Hi Huck -
After seeing photos of guys ripping on SUPs, my eyes were open... wide.
I have made a couple of big longboards that are actually much bigger than some of the SUPs that are in vogue today. One in particular is still getting put through it's paces up on Vancouver Island.. it is a 12'6" X 26" X 5" thick (or thereabouts.) There is also one that is 11' X 27" X 5" that was ridden by a couple fo guys as a SUP one day. Both boards had seriously beefy rails and in the hands of the right rider, worked good.
I think you're familiar with the Walden Mega-Magic model? That board has near SUP volume in the rails as do some of the Infinity longboards.
Another shaper, Dave Parmenter, does a model he calls the "PSV" - Paddle Surf Vehicle. It's a paddle/surf hybrid. That's actually how the big yellow 12'6" I made is being used now although it was designed as a big wave longboard for a big guy.
Until you get on a bigger faster wave where rail engagement might be a problem, I see little to no downside to the high volum rails of which we speak. There have been a couple of instances where I could see the value in a bit less volume to help me sink that forward but for most day in day out surfing? No question about it.
If a person doesn't believe now, give it 30 or 40 more years. If they're still at it, they'll understand!
PS - I ain't saying how I got that board to levitate... "secret sauce." HAHA
PS - I ain't saying how I got that board to levitate... "secret sauce."
PS - I ain't saying how I got that board to levitate... "secret sauce."
:) :) Potential hypotheses for JohnMellors "secret sauce":
1) photoshopping skills
2) some fishing line strung from the roof and under the board
3) for my money though, I'm guessing you slid out a drawer from that cabinet under the workbench and balanced the board on top of that.
Nice looking little workshop. Particularly like the photo album pasted up on the walls.
Hey john awesome board! I wrote a nice long response and it musta fell into a black hole in cyber space. Oh well.
Huck, in regard to your "oversized and too thick boards with too thick rails" I think you might be "preaching to the choir" a bit here; generally speaking, I think your average Sways regular (and probably even more so with the average E&B regular) would be more than happy to take one of your creations for a spin.
Even if it's someone who had different requirements and aims with their surfing compared to your own. Just because it's always interesting to see how a board goes. Especially if it's something that's a long way different to your own personal boards.
I know I sure would.
Heck, I reckon you'd even have a bit of a queue forming if every Sways user lived within driving distance of you.
Mind you, I'm also not saying we'd all stick with it beyond a few decent-length sessions; like I said, we're all of different ages and abilities, surf in different locations and conditions, have different aims in our surfing, and we're all in search of a board (actually it's more like a quiver :) ), that's perfect just for us. And because of that, we're all after a different board.
And while I agree that the average punter out in the lineup can be bafflingly reticent to trying a board that's a bit out of the ordinary (e.g. your +3" thickness midlength/shortboards), I think you've also got to admit that the boards being ridden by the average punter (especially those who are out of their 20's) is these days a fair bit thicker than it used to be 10 to 15 years ago - I see quite a lot of people out in the lineup on "shorter, wider, thicker". Especially the more gutless the waves get. Lots of Sweet Potato's and Baked Potatoes being ridden. Lots of funboards too - the McCoy Nugget and it's devotees have been around for over 2 decades now, they're still selling well, and they're commonly up around 3" in thickness.
Like I said, have yet to find one person willing to give em a try
Like I said, have yet to find one person willing to give em a try
So the "stubby" you swapped with mattwho and is now being test-ridden by "Boy" doesn't count?
That particular situation could well be considered (in an indirect way), you getting your first ever "team rider" and "test-pilot".
And what's more, unlike what the big-name surfboard shapers having to put up with, by having to hand their team-riders/test-pilots their best creations for free,... you actually got paid to do it!
Okay, okay, so an 8'8" HLPB is not a typical form of currency. But you've gotta admit, it's one heck of a lot better than nuthin at all!
So cheer up Huck :)
Haha I'm plenty cheered up, as much as I need to be, anyway. Yesterday I almost got beat up at Malibu by Danno, but today I had a good session, got several set waves by sitting outside and waiting, and it paid off. Inside the youngsters were fighting over the waves, but my drama was yesterday, I was all about the stoke today.
If you already got a ride report on the stubby you're ahead of me, but no, it doesn't count. The boards I was referring to are the ones pictured in my post, the wing squad, the banana boat, and the gordita.
