Darks Arts EPS and Carbon Fiber Surfboards

bluengreen

Nep status
Oct 22, 2018
773
2,054
93
SF x Encinitas
These look pretty cool. Anyone seen one in person or ridden one? From the website:

"Dark Arts is a budding channel within the surf industry that collaborates with prominent surfboard shapers from around the world. Inspired by innovation and quality, we’ve re-thought the process of crafting surfboards. As a result, we offer the lightest, strongest, best performing models on the market.

Dark Arts began in 2019, founded by veteran board builder and surfing purist, Justin Ternes. After a twenty-one year quest, Justin answers the question, “What is the perfect surfboard, and how is it made?” Dark Arts creates unrivaled boards, led by the conviction that surfboards should preserve and enhance the essence of surfing.

Unlike traditional surfboards, our boards last a lifetime. Assembled in our hometown of San Diego, these American made products are shaped by world-class shapers then glassed with a refined carbon-fiber vacuum bagging technique, utilizing best environmental practices.

Our history of searching culminates in a brand we are proud to offer surfing enthusiasts of all calibers. Dark Arts is reinventing the way surfboards are made and perform so that the board you ride today is the board you ride tomorrow."
 

MathDebater

Billy Hamilton status
Apr 13, 2016
1,710
3,598
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SD
One my friends has some connection to Justin so I've met him a few times. The whole team is super nice, the boards seem really high quality (have yet to surf one even though they always tell us they'll bring a demo around). My friend is supposedly pulling the trigger on the vegan fish shortly. There's also a guy at my local now and then with one of their stubby models that makes it look fun. I asked him about it and he said it's pretty bomb proof and feels pretty "normal."
 
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oeste858

Michael Peterson status
Sep 11, 2017
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Yeah, Justin/DA makes fantastic boards- essentially, much lighter and stronger than traditional builds. If you get down to SD, they have built out a big demo quiver of models/sizes at their new facility off Balboa Ave, behind Costco. I demoed a Pyzel Astro Pop for a week in Feb. I didn't click with the board model in the tiny surf we had, but was really impressed with the feel under my feet and the quality. They were gearing up for a big demo the next weekend Camp Shred, so I couldn't try another board, and then C-19 came. A CF board from them is definitely on my wish list, just not sure which model I'd choose, and I'm pretty set for now. It's pretty expensive, so I'd want to make sure I got a shape I knew and had liked before and was a design I would be able to ride a lot. I see of few of their guys around SD riding the grovelers, Coffin or That Hitter, and they look like a blast and catch everything. Personally, I prefer a light board in small waves, so I would think the CF construction would give you the most benefit on small-average waves. YMMV. I think they said there was tweaks they could make so it wouldn't be too light for better waves. I was thinking a Ghost would be solid investment, since you'd be sorted for a step-up for years. They are all nice guys, I dealt with Tony a lot but met Justin too, and they gave me a tour of their process and answered all my dumb questions on CF. Justin has spent years trying to carve out this CF niche in the industry, and with the Pyzel deal especially, he's finally on the verge. Certainly worth trying out for yourself.
EDIT: I was convinced of the durability after I dropped the rail on to the sidewalk while loading the car, and there was no ding at all, just wiped off the dust. Also elbowed it pretty good in a particularly spastic wipeout, and not even a dent on the deck.
 
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Mar 27, 2019
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Somewhere
I got a Keel Fish and recently a Coffin, both Justin's own shapes, from another member here. I don't have much time on the Coffin so far, but the Keel Fish is a great board, very light, and durable. It grovels well, and can ride some overhead stuff too. I ate it climbing up a cliff while traveling. It just rained, and it was a slippery climb. I kind of fell with my weight on the board with my hand....not a scratch. The carbon is pretty tough. Great board for travel since it's so versatile, but after a few magic sessions with it, I don't think I want to risk air travel with it anymore. Justin's shapes are good...Rails, bottom contours, the whole nine.
 

ANIMA

Legend (inyourownmind)
Feb 11, 2020
353
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Planet Earth
The boards looks solid. Not sure about the shapes, but Justin's glassing is top notch! I'd love to get a Tomo design vacuum bagged in carbon by Justin... but that will probably never happen.
 
Mar 27, 2019
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Somewhere
The boards looks solid. Not sure about the shapes, but Justin's glassing is top notch! I'd love to get a Tomo design vacuum bagged in carbon by Justin... but that will probably never happen.
The Coffin is pretty close to the Evo. Evo is way less volume, but i'm sure Justin would shape it however you wanted. It also has a unique bottom contour by the tail, that I never noticed until I picked mine up. Can't comment on the ride yet, and it's way over volumed for me, but again, the rails look good, even for a board with so much foam. I hated my Evo's that were over volumed, this one might work for me, in the weaker stuff anyway.

How you gonna keep wax on those things in the summer?
It's okay in the water. Needs to be in a day bag the rest of the time. Even have to flip the wax side away from the sun when carrying it, as it gets hot pretty quick. My solution was Van Der Whal Surf Grip, you know, those clear octagon things...They work surprisingly well. I forget it's not wax sometimes. Doesn't even scrape you up in board shorts.
 
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silentbutdeadly

Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
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weird, I took an all gray board to nicaragua and never had problems. I mean sure if you leave it in the sun, wax up on teh beach its gonna melt but in the water, no way
 

oeste858

Michael Peterson status
Sep 11, 2017
3,239
7,373
113
San Diego, CA
Go for it! Astro Pop would be really fun board around waist to head-high waves. More foiled than fishy. Just wasn’t what I was looking for at the time.
 
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Mar 27, 2019
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:unsure:I feel like the Astro Pop would be a better board with some more flex? Maybe it's just me, but I feel the carbon boards are a bit rigid. Not in a bad way on one with the right design, but if I was ordering the Pyzel in XTR for instance, I would probably be going back and fourth with different builds, focusing on the correct flex value for that board. You never know though I guess. I certainly wouldn't mind owning one in carbon.

I'm drooling over the deviled egg......I have to walk away from the computer now before I get into trouble.

Edit: Alright, I gotta ask....Anyone have experience with JT's Deviled Egg? Figures they have 2 of my size in stock :cry:
 
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csarqui

OTF status
Oct 11, 2009
345
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I had a Mandala Arc Swallow Tail Quad glassed by JT in carbon. It was one of the best riding and looking boards that I've ever had. I will likely attempt to get another one when I get back to San Diego. They do cost a lot of $$$ and mine had pressure dents all over the deck immediately. It didn't seem very strong. But the overall flex and ride was awesome!
 
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