JS Blakbox Review
Level: kook+ hero to zero and back again on nearly every wave these days. I’m coined as the most inconsistent surfar dude ever...
Experience: 23 years surfboarding
Age: Middle or getting darn near it
I picked this board up at the froghouse on a whim as a birthday present to myself… felt just right under my arm with a nice foil in the rails, nose, and tail. JS rec’s you ride these 3-4” inches shorter than a good wave thruster.
My standard good wave thruster which is 6’2x18.78x2.38 or so, so 5’10 fit the bill. Board is 5’10x19.75x2.38. At first I thought the width was a bit much but there’s a reason…
From my very first wave I knew I had something special under my feet, felt very front foot friendly in the sense that I can pump off my front foot and initiate my turns with my front foot as well, almost like a steering wheel. When I punch it off the back foot coming off the bottom, it also feels really good with lots of drive there so I’d say the board is pretty neutral overall. Really snappy but at the same time carvy if you will. Nice balance of the two. Bottom contours are flat entry to double concave inside a single that goes deeper through the fins and exits in a single concave. Similar to a pavel speed dialer Rocker is relaxed with no crazy flip, just a nice gradual entry and exit which I like. Board is very refined and balanced. It looks like a lot of thought went into the foam placement, rails, template, and especially bottom contours.
So far I’ve ridden the board in everything from knee high slop to HH lined up beachbreak. It goes good in everything. Feels like the tail is a bit too wide for the bigger days as it wants to skip out and it doesn’t grovel as nearly as well as a lot of other boards out there, but the blakbox is a terrific daily driver. When the reports say 2-3 or 2-4 ft socal this is my weapon of choice. It’s fast down the line and goes top to bottom well. Cutbacks are smooth and flowing and I’ve gotten a few nice vertical (in my mind
) end section smacks on it. Everyone who rides it digs it.
The finishing quality is second to none. Has a madluc label but not the made in oz logo so I assume made in USA. I don’t know who signed it but it looks like ‘79’ or ‘97’ or something. I’ve noticed this same sig on some of the cleanest finished JS boards at some of the other surf shops… Hoyte maybe? Either way, after almost 4 months of continuous use, this thing only has minor denting on the deck… everything is solid. One of the lightest and strongest poly’s I’ve ever ridden.
Couple things, the double concave makes the board ride a lot narrower than it is and the front rail never catches due to this bottom and the way the rails are foiled. Feels more like 19” wide versus 19.75. Lastly, I could go 1” shorter with ease on this puppy which I will likely do on my next one but I do not have any issues with getting my back foot far enough back. It’s nearly always in that sweet spot in between the front and rear fins. Often further back during turns or lippers. One of the most intuitive and easy to surf boards out there… always leave the beach with a smile on my face. Stoked!!