I'm not looking for team riders, just saying it's a bit puzxling that guys won't even take one for a spin, but they'll stand there and gripe they're not getting any waves cuz tide too high, crowd too thick, sun got in their eyes, whatever. Not that I care if they don't but you know how it is. Just reflecting on the irony of it is all.
Thanx for reminding me, I gotta get the 8-8 waxed and finned and leashed up for action!
Danno ? as in Hawaii 5 o ?
Yeah, that Danno
Huck , Danno pulled that shit here in Oahu a few times until someone wispered in his ear and he settled down .
That's funny, pretty good surfer, but I kinda feel sorry for the guys out there all attitude and no aloha, seems like they're missing the boat on what this sport is all about.
had the 8-8 Matty out this morning, one of those weird days where the waves way better than anyone anticipated, nobody showed up, and a handful of us had all we wanted. 2-4' glassy and peeling. After an hour and a half I came in exhausted, wasn't even 7 a.m. yet.
Anyway full two thumbs up on the Matty, such a fun fast board, a confidence booster to ride, don't know what pixie dust he put in that thing, but it's amazing! Feels really lively underfoot, a great feeling, like its on ball bearings or something. My only problem (operator error) was in late grinding takeoffs, always a weak point of mine anyway. But when I could get in a hair early, look out! I'm taking this one all the way in, wave after wave. Some guy I don't even know paddled up and said I got the wave of the day.
Thanks for the kudo
There is some vodoo in that ride.
You know it has been a long R&D
I think "losing the hips" and
not being aggressive with the concaves
I would rather be someone's shot of whiskey, than everyone's cup of tea.
Everybody seems to have little boxes in which they live and surf. I ain't saying I'm breaking down any walls - I'm 40+ years past my prime.
Just ride what you like and let the rest of 'em bugger off.
All right... I'm gonna spill the beans so pay attention here. The 'secret sauce' is just a couple of padded closet poles that fit in to some sleeves mounted under the workbench. It isn't my garage and those aren't my photos and that isn't my board but I did make it.
Well cool Matty, I figured as much (r&d) since I'd seen the other board in person. The board is kinda opposite of what I'm doing in a lot of ways, and yet it works great for me. It's thin where mine are thick, hence, skinny rails where mine are fat. Longboard template and rocker, where mine are more midlength template and rocker. The quad fin configuration we have in common, but I've never put them on a longboard.
Eventually I'll get it out in a variety of conditions, but it sure was working well today. And that's with the plastic composite fins, I'm also gonna put some fiberglass fins in and see if I can tell the difference.
I got a healthy nose ding recently, but haven't had the opportunity to repair it. I might just duct tape the ding and take a break from the Wing Squad and give it another go this coming week.
I've been spending time with the wing squad because I notice when I stick with one board, my surfing improves. Switching back and forth a lot is difficult for me as a surfer, although necessary as a surfboard designer.
Quote: Everybody seems to have little boxes in which they live and surf. I ain't saying I'm breaking down any walls - I'm 40+ years past my prime.
John I know you make and ride the boards that work for you, but there are a lot of guys (like me too) 40 years past our prime who I'd love to get to try my boards, just to see if it could help them as much as its helped me to get more waves and have more fun.
So I've recently done some work on my Beachcomber fun gun, per other threads, and thinking of spending some time with that board coming up, if I can find some waves with just a bit more push than the little peelers I've been riding lately.
This one is the most extreme of "big boy" high volume boards, and I'd like to see if I can get the mastery of it. I've come pretty far with the wing squad, but there's still plenty of room for improvement. I'm not a talented quick adapter like Dustin, Matty's team rider, I really have to spend time with each board before I begin to get comfortable with it.
Especially these high volume boards, which are great wave catchers, but take some getting used to. Perseverance pays off in stoke and wave count. I'm thinking of eventually going back to a bit smaller boards, but I want these boards in my quiver as I age, and I want to have mastered them to the point of feeling comfortable, so I have something to grab when I just cant ride the 7-somethings anymore.
I'm still around!
A little fishing Nazi going on with me...
I know that the stepped down rail and volume are the key...
Ah, for oldpharts wanting to max wave count.
Relax my friend as the same concept (board) made by a "name" would catch fire.
Welcome to the underground,
Advancement in design that is "snubbed" by the main stream.
