Album Surfboards

MrSteve

Gerry Lopez status
Oct 1, 2015
1,020
918
113
NJ
1635719381017.jpeg
Review of Varial carbon Plasmic. Its 5-9, so its beefy, really beefy. Even after seeing Aruka's(?) side shot, was shocked how thick the nose was. It's 1.7" thick at 12" from the nose. And since the first session today was in 3-4' clean, fading nor'easter swell, I was slightly worried. More on that later.
The Varial carbon is much different than the Dark Arts. The weight is noticeably heavier. Somewhere between DA and PU. I dont know if the tinted hot coat adds weight. The finish is also noticeably different. DA has that sort of scratchy, rough sand finish. And (i think) they spray a coating on (that comes off if you use wax remover... ask me how I know). The finish on the Varial carbon feels just like a typical sanded PU board. It also feels more solid. DA carbon has that 'ping' when you hit/ smack it, or whatever. Varial feels solid.
So, the beef was both a blessing and a hindrance. If I could get momentum going, like 5+ paddles, she made waves I never thought I'd catch. If it was a late drop, like 2 strokes, forget it. It hung up, and I just went over. The ride is fun. Very smooth and it never slid out. I could see me having a quiver of just Plasmic variations for different conditions. Will report back with any other revelations.
PS: anyone want to buy the carbon Astro Pop or the Mandala Super Stubbie in the background? :p
 

Sam_K

OTF status
Dec 11, 2019
208
336
63
View attachment 118621
Review of Varial carbon Plasmic. Its 5-9, so its beefy, really beefy. Even after seeing Aruka's(?) side shot, was shocked how thick the nose was. It's 1.7" thick at 12" from the nose. And since the first session today was in 3-4' clean, fading nor'easter swell, I was slightly worried. More on that later.
The Varial carbon is much different than the Dark Arts. The weight is noticeably heavier. Somewhere between DA and PU. I dont know if the tinted hot coat adds weight. The finish is also noticeably different. DA has that sort of scratchy, rough sand finish. And (i think) they spray a coating on (that comes off if you use wax remover... ask me how I know). The finish on the Varial carbon feels just like a typical sanded PU board. It also feels more solid. DA carbon has that 'ping' when you hit/ smack it, or whatever. Varial feels solid.
So, the beef was both a blessing and a hindrance. If I could get momentum going, like 5+ paddles, she made waves I never thought I'd catch. If it was a late drop, like 2 strokes, forget it. It hung up, and I just went over. The ride is fun. Very smooth and it never slid out. I could see me having a quiver of just Plasmic variations for different conditions. Will report back with any other revelations.
PS: anyone want to buy the carbon Astro Pop or the Mandala Super Stubbie in the background? :p
Did a carbon version feel a lot different than a regular Varial board?

Came out looking great!
 

ChaseTMP

Gerry Lopez status
Apr 6, 2014
1,089
1,467
113
S. Redondo
View attachment 118621
Review of Varial carbon Plasmic. Its 5-9, so its beefy, really beefy. Even after seeing Aruka's(?) side shot, was shocked how thick the nose was. It's 1.7" thick at 12" from the nose. And since the first session today was in 3-4' clean, fading nor'easter swell, I was slightly worried. More on that later.
The Varial carbon is much different than the Dark Arts. The weight is noticeably heavier. Somewhere between DA and PU. I dont know if the tinted hot coat adds weight. The finish is also noticeably different. DA has that sort of scratchy, rough sand finish. And (i think) they spray a coating on (that comes off if you use wax remover... ask me how I know). The finish on the Varial carbon feels just like a typical sanded PU board. It also feels more solid. DA carbon has that 'ping' when you hit/ smack it, or whatever. Varial feels solid.
So, the beef was both a blessing and a hindrance. If I could get momentum going, like 5+ paddles, she made waves I never thought I'd catch. If it was a late drop, like 2 strokes, forget it. It hung up, and I just went over. The ride is fun. Very smooth and it never slid out. I could see me having a quiver of just Plasmic variations for different conditions. Will report back with any other revelations.
PS: anyone want to buy the carbon Astro Pop or the Mandala Super Stubbie in the background? :p
Looks killer! That has to be approaching 40L right? You could always go sea sweeping as well.
 

Aruka

Kelly Slater status
Feb 23, 2010
8,706
10,738
113
PNW
I'm 5 sessions deep on my Varial Carbon Plasmic. I'd pretty much echo Steve's take on the construction. I didn't get a tint so maybe mine doesn't weigh quite as much. I definitely wouldn't call it heavy but it's a little more than a Darkarts and it has a much more solid feel. To me it feels more like a normal glassed Varial than it does like any EPS construction, Darkarts included. Five solid sessions and there is no noticeable denting, even where my front foot goes. I don't want to speak too soon but compared to 646 varial which was dented to crap after a couple surfs, the carbon one seems more bomber.

