Formula Energy (Gary Mcneil) Aliens and the like.

groundswell's picture
groundswell started the topic in Wednesday, 5 Dec 2012 at 8:29am

Anyone ridden an alien or other shapes by Gary? i have an alien step up and its a great board for solid or bigger days but doesnt like it below headhigh much. the rails are so low the board doesnt carry much volume for a semi fishy shape.
I like his quad settings. Not sure if mine were different as i asked for more drive rather than turn, board does just that with rear fins a bit further back than many quads.
I got the zinc rocker but want to try az rocker for a smaller wave more all round board.

Keen to here some reviews of his other shapes.

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies commented Monday, 10 Dec 2012 at 10:57pm

Yeah got an alien probably a touch bigger than I shoulda asked for. Unreal for down the line eg north coast points, and also for paddling against north coast sweeps. Not so suitable for barreling reefs, had it in the mentawais and found it didnt really want to go vertical, instead it kinda drove out onto the shoulder too much and I ended up back on my trusty JC 6'4'' shortboard. At least partly my bad though for not ordering right...

mundies

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Friday, 14 Dec 2012 at 7:00am

cheers mundies what dims did you go for and whats your kilos if i may ask?
Im thinking for my 5'10 72 kilos give or take depending on beer gut or no beer gut(seems to appeared for the first time in my life i hope it disappears soon) will suit
5'10 by 2 1/2 by 19 3/4 with low rails but not sure.

How do you rate the carbon rails to other parabolic style railed boards?
I might go a Josh Dowling fishy thing instead.

mundies's picture
mundies's picture
mundies commented Friday, 14 Dec 2012 at 1:00pm

Groundswell - now you got me...
I'm in SA visiting family so dont have the board handy for all of the dimensions but it was a 6'4". Must have been at least 20" wide and from memory it was 3" thick or very close to that.
Shoulda gone 6'1" - 6'2".
I'm 6'1" and weigh mid 90s.
Its a five fin set up and one thing to consider is fin placement, especially the back quad fins. In general the wider and closer to the front fins the back fins are the more it'll surf like a twinnie. I found this is the case with my formula energy. I am now on a hayden shapes shred sled and the back fins are positioned closer to the rear thruster fin position and in my opinion it makes this board surf more like a thruster (when finned as a quad) with the added speed usually associated with quads.
Because of this when I was riding the formula energy regularly and the surf got above head height and particularly when barrelling I found it handled it better as a thruster.
A 5'10" should suit you nicely @ 72kg.
If you can find out the volume this is really helpful.
I have found that my volume requirements are 32 litres minimum for shortboards and up around 35-36 litres for step up board.
I would guess that you would want something around 25-26 litres at a minimum. Good luck and have fun!!

mundies

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 at 4:35pm

Yeah i use aku shaper and try to make rails kind of low in the stats to get volume.

With the fins, i agree with that. i have had lots of quads, one double ender was the loosest with fins close together and a widish round tail. goes better with bigger fins for down the line drive yet if you change em over for turns it turns insane but very loose bottom turns.

I dont know why but my alien step up seems to lose its wax near my feet and bum spots real quick. maybe wax bar was old...weird..might get a full deck grip like in the eighties..its kind of hard for me to get used to this board in punchy beach break windswells, in clean points its easier to get used to..not used to parabolic boards either.

scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger commented Friday, 16 Aug 2013 at 12:01pm

I know this thread's a bit old now but thought I'd comment for other board buyers interested in Formula Energy. I've got a Nemo-Squirt and it's hands down the best/most fun board I've ever owned and probably ever ridden. It's a 5'10 x 19 3/4 x 2 1/2 (32 L) which I ride as a quad. I'm 5'11 and 74kg. It's very versatile, I ride it in everything up to about 4ft when I find it starts to get a bit too skatey with the swallow tail, quads and the huge amount of speed it generates, although it still picks up waves easily. Based on what Gary has told me the Alien is similarly versatile but handles the bigger/more powerful stuff better than the Nemo. For that reason, I've just ordered a custom Alien with a pin tail to handle the more solid days. Similar dimesnions and volume, but a touch longer and striaghter plan shape, 5'11 x 19 3/4 x 2 11/16. They're not cheap, especially with the USC parabolic rails malarkey, but they're supposed to be strong with the hemp deck. I doub't I'll stop riding the Nemo when it's under 3ft, it's just so good, but can't wait to try the Alien out.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Monday, 19 Aug 2013 at 3:47pm

Yeah im loving mine its just my stance doesnt suit rounded pins so much, more swallows as my rear foot is automatic to land right on the rail in a drop for drive and to fit in better. On pintails that means too much pivot also sometimes when try to be light footed or drive heaps in pumps the pintails can swivel if your foots not centered.

