I’ve got a question for all you design guru’s about surfboards for crappy waves up to about 4 feet. Lately I’ve been riding a Sweet Potato style board with wide round tail and quad fins, and a wide swallow tail quad fish in crappy or fuller waves up to about 4 feet. Both are modern higher volume designs, with similar rocker, concaves etc, and both go well. I’ve also tried a few a few variations of each and my conclusions seems (?) to be that the round tail boards are looser, particularly close to or in the pocket, but they don’t have the same drive as the wide swallow tails, and that looser doesn’t necessarily translate into actually turns better or surfs more radically.
My guess is that the wide swallow tail boards might get more drive because of the straighter rail in the last third of the board (I appreciate that fins and fin position also influence this).
Anyway, my question is would a smaller wave board with a wide rounded tail and two or four channels get more drive and have a lot of the good attributes of each design?
Is anyone making this type of board?
I recently got John millsy mills to shape me up a 5’10 channel bottom swallow tail thruster. The board is unreal. Loose as hell but drivey and fast . If you like surfing loose but want to have all the confidence in the world to stomp a hefty bottom turn and have it hold his boards are the goods. It’s my second channel from him and I’m converted. It’s handles mushy shitty waves as good as clean waves. I got this one just for small waves up to 4 foot but reckon it would handle a bit bigger hollow waves. Don’t really get that sort of wave around here much, but will definitely be taking over to Indo.
Can’t exactly rember dimensions but something like 5’10 -19-2 3/16.
One thing it does is if you drive out of the pocket into a roundy, the board seems to speed up its bloody nuts.
I took a 6’6 channel to g land and Bali was blown away by the drive and looseness of it in bigger juice. That was a round tail, but wasn’t as loose as the swallow shorty
I can definitely recommend his channels for sure.
Also he had a quad channel he reckons goes awsome in the small stuff
Hi Radshoab, thanks for the info. Will suss out.
Morg, straight rails through the rear of the fish would def help drive, but also keep in mind tail volume: the Sweet Potato's round tail will sit higher in the water and have less engagement - i.e feel loose. With so much foam it'll float and plane at speed, but be less willing to hold an edge.
A swallow removes some of the tail volume so the rear edges will sit lower and give drive and hold (relatively speaking).
I'm not particularly keen on channels in small wave boards; reckon they only really work at speed. However, looking around I see every second shaper is doing channel twins as a summer groveller so what do I know?
If you want the extra volume for a groveller, why not shift it forward of centre, which helps for paddling, and you can use the extra foam under your front foot to pump and quickly get the board skipping across the surface on its concave, then leave a fairly regulation tail shape as you'll (hopefully) be going into turns with speed anyway.
Channels into quads? Thrusters? Fin shape, size and placement?
We need another board design article...
Your Sweet Potato assessment is spot on. While fun for grovelling in slop, the lack of engagement or ability to hold an edge is frustrating on a half reasonable wave.
I also thought channels were more suited to reasonable waves and it is the “every second shaper is doing channel twins as a summer groveller” that got me wondering.
I’ve got a Machado Go Fish to ride this week. Unfortunately it’s a fish rather than a board with a normal style tail, but it does have the forward extra volume, thinner profile and rails towards rear, and a channel sort of thing, so it will be interesting.
Ditto on the Sweet Potato. Won't hold a rail on a hollow wave. On the forehand I kept feeling like my feet were too small - my toes were clawing through the board to try and get it to hold on the face on the takeoff.
I had a baked potato little more refined than sweet potato, i was surprised how well it went in overhead waves loved it at a mini mellow sunset style reef (bigger mellow peaky take off running into a running walled sometimes hollow inside section) and funny thing was apart from paddling and catching waves i didn't like it so much in smaller waves.
Its time .....
Phil Myers Four fin Stub model..the bees knees in small waves
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Those last two posts are my new board.
@stu, nice, funny story I've sent that link to a few shapers I know thinking they would like it, apparently not as none got back to me, bahahaha. Wandered into the McCoy factory once in the mid 90's, over 2 hours later I left with my head spinning from Geoff's theory's on all things including the universe. Geoff was so generous with his time, a great guy.
What dimensions, Stu ?
@Guysmiley I thought it was hilarious and yeah met a few shapers over the years, true artists thinking in a different universe just the best humans.
Ha ha ha GS, makes me laugh every time that one................He's way more mystical than Banksy!
The wider the tail, the lesser speed is needed for the board to plane (at a given angle of attack). Pretty handy for little mushburgers.
