Been looking for a solid all round groveller for a whle now.
As I'm pushing 50 and 92-95 kgs it's not easy to find a board that ticks all the boxes.
So I was looking at a Sweet potato in a 5-10" to 6'. Longish I know but I wanted more rail line for increased paddleability for points. Sub 6' boards also tend to have me arching my back too much when paddling which then gives me shoulder pain.
Anyway with small waves in mind...
Thing about small waves is there can be quite a bit of difference between small high tide waves and small low tide waves.
Doesn't get mentioned much because boards will usually work better in fullish waves or suckier waves.
So you've got a Dom or El feugo for when it's a bit hollower or peakier and a sweet potato for fuller slopier waves?
What's involved in the choices?
1. Go wide point forward with a wider nose and have the volume under the chest to paddle in early?
Then pull the tail in for manourveability and hold.
Works well in the Addvances, fish.
Makes for a great down the line board. Points and wally waves
2. Go wide point back with a wider tail for planing area to support the surfers weight in rear footed surfing.
Narrower nose that doesn't catch in more vertical surfing.
Here we go...beachbreaks and shorter arcs.
3. Wide nosed, wide tailed, short planing hulls like the mini-simmons and sweet potatoes with fins set on the rails and back to the tail to allow pivot.
I was keen to get a sweet potato but what was holding me back was the potential for reduced paddle power around the line up.
Now keep in mind I'm getting older and don't have the stamina I once did so I find short stubbie boards more tiring to paddle.
Being just down the road from the points of Noosa means there's plenty of flat water paddling back up the points for me.
While others do the walk around I find paddling better as I suffer from hip pain when I do a lot of walking.
On one of Noosa's points it's a great wave but sometimes the middle section can fatten up and a board that can plane over the flatter sections is necessary.
The good thing is the end section can speed up and hollow right out.
So there's opportunity to ride a wave which is like low tide at the start then high tide through the mid-section into low tide again.
Then I've come across the Potatonator:
Thicker foiled nose to tail like a Sweet Potato which will support my weight when paddling and surfing.
A more pulled in nose like a Dominator so that vertical snaps will be easy with less nose width to catch than a Sweet Potato.
A flat rocker for planing but with enough nose flip and combined narrower width to handle some steeper drops and top turns when coming straight back down the face of the wave.
A longer rail line and narrower planshape than the Sweet potato in the same volume) to be a better paddler across the flats/around the line up.
A wider tail than the Dominator so that using Geoff McCoy's reasoning the surfers centralised weight will be supported by the wide planing area under foot.
Here I am looking at my local surfshop which had JS's, DHD's, MR's, Surftechs of various models, Bourtons, Super brand, Hayden shapes, Simon Anderson's.
They feature a mix of different design elements I've mentioned above in their "hybrid" models but they still have in no way brought all the elements together that I wanted until I walked past the Firewire's and saw the 6'2" 44l Potatonator.
Hold the phone...light bulbs exploding in my head.
Finally someone has made what I would like to see.
"Come home with me baby"?
"Oh yes", she cooed back at me.
I paid the madam off
Snuck her home so the wife wouldn't spot my dirty little secret.
Ride reports to follow...did I get it right?