suggestions on transitioning to a lower volume board

jwd

Nov 24, 2004
51
30
18
Any suggestions for transitioning to riding smaller boards? I’ve always ridden longboards but recently picked up a “mini” simmons design (which wasn’t so mini) but I love the feeling and now have no interest in riding my longboards. Over the last year I’ve picked up a few used short boards but they are all in the mid to upper 40 liter range. Being 190 lbs I’ve been told that I should be riding boards in the mid 30s. I have found some of my boards to be corky but they paddle really well and, for me, it’s been a tough transition paddling into waves -especially- high high and over on a “shorter” board. I’d love to try lower volume boards so I’m looking for suggestions. Should I just buy one around 35 L and keep riding it or slowly move to a smaller board which would be costly. Should I try a longer and thinner board or a shorter and fatter board? There’s just so many options for a daily driver short board for the east coast. Thanks for any advice. I appreciate it.
 

Aruka

Kelly Slater status
Feb 23, 2010
8,717
10,812
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PNW
Are you looking for a board for the head high+ days?

How tall are you? Age?

Dims of current shorter boards would help too.

At some point you are going to have to accept that if you want to ride a smaller board in decent waves there is going to be some tradeoff and a learning curve to be climbed to get used to late drops and surfing more in the pocket. I think 35L is probably near the low end for you just based on what you've posted but there is definitely a point at which too much volume in a short package is just a hindrance.
 

Lohena

OTF status
Oct 30, 2019
280
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I would recommend an eps/epoxy full outline, low rocker, wide point forward board around 38-40 liters to get you started. Maybe HS Hypto, FireWire Dominator, or something like that that glides and carries speed first and foremost. These are basically user friendly shortboards that can help transition to a less volume higher performance model later.

Taking off, turning, and generating speed on a short board is very different than a long board, so you probably need a transition board. I carried a lot of bad habits from longboading. Popping up with my back foot, standing too upright, leaning forward to generate speed, etc. You might need to unlearn bad habits.
 
Mar 27, 2019
117
207
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Somewhere
My 2 cents,
Shape and surface area are more important than volume. Best advise I ever got was to ride different shapes. Volume will tell you if the board will float you, but paddling into waves, and paddling in general has so many different variables. Yeah, if you are targeting a specific wave, volume will be a key factor, but for a daily driver, just find something you like, and focus on having fun. If your hell bent on trying something lower volume, see if you can grab a demo, maybe a rental, Awayco looks like a pretty cool option.
Edit:
Here's the best volume calculator I have found, if you feel like you need to fine tune something. My personal all around GF is .40, but I go way up from there sometimes, and a little bit down also.
 
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retodd

Duke status
Feb 23, 2009
16,731
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What kind of surf do you get most of the time ?

Do you live in a place that has a few shapers or are you looking at random used boards that become available ?

Lots of options that are going to work
 

Billy Ocean

Duke status
Jan 7, 2017
19,330
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Volume doesnt matter as much as you think

People ride waves on planks of wood with almost no flotation

if you think this is some freakish thing that only a pro could do, take a boogie board for a little kid and see how easy it is to catch waves with that
 

teeroi

Miki Dora status
Oct 21, 2007
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My suggestion is to talk to a local shaper. Tell him what you have been riding the places you surf and what you want the board to do. I’ll bet the shaper will have time to answer your questions.

Follow his suggestions. Don’t ask for a bro deal even though most will probably give you one. They’ll be grateful you ordered a board and paid full pop in these trying times.

If you get a magic board first try you’re extremely lucky. If it’s ok but could be better give him another chance. Bring the board in to show them what you liked and didn’t like. Build a relationship with you’re shaper.

If you’re worried about money for a two board investment sell all your longboards. And sell the first board you ordered. It’s summer you’ll get rid of them fast.
 

Muscles

Michael Peterson status
Jun 1, 2013
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Like someone else said, you'll just have to get a smaller board and deal with the learning curve. Just don't buy a board with a ton of rocker. I'd suggest some sort of hybrid shortboard shape to transition down. It will take some practice but you'll eventually get used to it. Maybe something like a Pyzel Gremlin or Rocket Wide. Ask your local shaper. I'm sure he can make you something.

