Ordering a new surfboard is a very personal thing. I think from the beginning of surfing, back to the Ancient Hawaiians, it worked in much the same way as it does today except that it is much easier now than ever before. Generally the surfing experience happens something like this…a person catches their first wave and it stirs something deep within them that compels them to keep trying to recapture that feeling. Eventually they get their own first surfboard and begin to spend a great deal of their free time, maybe all of it or in many cases, every single waking moment either physically or just in their mind, pursuing their new endeavor.
Surfing has a bad, or maybe it’s a good, habit of becoming an obsession in a person’s life.
There is a determination to raise the skill level and improve their surfing game that is all consuming and slowly for most, although sometimes quickly for a few, the ability to ride that surfboard continues to rise…to a point. And in this, I believe it was no different back in the beginning than it is today. That surfer, through observation of other, more skillful surfers or perhaps just self-reflection, starts to see that his own surfing has reached a point beyond which it cannot progress…unless he has a more progressive surfboard than what he is currently riding. Some surfers constantly analyze their equipment, thinking of how their surfboard will improve their surfing and working with shapers to do just that. All surfers do this in some degree but many simply rely upon their surfboard builder and trust them to produce the means to the end that really never is ending but simply draws one deeper into their surfing experience. In simple terms, a surfer gets a surfboard, learns to ride it and his skills get better, to a point…to go beyond that point, he needs a better surfboard.
Surftech and I have just developed a line of my boards that I'm pleased to say are, by far, the best surfboards I've ever had. We took the Pocket Rocket, the Little Darlin' and our Something Fishy models to begin with and have come up with some really good looking boards that also ride exactly like they're supposed to. Take a look at our lineup, I think you'll like what you see.
I recently rode the the 6-10 Pocket Rocket on a three week trip to Bali and the Mentawai islands in a variety of waist high to double overhead waves, frontside and backside and couldn't find a problem anywhere. Small waves or big, this board handled all of it perfectly.
More recently, on a couple of nice days at K38, I had the opportunity to ride the 5-10 Something Fishy as well as the 6-8 Little Darlin'. I really loved them both.
With the multiple size ranges for each model, there is definitely something for everyone. Let me talk about the construction of these boards because, quite literally, I was blown away. The gloss and polish finish is top shelf, eye-pleasing and seldom seen in our new world of disposable everything. The overall board weight is very light for the durability and strength I found. I rode that Pocket Rocket very hard and kept checking the deck daily for heel dents. I surf with heavy feet because, generally speaking, all my personal boards get the decks smashed especially by my back foot. In the end, after at least 25-30 sessions, I scraped the wax off my red 6-10 and was shocked to find not even one dent. Amazing and, for me, a first!
The FCS II fin box setup make popping the fins in and out a breeze. The Pocket Rocket and Little Darlin' come with 5 boxes, however, you'll have to get your own fins. Sorry but the board does not come with fins. I'd recommend the 5-fin FCS II package so you can try both the quad and thruster options. I was surprised at the difference I experienced with my Pocket Rocket in Indo trying it both ways...fin options are good to have. Something Fishy has a quad 4-box setup. I've tried it as a twinnie with big fins and as a smaller fin quad with good success so there are options here as well.
And finally and so you know how I feel, I am very, very particular and unforgiving about shape...I tolerate no discrepancies. I'm glad to say, all sizes of all models are extremely accurate and exactly like what I would have, had I personally hand shaped each board. I would have to qualify that further by saying..definitely better than what I could do on an ongoing basis with the number of boards being produced... every single one is perfect. I can't shape that much for that long...I have to go surfing.
While these shapes were the state of the art in the 70's, now they are collector items. Own a piece of history with an original replica of the first board to successfully ride the tube at the Pipeline.
These boards take us back to exactly what I rode in the 1970’s whether it was at the Pipeline, Ala Moana or wherever the person who gets one wants to go with their memories. I still have my original templates and rockers so the boards are exact replicas of the original shapes. They are glassed how they were 30+ years ago using tint or opaque laminations, glassed on single fins and no leash cups.
The finish work is the same Lightning Bolt insignia I always used and the glossed finish is buffed to that same shine all the boards in our racks at the old Bolt shop on Kapiolani Blvd. had. Very few of the hundreds of boards we sold have survived the years but one of these will bring back those remembrances with a smile about the good times. Every year one of these boards is presented to the winner of the Pipe Masters and has become the premier trophy for a professional surfer to have.
A shorter board will always make more turns and accelerate more quickly than a longer board. The downside is a reduction of paddling ability. Thickness and width can be added but that generally results in a loss of performance. Most shortboard surfers have an ideal thickness that works best for them and a range in personal surfboard widths depending on the particular type of shape they are riding.