really round there is no substitute for being good at taking off under the lip and taking your lumps. You want the volume but you want it hidden in a board that has a pulled in tail, plenty of rocker and a good hard edge on the bottom of the rail.

Last winter on a brutal cold snowy day with the waves pumping just like you describe a surfer I'd never seen before or since showed up at my home break. Guy was in his 60s. Guy paddled out and was getting barrelled off his ass on wave after wave. His board was an 8 foot narrow, rockered out Dick Brewer. My youngest son was out there in the same conditions killing it on a 5'2. Point is lots of boards will work but its got to fit the wave, your fitness and your ability. A couple of shots I grabbed of that Sr ripper. His board was perfect for his ability, fitness and conditions. Point is you have to start with a realistic assessment of your abilities and go from there. What works for a gifted teenager probably won't work for you and perhaps you don't need as much board as the guy pictured. I also recently got to watch one of the best tube riders on the planet surfing heavy beach break in a 5mm and his board was a 6'3x19x2.5 pintail step up. Perfect board for the conditions and his way of surfing. Kelly Slater payed a visit to my area last year and surfed similar conditions and was probably on a 5'2 or 5'4

One other thing I've noticed is that these days you will not find the right board on the racks here in NJ for our bigger days. You will find tons of boards for average days but if you want to surf big top to bottom waves on a proper step up the shops don't have them on the racks.



Posted By: nightfly

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 02:05 PM

Looks like you could cut a foot off the nose of that Brewer and it would surf the same which is sorta the idea behind these shorter step ups.

Definitely use what works for you but personally, since my everyday board is now like 5'6, A traditional step up is just too long, narrow and rockered out. I have a 6'8 Aloha that I keep around because I bought it used for $200 almost 20 years ago and had some magic sessions on it, but I haven't ridden it since about 2012. It's just too big a jump.

Personally I'm looking at a 5'10 or so PigDog or similar. For the type of waves I surf, short period, heavy, east coast beachbreak, extra length seems more a hinderence than a help. If I can get the volume in a shorter form, that seems like the ticket. I think if I surfed somewhere where there was more room on the wave to accomodate the length I could see riding a bigger board but for these tight beach breaks, shorter, wider and a pulled in tail seem like the ticket.

Also with all due respect to the guy with the Brewer, riding an 8 foot board, on a barely over head high wave is kinda cheating. This isn't Swamis...
Posted By: Greg Griffin

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 02:18 PM

Low entry angle into apex + nose kick creates a very efficient paddling area .

Posted By: patrolman

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 05:22 PM

Originally Posted By: GromsDad
Originally Posted By: surferx
Trying to design or buy a new board for Bigger east coast days. Post storm, strong offshore well OH hollow steep
Beach breaks with lots of water moving. Heavy full wetsuit. Daily board for lighter wetsuit and under head high is like 32 liters 5'11, 19.5x 2.44. Not cutting it on these bigger days. Current step up is too thin and has a narrow nose. Looking for something that above all, paddles and let's you into waves as early as possible before "air drops" or super late become necessary.
Torn between something short and thicker/wider for steep drops or something longer for trying to "get in early".
So what really makes a board an easier board to paddle? Length? Width? Or thickness? Will a shorter wider thicker board paddle better or as well as something longer and narrower? Or is length always needed for paddle ability?


Veteran of the conditions you describe. You don't want shorter wider thicker. You want a proper step up that fits you and your ability. When its really round there is no substitute for being good at taking off under the lip and taking your lumps. You want the volume but you want it hidden in a board that has a pulled in tail, plenty of rocker and a good hard edge on the bottom of the rail.

Last winter on a brutal cold snowy day with the waves pumping just like you describe a surfer I'd never seen before or since showed up at my home break. Guy was in his 60s. Guy paddled out and was getting barrelled off his ass on wave after wave. His board was an 8 foot narrow, rockered out Dick Brewer. My youngest son was out there in the same conditions killing it on a 5'2. Point is lots of boards will work but its got to fit the wave, your fitness and your ability. A couple of shots I grabbed of that Sr ripper. His board was perfect for his ability, fitness and conditions. Point is you have to start with a realistic assessment of your abilities and go from there. What works for a gifted teenager probably won't work for you and perhaps you don't need as much board as the guy pictured. I also recently got to watch one of the best tube riders on the planet surfing heavy beach break in a 5mm and his board was a 6'3x19x2.5 pintail step up. Perfect board for the conditions and his way of surfing. Kelly Slater payed a visit to my area last year and surfed similar conditions and was probably on a 5'2 or 5'4

One other thing I've noticed is that these days you will not find the right board on the racks here in NJ for our bigger days. You will find tons of boards for average days but if you want to surf big top to bottom waves on a proper step up the shops don't have them on the racks.





