How do you size your mini-guns and guns?

bluengreen

Nep status
Oct 22, 2018
773
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SF x Encinitas
How are you sizing your big wave boards, especially width? I'm working with Rusty, who is recommending I go 19.35' on my 7'0, which is .15 narrower than my newly ordered and not yet ridden 6'2 HPSB. I guess I'm having some anxiety about width simply because the 6'2 will be my narrowest board to date (i'm 6'3 190ish).

I've only been surfing for three years after many years away. Length, thickness, volume are mostly settled, but width is the measurement I'm still unsure about. I've been riding pretty wide boards in the shortboard range (19.75 for HPSB and 20-20.5 step-down) and feel ready to surf a little faster and more "radically." Hence the 6'2 x 19.50. My other Rusty guns are 7'6 X 20' and 8'3 x 20.3. I have a lot of confidence on these boards when the surf is anywhere from 10-15 feet.

I'm trusting Rusty, but curious what those of you with more experience riding big wave boards think. Especially like to hear from Mr. Doof, WokeAF, Kool-Aid, and any of the other OBSF chargers on the erBB or taller surfers.

Pics appreciated! Might as well turn this thread into a proper gun show.

http://instagr.am/p/B9LRcVrHf6d/
 
Last edited:

kool-aid

Michael Peterson status
Aug 28, 2003
2,579
1,542
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San Francisco
My step ups are pretty narrow. I keep them the same width as my shortboards which are generally 19.25” wide. Bit my biggest step up is 6’6. After that, the next board in my quiver is a full on 7’0 x 20 x 3 Christenson Carrera.

Every now and then I hear shapers suggesting what sound like extremely narrow widths to me (e.g. 19.35”) on guns and it really freaks me out. At a place like OB you definitely need that width to paddle up and down the beach, dodge those sneaker sets and get into waves early enough to make it down the face.

I’ve had success with guns ranging everywhere from 19.5” all the up to 20.5” but have basically settled on 20” as the happiest medium. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t play with different widths and shapes for different feelings If you’re so inclined.

Here’s a photo of me on a 7’8 Lyle Carlson that I believe 20.5” wide. It can be great to have something a bit shorter and wider because it’s super versatile..

http://instagr.am/p/B6gA_eEndnr/
I also kind of want to try something on the narrower side like 7’0 x 19.5 but I can only really see that being useful in the rareish occasion where it’s ledging on the inside of the outer bars. Would probably be a fun setup but not all that useful.

If I had to recommend a default, err on the side of additional width and go with shapers who are true gun specialists. They’ll all tell you that going wider doesn’t hurt. If you want a midrange gun any of the shapes /shapers that have good models will do. If you want to go narrow, I dunno, best of luck... let me know how it goes.
 

teeroi

Miki Dora status
Oct 21, 2007
4,081
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eastside oahu
I’ve been riding boards that are 20 in wide for a couple of years. Stubbies, hpsb, my twin fin. Last year rode a 6’7 Tokoro for the first time in awhile. It was 6’7 x 19 3/4 x 2 5/8. The board worked great but felt narrow after riding 20” wide boards everyday. My newest 6’4 is 20” wide. If I order a replacement for the 6’7 I’m going 20 1/8 or 20 1/4 wide. Here’s a pic of the last time I rode the 6’7. Probably could’ve rode my 6’2 but there were some sets closing out the channel.
6C549087-90EA-4BF3-A7C9-57BE720C882D.jpeg
 

bluengreen

Nep status
Oct 22, 2018
773
2,054
93
SF x Encinitas
Thanks, y'all. Yeah, I keep going back and forth on this one. Part of my wants to trust Rusty (who is a master gun shaper, btw) and try something radically different. I can see myself riding this board on those smaller long period outer bar days ( when its like 5 to 6 feet at 15 seconds and lining up nicely). I have the 7'6 and 8'3 for when things get really heavy. Could also be a great tube shooter for travel.

Just to put things in perspective, Tom Curren's 7'8 Maurice Cole was 18 5/8. I'm obviously no Tom Curren, but that's proportionally way narrower.

In any case, I asked Rusty to go 19.65 as a compromise. If it doesn't work out, I'll give it to my brother who is shorter and slighter than I am. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, Cary!
 

Lohena

OTF status
Oct 30, 2019
280
254
63
Is this for the blackbird? Are all those other boards blackbirds? His stock dims for that board are over 20" at that length I believe.
 

bluengreen

Nep status
Oct 22, 2018
773
2,054
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SF x Encinitas
Lohena - Yeah, it's a Blackbird. The others are too, but... I've seen the files, and the widths, bottom contours, and rockers are all slightly different. He really does customize each board rather than just plugging height, width, and thickness into the program. For instance, he added rocker, vee (and changed the placement), and pulled in the nose and tail on the 8'3 compared to the 7'6.

jkb - I would, but I'm trying to go a little narrower with my new boards. The 6'8 is 19.87' and the 7'6 is 20'. So the question is, how much narrower? I'm using 6'2 x 19.5 shortboard as a reference.
 

Chee-to

Michael Peterson status
Jan 11, 2002
2,224
661
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When OB's outer bars are on, foam is definitely your friend. I've never had a problem with my wider, thicker guns going rail to rail or bogging instead of knifing there - or on any of the comparable outer bar breaks north of the bridge that don't exist and that I certainly don't have custom guns for that are all 20"+ wide. The amount of water moving and the way it moves just makes NorCal a different beast. I could handle DOH Huntington on my standard shortboard. DOH Blacks or the Cliffs and I'll get by fine on a 35ish liter 6'8". DOH OBSF and I'm thankful for my 8'0".

My 7'0" semigun is 20x2.75, my 8'0" gun is 20x3, and I think my 9'0" is 22x3.25.

On the other side, I was out surfing DOH+ Sunset the winter before last and Tamayo Perry was lecturing his charges on never going wider than 19". A set came in and I went on one before I could ask his reasoning. It may have been Pipe-specific.
 

LifeOnMars

Michael Peterson status
Jan 14, 2020
2,223
1,556
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I would not go more narrow

Unless you are surfing pipe or Chopes
the theory is taking the width in maybe an 1/8 to compensate for the loss of quickness from the added length, personally I don't find it necessary and keep the same width as a hpsb for the step up
 
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Chee-to

Michael Peterson status
Jan 11, 2002
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the theory is taking the width in maybe an 1/8 to compensate for the loss of quickness from the added length, personally I don't find it necessary and keep the same width as a hpsb for the step up
I thought you got more acceleration and drive from engaging the longer rail line, and the downside was that in certain shaped waves a longer rail would not fit into the curve.
 

kidfury

Duke status
Oct 14, 2017
15,536
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in 1993, in Indo x 3 mos, all my boards were 18 1/2". they've gone gradually up since. probably not that important. 19-20" sounds right for boards 6'6" - 7'6"
 

bluengreen

Nep status
Oct 22, 2018
773
2,054
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SF x Encinitas
Just had another exchange with Rusty. When I said I was uncomfortable with 19.35 and wanted 19.63, he responded ".28 of an inch, correct?" I'm clearly bugging the sh!t out of him. haha.

I looked at .28 of an inch on a ruler, and it's miniscule. Does that really translate into a noticeable difference in performance? Greg Griffin, can you comment on this?
 

silentbutdeadly

Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
27,762
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Tower 13
no.

I'd be willing to bet you'd find that much of a discrepancy if you accurately measured a lot of boards vs what's written on the stringer