Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beach break stand up surfing: Design elements to look for in your next board.

I just pulled it off- the sneak a way surf session. Don't worry, I'm not shirking any major responsibilities. By some strange contortion of the cosmos, I was left out of the loop with nothing to do- darn.

Kind of crazy getting back on the 8'6 Stamps stand up surf board- it's been about ten days since I've surfed it. After I got my sea legs back and put a couple of waves under my belt, I remembered why I like this board so much- the thing is a stone cold killer in the beach break. That little stando eviscerates beach break waves like Nugent guts elk. Here are the elements that I think are important in a good beach break stando.

For a beach break board I'd suggest something as short as you can handle, preferably in the 9'0 and below range. Beach break waves are unpredictable, you want to be able to swing that thing around quickly and get jamming down the line. Short boards, with lower swing weights allow you to do this.

Go for a wider tail, this provides both stability (you are on a shorter board, remember) and quick acceleration. Beach breaks don't usually provide the nice, long, roll-in of a point or reef wave. On sand bottom waves, you've got to be able to put the hammer down as soon as possible- wide tails give you something to push off and get the ball rolling. This is definitely not the time for a super pulled, pinny tailed board- unless you like to bog and get caught behind sections.

Don't forget the fins- I ride a 2 + 1 set up, I like the positive feeling of that big middle fin but I can imagine the merits of a quick turning quad. In fact, my shaper, Tim Stamps was a first hand witness to a serious Gold Coast wave assault by Australian ripper Luke Egan who was tearing it up on a stando quad fin. I'm interested... maybe in my next one. For now, I like the feel of fairly large side bites and a slightly larger middle fin in the 6.5 - 7" range. I use Futures Fins Gerry Lopez thruster sets almost exclusively, I like the super zingi-ness of the inside foiled side fins. If it gets really small and I want to slide the tail around, I'll use the GL middle fin that comes with the set. Lately, however, I've liked the driviness of the bigger Futures surf fin (7") template. Mix and match and see what you like.

As always go as light as possible- you want to be able to flick that board from rail to rail as quickly as possible. You will pay for the lightness with durability, typically light boards will take a beating and show it much more sooner than a heavy one. I'm used to the deck indentations since I come from a surfing background- as long as the fiberglass isn't punctured, deck indentations cause no harm.

Most importantly, find a shaper who surfs the same beach break conditions that you do- they'll be able to dial you in the best and make a board suited to what you're surfing. 

Good luck and if you sneak away- I want to hear all about it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Tony808 said...

Timely post. I just ordered my 8' 6" from Stamps last week. Thanks for all the info on it. Identical to yours but full quad - no center box even. - Tony

Anonymous said...

sneaky monkey at waikiki...nice!

Clayton TONG said...

Thanks John for the tips, I did sneak out today to LJ.

John Ashley said...

Love all the posts about sneaking out...! I am the sneaky monkey... shhhh, keep that on the hush, hush!

John Ashley said...

Yeah Tony! Want to know what you think about that quad... and I'm jealous.

Anonymous said...

8:6 done sporka dork ready to ride like to send photo this one is bad to the bone