55 and over, what are you riding?

I’m 58 in very good shape, hit the gym at least 4 times a week, some aerobics most days and surf whenever there’s a ridable bump on Long Island. I usually like to rotate my quiver of 4 boards every year or two. I keep wondering if my choice of boards is holding my wave count down. My preference is for boards in the 6’4" range. My current 6’4" is 19 1/2 x 2 1/2, but it has over 6" of nose rocker. Couldn’t get into waves in the last head high+ fast swell we had. I’m hoping it’s the amount of nose rocker that’s holding me back. Tried to surf 7’ - 7’6" boards but they’re just too big for me in fast waves. I’ve got a Mark Richards 6’4" single fin coming tomorrow. 20 1/2’ x 2 7/8". I hope the float and low nose rocker help the wave count. Had a Parmenter stubb vector a few years back, but it was totally wrong for a fast beach break that pitches. I was getting thrown in front of waves. Best board I’ve had for my break is a Spyder fireball fish shaped by Peterson. Step bottom with channels. I had the board for years until it fell apart. Every year I keep thinking I should be moving up to bigger boards but then a good swell comes and I keep thinking I should stay small and work with rocker and shape more than length. I’d love to hear from others my age and compare experiences.


I am 54 years old and started surfing 6 years ago. Its been great and  surf at least three times a week on sydney`s northern beaches.  I started on a 9 ft 3.5 inches thick longboard then went down to a 7 ft 6 inch long 2.5 inch thick mini mal. After 4 years I asked a local shaper to make me a board as i wanted to improve.

He made for me a 8 ft fun board. He put extra flotation in the front end where you lay and paddle. He said this will make it easier to catch waves. He put a fish tail on it with a thruster set up....so it will still skate along and pick up some speed. Something different but not too taxing. He said I needed as much time as possible on the wave for me to develop some style so suggested this design.

i am really happy with this design for my level of ability.  It goes best in 4 ft  conditions and you can really feel the looseness in the tail and "skate" like quality in the curve of the wave. He suggested also that I try riding a smaller fish.

Maybe to answer your question try a 6 .8 inch fish......wave catching capacity with speed....other guys I talk to suggest putting a quad fin arrangement on a fish.

P.S. Where I surf it seems most guys in the 55 plus grp are on longboards of the traditional variety.


6’8" is what I’ve been thinking. Still short enough to not get in the way on head high waves. A used custom ordered 6’8" Lost rocket came for sale this week, 21" wide, 2 3/4 thick. I’m thinking about it. Had some fun on a borrowed 9ft. McTavish fireball last week but I’ve never surfed longboards much and don’t know how it would feel in overhead surf.  I don’t think I could paddle it out in closed out storm surf.

Get a GG 5 fin, fun quad  or twin keel

the process to get one requires some significant personal commitment  but Chandler(G Griffin) makes some of the best boards on the planet for the common man, everyday surfer out there hands down.

it will rejuvenate your surfing if not make you believe like you’ve become a better surfer.

can’t ask for much more than that from a surfboard.

Stay as small as you can as long as you can but still be able to out paddle the longboarders. Otherwise just drop in on the wave hoggers or take off deeper and zoom around all the obstacles. GG’s boards have a built in turbo charger when you need one.

you’ll need to ask the local jonestown crew here if you want if you want the consumers union report on his stuff.




GG’s look nice but the shipping would be expensive to the East coast. I had a 6’4" Cannibal (sunshine) quad that measured 20 3/4 x 2 3/4. Took it out for the first day of Hurricane Bill. Got my ass kicked, I couldn’t duck dive the board enough to get away from all the whitewater. I have to say the quad set up held great in steep waves. The board did much more than I gave it credit for. I bailed on a few drops the board would have held. The one thing it had I didn’t really need was the very wide tail. I ended up up going out with my 7’2" Patagonia (point blanks) Tom Curren gun. 18 3/4 x 2 3/4. Way too long for the waves, although it was easier getting out.

I work with a bloke who must be close to 50, if not already there. He rips on a 5'10-6'0'' x narrow x thin potato chip. Surfs unreal, and also rips on longboards too i hear. Interstingly he has a 7' S/Tech nugget  ( he's probably 70kg? ) he rides as an allrounder and loves it. Wish i could surf half as good as him at 20 years younger haha.

McCoy nuggets cover so many holes in any quiver of boards. They can be surfed on many levels and perform in all conditions , although the surftechs are a little on the lite side.  At 55 , a nugget is an exciting board..............also at 25

I’m not 55 but here’s what I would like to be riding.

Hey Dean !!!!!   you keep away from my girlfriend !!!!!

Ha ha!

I am doin alot of Fat-Bats for guys of similar age and in similar situation with their surfing.....great fun shape for guys wanting float but with some manouverability...check em out at www.moresurfboards.com

Alainguitars - you haven’t mentioned your height and weight. I’m just shy of 68, 5’8" - 150 lbs and I’m riding a 6’5"x19x 2 3/8 thruster. Does me fine up to about a foot or two overhead, been riding the same size for years in Rockaway when I’m home. Tried shorter and longer but am most comfortable with my 6’5".


