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    I am 45. My weight : 81 kg Size 1m87 - Very good fitness (today at least ...)

    I am an absolute ignorant in terms of shape and board size. I realize that for i have been riding the wrong board for too long ...

    I live in France. I surf every (surfable) day my local beach breaks (around Hossegor.) Hollow, barreling ... or not. Our surf condition change according to our crazy tides, to the winds ... and sometimes according to my wife's mood. We get the worst waves ever and sometimes ... some pretty decent waves.

    I have been surfing since the age of 23. ... too late ... so my level of surfing is average ... but surprisingly improving this year. (At 45, thing should get worse, shouldn't they ? ... but they don't !)

    I have been surfing a board that is too long for me : a Mark Richard Spitfire (Surftech) : 6'6 20 2 5/8 tail : 15'1 Volume 34,2 L ; little rocker

    One small waves, maneuverability is poor (the tail is narrow). On good overhead the rails don't seem to grip the water.
    The little rocker and good volume makes it really easy to paddle.
    Getting waves is really easy ... maybe to easy.

    The Unibrow seemed the right board for these less than perfect days. (For hollow hossegor days, I 'll go later for a Mini driver).

    Here is my question : With my present board I have the feeling that I have too much volume. So I would naturally go for a 33 liters board (6.0 Unibrow) instead of 34.2 (6.1 Unibrow), except that I have never had a 6.0 before. Can having more rocker and 6 inch less in length reduce the ability to take waves so much that I wouldn't get waves any more ?
    ... or, should i trust the volume first ? If so 33 liters Unibrow 6.0 is the one to go for.

    Thanks for having read this long (and probably boring) message ! :)

    Thanks for your help !


  • #2
    at 81kg 33L of volume should work really well. However, if you're getting the board for less than perfect days and to replace your MR board, I'd try and steer you towards something like a spitfire in a 5'10" model. It will paddle better than the UNI, catch waves easier, and go better in the small stuff.

    UNI is good from around stomach high to 1.5-2x OH where as the spitfire will work well from knee high through to slightly over head high. As you're looking at a Mini Driver I'd lean towards the spitfire.


    • #3
      Thanks Justo for your answer,
      I forgot to say that I also wanted to purchase a real groveler like a 5'10 Double Agent. The Unibrow 6'0 is then the middle board, and then I'ld need a third board for barrels (Mini Driver or anything else according to the advises I'll get here !)
      I keep your answer about the 33 liters in memory :)


      • #4
        I am 55 years old and 85kg and ride 6'8" Unibrow (at top of volume calculator figures for me) and have just ordered Potatonator in 6'2" as a summer slop sled. I also owned several MR surftechs ( 6"6" and 6'8" - great boards), Webber Afterburners and Wayne Lynch boards nothing under 6'5" in 17 years. I ride points and beach breaks from 1 foot to 8 foot. The Unibrow is a great board in all situations. I did have a 6'6" Unibrow and moved to bigger version. The board is great in steep and sucky waves and not shabby in fat slow waves. It is a bit light when onshore and messy but who can be bothered on those days!
        Rocker makes paddling in different as you are pushing some water with more rocker. Flatter rocker tends not to do this. Hybrids to performance hybrids usually change in bottom curve - more curve more performance. "Potato" boards are flatter but have more pronounced concaves (single or double) to free up tail. Unbrow has more rocker than MR Spitfire or Firewire Spitfire. I also had a 6'4" Spitfire from Firewire - same volume as 6'8" Unibrow - Spitfire is easier getting in to wave but Unibrow a lot better to ride in quality waves.
        As I age I am getting more foam under me per KG to maintain paddle speed - as you are just a teabag if you aren't catching waves!
        Justo is correct in advising a slightly smaller Spitfire the Unibrow as it will have similar volume and surface area for plane speed. I question your desire to go below 6'1 or 2 as volume will give float and paddle speed, once on the wave rocker will lift most of the board out of water except when you bury the rail in turns or trimming. I think the wider tail of Spitfire tends to work against you in better waves but with you in fatter slop. So I would go with Unibrow - as I like double concave and 6' plus for volume. The unibrow has domed deck so rails are quite fine for its thickness.


        • #5
          Thanks for your answer Jambo. Its full of good things i'll have to think about. As you said :
          "I question your desire to go below 6'1 or 2 as volume will give float and paddle speed, once on the wave rocker will lift most of the board out of water except when you bury the rail in turns or trimming."

