Jim Banks

Jan 30, 2017
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Anybody got experience with his shapes? I would be able to get my hands on boards at a reasonable price, but I would have to buy without ever feeling them up. Looking at the Magic Carpet or MK5 and a Sea Dart in particular. My main concern would be that the boards might be more suitable for quality surf rather than the average beach break days at home.
 
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Aruka

Kelly Slater status
Feb 23, 2010
9,858
14,887
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PNW
One of my good friends has had a Magic Carpet for a couple years. He has a pretty big quiver but it's pretty much become his go-to for most conditions. I've only ridden it a couple times but it felt very good. Nice moderate rocker. Good paddling and all that. He's like 5-10 and he got a 6-1 I think so pretty similar length to his HPSB. For me it's two inches under my height but it felt like plenty of board. It did feel like it wanted some juice. It's pretty foiled for a fishy board. The rocker is low enough that catching and gliding around in weaker surf is possible but it isn't especially lively in the small stuff. Shorter dims would no doubt help with that. Still, being a keel fish it's more suited to open face carves so it's probably not the best for surfing in the pocket of small waves. Kinda depends on what your average waves are. My take is that it's more of a good wave fish. I rode it back to back with my 5-10 lightbender and they felt like had a similar amount of rocker but the lightbender was definitely more free and snappy feeling while the banks had more hold and drive. Not an apples to apples comparison given the length difference but probably the best reference I can give.

I have no experience with any of his other boards.
 
May 2, 2019
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Jim responded directly after my inquiries to get a rush-order 7’0” Ultra Glide ready for a recent trip to Bali. Gorgeous piece of surfcraft that kept confidence levels high by its willingness to come out of any steep, barreling situation I chose to put it in up to solid 8’ surf. Fun w/o overthinking what I was riding. Cool bunch of people.
 

Sam_K

OTF status
Dec 11, 2019
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I'll say that his boards look really nice. Excellent finishing. I'm a bit skeptical of the blanks he uses though, at least for the Bali made boards. A year ago he was selling a bunch of his second hand boards and I went to check them out. He was selling a 9' gun that had some of the deepest foot dents I've quite literally ever seen in a board. You could have put some cereal in there, poured on the milk and had breakfast outa those indents.

That being said, dunno if that's here or there. Maybe you just want to get a bit more glass if you order one. His shapes do look pretty cool and I wouldn't mind trying a magic carpet.