The Mini Simmons is quickly becoming one of the most exciting and looked at surfboards in the industry right now. Ray Lucke of Backnine Surfboards out of Camarillo, California shaped us a Mini Simmons to test and document. More information will be posted soon!
What It Means to be a Surfwanderer
By Shawn Tracht
What does it mean to me to be a Surfwanderer? Well considering at this exact point in my life, as a surfer, I have two small kids and a full time job teaching, Surfwanderering for me is much different than my friend here, Ryan Lovelace. Where Ryan is traveling the world, surfing and shaping interesting surf crafts, like this finless Rabbits foot here, my family life has me surfwanderering a different way.
Like many of you, just trying to fit in a surf session everyday is not easy. So varying our surf spots becomes even tougher as our time does not lend all day beach days anymore. For me, to be a Surfwanderer is about the metaphysical journey as much as the corporeal one. By challenging myself with board design, I continue to stay highly motivated to surf the same ‘ole spots everyday…and I love it. See figuring out how to ride different surf crafts is the challenge that keeps my smile pure and grom-like. I would love to follow the surf around the world, never having to surf a shitty blown out day again. However, being a good father to my kids is ten times better than following the surf, so in that, staying home is just fine.
Being a Surfwanderer to me is having perspective of your whole life. Even though this time of my life maybe that of a one wave guy with a ten surfboard quiver, I know that as my son and daughter grow up and become surfers, which they must, my quick assault surf missions to the same beach everyday with a variety of surfboards to choose from, will become full day and full summer long (remember I’m a teacher) surf trips with a crazy quiver that I know how to use.
Many of you are probably more in this predicament, the job guy and girl, than the magazine dream, being a daily world traveler for waves. So to answer the question why I ride so many weird surfboards all the time, well, it’s for the ability to surf wander while staying at home.
In that, happy Surf wandering. If work is king, and you need some new surf stoke, go get funking with your next board, and continue Surfwanderering right at home!
The Rally Racer by Shane Stoneman
Just the other day, Surfwanderer had the chance to meet up with Central Coast shaper Shane Stoneman to have a new board, The Rally Racer, shaped for the staff. We decided on this shortboard model that is a hair shorter than your normal shortboard, yet adds a little width and volume to help catch waves from 2ft to 2ft over head. This board can also be ordered on the longer side, which helps it become your step-up model.
Notice also the rounded tail, which is pulled in from the forward outline of the surfboard. That pulled in, more narrow rounded tail is built for sticking to the wave face on very critical bowly sections. This is Shane’s main go to surfboard right now for a couple reasons: one, the width and thickness help the board catch a lot more waves, and two, the pulled in round tail helps the board hold its line on steep bottom turns in bowly and/or sizeable surf.
In final, if you like a surfboard that is more on the performance side, yet you can only afford one surfboard, then the Rally Racer by Stoneman maybe a really good choice for your next board. Stay tuned for pictures of the crew riding this board in the coming month or so once it’s glassed and bestowed upon us.
See more from Shane Stoneman on his website at shanestoneman.com
JVP Surfboards: “The Threedom” shaped by John Perry
By Surfwanderer Shawn Tracht
Throw me back momma! But with a modern 2k12 twist!
The Threedom by John Perry exemplified extreme flow and fluidness in a three-finned board. Dexterous in it’s ability to surf with 80’s soul, but at the same time allow modern performance. The Threedom was not shaped and just given to me, it was bestowed upon me. Entering into this journey with John Perry was not just ordering a 5’11 two plus one fin set up from a dude with a planer, no, delving into the realms of JVP Surfboards was taking a step into surf culture, history, and the freedom of best days passed.
The conception of the ”Threedom” fin configuration came over us, myself and one of my best mates Dave Lambertson of Carpinteria, in a garage relaxing over a couple of games of billiards. In 1980, we had a circus of board designs to choose from: single fins, twinnies and now the thruster. That being said, the focus of our conversation slipped right into critiquing board design. Ok, so the single fin is maxing out with no-noses, wide points behind center and wider tails. The twin fin, for those that could ride them, were slashing and skating in and out of control, if you will, and then the resolve to those who couldn’t manage either was the thruster.
Dave, a sagy kind of thinker, proceeded to analyze the thruster. Apparently, he said he had had an earlier epiphany before he went to sleep one night about making the side fins smaller and the back fin taller to alleviate the tension on your back foot that never seems to allow you to stray too far from the tri-fin cluster.
We brought the first Threedom down to Mexico for a 10 foot hurricane swell. I approached it with no expectations. I told myself, “just go for it and see where it wants to take you.” Well, it did the opposite! I took it where I wanted to go, kind of like surfing where my eyes lead me. Wow! My feet weren’t always over the fins and I could trim forward like a single fin. Cutbacks were smooth and drifted controllably, pulling verticals without losing speed, and almost at will, due to the side fins that are placed higher up on the rail line and spread further apart from one another, there is low drag and lots of carried speed throughout the tail section. Needless to say, that is where we both agreed to characteristically call it “Threedom” (freedom!).