"Let the jerks suffer".
I mean if Kelly rode it?
Keep the faith!
Thanx Matty the jury is still out on the fun gun, I really haven't spent enough time with it to figure out if I like it or not. (edit to add: after a week in solid swell, the verdict is in - I love the board!)
My wave count lately has been good enough I should probably just be happy with that, but I'm always looking for ways to improve on what I have. And of course, there's always a desire to share the stoke, and the curiosity to see if the shapes could work for anyone else.
human nature I guess :-). At any rate, I've moved on from that for the present, my plate is full with other stuff, but like to come here and make a note of where my thinking is on the subject. I'm constantly tweaking my opinions, as I go.
Keep it up. There's people out there that are listening. It is appreciated.
Send me your dinged, damaged, and yellowed.
Thanks Monkstar1, btw, where did that name come from?
I'm sure I'm repeating myself here, but to sum up at this point, I've decided that the maximum practical surfboard volume is way way higher than what most people think. More volume can really help with the wave count, with paddling ease and speed, and with some practise, can be handled on the wave face just fine. Its a bear to duck dive, and if that's a big priority, then forget the high volume. But there are other ways to get through a breaking wave, and while added volume admittedly doesn't enhance performance, its not an outright performance killer either.
For an older surfer who is finding it difficult to get waves in a crowd, who wants to catch waves like a longboard without going to a full longboard shape, who doesn't want to go the stand-up rowboat road, switching to a high volume surfboard is a viable option. Its a worthwhile trade-off if you're willing to take the time to make the adjustment (call it a learning curve), and I'm loving it. Having fun at sixty-one (ok, thats still a few weeks off, but I liked the way it sounded).
There is a strong prejudice against thicker high-volume boards, so your board won't be considered sexy or fashionable. But if catching waves and having fun is the bigger priority, then its a worthwhile journey.
The last few days in south swell conditions with overhead sets, I have been feeling my age. Lung capacity isn't what it used to be (guess I need to start running again). Not sure how much longer I'll be out there in the overhead surf, so I'm really happy for each and every wave I get now, might as well enjoy the ride as long as I can, and my four high-volume big-boy fat-boards have been a big help. And the longboards too. In fact, I have a Matty 8-8 that approaches everything from an opposite angle, its thin where mine are thick, longboard shape and rocker where mine are midlength shape and rocker, and yet I love that board! So I'm not claiming my fat boards as the be-all do-all, just another viable option worth exploring.
Sometimes I wish there were more guys out there willing to jump on this bandwagon and post up their efforts, give these boards a try, or heck, even just jump in and contribute something to the conversation, but in the end, this has been my personal battle, my personal journey, my personal choice. I have been happy to share it here, but I would still love to find another site where there might be more interest in the stuff I build.
Some guys still ride shortboards well into their sixties. Some guys just ride longboards as they get older, and are happy with that. I like that I have a third option, that falls somewhere between those two. This is the realm of the midlength, of course, but mine are midlengths specifically for the older / heavier surfer.
The other day a guy paddled up to me and started complaining I was getting too many waves! Which is ironic, me being a 60 year old guy who just started surfing again a few years back, who paddles out for 3 or 4 waves then heads off to work. But I think it does say something about the wave catching ability of my board. (I think I just happened to get a couple in a row that he wanted.)
Still riding my old guy boards, lately its been the wing squad and the beachcomber, but mostly the wing squad. I took a bad wipe out on the Banana Boat, and it needs a new fin plug now. And my body is still sore after two weeks!
I find I tend to ride further back on the Gordita than I want to, I'm thinking of losing the stomp deck in back and see if that makes any difference. Add it to my list of projects I'm behind on, haha. Really like the beachcomber as a quad.
I have switched to Pro Teck (safety) fins on my quads since the injury, and have no complaints about the performance so far. They're stiff enough I'm sure I'd still be hurting now even if my wipe out injury occured with the Pro Tecks, but they seem much safer as regards the sharp cutting edge of a normal fin.
Keep it up mate, i feel like noone cares and then you say thanks for the post some times and it makes me stoked!
BTW moving house this friday, and i wont be getting the boards finished before i go which is sad. and just life.
Love your work
@reclaim_surf formerly Skatement
(Adam) Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia
I´ll second that. Keep it up. Even if there are no answers sometimes, I bet there are a lot of silent followers out there.
