Surfboards are expensive! Not only are they hard to build, but the hand shaped ones are truly a work of art. Built only after years of testing and development, the surfboard shaper is a true craftsmen. It takes a ton of hours and highly skilled individuals to create each board. From the shaper to the glasser and sander, a lot of time and effort is invested. This means the cost of building a board is high and thus the retail price isn’t cheap. A lot of surfers can’t afford a full quiver of boards so finding ones that can handle a wide range of conditions is essential. Here in the NW, we have two predominant swell seasons. In the Spring and Summer we get smaller, short period lackluster waves. Our Fall and Winter sees much larger and stronger swells coming out of the North Pacific. Finding the right boards for these different conditions is essential to maximize your wave count and fun factor. After years of surfing here and selling boards in the shop, we’ve broken it down to three boards every surfer in the NW should own. We also included samples from some of our favorite shapers.
Tony Perez on his ...Lost X Lib Puddle Jumper.
1) The Small Wave Groveler - Designed to maximize your performance in small waves. This is your go-to board for Spring and Summer. Generating as much speed as possible is the name of the game this time of year. So depending on your style of surfing, there is sure to be a model for you. In the end however, they are all still about creating drive. This is done by lowering the rocker, adding fuller rails, widening the nose and keeping volume in the tail. Here are some of our favorite options currently available in the shop:
From L to R: ...Lost X Lib Puddle Jumper, Firewire Machado Moonbeam, Almond Survey.
- Performance Surfer: Lib X Lost Puddle Jumper
- Retro Surfer: Almond Survey
- Soul Surfer: Firewire Machado Moonbeam
Team Rider Tony Perez on his step up last winter.
2) Fall Step-up or Speed Egg - When the swell starts pumping, your favorite small wave groveler isn’t going to cut it. You are no longer needing your board to generate speed, the waves are going to be doing that. Your board now needs to control speed and handle steeper faces. This is done by increasing the rocker, narrowing the outline, and reducing the volume in the nose and tail. The exact opposite of your groveler. Here are a couple ideas to help you tackle bigger surf:
From L to R: Channel Islands Taco Grinder, Lost Crowd Killer, FCD Huevo Ranchero.
- Performance Surfer: Channel Islands Taco Grinder (SOLD)
- Retro Surfer: FCD Huevo Ranchero
- Soul Surfer: Lost Crowd Killer
Lesson master Gary Hopez using his performance longboard.
3) All Year Performance Longboard - Everybody should have a longboard in their quiver! Since the majority of our surf spots are beach breaks, a performance longboard works much better than a larger log style board. We are not blessed with long running point breaks, which are ideal for traditional longboarding. We need more agile boards for our quick and short beach breaks. They are also good when the surf gets bigger due to having more rocker, less volume, and are usually designed with a 2 + 1 or thruster fin set up. They work very well for catching our slopey peaks during the winter and you will often find our surf instructor Gary sitting way outside on his performance longboard waiting for the biggest set of the day.
From L to R: Donald Takayama DT-2, Firewire Special T, Channel Islands Waterhog.