Campbell Brothers Bonzer
Lately I've got into the habit of chatting to folks in beachside carparks and showers. Nothing fruity you understand and the questions I ask ain't lewd. Basically I'll approach anyone riding an interesting or unique looking stick and hit 'em up for details: "How's it ride? What's it feel like? Why's it do whatever it is that it does?"
Recently, following an evening session at Long Reef I made one such approach. The target was a fellow with a great looking Bonzer, so I asked him how it went. The reply was far more than I was expecting. The fella, as it happened, was Mike Psillakis, Northern Beaches surfer, shaper, and now licensee for the Campbell Brothers. Here's part of what he had to say:
The first Bonzer I saw I was drawn to. It just made a lot of sense to me how it directs water through the fins efficiently. It's primary purpose is to efficiently organise water flow. The Campbell Brothers have done this by designing a fin and bottom system that works in a fashion that maximises the energy created by water passing through the tail area of the board.
Shaping the bottom takes a little time, but somehow feels natural as I imagine the flow of water being directed through the exit of the board. It's not a subtle contour, its quite blatant and the reason is so the fins become an extension of the concaves.
The angle of the side fins, combined with their shallow depth, allows them to come in and out of the water with little resistance. This makes rail-to-rail transition much easier, which in turn allows the board to stay on rail with much less effort. Also, while turning, the fins on the inside rail are fairly vertical in the water, providing very refined edge control.
It took me a couple of surfs to get used to a Bonzer as the rail-to-rail feeling is effortless. The benefits are there. When I'm surfing I use more rail as the Bonzer helps you get on rail quicker and hold it there for longer.
I can really feel the effects of the Bonzer after getting back onto my standard thruster as the effortless transition is compromised.
When you're doing a turn on a surfboard water travels diagonally across the bottom of your board. As the water races across the bottom of a Bonzer, the outside fins deflect it down and back through the tail. Shapers have always looked at the water that escapes off the outside rail as unused energy. The combination of the Bonzer concaves and the long base of the side fins redirect far more water through the tail area than other designs. This maximises the use of the force that is created during turns. You can almost feel the water being squirted out the tail
Bonzers helps you clean up your surfing. It helps you focus on flow, and with the larger centre fin helps the board maintain hold and drive and this also assists in smoothing out your surfing.
I'd say the Bonzer is for anyone who wants to have a different feel in their surfing. Anyone that wants to do more on rail, carving type surfing. To me though, its all about the feeling. It's what keeps us excited when we surf.
When I was given the opportunity to shape Campbell Brothers Bonzers I jumped at it. I believe as a shaper it is important to appreciate different designs and for me the Bonzer is a great design that allows surfers to appreciate progressive surfing with a different feel.