I´ve always followed this thread with great joy as a silent unregistered guest.
Thanks for the encouragement! Here's what I'm thinking for my next board...
A tangent off the Gordita, probably using the same big boy blank, which worked really well for the Gordita. This one more shortboard oriented in shape, whereas the Gordita was more fish or stubby oriented. An inch narrower, with a pulled in nose, thruster fin setup, and single concave. But similar foil, rails, and rocker to the Gordita.
Check this out, from the General Discussion page, 7'10" x 23 1/2" x 3 7/8"
So almost 8' long by 4" thick, by a little over 23" wide.
Michael Junod is an established shaper with a reputation, cool for me to see that he's working in the same general dimensions that I have been exploring as well, The Joe Blair zone haha! This has to have been a custom for a big guy (or old guy).
The sketch of your outline looks nice an clean. Are you planning to do railchannels again ? (I guess thats what the stripes are for in your sketch).
22x3.1/4 would suit me well, too.
I noticed (since I started reading here in 2015) you like a little more volume in most of your boards. Thats why I´m always curious when you tell about your boards and your shapes and why I´m following this thread closely.
Beeing a big guy and on top of that landlocked, I like to have a little more foam as well. I never felt a 22 (or even 22.1/2) wide board would hold me back or be a disadvantage, and I feel like everything under 3 is simply to thin for me.
That Michael Junod outline is pretty sexy.
23.1/2 and 3.7/8 are quite "remarkable", but hidden well in that shape.
I will keep this as a good example next time my "98 pund weakling" buddies tell me my 22 wide / 3 thick boards are tankships.
That bit of extra volume takes a little getting used to, but comes in handy in a crowded lineup with no consideration for age. I have also seen Stretch boards in this same general size.
Yes it is planned to have rail channels like the gordita. I am not a large surfer, but age and aggressive crowds have pushed me into riding these. "big boy" boards, and it's been working pretty well for me.
Currently I've been dialing back the volume a little to see if I can keep my advantages but get just a tiny bit more performance.
Nice picture !
(I know all the other pictures of you surfing, nice to watch everytime)
"I am not a large surfer, but age and aggressive crowds have pushed me into riding these."
I know, I´ve read every single page of this thread. :-)
By far I neither got your surfing- and shaping- experience/knowledge, nor do I have your surfing skills. I´m only 37, so quite young.
But: I get a lot of inspiration and ideas from your concepts and all the thoughts in this thread.
If you ask "Why?". I´m struggling with arthritis since I´m a boy, the doctors always estimate me 20 years older judging by my x-rays. Which means I´m simply not as elastic as most of the other guys in the water.
That plus beeing big guy, plus beeing landlocked and only surfing sporadic means I´m looking for some "advantages" here and there as well.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experience. It´s a good source for inspiration for me.
Glad to hear I could be of some positive good here, sorry to hear about the arthritis but lack of flexibility comes with age too as you say.
In this regard, the bigger boards also make a stable platform for pop-up, which has proven beneficial as well.
As far as a prevailing prejudice against these larger boards, I encounter this too, but take my solace in my wave count and fun factor.
thanks Mattie, just an average wave on a small crappy day, but it was a good wave on that day, and I was lucky to score it as my last wave in, and even more lucky my friend and photographer was there that day and captured it for me. This is the first time he sent me some video instead of just pics. If I don't get some relief for my hip problems, it may be one of my last waves this side of armageddon, haha, so I am really thankful to have this video. Kinda want to say something about my photog buddy too. Don't want to reveal too much about a guy's personal business on a public forum, but he is really an artist, and I think, grossly underappreciated by most the surfers he shoots. I once looked into hiring a pro photographer, and its expensive. This guy hangs out at Sunset, Topanga, Malibu, will shoot you all season, and give you a disc with a bunch of your waves for what most photographers charge per hour, and I hear guys arguing and trying to haggle him down, guys who drive BMWs, and it breaks my heart. I never balk at buying his pics, cuz thats how he eats, and I know his prices are bargain basement, and despite being the kook that I am, I get miles of enjoyment out of sharing them. And I don't hesitate to buy him breakfast or lunch every now and then too, call me a paton of the arts :-)
So this is my current quiver of home builts, minus one I left out. Per Reverb's request I will try to get some commentary up on the individual shapes.