Custom Longboard - suggestions

alex.lipman's picture
alex.lipman started the topic in Friday, 22 Nov 2019 at 1:28pm

I've been speaking to a shaper in Qld (Perko Designs) and been tempted to buy a custom longboard, looking for something that would be an all-rounder, something similar to a Donald Takayama In The Pink

We got the dims at 9'0" - 23 7/16" - 2 5/8" - 66.8L - going to make it relatively flat rocker with a bit of a flick in the nose and give it 60/40 rails

Does anyone know if something like this is going to be similar to an ITP?

Any advice is always appreciated :)

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 5:44am

Amazing to think that, as a shortboarder, I have no idea what those dims mean.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:10am

My advice is do yourself a favour and get another shaper if you want quality.

simba

KookDeVille's picture
KookDeVille's picture
KookDeVille commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:35am

Agree with simba. You’ve got three of the best longboard builders in the world in SEQ/NNSW - Thomas Bexon, Eden Saul & McTavish. Spend the extra $ and you’ll get a board that will surf exponentially better and last a lifetime.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:46am

I'd also throw in Sean Nettleton, Brett Munro, Bryan Bates and many others.

couldn't really see the point of a custom unless you have very specific requirements.

Jockhobbs's picture
Jockhobbs's picture
Jockhobbs commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 7:51am

Free ride, why wouldn’t one get a custom longboard but get a custom shortboard?

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 10:54am

Agree with freeride, just work out the waves and conditions you will surf it in and ask a recognised long board shaper what off the shelf model will do the job best.

alex.lipman's picture
alex.lipman's picture
alex.lipman commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 11:06am

Thanks for a the advice everyone, I think I'll stay away from perko

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 11:09am

What's an ITP?

I know nothing about mals, wow 66.8L thats a lot of foam.

If you want a custom get a custom thousands of surfers every year get customs when the exact same board is often on the rack, whats one more.

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal commented Saturday, 23 Nov 2019 at 11:12am

Means good luck duck-diving....

joeyjojo's picture
joeyjojo's picture
joeyjojo commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 7:45am

Try Clearwater Surfboards at Currumbin.
Aussie log champ Clinton guest rides them, good pricing as well.
Insta @clearwaterboardstore

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 8:17am

Not knowing much about mals, is there really that much difference between different shapers of mals?

It's not like they are a fine tuned high performance surfboard made for high performance surfing.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 8:47am

Indo. Like any board a mal is designed to perform in a certain way .

My missus came home with a mal she’d bought one time and that thing was a pure breed dog. I couldn’t discern any difference to look at it myself, not really knowing what to look for in a mal beyond it being long , wide , thick and about as sexy*as if someone had set fire to Susan Boyle’s face and tried to put it out with a fork.

The thing refused to trim on even the most accomodating of rolling walls. If it couldn’t do that , what was it good for beyond stirring deep rooted feelings of buyer’s remorse ?

*Longboards can be beautiful but never sexy. A 6’5” pin tailed barrel spear.....now that’s sexy.

Tiberious1's picture
Tiberious1's picture
Tiberious1 commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 9:00am

So good to hear Pancho Sullivan commentary today . Sounds like he misses his homeland when watching the Brazilians surf, Needs that air not to talk though for his best surfing
Regards Tiberious1

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 10:22am

Uhh what?

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 24 Nov 2019 at 12:00pm

Maybe helium - it's a type of air that makes you talk funny.

OK custom longboards, Alex's question. I did this nearly a quarter of a century ago. Being on the West Coast, I got a custom Len Dibben from the man himself. Now it was the mid 90's and longboards were sort of coming back, but had a lot of hi-po shortboard in them at the time. Think: high rocker, squashtail, more modern rails, but with some standard stuff that makes a board go well: vee in the tail, enough width, enough thickness (my eyebrows raised at 2 5/8" on a mal mentioned in the original post, mine are about 3" thick and I was pretty scrawny when I got them...), edged tail rails for release. I still have the board, and with the extra rocker, the thing can do "gun duty" on big open face waves. With all the edge in the tail, it doesn't noseride like you see on those clips from the Pass as the edge releases water and you don't stick in.

Later I bought 2 more Dibben longboards and I still have them all, and as time went on they got more "traditional" or what you would call a Cali style log after Joel Tudor & "The Seedling", you know, the most common type on little points today. My year 2000 9'6" is a total beast and will out-momentum almost any section on a little point. It's 10 to 12kg from memory. So I'd call my 9'6" almost a 'log' (it has edged tail rails, not rounded 50/50 though) - but I definitely would not call the other 2 a 'log'. (The middle board is a 1998 8'1" semi gun, absolutely beautiful with 60/40 rails and edge - different intentions, I wanted to be a mini Jeff Hakman with that one, following the Brewer 'mini gun' of the late 1960s)

Compared to original 60's logs (which we have in the family and I've surfed a lot, a 9'2" and a 9'5") the modern logs sold today are lighter, with more narrow rails and maybe less foam. Less likely to have a huge glassed in 14" fin... The modern ones are - heaps - easier to surf. So like it was said above, it will depend on what you want to surf it on. Little points? Big open ocean faces? Winning comps? (unless log division you will have to turn well, maybe need side fins, and here a 'performance mal' comes into play)

Unlike shortboards which everyone seems to burn through and go from fad to fad, a good longboard you can have for life. Get it glassed well (mine are 10oz Volan) and it will last 50 years or more. Our 60's logs were restored by Len about 20 years ago now, and they will last until they are in their 80's or longer, like a human lifetime, being 52 and 57 years old now.

