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  • Activator vs Piranha

    First off, I am 165-170 5'11" 48 yrs old and above average fitness. I have been surfing for just one year now, and lately, average 3-5 sessions a week. I don't know what I would call myself; beginner or beginner/intermediate. I enjoy longboards, 2+1 and heavy single fins, fun boards and most recently, smaller hybrid fish type boards. On smaller mushier town waves I have been using a 6'6" epoxy Rusty Pirahna and it has been great fun. My 12 year old boys , who is also learning to surf has the same board in 6'0", 20.1, 2.18. When waves get better; steeper and more powerful, I find that I start having problem with my 6'6" where I frequently get caught in the lip. I can't seem to break through it. I realize this sounds counter-intuitive as I should be getting in earlier on a board this size. The kicker is that when I use my son's smaller 6'0" (30 liters) I have much less difficulty dropping in. What gives? Anyway, all this has me thinking about getting myself a slightly smaller board, something in the lower 30's volume wise and the Activator looks in some ways quite similar to a Pirahna. I am contemplating getting either a 5'11" or a 6'1" and would love some feedback on board/size choice and or technique issues. Cheers

  • #2
    Hi Latebloomer Sounds like you need to be further up your board. I have found some of my students that are coming off longboards have a tendency to be too far back. This causes too much buoyancy up front which makes the board tilt up slightly. With more of your weight forward it will make the board slightly front heavy causing a downward slope as you paddle onto a wave and thus a gliding action down the face as you pick up speed. The fact you are having less problem with the shorter board is probably because you have a smaller area of board you are naturally positioning more forward. You will find the activator an excellent board and one that will allow you to progress. I have the 6'9" which use as my standby board in quality waves

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    • #3
      I hear what you're saying, though I have been quite conscientious of my body placement. On shorter boards I try to have the nose just clear the water whilst having my chest and shoulders well raised above the board. This allows me to just drop chest/ shoulders and thereby load the nose when trying to catch, especially in softer mushier/rampier waves. When waves are better it just feels like the 6'6" piranha start to generate more lift in the nose when trying to drop in. I say " feels like" because I am not sure what exactly is going on. Anyway, I ended up grabbing a 6'0" PileDriver and am absolutely loving it. I have only surfed it as a thruster so far and really enjoy how responsive it feels. I will say that it feels way floatier than it's 32 ltrs would suggest.

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