Obviously our take on this was not to replace a particular design, but to expand our horizons. Some 30 years later, I still prefer riding the “Threedom” fin configuration which now is typically called a 2 + 1 set up.
The Threedom, to me, represents a freedom of mind and stylish speed flow. The board wasn’t a thruster in most senses of the word, even though it had three fins. It was excitingly different.
It was a board that got into waves easily, and set it’s trim in the high line early. This helped smooth out the ride, and set me on a path to early decision-making when looking down the line. Now, following this deduction, and delving into the feel of the ride, the earlier one can make decisions on a wave, the less he/she needs to man-handle the board into position for changing directions. Consequently, the result of riding the Threedom was gliding speed and smooth carving lines from top to bottom, and back around again. The board is fast, yet the lines it takes are more classical to real flowing 80’s surfing. Remember, the guys through the 80’s ripped, but with less herky Jerky movements than an average surfer on the modern shortboard.
By far the most fun I had on the board was through big, mach speed bottom turns from way behind the curl. When I set this baby on rail and engaged the center middle fin, the amount of stick, hold, and then boomeranging release from a low crouched position added so much pure flowing speed that that alone, just the bottom turn, had me hooting stoke waves of excitement in my mind.
Yet don’t be fooled, this board isn’t stuck in the 80‘s. Perry has carved modern curves into the design, which is what allowed the board to release high off the curl for fins free turns!
More or less, if you’re a surfer who wants to add soul and flow to your style, and ride a board that will do a little more of the work for you so you can focus on surfing fast beautiful lines instead of trying to pump your thruster up and down the line, then you are going to fall in love with your Threedom as much as I have. To see way more photos of the Threedom in action: go to JVPSurfboards.com or Surfwanderer.com.
How to Order:
Shaper: John Perry, JVP Surfboards
Board Shape/Design: Threedom
How to Order: Call John for custom orders. Custom order depending on the wave size and type you will be surfing.
Fins: 2 + 1 Set-up
Board’s Specialty: Fast, flowing, stylish lines, yet with modern performance surfing capabilities
This Board is Perfect For: Surfers who love shortboards, but who are sick of trying too hard on a modern shortboard and wish they were surfing faster with less herky jerky movements.
Surfboard Tester, Shawn Tracht’s Normal Shortboard: 5’10 x 18 x 2
Tracht Ordered This Board: 5’11 x 18 1/2 x 2 3/16
Shaper’s Contact Info:
Fins can be used on a surfboard in so many shapes and variations, including none at all. Here’s a photo we’d like to share. Sorry we’ve all been surfing more than posting. More to come soon! Stay tuned.
Want to be a great shaper? Then get all the right grits of sandpaper. 40 grit, 60 grit, 80 grit, 120 grit, 180 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit for glassing the board with a nice gloss and polish.
See more at jvpsurfboards.com
Josh Oldenburg is an eclectic young shaper out of San Diego and a top shaper of the Surfwanderer quiver. If you’re live in-or-around San Diego, or are in need of a trip down South, check out this event on Oct. 20th, 2012 to view and purchase yourself a contemporary classic surfboard by an up-and-coming legend: Josh Oldenburg.
This here, is a planer, if you didn’t already know (which you probably did). And this here, is one of the single most important tools ever created in my life. Do I use it…? No. However, without it, my life would be half as good. The family half of my life, solid, but without the planer in the hands of a good shaper, the surfing half of my life would be little to no good, and, consequently, surfing may not exist on the heightened level that it does today.
So what do I say to this photo of one of the greatest tools ever created in the life of a surfer…simply, “True dat!,” which equals my Pure Surf Stoke.
Wow! This kid is inspiring. He works off pure inspiration. He uses his knowledge from his experience and learnings from the past to create his intricate designs, however, he uses good ‘ole fashion intuition and feel to hand craft magic surfboards. This here is a look at Lovelace in the shaper’s bay shaping the Rabbit’s Foot. If you haven’t seen it or heard of it yet, check out his website and watch the videos, you’re going to freak! At least I did.
See videos and photos at rlovelace.com
This is the dream garage! Look at all those surfboards. What a quiver. This is legend shaper Gregg Tally’s garage in Santa Barbara. I had the pleasure of hanging with him a couple times this summer to start a project we’ll be doing together on his Santa Barbara Stubbie redux.
The Stubbie We’ll be working with:
See more from Tally: Click here
With an attention to detail and years of experience mowing foam, John Perry (JP), measures the “V” and the amount of concave in the Barrels
To see more at his website: Click Here
Speed: We put a lot of foam over the front foot by making the outline wider than his normal shortboard. This extra foam in width and thickness really help for paddle power, getting Shane into waves very early. This helps him get down the line early and have more control on the wave because he instead of trying to catch up to the wave the whole time, he is up early, and has plenty of time to make critical decisions about whether to fade to the bottom or race down the line.
Performance: The performance side of the board comes by pulling the tail of this board in very hard from the forward outline. So the speed comes from the front foot of the board, where you need it, and the performance comes from the curve and pulled in tail.