          I question it too !

          There is a few good reasons for me to go below 34 litters.
          One of them is that duck-diving with too much volume is more demanding. When I get a more powerful wave on the head I often curse my Mark Richard's 34 liters ... I can't sink them enough.
          Another reason is that I still manage to surf every surfable days, I'm still in good shape ... when i miss a wave with the MR, it is not because of the volume.
          And most importantly ... i want more bite on high(er) speed ...

          I know that the board i am riding today would not be too small in a 33 L version. What I can't evaluate is the influence of rocker and length on the paddling ability ... :o(

          I wish I could try the board first. (It's hard to get one for trial here.)

          When I was younger, buying a board was easier for there was much less options. But it was not as fun ! I definitely prefer spending my money on boards that ... for cars for instance ... :o)
          Thanks !


          • #6

            i definitely think following your experience with certain volumes is a great way to shop for a new board. Looking at your height and weight as well as your fitness, I don't think you have a problem with the 60 at all especially given that you are riding in Hossegor. There will be a little bit of an adjustment as you get used to the reduced volume, however you will gain a lot more control in good conditions.


            • #7
              Thanks Chris,
              We also have a lot of mediocre surf in Hossegor area ! ... on shore winds , 6 second period swells, etc ... ... that's why i think that a wider tail like the Unibrows's can be useful (and a Double Agent in the quiver too ...)
              I met a Portuguese guy after this morning's cession, he had a Fire wire board under his arm ... but he was planning to buy a Unibrow too ... How many of these things will be floating on the lineups ?
              I'm gonna order mine asap ...
              Thanks for your help guys. :o)


              • #8
                Unibrow's narrower nose will sink a lot easier when duck diving than wider MR super twin or any fish. I have ducked my 41 litre 6'8" under some 8 foot cyclonic waves and no problems apart from the next wave in the set!!!!! You'll get more control due to harder (sharper) rails on Firewire boards. Moulding process of surftech limits the edge on the rail on tail section of boards.
                When my boards are on a wave at least 50% of board is not in contact with water. The full rail is used in hard turns or setting the rail to pull in - this is the function of rocker. Watch a surfer on a long board and see how much of board is in contact with the wave. Look at the TOMO boards - they remove the unused sections of a board. They are designed to change the way a board sits on the wave when surfing.
                There are a lot of Unibrows about because they are great all round boards. And if you need a bigger or smaller version it won't last long as a second hand board. So you might lose 10% on the deal but you'll get a board that should last longer than PU and will surf better than surftech. The Timber tech has a real flex in 5 foot plus waves and you feel the drive out of a turn. I can't comment on FST as I have never ridden it. Hope you get it right!


                • #9
                  Thanks Jambo,
                  In fact I hadn't considered the Timberdeck option. Well, here comes another choice !
                  I heard it is a little less durable than a FST.
                  Have you had yours ding repaired already ? If so, did you ding repairer welcome the board ... or did it perplexed him ?
                  Anything else you noticed compared to more standard constructions ?


                  • #10
                    I repaired a friend's timber spitfire. I used EPOXY EXTERIOR wood putty (matched the colour) as it is waterproof, then glass and epoxy resin. Sand back, run some fine grit emery paper over it then some auto paint cutting cream and it was hardly noticeable. If you check out TT models they use a bit of putty in the process of making them - that's where I got the idea from.
                    The early Timber grain (first name of process) were a little problematic as the hot coat of resin wore off. This was a cosmetic fault as the boards were still water proof as the timber is very resistant to water and glass under timber wraps foam blank so the board is sealed when vacuum bagged. Newer models seem to be smoother to touch so either wrapped in thicker hot coat or glass and resin. My boards seem to have a fibreglass weave pattern when you look closely under bright light so I assume the manufacturing includes a glass and resin finish coat. Even if they require a sand and a hot coat every year it would be worth it. They look brilliant and surf beautifully - trouble is everyone wants to check them out so it can take time walking down the beach to your favourite peak!!!!!
                    I have 3 TT boards and a Potatonator in TT on order and no durability problems after over a year of surfing them and lending them to friends. My first Timbergrain Unibrow was returned to Firewire as it had a hot coat problem and was immediately replaced. You can't argue with that service - try getting that from board makers.
                    To be honest, plastic and balsa wrapped in epoxy and glass as opposed to 3mm paulownia sheets and a thicker piece of timber for a rail wrapped in glass and epoxy - I'd back the timber option. I think the flex pattern of the boardS would be different but am I that good that it makes a difference? If it looks good and feels good it usually goes good. My biggest concern about getting a Firewire was the tendency for their boards to have wide tails or be fat arsed wombats - no problems at all - Spitfire is great, Submoon fun and Unibrow is brilliant in 1foot to well above my limits.


