My Sweet Potato Demo Day
On that note, I took a SP for a demo this morning. I'd have myself on the 5'2" but considering the 5'4" for extra volume for tiny days.
The demo model was a 5'8", waaay bigger than I wanted but I figured it'd give me an idea of what the board was all about.
Picked it up at 9:30am today when my local dealer opened and was in the car park getting changed at 9:45am with waist high, glassy, high tide peelers coming through. Perfect test day! Couldn't wait to get in (normally I'd be heading home on a day like this)!
Paddling out, jeez that thing has plenty of volume. It floated me like a longboard, but at the same time it felt like it had the sort of volume I'd need for a day like this.
To begin with I stayed on the inside going for the smaller little peaks with very little wall because I really wanted to see what the bottom end of this board was going to be like. It picked up waves well, but to begin with I wasn't all that impressed. I wasn't experiencing this insane speed that everyone was talking about and initially I was finding the thing a little awkward to surf. I was bogging rail on bottom turns and cut backs. Looking for excuses, I started to blame the fins. It had glass flex SF4s in there and I thought that maybe I was under finned. I knew that plenty of people loved the SF4s though so it was probably something I was doing.
By now a few slightly larger, waist-chest high sets had started coming through so I decided to try and snag a good long one to get the feel of the board. Taking off a little later on a steeper more lined up wall, the board immediately felt 100 times better. I started to feel a bit of this built in speed everyone was talking about but still wasn't sold on it. I was surfing a little forward on the board because of the massive size and although it was trimming nicely, it wasn't exactly lighting up these tiny waves.
I reminded myself how much this board needs to be surfed off the tail and fins and then really made an effort to stay back on the board on my next wave. A waist high left peaked up for me. I was quite deep and it had a long wall, the kind of wave I wouldn't normally bother with even on a groveller... too small and too fast for my backhand! Anyway, I paddled in at an angle, popped up and leant way over my back foot. The board took off, made the first section, I got a little speed check turn and motored across the next long wall pretty much in disbelief that I was beating this section and finished off with a little floater on the end section. By now I was feeling pretty good about the board.
I got a few more lefts that lined up so I got plenty of speed but I found when turning, because I was having to surf this board way off the tail it was proving difficult to recover from the turns because my front foot wasn't in the sweet spot. I think that's why it's so crucial to size these boards correctly. Yes the big sizes will catch everything in sight and you can cruise and race around on them, but to really surf them properly you need to have that balance between front and back foot positioning unless you want to try walking the board like a longboard! I'm still not sure about size for myself though. 5'4" seems like it could be good for that little extra volume, but I think 5'2" would be a lot easier to wrap back into the pocket and stay with slower waves on.
Here's a shot of the waves. Tiny, full tide slack and shapely.
Any the beast in the back of the car.
Next to my Sub Scorcher for comparison
yeah Prj good stuff. Its absolutely critical to get the right size for what you want to do on the board. I want to encourage people to push their thinking when choosing boards, but there is NO rule of thumb when it comes to choosing a board.
remember folks, that for someone doing cutbacks airs, slides and other advanced maneuvers, shorter is better. But there still are people of the same size as that advanced surfer who, due to age, ability, previous injuries, current quiver, etc might need a bigger board. There is no reason to blindly adopt a one track mind when picking a board, but to Prj's point, its important to really think things through.