I never thought I'd say this, given our differences on the politics forum, but, "AMEN." cheers

Someone here said a 7-2 didn't fit the waves, but that really depends on how the 7-2 curves blend and... THE WAVE. My go to spot for larger waves (our beaches close out as it gets overhead...) is a fat, sloping wave. Good luck trying to get waves on a 6-2 out there roflmao

Also, to whoever said the 8-0 Brewer looks like you could chop a foot off...well maybe once you're on the wave, but maybe that foot is critical for the older guy to get in early with confidence. I know many times I wished I had a magical board that was 9 foot on take off and then morphed into a 6-0 once I was up and riding. It would be nice to have a 9-0 when paddling but magically morphs into a 6-0 x 18 when it came time to duck dive too.

I know I will get grief on the erBB for the mid length I'm making, given members propensity to inversely compare the length of their board with the length of their pepis...but some times when you get older you need a crutch or at least a cane...
Posted By: NinjaPete

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 08:12 PM

I've been looking at getting something similar since this winter has been heavier than usual. My 6'10" semi-gun hasn't been enough for 15-20sec el nino swells. It's hard to find an 8'0 that isn't overly thick. I don't understand why shapers add thickness to the board when they go longer, unless it has something to do with structural integrity. You're gaining volume by going longer, which of course helps with buoyancy and reduces drag when paddling, but then they go and make it thicker adding more volume making my life difficult punching through waves. You want to maximize length to increase hull speed, more volume does not increase hull speed. You can have 4" thick 6' board, and it will be 2knots slower than a 2" thick 8' board, even though the 6' has more volume. Yet, off the shelf it's difficult to find an 8' less than 3" thick. I was hoping to find something used or from one of those pop out brands for cheaper than custom, but none of the dimensions really match what I'm looking for. By the time a custom is built, el nino will be over and I'll have a nice wall display for the next couple years until the next big winter shows up again.
Posted By: patrolman

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 09:07 PM

Originally Posted By: NinjaPete
I've been looking at getting something similar since this winter has been heavier than usual. My 6'10" semi-gun hasn't been enough for 15-20sec el nino swells. It's hard to find an 8'0 that isn't overly thick. I don't understand why shapers add thickness to the board when they go longer, unless it has something to do with structural integrity. You're gaining volume by going longer, which of course helps with buoyancy and reduces drag when paddling, but then they go and make it thicker adding more volume making my life difficult punching through waves. You want to maximize length to increase hull speed, more volume does not increase hull speed. You can have 4" thick 6' board, and it will be 2knots slower than a 2" thick 8' board, even though the 6' has more volume. Yet, off the shelf it's difficult to find an 8' less than 3" thick. I was hoping to find something used or from one of those pop out brands for cheaper than custom, but none of the dimensions really match what I'm looking for. By the time a custom is built, el nino will be over and I'll have a nice wall display for the next couple years until the next big winter shows up again.


You'll never know until you try.



PS Time for a custom. Support your local shaper.
Posted By: GromsDad

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 09:32 PM

Originally Posted By: patrolman
Originally Posted By: GromsDad
Originally Posted By: surferx
Trying to design or buy a new board for Bigger east coast days. Post storm, strong offshore well OH hollow steep
Beach breaks with lots of water moving. Heavy full wetsuit. Daily board for lighter wetsuit and under head high is like 32 liters 5'11, 19.5x 2.44. Not cutting it on these bigger days. Current step up is too thin and has a narrow nose. Looking for something that above all, paddles and let's you into waves as early as possible before "air drops" or super late become necessary.
Torn between something short and thicker/wider for steep drops or something longer for trying to "get in early".
So what really makes a board an easier board to paddle? Length? Width? Or thickness? Will a shorter wider thicker board paddle better or as well as something longer and narrower? Or is length always needed for paddle ability?


Veteran of the conditions you describe. You don't want shorter wider thicker. You want a proper step up that fits you and your ability. When its really round there is no substitute for being good at taking off under the lip and taking your lumps. You want the volume but you want it hidden in a board that has a pulled in tail, plenty of rocker and a good hard edge on the bottom of the rail.

Last winter on a brutal cold snowy day with the waves pumping just like you describe a surfer I'd never seen before or since showed up at my home break. Guy was in his 60s. Guy paddled out and was getting barrelled off his ass on wave after wave. His board was an 8 foot narrow, rockered out Dick Brewer. My youngest son was out there in the same conditions killing it on a 5'2. Point is lots of boards will work but its got to fit the wave, your fitness and your ability. A couple of shots I grabbed of that Sr ripper. His board was perfect for his ability, fitness and conditions. Point is you have to start with a realistic assessment of your abilities and go from there. What works for a gifted teenager probably won't work for you and perhaps you don't need as much board as the guy pictured. I also recently got to watch one of the best tube riders on the planet surfing heavy beach break in a 5mm and his board was a 6'3x19x2.5 pintail step up. Perfect board for the conditions and his way of surfing. Kelly Slater payed a visit to my area last year and surfed similar conditions and was probably on a 5'2 or 5'4

One other thing I've noticed is that these days you will not find the right board on the racks here in NJ for our bigger days. You will find tons of boards for average days but if you want to surf big top to bottom waves on a proper step up the shops don't have them on the racks.