Great board though so fast and drivey. Wish i went a bit shorter though mines 6'3 and feel i could have gone 6'0 for slabbier waves.Would be good for 6-8ft deserts or speedies, suck imo.

Also the deck if hemp deck, are strong but you should still use a cloth bag or similar. The bottom can ding easily in the car.Super white and cool looking foam. Mine still looks good and whiter than white..

It goes well at mystics and similar wedgey steep bowls.

Noses like these are harder to penetrate duckdiving, remember that when thinking about volume.

JaM's picture
JaM's picture
JaM commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2013 at 12:39pm

scottishsponger wrote: I know this thread's a bit old now but thought I'd comment for other board buyers interested in Formula Energy. I've got a Nemo-Squirt and it's hands down the best/most fun board I've ever owned and probably ever ridden. It's a 5'10 x 19 3/4 x 2 1/2 (32 L) which I ride as a quad. I'm 5'11 and 74kg. It's very versatile, I ride it in everything up to about 4ft when I find it starts to get a bit too skatey with the swallow tail, quads and the huge amount of speed it generates, although it still picks up waves easily. Based on what Gary has told me the Alien is similarly versatile but handles the bigger/more powerful stuff better than the Nemo. For that reason, I've just ordered a custom Alien with a pin tail to handle the more solid days. Similar dimesnions and volume, but a touch longer and striaghter plan shape, 5'11 x 19 3/4 x 2 11/16. They're not cheap, especially with the USC parabolic rails malarkey, but they're supposed to be strong with the hemp deck. I doub't I'll stop riding the Nemo when it's under 3ft, it's just so good, but can't wait to try the Alien out.

Hi Scottish, are you still riding the nemo-squirt? How did the alien turn out? The reason why I am asking is because I am interested in a empress/nemstress/nemo twin keel board from Gary. I am looking for a fun board for 2-4ft east coast waves. Any feedback is much appreciated.
Cheers

scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger commented Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 at 3:41pm

Hey JaM, sorry for the massively tardy reply to your question, I've been o/s for a while. I'm still riding the nemo-squirt when its small, but have just got an Alien step-up for the bigger days which goes really well. I think I ordered too much volume in the custom Alien I ordered however - the plan shape has a lot of volume up front so I could have gone much thinner I reckon. I think the beaords you mentioned would gho really well in 2-4ft east coast waves. I ride the Nemo as a quad though.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 29 Jan 2014 at 3:47pm

Fellas, Gary McNeil isn't with Formula Energy anymore.

JaM's picture
JaM's picture
JaM commented Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 at 2:18pm

Thanks for the update stu, what happened to FE? Is Gary shaping elsewhere?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 at 2:43pm

Yeah Jam, Gary has started his own label, GMC - Gary McNeil Concepts. Not real sure what happened with FE, I believe they're still operating but Gary definetely isn't involved.

He's using the same tech as he was at FE, and he's also got Rasta aboard. The models are new however, and the designs - Gary's boards have always had a distinctive look - are pretty far out.

He's just launched the website: http://garymcneillconcepts.com.au/

It doesn't have pricing but from reports the prices will be coming down a bit also.

JaM's picture
JaM's picture
JaM commented Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 at 2:53pm

Cool, thanks for the update. I am all for new designs but before forking out 1k, I d want to have a demo.
If the prices are more palatable, he ll do well. I ve always liked the look of his boards & will check them out.
Thanks again

abc-od's picture
abc-od's picture
abc-od commented Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 at 3:06pm

Thanks for the information Stunet. I wasn't aware Gary had left Formula Energy. It sounds like Al Merrick leaving Channel Islands...I thought Gary WAS Formula Energy??