As far as how the board surfs, it's great. Really stocked. Good low end but no slouch in head high stuff as well. As close to riding a skateboard in the ocean as anything I've felt. A bit of a back footed ride for sure but I haven't had any issues adjusting to it. Lots of drive and hold for such a stubby little board. No issues going backside. Feels great in fact. I ran JS MFC fins first couple sessions and I liked them. TA twins felt okay but a little too loose, especially on the backhand. Fascination twins felt really good, maybe my fav so far.
 
Jan 23, 2019
106
185
43
View attachment 118621
Review of Varial carbon Plasmic. Its 5-9, so its beefy, really beefy. Even after seeing Aruka's(?) side shot, was shocked how thick the nose was. It's 1.7" thick at 12" from the nose. And since the first session today was in 3-4' clean, fading nor'easter swell, I was slightly worried. More on that later.
The Varial carbon is much different than the Dark Arts. The weight is noticeably heavier. Somewhere between DA and PU. I dont know if the tinted hot coat adds weight. The finish is also noticeably different. DA has that sort of scratchy, rough sand finish. And (i think) they spray a coating on (that comes off if you use wax remover... ask me how I know). The finish on the Varial carbon feels just like a typical sanded PU board. It also feels more solid. DA carbon has that 'ping' when you hit/ smack it, or whatever. Varial feels solid.
So, the beef was both a blessing and a hindrance. If I could get momentum going, like 5+ paddles, she made waves I never thought I'd catch. If it was a late drop, like 2 strokes, forget it. It hung up, and I just went over. The ride is fun. Very smooth and it never slid out. I could see me having a quiver of just Plasmic variations for different conditions. Will report back with any other revelations.
PS: anyone want to buy the carbon Astro Pop or the Mandala Super Stubbie in the background? :p
Did you get stock or custom dims on that? Looks fun. May have to order one. Seems like XTR would be the bargain way to get an album?
 

Sam_K

OTF status
Dec 11, 2019
208
336
63
6-0 x 20 1/4 x 2 9/16. 35 liters
I've got a brand new (still in the box from the factory) JS Monsta 2020 easy rider. 6'1 with 34.5 leets and extra glass. Futures.

Any interest in swapping for the Astro Pop?
 
Aug 16, 2020
136
461
63
View attachment 118621
Review of Varial carbon Plasmic. Its 5-9, so its beefy, really beefy. Even after seeing Aruka's(?) side shot, was shocked how thick the nose was. It's 1.7" thick at 12" from the nose. And since the first session today was in 3-4' clean, fading nor'easter swell, I was slightly worried. More on that later.
The Varial carbon is much different than the Dark Arts. The weight is noticeably heavier. Somewhere between DA and PU. I dont know if the tinted hot coat adds weight. The finish is also noticeably different. DA has that sort of scratchy, rough sand finish. And (i think) they spray a coating on (that comes off if you use wax remover... ask me how I know). The finish on the Varial carbon feels just like a typical sanded PU board. It also feels more solid. DA carbon has that 'ping' when you hit/ smack it, or whatever. Varial feels solid.
So, the beef was both a blessing and a hindrance. If I could get momentum going, like 5+ paddles, she made waves I never thought I'd catch. If it was a late drop, like 2 strokes, forget it. It hung up, and I just went over. The ride is fun. Very smooth and it never slid out. I could see me having a quiver of just Plasmic variations for different conditions. Will report back with any other revelations.
PS: anyone want to buy the carbon Astro Pop or the Mandala Super Stubbie in the background? :p
It looks great! FYI - relative to the 5' 6" Plasmic that I got direct from Album. The Varial Plasmic has a much flatter rocker and is wider in the front, and narrower in the tail. I like it. There is a significant difference in the rocker, and noticed it a bit this weekend in punchier surf. It rules in more slopey surf. As I recall the nose on the 5' 6" was a height of 4.5-5", whereas the 5' 4" was like 3-3.5". I wonder what yours is?
 

sdsrfr

Michael Peterson status
Jul 13, 2020
2,846
5,494
113
San Diego
you make me want to bust out the tape measure on my 5’5. Do you still have both versions?

no problems in both punchy and slopey surf on my Varial 5’5. feels way more forgiving on angled late takeoffs than any TKF I’ve had.
 
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Aug 16, 2020
136
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you make me want to bust out the tape measure on my 5’5. Do you still have both versions?

no problems in both punchy and slopey surf on my Varial 5’5. feels way more forgiving on angled late takeoffs than any TKF I’ve had.
Haha, I was just mentioning it. I am enjoying the 5' 4" Plasmic, it is so much fun! I sold the 5' 6" over the weekend to erBB who pinged me after my stoked response on the 5' 4".
 
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ReForest

Gerry Lopez status
Oct 7, 2020
1,101
1,648
113
Princess Coco on a Twinsman. Biolos head’s gonna explode.
View attachment 118620

Biolos will just create his own "version" of a twinsman... which will "coincidentally" look exactly like a twinsman.
He'll probably call it something like "The Doppelganger".