I never thought I'd say this, given our differences on the politics forum, but, "AMEN." cheers

Someone here said a 7-2 didn't fit the waves, but that really depends on how the 7-2 curves blend and... THE WAVE. My go to spot for larger waves (our beaches close out as it gets overhead...) is a fat, sloping wave. Good luck trying to get waves on a 6-2 out there roflmao

Also, to whoever said the 8-0 Brewer looks like you could chop a foot off...well maybe once you're on the wave, but maybe that foot is critical for the older guy to get in early with confidence. I know many times I wished I had a magical board that was 9 foot on take off and then morphed into a 6-0 once I was up and riding. It would be nice to have a 9-0 when paddling but magically morphs into a 6-0 x 18 when it came time to duck dive too.

I know I will get grief on the erBB for the mid length I'm making, given members propensity to inversely compare the length of their board with the length of their pepis...but some times when you get older you need a crutch or at least a cane...


To the guy knocking the 60+ year old man riding an 8-0 Brewer in overhead hollow waves as too much board: I sincerely hope that age 60 you can stand on any form of a surfboard at all, let alone a shortboard, or even better yet, paddling out in overhead hollow waves after a snow storm when its 25 degrees with water in the upper 30s and a wind chill in the single digits and being able to rip on any form of a board let alone an 8-0 Brewer. Most and likely you won't. Most are stuck surfing waist high mush on a log at that age. That guy was ripping as far as I'm concerned. I hope I last that long. I just looked back at the date of those pictures and it was January 13th of last year right before dark in NJ. It was freaking cooooold.
Posted By: mundus

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 10:34 PM

That was me, it 7'2" Merrick made for indo. The real big days(short period swells) where I surf are not a glide in situation, you have to take off pretty much under the lip and the extra length seemed catch quite often.
Posted By: GromsDad

Re: Paddle ability - 01/11/19 11:12 PM

To me it was most important to have a board with a drawn in tail and thin rails and a sharp edge on the rails. Its key to be able to knife a takeoff. You're not going to glide in but if you can knife it at an angle you've got more margin for error than if you are on a board where your only option is late and under the lip. My favorite board for winter barrels was a 6'8 x 19.5 x 2.5 John Carper similar to the one pictured. Working hard to get back to where I can think of needing a board like this again.

Posted By: SixtyGrit

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 12:03 AM

If you have a stretch 2x4 laying around one of your local shops, you may want to look at what he does with the nose. Lowered entry rocker, but the top 1/4 of the board hull shape is reminiscent of a super-flat version of a prone paddle board - super-efficient distribution/displacement guiding of water without letting the nose catch. Thing paddles extremely well, wide pt ever so slightly forward.

You may want a bit more rocker in the tail for your waves, but the 2x4 does it with a double concave out the back. check one out if you get the chance.
Posted By: hackeysaky

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 12:38 AM

Forgive me for bringing the Coil love to this thread, but I went to Mike Daniel describing this very scenario and he made me a 6'6"x19.5x2.5" Qualifier @1.15ft3 with low rails and the Hawaii glassing schedule and it fit the bill perfectly (best step-up I've ever ridden). I plan to re-order the same board in more man-sized dims as my age and walking weight is a bit more (from 180ish to 200ish).

PS- the dude on the brewer is my goal- hoping to be doing the same in 20 years and those photos and GromsDad's testimony makes me think it might just be possible. If I have to ride an 8' to make it happen, so be it with no apologies.
Posted By: GromsDad

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 11:48 AM

Originally Posted By: hackeysaky
Forgive me for bringing the Coil love to this thread,


Sorry but that is unforgivable. Don't you guys have a 437 page thread somewhere to promote those things?
Posted By: Greg Griffin

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 12:25 PM

Again this is what makes a board paddle well :

Posted By: GromsDad

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 12:52 PM

A brick mounted under your chest?
Posted By: hackeysaky

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: GromsDad
Originally Posted By: hackeysaky
Forgive me for bringing the Coil love to this thread,


Sorry but that is unforgivable. Don't you guys have a 437 page thread somewhere to promote those things?


Fake news. It's 245 pages. My post 'twas really more a testimony for the shaper/custom board process; the board is dialed in for the conditions described.

Does Stretch get a pass? The "stretch boards support and board pron thread" is going strong at 195 pages.
Posted By: nightfly

Re: Paddle ability - 01/12/19 03:07 PM

As I said, use what works and gets you in the water especially on cold, gnarly days.

I'm 47 and surf conditions like that in NY all winter. I hope to be doing it when I'm 60.

I'm just saying that those type of designs with long, skinny, non-functional noses, look very dated now after riding shorter wider boards.

You could probably get the same volume and functionality from something shorter which would fit the wave better.

I think for longer period, open ocean swells on outer reefs etc or places like Ocean Beach, an extra long board makes sense, I just think in short period hucking beach break, there are better solutions. But again whatever works.

In another thread I think someone posted these Patagina F-Rockets, which are sort of an eggy step up which is the direction I think I'd go as I age and need some more paddle and glide.
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