His new boards look the goods.

bman's picture
bman's picture
bman commented Sunday, 2 Feb 2014 at 2:48pm

yeah, i agree - can't imagine that brand will last without rasta and gary. That said, i found the boards either amazing or dead. The super light flower art ones were excellent, but would break too easily and the hemp deck ones were too heavy and stiff. I think a small wave board would be the go - i broke two in a year in head high surf.

abc-od's picture
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abc-od commented Monday, 3 Feb 2014 at 9:59am

I've ridden half a dozen of his boards. Calling them all amazing might be a stretch but I definetely haven't had any dud ones. I could see how the bottom flex technology wouldn't work for every type of surfer. Hope that hasn't changed.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell commented Wednesday, 5 Feb 2014 at 6:21pm

bman wrote: yeah, i agree - can't imagine that brand will last without rasta and gary. That said, i found the boards either amazing or dead. The super light flower art ones were excellent, but would break too easily and the hemp deck ones were too heavy and stiff. I think a small wave board would be the go - i broke two in a year in head high surf.

Funny you say the hemp deck ones were heavy stiff or dead, i have had some issues with mine (Alien step up) in some waves(small even if hollow), but once its powerful and also(if im fit and been surfing a bit) the board goes great.3/4ft plus for sure.extra weight and stiffness might also help with penetration in the drop.
I reckon the hemp deck does make em stiffer and should only be used for moderate-heavier or bigger waves.
I dont like mine too much at say 3 foot aussie pipe, no rhythm in my surfing. well not yet but havent really ridden it that much either, maybe 3-7 surfs. best it went were in definitely bigger powerful clean groundswells.
Fin positions feel great and they do seem to get some flex on moderate-bigger day bottom turns.
bman's picture
bman's picture
bman commented Friday, 7 Feb 2014 at 2:07pm

yeah - i'm not dissing Gary or his boards, i really like the alien design. I just found the tech ether too stiff or not durable enough. In fact it was similar to the HS tech. My boards looked two years old after a ten sessions! That hemp stuff was strong through - looked new when i sold it. Would love something in- between.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 14 Feb 2014 at 4:01pm

JaM wrote: Cool, thanks for the update. I am all for new designs but before forking out 1k, I d want to have a demo. If the prices are more palatable, he ll do well. I ve always liked the look of his boards & will check them out. Thanks again

It appears Gary's prices have come down with the new label. Check this page on his website: http://garymcneillconcepts.com.au/397-2/

Prices range from $595 to $895.

Kneepads's picture
Kneepads's picture
Kneepads commented Saturday, 22 Feb 2014 at 9:05pm

I got the new formula energy usc alien and stoked with it , less twitchy than my old one, but still heaps of drive. more of a constant speed , i guess more "buttery"..feels really good under the arm, Hows they new team rider, Bryce Young ,that's Nat Young youngest son. He shreds , cant wait to see footage of him on the usc boards , he has a mad style and air game..

Balisurfer71's picture
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Balisurfer71 commented Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 at 10:29pm

I have just bought another FE board from the guys there. The shaper who i met jason , shaped my board , and it has to be one of the cleanest line boards I have. Couldn't be happier with it. He apparently rips too and seems to know what he is on about. I've had two now from him and they are spot on. He won the burleigh single fin classic in 2012 so would highly recommend these boards.
Love the boards and cool factory down there too.

matang's picture
matang's picture
matang commented Saturday, 5 Apr 2014 at 7:59pm

Im 166cm 67kgs. I have a predetor round pin 5 fin 510 18 3/4 2 3/8 AZ rocker that I have had for 2 1/2 years that I use for slaby reefs big clean beachs etc. Its my go to board when waves are solid and clean. Paddles in well. Im down south vic in 4/3 wetsuits. Mostly ride as quad. Boards held up well. I got another of Gary same dimmen except 2 5/16 thick but the rails were too low and it would catch and not drive through turns. Sold that one. Have a honey badger model on the way with swallow 5 fin and will prob order a usc 5"8 all rounder blend model as well (maybe) Good to hear the new shapers putting out some good boards

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015 at 4:58pm

Thanks for the kind words Jesonko-bot. My sincerest apologies that I had to delete the spammy part of your message.

roubydouby's picture
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roubydouby commented Wednesday, 1 Jul 2015 at 4:14am

Hahaha.

Good Ol josonko, always full of gratitude.

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