I've been in the market for a new board for a while now and I'm now seriously considering the potatonator.
Here's my vitals:
27 y.o., 155lb, 5'9, intermediate surfer, athletic.
The volume calculator says I should be looking no more than 30L for volume, which puts me on a 5'4" potatonator. Probably bang on if you're surfing the ocean, but take all the salt and buoyancy that comes with the ocean and throw it out the window. Now add 70 km/h on shore winds and you've got my usual conditions.
Here's my situation:
Spent a year living in Australia a few years back. Mostly surfed a 6'6" watercooled flyingfish as my daily driver (guessing it' about 45+L given its dimensions when compared to similarly shaped boards). Moved back to Canada and brought the 6'6" with thinking I wouldn't get to surf much, but lo and behold I found out you could surf wind swell on the lakes and wound up surfing more than expected.
My local break is a shoulder to head high mush burger (on a good day) on the outside, flattens out through the middle, and turns into a slightly steeper 1'-3' on the inside. The break is dominated by SUP's and long boarders, but the 6'6" worked pretty well for the last few years. It performed well on larger, steeper waves, and I could get a couple turns off. The biggest problem I had was getting into the really mushy waves and staying on them through the fat middle section. I could never connect them to the inside. As soon as you step on the tail pad to do a sharp turn you would sink. Just too narrow back there.
I got the opportunity to ride a 6'2" sweet potato (56L) a couple times, had some really fun surfs on the small inside section and managed to get some longer rides through the middle from the outside. However, when the odd steep wall would come through the outside I found the SP didn't perform great and struggled to make the drop without nose diving.
So, here's what I'm thinking:
Probably go for a 6"2' potatonator. Despite chopping off 4", it's still 44L, has a lower rocker and is slightly wider,thicker, and has a wider tail than my current board. The nator has slightly more rocker than the SP, so could handle a steeper drop and larger waves, and the narrower nose would allow for it to get more radical turns. I think the planing surface will be comparable or even greater than my current board. I considered just getting a SP, but I kinda need a 1 board quiver (financially) that will work well in my local conditions and handle something slightly bigger on surf trips.
I think the potatonator checks all the boxes for me at the moment, from what I've read: works best in 2'-5' mushier waves, paddles easy and gets in early, but can still perform in slightly steeper conditions, duck dives easily when compared to other boards of similar volume.
Wondering if anyone has had any experience riding these things in fresh water? Anyone out there similar to my size/ weight riding these things with beefed up volume? How have they handled? Or have any thoughts about riding the potatonator in steeper ocean waves? Anyone been barelled on a potatonator? haha, not the waves it's meant for but I know a few people have mentioned riding them in 6' with mixed results. Any thoughts would be much appreciated.