The least glamorous surfboard in the world : Review

Blowin's picture
Blowin started the topic in Saturday, 11 Apr 2020 at 11:10am

The saying goes that there’s no such thing as a bad surfboard.

A board might appear bad cause it’s paired with the wrong rider or maybe the wrong waves , but it’s maintained that all boards are legitimate in their own right. Whilst this may be true , it’s also true that all boards are not loved equally. For a surfer’s love of surfboards goes beyond mere practicality. Surfers love surfboards because they trigger emotions.

A pro model short board carries the promise of cutting edge performance levels . The niche shaper’s retro fish bears the bloodlines of high lines spanning decades of country soul . The eighties thruster contains the wild spirit of a reckless era within its clunky volume.

The brown seventies single fin , the glossy malibu and the core shaper’s specialised tube spear all represent an emotional attachment for the surfer which is greater than the sum of its physical manifestation and it’s literal interpretation of surfing.

These boards all conjure an attitude and a spirit which adds a romantic element to the idea of the ride. A palpable quality which lends surfers to idolise boards throughout history.....Sam . Black Beauty. The Stickerless reverse V. The low volume magic slipper.

Collectors pay dearly for this intangible metric of soul. Performance levels rise on the confidence attributable to this unquantifiable notion.

Surfboards are not loved equitably as a result. Not all surfboards possess the MAGIC which attracts awe.

Nowhere in the history of surfing has this been more glaringly obvious than when one contemplates the Global Surf Industry’s 7S Super Fish. .....6’0” * 20 1/4 * 2 5/8 .



There is no love in the world for the 7S.

It’s backstory is all wrong for a start. Conceptualised as a mass produced board by a faceless corporation. Manufactured by automation and a workforce to whom surfing is an abstract and foreign activity . Sold globally without regard to local surf conditions or rider sensibilities.

The Global Surf Industry 7S Super Fish is the surfboard equivalent of beige brand X tracksuit pants from a big box retailer. Unappealing to the fashion conscious, disagreeable to the discerning consumer.

A slap in the face to the mystique of the shaper as guru.

And yet.....and yet the 7S Super Fish works.

As stated....there’s no such thing as a bad surfboard.

Good luck getting people to swallow that line when they’re eyeing a brown decked 7S whose bottom bears regular disfiguring craters and whose every point and rail is subject to dings of varying degrees of poor quality repair.

Not that the condition matters. The 7S was uninspiring when it was brand new.

I still vividly remember when I first laid eyes on it 15 years ago. I’d suddenly found myself riding low period beach breaks for the first time in years and I was completely unequipped for the waves on offer. Everyone was going Full Litmus and so I found myself caught up in the Fish Movement.

But there was no animated discussions with foam covered shapers for me. No earnest paring down of requirements with the local foam sage in order to establish just which form of fish I should ride. It was straight to the nearest board retailer and grab the first fish I laid eyes on .

So I came to be in possession of a Super Fish.

It was the first board I’d ever bought which I wasn’t completely enamoured with. Perhaps it was because the 7S was more functional than anything else. I needed it to be able to ride the waves available. It’s not like I was unlocking unimagined realms of performance , rather it was pure utilitarianism. And that’s some unromantic shit.

Eyeing the board in the racks , it wasn’t sexy or impressive. It was a case of that’ll do , hit the cash register and get the fuck out.

Thankfully the board worked as it said on the packet.

Catching waves with ridiculous ease. Gaining speed immediately and racing through the deadest of sections. Unsexy it may be , but the 7S opened up an entire new world of surfing.

Suddenly the tiny waves became rideable , the high tide sessions were tenable and the disjointed and lumpen fare most regularly served on East coast beachies wasn’t just palatable....it was delicious.

Soon I was riding the 7S exclusively.

Days when I’d have previously not surfed due to low quality waves became days at the fun park. I’d actually see forecasts of meagre surf stretching into the future and become excited. So many breaks which I’d viewed as unthinkably bad became spots to relish.

By this stage I was surfing alone virtually every session. The leg rope was gone. It was crap beach break every day and some of the most enjoyable days surfing I’ve experienced.

Walking from the place I was staying through Bush tracks to the secluded little breaks which surround the area. I’d see no people. Just board shorts and the board under my arm. A backpack with some water , a tin of food , some fruit and enough scoobs to ensure that I was stoned from go to whoa. Surf , chill on the beach getting baked and renourishing , then back out again.

I started to crush on the 7S super fish.

But no one else could even begin to conceive of the beauty hidden within it’s Plain Jane exterior.

One day I had a few friends come up for a surf trip. We all took a few appropriate fun boards down to an isolated little spot hidden amongst the littoral rainforest. Laying all the boards on the sand , we swapped and shared. Comparing and contrasting.

But not once did the 7S get ridden.

Passed over for the funky seventies single with the deep flyers. Overlooked for the flashy graphics of the eighties thruster .

The 7S was not sexy. Not new and lustrous, not yet an antique. It held no modern promise nor any bygone nostalgia.

It was the most unglamorous surfboard on the planet.

Unrepentant, I continued to love the 7S.

The upside was speed , speed and more speed. The fastest board between two points that I’ve ever ridden . It chews through flat water and high lines impossible sections. No rocker and no planshape curve is conducive to this. It’s all about projection. It’s a beautifully stable platform over which to centre in weak waves .

Downside was that carving is virtually impossible. It’ll turn no worries . Turn on a dime . Sitting on a rail for an extended period just isn’t viable.

It also hates the tube more than any board I’ve ever ridden. The Super Fish does not want to sit in a barrel of any power. It doesn’t enjoy turning in the pocket.