A true performance short board rides way different than anything else. Even a hybrid or over sized short board feels very different to a true performance shape. I have a 5'10 x 21 x 2.63, 37L round tail hybrid shape. I also have a 6'4 CI Fever in stock dims that is roughly the same volume (37L). I also have an older CI Proton. The difference between the hybrid shape and my performance boards is like the difference between driving a Porsche 911 and a Jeep Wrangler. Both good at what they're made for. But, there is no comparison between the two. The Fever is very difficult to ride if you're not used to riding a performance board.

My point is don't try and transition to a lower volume board with a performance shape. I doubt it will be very fun or enjoyable.
 
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Billy Ocean

Duke status
Jan 7, 2017
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Like someone else said, you'll just have to get a smaller board and deal with the learning curve. Just don't buy a board with a ton of rocker. I'd suggest some sort of hybrid shortboard shape to transition down. It will take some practice but you'll eventually get used to it. Maybe something like a Pyzel Gremlin or Rocket Wide. Ask your local shaper. I'm sure he can make you something.

A true performance short board rides way different than anything else. Even a hybrid or over sized short board feels very different to a true performance shape. I have a 5'10 x 21 x 2.63, 37L round tail hybrid shape. I also have a 6'4 CI Fever in stock dims that is roughly the same volume (37L). I also have an older CI Proton. The difference between the hybrid shape and my performance boards is like the difference between driving a Porsche 911 and a Jeep Wrangler. Both good at what they're made for. But, there is no comparison between the two. The Fever is very difficult to ride if you're not used to riding a performance board.

My point is don't try and transition to a lower volume board with a performance shape. I doubt it will be very fun or enjoyable.
i generally agree but would just say there is a wide variety of “performance” shortboards around these days

it’s possible to get a low rocker performance looking shape like a CI Sampler or equivalent. Basically everyone makes something like this now

maybe this is what you meant by hybrid shortboard shape, but the lines are pretty blurred at this point
 

Muscles

Michael Peterson status
Jun 1, 2013
2,208
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California/Hawaii
i generally agree but would just say there is a wide variety of “performance” shortboards around these days

it’s possible to get a low rocker performance looking shape like a CI Sampler or equivalent. Basically everyone makes something like this now

maybe this is what you meant by hybrid shortboard shape, but the lines are pretty blurred at this point
CI Sampler is not a performance short board. CI lists it under the step down category.
 

Bob Dobbalina

Billy Hamilton status
Feb 23, 2016
1,744
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My suggestion is to talk to a local shaper. Tell him what you have been riding the places you surf and what you want the board to do. I’ll bet the shaper will have time to answer your questions.

Follow his suggestions. Don’t ask for a bro deal even though most will probably give you one. They’ll be grateful you ordered a board and paid full pop in these trying times.

If you get a magic board first try you’re extremely lucky. If it’s ok but could be better give him another chance. Bring the board in to show them what you liked and didn’t like. Build a relationship with you’re shaper.

If you’re worried about money for a two board investment sell all your longboards. And sell the first board you ordered. It’s summer you’ll get rid of them fast.

This
 

isurfcardiff

OTF status
May 8, 2014
252
72
28
My advice: 1) Get something with a wide template and flatter rocker, with a nice foil to the rails, just don't go too thick! Wide templates combined with flat rocker paddle well without the bulk and corkiness of a thick railed board. 2) Surf in uncrowded areas to maximize your wave count - if you don't you'll get super frustrated because of the crowd and end up riding your larger "crutch" board all the time. 3) Spend time paddling to get into good shape - force yourself to paddle out on shitty, onshore days and get a good workout (the old guys at my break always give me sh!t when I paddle out on crappy days, but I always tell them that I will be able to catch more waves when it gets good). 4) Have low expectations and you'll have more fun! 5) Don't listen to anyone on the forum...they're all paranoid schizophrenics that are worried you'll catch their waves:)