Board for (against?) chop.

G’day gentlemen.

I would greatly appreciate help from some of the fine minds out there. Where I live and surf there’s often very strong offshores, and thus nasty chop. I’ve been thinking about shaping a board with the primary purpose of being able to cut/plow/your-own-expletive-here through the wind chop, turning unsurfable days into something enjoyable.

My home break is off an island half a mile offshore, so it really cops it. It’s also a tricky, rocky, unpredictable wave, with fast sections, but when it’s good it peels for 25 seconds. What I mean is that the board would have to be able to deal with steps, reasonably quick direction changes etc, so an 11’6 Skip Frye style board probably wont do it (although I’m considering shaping one anyway).

I usually ride a 5’10 twin keel, but for all its amazing versatility, it does have its limitations in cross chop.

Looking forward to some interesting ideas.



What about shaping some V under the nose and going to double 6 oz glassing?

The V will help penetrate/cut through the chop and the added weight will somewhat counter-balance the wind force. Just my own opinion.

Hey Balsa,

thanks for your comment. Belly/vee is definitely part of the idea - possibly belly with soft rails in the first third, then a generous vee, then slight double concave through the tail. And I was thinking of going very heavy; 2x6oz + patch deck, 2x6oz bottom.

Would any particular fin set up be especially suited?


instead of like curvy and smooth rocker in the last 18 inches of the nose, make it a straight line into how much rocker you want, then add like a double concave type thing, but get rid of the edges

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that doesen’t really explain alot, but, im saying don’t make full concaves, but like a curved vee taht will throw water off to the sides other than forcing it under. Kinda like a boat hull, adn then make a full concave down the rest of the board and I think that should work.

also, add larger side fins to a tri on it

try that

I’ve paddled out to Rabbit Island a number of times, it’s a mile offshore (measured it on a USGS map). Ledge takeoff, 150 yards ride, lotsa fun until you have to paddle in, sometimes against a rising south wind and chop. Similarly, my 8’6" will handle large Castles (double overhead) when it’s glassy, but isn’t worth sh** if it’s choppy.

Easy entry requires one or several things, by my experience: a long/heavy board (a pal’s 10’ Brewer tank handled chop well), a very narrow nose (cuts rather than barges through the chop), no excessive nose rocker which would “push” water rather than parting it. I think belly or vee up front is of secondary importance.

How you combine these to make your 1/2 mile trip is up to you. A suggestion from the long Rabbit Island trips I’ve made: Paddle out on a longboard or kayak, towing a small board you’ll actually ride. This assumes the offshore island has a landing spot where you can stash the tank.

Yes, V in the front couple of feet is the ticket. Don’t over do the rocker in the nose and instead of straight V, you want to roll it a bit as the straight V will get caught in the cross chop.

aloha, C

I’m with Hono, a semi gun with narrower nose, about 10.5" for a 19" WP, no pixie nose, but narrow noses can handle that too, belly for smooth, and forget the idea of any bottom concave, as it just makes the board ride higher and looser, something you don’t necessarily need for control in choppy conditions.

Full guns, only about 10% have any concaves, as you need CONTROL.

Soft rails forward is not bad, but not necessary either, as the rocker should lift clear the nose.

Board size is your next option, and that would depend on other factors, like your preferences, your size, your paddle.

Maz, (and Deathfrog, too),

I’m not too sure about concaves. Concaves are fine in glassy conditions but tend to “bump” a lot in the chop… In consistent choppy conditions, I’d stick to flat and convex shapes. Also, a bit less toe-in for the fins wouldn’t hurt either (less drag).