On the flip side, go too wide and you'll have a devil of getting your rail to hold in anything steeper than a mushburger. Channels would help fix that if they're done right (done wrong, you can get cavitation...)
says 5-8x 191/2 x 2 3/8 on stringer ?
Freeflight channel bottom boards sold out of Sideways surf for$649 are made in Bali is that correct ?
think they are made in java...psi glassing......still a good product .
Yep, Simba got the dims right. The theory behind the Greenough edges is the board has less drag while planing and it feels narrower, which means it can be ridden wider and shorter without slowing the rail to rail transitions. So at 5'8" x 19 1/2 that's what we've done - it's designed as a summer groveller after all.
I'm not 100% sure of the reason for the rear channels, though I have a feeling it's to bring some stability and centre awareness into what will be a loose package.
One of Phil's underappreciated designs is his vent bottom which has two rear channels, same as the one pictured, and two forward channels that are set wider and curve parallel to the planshape. This board appears to incorporate part of that design.
It's not what I asked for, but then all I requested is for Phil to make a modern interpretation of Greenough's Edge design. We chatted a few times, he asked lots of questions and I left the details up to him.
The more I think about what he's done the more excited I am that he's meshed two obscure designs (edge and vent) from two great shapers (Greenough and Myers) into a modern small wave board.
Simba is correct - again! - his Sideways models are glassed at psi in Java. Mate of mine had a FF six channel singley around here the other week, the first Sideways FF I've felt, and the finish was great.
Let’s hear a review if possible.
Oh yeah, for sure. I'll be riding this sucker with my receivers set to high. It's different to what I'm used to and it's got historical pedigree - there's a lot to think about.
Fin system FCS or Futures ?
FCS. Keen to test it with my C-Drive quad set.
I'd never heard of Gearbox and just looked them up now. Frankly it's all too late for me to change, I've got a shed full of FCS fins and it's easier to keep ordering the same.
With Gearbox plugs and some minor trimming of FCS type fin tabs you can get 8-10 mm of fine tuning...
C-drives ...Troy promised a new shipment for October...
Gearbox eh,just looked it up as never heard of them before Udos comment .Anyone tried them out yet? interesting concept.
Also are C Drives still around ?
Who the fuck ARE you , Udo ?
On the pulse , mate.
That tail channel has me interested i got another fin box put in my wide tail quad so i could run a stabiliser never occured to me you could use a channel.
Im averse to increasing the overall fin area so i put smaller front fins in once i added the stabiliser,it’s almost too much extra fin even with the smaller fronts i feel the more subtle that stabiliser the better. looking forward to the board test stu might take a closer look at those sideways ff kind of wrote all the boards in there off.
You 'loopy' geeks have seriously never heard of Gearbox? There's other good systems with various cant that fit FCS, with sliding forward rear adjustment too.
How much extra 'radicalness' will there be. Video evidence???
I’ve had a couple of Sideways boards. 5’10” Tripper was my goto board for about a year. Great value for money, and it out lasted a couple of big name boards that I snapped.
Where are you surf ie which coast?
How tall are you ? How much do you way? Are you goofy or regular? Can I see both of your boards you have been riding with the old wax left on. How long are your arms? How many hours a week do you surf. What's you favourite type of waves to surf. Do you surf for performance, fitness or both. Will you be surfing point waves , reef or beach breaks ?
These are all questions that your local shaper would have asked to determine what type of custom board to make you.
These days though. Most people buy a fun board from a rack to do "fun surfing".
What's the tail rocker of the sweet potato? What's the tail rocker of the swallow fish?
What's the fin toe of the front fins ? ( distance between stringer at front of fin and back of fin).
What's the fin toe of the back fins?
What's the witdh of tail one foot up from tail of board? What's the width of nose one foot back from board?
I've been using them(gearbox) in my own shapes for a few years now, and also His Hanalei Fins. Both exellent products!
Ever run original FCS fins in 'em, SM?
I've got a little 6 channel stubby 5'10" from Phil that is a great super fun small wave board.
Yes and c drives occasionally, i think any twin tabs are ok, a single tab allows decent fore and aft adjustment
Surfinz have a similar set up, Brian Bulkley has used them for ages, and Grant Miller.
I’ve used some FCS in them, not a problem re fit, and you get enough movement to make a difference. There’s heaps better made and designed fins than FCS though. All the twin tabs work fine in them, feel really solid, I like biggest fins I can get, which can destroy shit plugs/boxes and workmanship, especially in grunty waves.
Something was going on with Surfinz, but I got some spare boxes last year, should’nt be a problem for team loop. In a nutshell.
Gearbox Finbox strength