See more of PJ Wahl’s Surfboards @ wahlsurfboards.com
We asked surfer Tyler Morris from Oxnard, California, about his favorite boards (for board reference, Tyler is 6’2″ and 185 pounds). Continue reading…
We asked surfer Tarik Khashoggi from Santa Barbara, California, about his favorite boards (for board reference, Tarik is 6’0″ and 185 pounds). Continue reading…
We asked surfer Austin Smith-Ford from the east side of Santa Cruz, California, about his favorite boards (for board reference, Austin is 5’8″ and 150 pounds). Continue reading…
By Shawn Tracht
So you’ve got all your dimensions dialed in and enough money saved up to get a new board, but there’s one thing you can’t decided on, which tail design you want. My advice would be both of two things, read up, and ride up! If you’re going to read up, start here. However, if you really want to learn about what a board does, ride as many boards as you can! Friends’ boards, demo boards at shops, old beater boards you find in the trash can, boards laying around that look unloved at a shaper’s shop, or whatever! For now though, here’s a quick guide to choosing your next tail, which is a synopsis of a sit-down conversation I had with Nick Cooper of Coop Deville Surfboards, Jeff Hull of Resist Surfboards , and Paul Finley of Sojourner Surfboards.
A pin tail is the epitome of big wave surfing. The basic idea of a pin is to give a board ultimate stiffness and control. The pin tail is not about helping you create drive. Rather, it’s purpose is to maintain stability on huge waves.
Rounded-pins hold their line very well in steep sections. This makes this type of tail a usual go-to for surfers who seek the barrel, or very punchy waves. The closer to a narrow pin tail you get, the stiffer the board is. The wider the round tail, the more surface area in the tail you have to drive off of to create your own speed.
The squash tail is a classic staple of tail designs on a modern shortboard. This tail on a shortboard is also synonymous with “the ripper shortboard.” The squash, which is a squarish tail, with a slight curve around the corners, is a tail that surfs extremely well in knee to slightly overhead surf. It utilizes it’s surface area to plane across flat sections of waves, and then uses the corners of the tail to pivot hard off of to attack the lip. The squash tail is very versatile in many types of waves, and though having a quiver of shortboards with every single tail sitting in your garage would be the dream, if you had to choose one tail to surf most of the year, this tail will get the job done in California.
The idea of the diamond tail is that a very wide tail adds foam to where your back foot pushes off of, adding great pop. Now, wide tails can give a squirrely feeling, but by adding a diamond tip to pivot off off, the board regains an unbelievable amount of control, enabling it to pivot in small to medium waves like a squash tail. The reason diamonds are “so hot right now” is because the diamond adds enhanced drive compared to other tails without loosing maneuverability. The diamond is really helping average surfers become really good surfers quick.
Like the diamond tail, when swallow tails have width, it gives them more surface area to plane off of, as well as helps keep the rail line straight on either side. Straight rails help a board maintain constant speed. As for the swallow, what you have is really two pin tails, one on each side. So as you surf this board from one rail to another, you have a strict pivot point drive off of. Another function of the swallow tail is that by cutting out a block of the tail, the board can push through turns with less resistance than if the tail was square and full of foam. These tails are often great on wider boards, like fish, where you want drive and stiffness instead of a slidy feeling.
Asymmetrical tail and rail designs are extremely functional despite the eye twisting, confused looks you surely will get. When you have a board like a fish that generates a lot of speed quickly and combine it with a board like a rounded pin for those flowing and arching turns, you have something really fun and unique. A more drawn out strait rail on your toe side enables for fast acceleration due to the rail line engaged for pumping. The bumped out rounded and shorted rail/ tail combo on the heel side enables more unhindered directional changes for your frontside snaps and backside bottom turns.
Surfwanderer.com Online Magazine is rooted deep within the surf community and it’s shapers along the Central Coast of CA. Become part of Surfwanderer right now for Free and join in to partake on the “Bro-deal Network.”
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Until September 1st, 2012, the shapers below offered our “Followers,” (and you must sign up for the official coupon), $50 bucks off a custom board.
Stretch Surfboards, Timberline Surfboards, Coop Deville Surfboards, M.d.s.* Surfboards,R. Lucke Surfboards, Progressive Surfboards, Scott Anderson Surfboards, Third World Surfboards, Josh Oldenburg Surfboards
Order it now and get it ready for the rest of summer and Fall. Yeeewww!
We asked surfer Joseph “Mr. Excitement” Rickabaugh from Agoura Hills, California, about his favorite boards (for board reference, Joseph is 6’1″ and 160 pounds). Continue reading…
Written by Shawn Tracht
There’s a long history that goes along with fins, starting without a fin at all. That being said, variation comes from the idea of progressing surfing based on the moods each individual is trying to soothe. All in all, fins do make a huge difference, changing not only the way a board rides, but sometimes whether or not you’ll like a board at all. As an anecdote to finding my favorite template, it was important to try out different fins on my home break. This gave me a point of reference, wherein if I knew my wave, then I could really assess the differences happening under my feet. Continue reading…