                    • #11
                      Hi Jambo !
                      Thanks for this long answer.
                      No it doesn't complicate the choice. Being informed will help me to be more rational.
                      Now I look at Timbertek (and not Timberdeck as i wrote up there ...) as a very interesting option.
                      But you're right, it is really beautiful so the attraction is not only rational.
                      I'll ask my board repairer if he can take care of that kind of board.
                      I take my time. It is an important choice ... and it's one of the flattest summer i have seen here in France. Waves are so mellow and small ... Unibrow would not make it.
                      By the way, for these groveling summer days, i was looking at the double Agent but now, the fact that there is no TT option makes me think of the Baked Patatoe.
                      Thanks !


                      • #12
                        Latest catalogue (2014) indicates Double Agent, Dominator, Flexflight, Potatonator, Sweet Potato, TJ Longboards and V2 Rocket will all be released in timbertech this year. They are available in Australia - do not know about France but order early as they disappear really quickly once they hit shops! I am currently waiting on delivery of Potatonator for spring/summer slop. I did have a Baked Potato 5'9" and simply could not ride it - a first in over 45 years of surfing - so I traded it for a Spitfire but my son has decided that after a year in northern Europe he needed to surf in between lectures at university!!!!!!! So I need a new slop groveller - yes I am tempted by the Double Agent but........................ that rather radical "spine" up the board, and very thin tail. I'll check one out at Firewire in a few weeks.
                        What I really like about TT construction is the solid paulownia rails - stronger than balsa or ply stringer and you have two - sure they are glued together to form the rail but that has to give a structural integrity and strength to the board. It will still snap with enough pressure but I believe PU and Rapidfire would fail more easily.


                        • #13
                          Sorry Jambo, I definitely agree with your son. To much intellectual work without physical activity is bad ! (I used to study math in Portugal by mail and surf twice a day ... and passed the exam, not brilliantly but ... well ) :o) I am sorry for the loss of your Spitfire though. (Being a father has its cost ...)
                          Waou ! A Double Agent in TimberTek would be a dream board I think. I somehow agree with you : the shape is weird. But my intuition (that has already been wrong quite a few times) tells me that this is the right small wave complement to my soon bought Unibrow.
                          I call the shop asap to know if they get it.
                          I find pretty reassuring to know that they generalize Timbertek for other boards. It means that it works.
                          So, you're not a Baked Potatoe fan, I see. What happened ?


                          • #14
                            The Baked Potato was way too slow into waves - either the shape or me - probably me! I kept getting launched with the lip or caught behind the peak. Every session for over a month but when it was really small and I timed it right it was fun. I have more fun on my Unibrow in all but sub 2 foot waves so it went in the second hand rack, replaced with 6'4" Spitfire and 7' Submoon. I am still not convinced about the spine on the DA. As a surfer who started before Simon Anderson put 3 fins on them we all rode single fins and became heavy on the back foot. So most of my surfing is done off the tail or the rail. So I remain sceptical, although the spine created by deep double concaves in tails is great. Back in late 70s it was known as a Bonzer but has been refined and made work by a number of shaper/designers. So do not write the boards off - they have been ridden very well by surfers with greater ability than me so they work.


                            • #15
                              Well, for me the Baked Patatoe is an alien : it's got nothing in common with the boards I have used ... so I might have the same feeling as you ... or not.
                              The Double Agent seems more familiar ... if i forget the hull and its spine. I had it in my hands a month ago. It's a nice piece of art. It's beautiful (but I easily fall in love with boards ...)
                              I think I am going to give it a try as soon as my customers come back from holidays (customers pay for boards ...)
                              Anyway thanks for all these infos & advices ... It helped a lot,
                              Last edited by minutepapillon; 08-06-2014, 03:13 PM.