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  • new board choice

    Hi guys, I'm 39 yr and coming back to surfing after a 15 year hiatis caused by a physical problem that I've beaten. Time to turn back the clock, and after having a broken body that couldn't do much I feel that I'm 29 again not 39!!!! My current board is 6'6" shortboard, built for me by Wayne Parkes, my second board from him, basically mint but 15 years old! I got taht because at that time I was surfing loads of big west coast days and the thinking was s bit more length than my previous 6-4 to help on those days. I've had a few surfs since easter and gained confidence and was happy enough with the board, but did struggle to catch less than perfect waves. Basically, it's made for 4ft plus solid overhead, sweetly drops into the pocket and solid on the rail turns. I went out 2 months ago and got cleaned up out west, on a day that wasn't even that big, but had a long paddle out though a big sweep (Muriwai, north of Coast Rd). This was so disheartening and made me feel like a real kook. Since then I've been with a trainer and I'm way fitter and stronger, but I'm also motivated to get with the programme with a more practical board. I'm 5'8' tall and about 73kgs, so a slim line dude. realistically a weekend surfer, surfing auck west coast and east if it's on from Northland to Coromandel. After reading most of the forum here I was set on the Hellfire, but have picked up a few comments about quirkiness of that board. The unibrow 5'10' looks spot on, a carvy type board but can also handle the gruntier days but also teh mushier ones, and be an easier paddler/catcher for me to get back into the groove. I see no-one has really posted much in the way of a comparison of these boards. I'd be interested in "Piha Locals" thoughts as he surfs the same areas as me? and anyone's advice really !! Chur!! Anyway, hi to the forum, and it's going to take a little while to save up for the board, but I'll post how things go!!!

  • #2
    Hey mate, i had a hellfire which i absolutely loved but it was too big for me so iv gone for a smaller unibrow. the hellfire handled everything at maori bay and then was great for the generally smaller and weaker east coast due to the speed it generated from the deep double concaves. i went for a unibrow when downsizing however because the double through the fins is much more subtle and so will be more predictable at higher speeds. also i rekn it has a touch more rocker than the hellfire which will be good for the steep days not that the hellfire ever let me down there ! iv only had a couple waves on the 510uni on a wimpy little wind swell but it paddled and caught waves well (and im about 5kg heavier than you) but its more the board id take out for waist/chest and up cos i have a baked potato for the small stuff. id definitely recommend heading into Ultimate Surf in Albany, Andre and the boys will make sure u end up on the best board for you and theyve got quite a few demo boards one of which is a 510 unibrow.

    Will

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    • #3
      cheers for the comments Will. Yep will head into Ultimate Surf. Sounds like I wouldn't go wrong either way, but the UB is probably the preference. It's lines are more like what I'm used to as well

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      • #4
        VOLUME: the calculator puts me at 35-38 litres, putting average into ability and fitness, which would put me into a 602/604 Unibrow.... this seems like a lot of float for 73kgs? If I lie about my age and drop 10 years, it puts me 30-33 litres which seems more suitable... and I read on here 80kg+ surfers on a 510.... anyway, just rambling, must go and pay for a trial board an line it up with a day of good clean waves

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        • #5
          Way too big if you are surfing more frequently, I would have you down as 510 to 600, even a 509 if you're in a few times a week. You could find the novelty of extra volume wears off pretty quick if you're getting in more regularly.
          Last edited by madprof; 06-27-2013, 01:36 PM.

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          • #6
            5'9 should be perfect for you mate. I'm on a 5'10 @ 80kg average ability and fitness and wouldn't want any more volume, if anything I'd be happy dropping to a 5'9, especially on the better days. The volume calculator seems to over compensate a lot for age.

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            • #7
              Thanks guys, that's what I was thinking re age. Funny there's lots of guys and gals I know that are 'discovering' fitness in their late 30's and are excelling at endurance and stamina. pre-mid life crisis maybe!

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              • #8
                Hi West Auck, writing from Piha, 9pm Friday, hoping for a nice glassy surf tomorrow am! I have a Hellfire 6/4 but am finding the Unibrow 6/4 a more expansive experience with it introducing more subtlety and range to the ride. I'm 62 yrs old and 83 kgs and find the 6/4 @ 37.3 ltrs to be just right for me as an expert [but creaky !] surfer. You should be on a smaller volume/weight ratio than me, I think your 30-33 ltrs is spot on. The Unibrow has the width under your back foot to take care of the random steepness of West Coast waves and maintain your flow, but the narrowness of nose and thinness of rail to cope with the jack up late drops and power of Tasman Sea swells. Really enjoying this board now after a few months but still feel it has a whole lot of upside to be discovered.