One last word on longboards. A lot of beginners (and I'm sure Alex is beyond this level) go for a full 9'6 or 9'0 when they transition from foam boards into their surfing life. I see so many people wrestling the last foot and a half of board - they want to turn but are fighting the sheer length of the board. Yes they can paddle in easily, but then, to paraphrase Hunter S. Thompson "everything goes wrong." On the same wave, a midlength of 7' to 7'6" will be capable of full roundhouse cutbacks if designed well, and combine paddle and stability in a way 6 foot boards cannot.

My 2c, hope it helps, I am sure a good custom shaper can help you get to the type of longboarding you want to get to - go in, be honest in your ability and your intended use and they can help and guide you. I went back and over time explored different feelings in a board which I can access today , and I am blessed to have this choice.

Jockhobbs's picture
Jockhobbs's picture
Jockhobbs commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 8:12am

I rode a friends 9’6 long board shaped by a known short board shaper. What a dog it was. No lift at all. Zero.

Very good point Velocity on beginners transitions. 9 ft plus anything is a lot of mass to handle. Good long board riders are masterful. A nice mid length that you can get your feet on is a good option, also great for those who can surf and surf hard (e.g. Torrens M, Devon etc..)

Travis86's picture
Travis86's picture
Travis86 commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 9:39am

Hi Alex

I'll start by agreeing with velocity jono that a well made, well glassed Australian longboard will probably out live you if cared for. Buying a custom board is always a good idea in IMO as you are hopefully supporting Australian craftsmen and keeping the skills alive in OZ.

There's been plenty of good shapers mentioned already but I'll throw Keyo boards into the mix as well.

I have a custom 9,6" Norton model and its an amazing board. Cant recommend highly enough. I mainly surf it on the Mid north coast Point breaks in the 1 foot - 5 foot surf range. I do sometimes surf it the beach breaks around Newcastle where it performs well up to about 2.5 - 3 foot. Mostly ride fish when I'm at home in Newy.

I've surfed my father in-laws Mctavish fireball which went well and was super fun but perhaps didn't quite have as much nose ride/glide on offer as I would have liked. There are different design subtleties/philosophies that can really be amplified by how you surf and where you surf. One size doesn't always fit all.

I'm sure if you have a chat with a reputable longboard shaper and explain what your after and where you surf you'll end up with a quality board that suits your needs.

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 1:42pm

If you’re looking for a Queensland shaper Alex a mal riding mate of mine swears by Noosa shaper Peter White’s Classic Malibu designs.

I have a couple of mid length Peter White shapes in the 7 foot range and as velocityjonno and Jockhobbs said these allrounders go amazing on the points and beach breaks in Northern NSW and Queensland.

When I moved up to the Goldie from South Oz I was really struggling to surf the narrow low volume boards I brought with me and these mid length fun boards saved me from being another frustrated, ageing, slightly overweight Gold Coast surfer(a common occurrence in lineups up here from what I’ve seen).

I still have a couple of 6’2” shortboards for the hollow days but on my mid length fun board I can surf well, paddle around like a motherfucker and catch heaps of waves in the typical weak beachies I seem to surf more often than not up here. I rate his designs....

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 25 Nov 2019 at 3:59pm

Jockhobbs great point about the lift. It's (for me) that feeling you get in your hips as your board accelerates up into the fastest/most powerful part of the wave, say when you are flying down the line and about to mow past the oncoming, rising, pitching section. Awesome on a 6 foot down-the-line wave. Single fins generally do this feeling really well, it's magical. On a bigger wave I'll be on a shortboard with lengthened rail so I still get that feeling; on a small wave the 9'6" will amplify the feeling and you really fly - generate so much speed for little effort. No need to pump the fins like a madman.

I also find single fins superior in the bottom 1/3 of the wave, way more ability to project distance off a bottom turn. So many people are now learning on these type of single fin boards that this feeling is now very contemporary. A skilled longboarder (and I really admire how far the young crew have taken the style with all the power of the turns) will be able to whip around a 9'6" on a dime: for example, fade into a wave, hard drop-knee bottom turn, two quiet steps as the board is moving into its trim and its opposite rail beds in the wave face, then you are off and flying in an instant after a 90 degree turn.

Who would I ask if I wanted a new custom longboard? This is a huge question, I could spend a few years considering it. I'd probably go the egg 50/50 rails traditional log and probably tune for little points, wow, maybe Joel Tudor? Maybe one of Midget's designs, such is my respect for the man. A secondhand Dibben - Len was doing smooth flyers in the tails of his logs before he retired and they looked horn. Or develop one myself over this time (the much harder path) Or faithfully copy our 1960s logs - I have a reasonable level of skill on these boards and all the extra weight/dimensions would be a plus for me, surfing it like doing a martial art haha

PS heavier density foam will last a lot longer, you don't want to go 2.13lb/ft!!! Check out surfblanks page on foam densities, they still do 1960's densities