I’m 5’5" 142 lbs. My boards have been all over the place because I suffered a shoulder speration two years ago and had a hip replacement 6 months ago. My shoulder is ok now, no pain good strength. I got a 7’10" WRV funshape and a fat 6’4" quad fish to help surfing after the hip. Started on them 3 months post surgery. Everything feels good now, good flexibility and strength. Those two shapes felt awkward although I did catch waves. I’m used to taking late drops at Lido West and those boards don’t work on big days. I get sucked up the face. Just got an MR 6’4" singlefin today and I’ll see what that does in the Noreaster coming. My question arose out of feeling frustrated in only catching one or two waves during Bill and last week’s head high swell.

Alainguitars - glad to hear the hip and shoulder thing is not stopping you - too many people just give up after a heavy injury. Regarding takeoffs on our waves - yeah a lot of times it can get REALLY ‘interesting’ HA! When I’m thinking of a new design that is always one of my priorities - surviving late drops. Your workouts wouldn’t work for my surfing. I’ve found that I’ve got to paddle at least 3 times a week or I get hammered when the swells come.


I agree the workouts don’t subsitute for paddling but it’s better than nothing. As you know there are times of plenty and then long flat spells. I’ve thought about getting out there and paddling the board for distance but I think I’d rather start swimming laps in a pool when winter comes. I recently got an Indo board cheap on Ebay and it’s a fairly good way to keep your legs and coordination going when things are slow. The dreaded 5mm suit with hood and gloves is coming soon but since I missed all of last winter it’ll be nice to not fight for waves.


griffin will be distributing his boards thru Mollusk on the East Coast soon.

There’s several of his demos floating around up there just ask around

there’s more info on the surfer mag design forum


I am 50, been surfing for 30 + years , surf East Coast beachbreaks (Hatteras area).  I am a bit bigger at 5'8" 195-200 lbs.  I have found getting custom boards is almost mandatory for me to get what works for me.  Some of the experienced shapers I have dealt with (GG, Bulkley, Brom, Zippi) have provided really good boards and they are worth the $$ even if I have to pay some shipping costs.  Talking to the shaper and telling him what you want the board to do, what kinda waves, skill level etc is a key to getting a good match

I have gotten 2 excellent boards from Greg Griffin, a 7'2"  21 x 3" 5fin Rocket which is a great all around board, good paddling because of the volume and the rocker, but still turns good.Handles waves from waist high to well overhead  Also picked up a 6'8" 5fin modfish, which is a very fun board , probably should have gone smaller but I would rather have too much board than not enough.  Both boards are fast, turn well, hold in hollow waves, giva real feeling of speed with control.  The total cost of packing and shipping from Hawaii on Delta was about 90 bucks, which IMO is money well spent, shops will mark them up at least that much

I also got a couple excellent boards from Brian Bulkley who is living in Costa Rica (making getting boards from him difficult or I would still be calling him LOL) 

Call or email Griff, a 6'4" or 6'5" 5fin modfish or a smaller size Rocket (6'8" - 6'10") might be a good call, ask his opinion of what he would suggest.  His boards work really well for me, and if you don't like them there is a good market for used ones.

Good luck


I'm 50, been surfing for 33 years. I learned on a 6'6". I've had bigger and smaller boards over the years, mostly smaller.


I'd have to say my favourite length is still around 6'5". Big enough to catch the waves I want to catch, yet small enough to be able to stick it where I want and do the turns I want to do.


Great size for a single board traveller too, and reliable in good and bad surf, big and small. (Well, as big as I'm game to take off on!)

G’day Oneula and Griffin riders, any chance of a Griffin deconstruction if Mr Griffin doesn’t mind? I would like rocker numbers at 1’ intervals, fin positions and a description of bottom contours.

I get the impression that his boards are lowish rocker, pinched rails, domed decks to get good amounts of volume in and flat bottoms. does this sound right?


just PM him (Sunsetpoint) if you are up to it he’s the most appropriate person to give out his numbers 

If there’s one thing Greg lives for, its educated and detailed discussions on design and the history of design.

Just be ready before you call he’s a verbal wikitopia of design


Greg makes anything,

channels, nuggets, thrusters, twins, longboards etc etc

right now he’s focusing on some of his designs that he feels separates him from the rest of the pack and plans to keep adding to it from his own personal testing right on the northshore. The guy loves to surf backyard sunset and Lani’s

basically he looks at all his designs as a complete package including the fins something regarding surfboards he says has been lost since the roll out of the off the shelf board and replacable fin.


My personal interpretation of what he’s told me is that Greg focuses on efficient water release, smoothing out the water flow, and extracting untapped energy from the wave face with his uniquely positioned and canted handfoiled G10 fins.  That’s why he uses flat bottoms with sharp edges nose to tail and no weird bumps or angles on the outline, rocker or rail edge in ortherwords everything is smooth when you run your hands along the outline and bottom edge but you can “feel” the water acceleration in doing so.

The end result is speed and control

that’s why its a perfect for all  the “older” and “normal sized” surfers that really exist in the line up versus the toothpick potato chip pros that the movies and magazines promote. Because they give you all the required speed you need to pull the toothpick surfer moves and stay in control no matter how fast you go which gives you the confidence to do so.


So if you are up to it just drop Greg a line and take it from there.