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                • #9
                  Piha Local is absolutely spot on with his assessment of the Unibrow - I ride 6'6" at 90kgs. This board has proved itself on high tide beach breaks and sucking low tide point breaks in the last few weeks. Hybrid shapes tend to work in crappy conditions because that is what you get when you work (you surf what is there). Unibrow also works very well in the good stuff - although mine chattered when pushed really hard of the bottom - could be fins but no lumps etc on them. Others complained of chatter on waves on various boards so maybe surface conditions. However, the Unibrow sits in pocket and is solid under the lip and comes off the lip so nicely even in the steepest section. Board looks too wide and fat arsed (like all hybrids) but doesn't perform like one in good waves. And magically goes like a dream in sloppy or slow waves. I did find the foam distribution meant I am paddling more forward than usual. I like Piha Local look forward to a happy winter of juicey waves and then summer slop with the TT Unibrow.

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                  • #10
                    thanks heaps for the assessments. my savings are creeping up, so as soon as it's funded UNIBROW it is, just have to choose, 510 to 600, 30.2 - 33ltrs.

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                    • #11
                      VOLUME REALITY CHECK
                      I measured my existing Wayne Parkes board, bearing in mind that I can surf this board OK but it doesn't go well in poor waves/flat sections, and I don't seem to paddle as well as I would like. The dims are, 6'6", 18 3/4 wide and 1 3/4 thick. Widest point under the chest, not too narrow in the nose and a moderate rocker. It has a single to double concave and tucked under fine rails. At the time I wanted a 4 foot plus west coast board, and that's what it is. Takes late drops beautifully and clings in the pocket.

                      Soooo, to estimate the volume I tried to find a similar profile firewire board to compare. Not so easy, I couldn't find any so thin. The best I could do is this:

                      Artillery, 6'6', 18 7/6, 2 9/16 = 32 litre, therefore by proportionately scaling down the thickness my WP is estimated at 21.8 litres... !

                      Flexfire, 16'6', 8 3/4, 2 1/5 = 3.04 litre, WP is estimated at 21.28 litres... !

                      WOW!! So the jump from the WP to a Unibrow will be a drop in length by around 6-8 inches and an increase in volume by 9 litres or a third!!


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                      • Phill
                        Phill commented
                        Editing a comment
                        You sure it's 1"3/4 and not 2"3/4? I don't think I've ever seen a board @ 1"3/4....

                    • #12
                      I will double check tonight, it does seem absurd

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                      • #13
                        Ok back to reality. First time I measured using the eyetrometer, holding a ruler to the edge and looking to judge the thickness. This time I lay the board down on it's front on a table and placed a level over at the thickest part making sure that the board was positioned on the thick part. Result, 56mm or 2.2 inches, being 2'5/5. Now what does that do to my volume estimate.. well based on scaling the flexfire dims, it makes my existing board 26.75 l, so the move to say a 501 Uni would be around 3.5l, much more realistic ....

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                        • #14
                          I demoed a 510 uni. I liked the paddle-abiltiy, it was easy to duck dive and caught waves. I didn't really have a good surf though. It's hard to know trying a board once whether it's the board or you, or the waves which were 3ft beachies, clean but shifty and getting fatter with the incoming. I'm still trying to find my surfing mojo again so it may not have been the board. A couple of times I got into a good wave and went to lay a backhand bottom turn and instead of the rail biting and launching into a turn it skipped out from under me like the rail had no edge, very disturbing. Probably user error and a front foot style where I felt like the board wanted to be steered from the back.
                          .... so long story short I tried a demo of a 600 hellfire, which was always my gut feeling choice of the FW range. Again, not a super great surf, but much better and the board is more suited to me with turns happening and lots of smooth speed. Who knows, another surf on teh uni might have been the same.
                          I've pushed go on a 600 HF package, completely thrilled. I'll contribute to the HF threads once I've had some more time in the sea and share my experiences... chur chur from Aotearoa

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                          • #15
                            Yeah the UB definitely favours more back foot surfing. The skipping out is probably a function of, as you say, too front footed a turn and I'd hazard a guess too much volume for your weight. If there's too much volume though it wouldn't be by much, so more likely the front foot thing.

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