It turns out that the most unloveable board on Earth still has a lot to offer. Fifteen years on and the thing is still in respectable condition considering it gets treated with utter contempt. It’s never been in a boardbag and if there’s multiple boards going in the car it’ll be the 7S copping the wax all over it’s planing surface. For a board pumped out of a factory in Thailand it’s surprisingly durable. The deck is hardly dented. I’ve had many boards which have looked worse after several surfs.

In conclusion, I’d recommend a 7S any day of the week. It may be sneered at by the surfing cognoscenti and it may be as sexy as a dirty nappy , but they are cheap and they’re available. With the world looking economically unsteady and the threat of climate change still pending due to over exploitation of the planet’s resources, there is much worse things you could do for yourself and the environment than to source a board for next to nothing from the 2nd hand markets online . Just cause a board is cheap , dinged and unloved doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 10:39am
Andrew P wrote:

He was typically understated and said something along the lines of "Well of course it does that. That's what you asked for.".

Ha ha...whatever the opposite of gushing is, that's the Wiz. Tells it how it is.

You ridden is as a quad yet?

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 10:57am

Nah Stu. Haven’t ridden it since the trip home last month. Can’t wait to try it as a quad in the waves I usually surf. Will update here when I do

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 2:25pm

I ended up getting one direct from Wiz too. Goes better than the 7S. He seems like a nice bloke, good fella to deal with and pumps out a great board.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 3:28pm

Whats the Dimensions Blowin...got some pics ?

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 3:34pm

Love this thread. Cheers fellas.

I surfed a fat, but perfect, righthand point the other day. Only had a too small Pyzel Nugget (perfect size for steeper waves), and while it went really well on the better waves I was often too slow/late/deep/old.

Been thinking of a fun groveler, something that'll pick up speed easily under my ageing size 11s. May just have to scour TradeMe for a 7S; unfortunately 2nd hand boards are a ripoff here in NZ.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 5:24pm

RM Firewire Seaside IB ?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 5:33pm

I.B. just had a look around ..faark i see what you mean about NZ secondhand prices
Every OZ trip would worth you buying 2or 3 to take back and resell.

Old-dog are you and 6'6 Superfish still in love ?

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 6:01pm
seaslug wrote:

RM Firewire Seaside IB ?

An amazing board…I have a 5.10. I love the helium technology. Super easy to paddle into waves.

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Monday, 6 Jun 2022 at 6:08pm

Give any competent surfer a bit more length, width and thickness and they tend to catch more waves and have more fun. Gary just puts them in the right places to make them manoeuvrable, as I’m sure many good shapers would/can/do do

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Tuesday, 7 Jun 2022 at 6:26am

I agree, Andrew. How tall/heavy are you?

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Tuesday, 7 Jun 2022 at 7:07am

5’10 x 90kg IB

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay Tuesday, 7 Jun 2022 at 8:08am

Superman physique, obviously!

Cheers

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Tuesday, 7 Jun 2022 at 8:49am

Obviously!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 11 Jun 2022 at 7:37pm
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:46pm

Stu - rode the Wiz as a quad today at an inconsistent 2-3ft beachie. Got a few waves and it went well. Did a nice roundhouse to foam bump and it carried its speed very nicely. Really stable and solid platform. Dont know if it was the waves or the fins but straight line speed seemed faster - I feel that quad rears give you lift compared to having a back fin. Had to nurse the more vertical turns and straight bucked me off one reo. I reckon I could work it out after a few more surfs as a quad. Definitely more predictable as a thruster but.


[url=https://ibb.co/K9cSvFs]

[url=https://imgbb.com/]

old-dog's picture
old-dog's picture
old-dog Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 4:56pm

@ udo just saw your post, Yeah I'm still riding it, makes it so easy to pop up, perfect for an old bastard who isn't quite ready to give up on life and ride a mal. Just cruising and trying not to embarrass myself. Cheers.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 7:06pm

How's the Glassing...Deck holding up O.K. ?

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 7:15pm

Just one litttle compression udo - on top of the step on the left hand side of the deck from hitting my left knee during a hurried duck dive. Glass hasn’t shattered which is good. Might recommend Wiz’s glasser to Kale Broccolis shaper!

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 7:17pm

Think I may have dropped in on old-dog there udo! Sorry mate!

old-dog's picture
old-dog's picture
old-dog Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 7:27pm

With the superfish I went for the p/u not epoxy and hardly any compressions on deck. I didn't want to worry about it in the car on 40 degree days while fishing.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Thursday, 16 Jun 2022 at 8:34pm

Just had another frame by frame look at the Deck of that Twinnie Kale Brock tested
What a Fkn Mess - What would you do after dropping $1145 on a board and it looks like that after one Surf..?

I would Scream refund !

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Saturday, 2 Jul 2022 at 6:16am

Off topic but reading this thread made me think of Patto and how good his glasser surfs in Cronulla.
I paddled out on a slightly "not light" board due to hemp inlay and it didnt paddle that well but surfed unreal once you got into one. Anyway i noticed this too lowtide bank spitting as i was heading towards another bank to the south from the wrong side of the northerly moving current which had no signs from land that i could have noticed.
Anyway i gave up and went back to the spitting left. By then another bloke was surfing it and getting shacked every time.Spoke to him turns out he is pattos glasser. I got stuck in the current and never made it back to that bank and went in buggered and just watched him rip and get shacked every time and paddle back effortlessly. while all the other surfers who noticed the bank too always got stuck in the current and moved north.
It was then that i gave my biggest effort into giving up the smokes.
Lasted about six months.
Thank fuck for e-smokes.