board style, dimensions

Can anyone tell me if a “big-guy shortboard” really surfs like a shortboard, or is it more unresponsive like a hybrid-type board? I’ve got an 8’ thruster set-up round-nose that I love to catch small east coast waves with, and is fun to surf straight, but extremely difficult to turn, cutback, etc. I want a board to travel with for bigger and heavier surf spots and want primarily to catch a lot of waves, but also am looking for extreme manueverability. I’ve got a board I can cruise with and now want one I can rip with. At 42 yrs. old, 5’11" and 180lbs. is a “big-guy shortboard” what I need to accomplish this? Also as a kid I always preferred the feel of a twin over the thruster style setup for manueverability, but now also want the extra hold…have any “new” developments been made along these lines? Any specifics e.g; rail thickness, width, height, contour, and fin setup advice etc. would be greatly appreciated. I know I want it all, but I want it all in one board…please advise.

Thanks in advance!


Just get yourself a modern templated 6’6" x 20.5 x 14" nose x 15.5" tail WP centered, tail shape what YOU like, twin fin with 6.5" side fins, around 2.70 thick, and you’ll get all the quick turning you need (MarkRichards, your weight, uses 6’4" and thinner, narrower tailed) the float you need, and paddle good enough to be close.

Thanks for the advice Lee. Could you define “modern template” a bit?..any particular models/shapers come to mind ( eg; CI, etc.)?

Also, I’m torn on the tri vs. twin issue as my previous shortboard experience was 20 yrs ago. Do todays tri’s offer the same manueverability as my old twin would have, but greater hold for bigger surf? Any help is appreciated!

I gave you modern dimensions.

Tris hold much better than the old twins, but you could have had old twins with 7" side fins, and they held as well as modern quads.

I mostly used 6.5 side fins, so they held in well for my 140 (then) lbs.

One option would be an MR SuperTwin. The SuperTwin is a twinfin setup with a small trailer fin to assist with slide issues. (In technical terms a 2+1) The rocker and template are that of a modern shortboard, but keeping the flyers and swallow tail of the original twins.

MR’s quote on the board is “Rides like a faster, looser thruster”. These boards come in a range of sizes… I’‘ve got a 6’8" x 20" x 2 3/4" and I use it on smaller days and up to around 4’. I’m 6’ tall and weight about 180 lbs. I love my SuperTwin.

For more info go to (Australian quiksilver product). MR distributes some of his boards through Quiksilver in Australia, but also sells them under the MR label… mines an MR rather than a Quiksilver :slight_smile: I think …Lost Enterprises were also looking to distribute MR SuperTwins in the US. Hopefully someone can confirm or correct this for me as I beleive they will be manufactured in the US using a shaping machine so you won’t be getting a board form the great man himself, but I’m sure it will still ride as he had intended.

The other option would be to ring MR and get one ordered - he still runs the surf shop that his father started in Newcastle Australia many moons ago. Oh and I forgot to mention, he’s a great guy to speak to… it wouldn’t do anybody any harm to have a few words with MR.

A little research in follow-up. This may be more useful than me pointing you to an Australia distributer…

…Lost have the boards up on their website, give them a call to see where they are available in your area.

Thanks Fish and to all who replied to my two posts…I really appreciate the insight! Now, Fish, I actually stumbled on this last night after reading an old surfermag interview with MR online, and with the links to Lost did quite a bit of reading on the SuperTwin you mentioned. I feel like this might be what I’m looking for, but wonder about you’re mention of only riding your 6’8" up to 4’…have you had some problems with sliding in waves bigger than that? If so, what are you using then? Thanks for the help, and would anyone else who has experience with the Supertwin shape please feel free to add performance or other type comments. Also are MR’s affiliates the only ones using this setup?

LeeD gave good demensions follow them and make it a twin fin to keep the board loose and squirrely make it pretty thick also for easy paddling and getting into waves

I am 6ft and 95kg . I ride boards from 6’8 to 7’2 and all are 20 x 2&3/4 they give me short board performance however I don’t think they will have me surfing like slater or irons as there is still a lot of foam there to throw around. depending on how it floats you but for me to go shorter than 6’8 I have to go wider or thicker. experiment with size or shape . As I did after riding mals for five years I went to a 7’6 then 7’2 always have a 7’0 on hand then worked down to 6’8.


I only go up to about 4’ on my MR SuperTwin as I prefer a thruster when things get bigger and hollower. (I didn’t mention that I also have an MR thruster that has the same template as a SuperTwin and same concaves). I’ve had my Super Twin out on 5’+ but I felt that the tail was just a little too loose when trying to hold a line on a steep face and I was spending too much effort trying to nurse the board to hold a line when I really needed to be working the section of the wave… Simon Anderson did have a point when he said 3 fins are better than 2, but I like the feel and the looseness the Super Twin gives me on waves up to 4’.

I’ve not played with fins on the Super Twin as my side fins are glassed in and I havn’t been bothered to switch out the small FCS trailer fin for a larger thruster sized back fin. I’m sure it would be interesting. The other option of coarse is that I see from the …Lost website that they are offering the Super Twin in glass-on sides or FCS sides. FCS have an MR-X (MR Template) twin fin and with FCS sides and the trailer FCS, I’m sure that you could switch out the 2+1 twin fin setup for a thruster setup on bigger days. As I said, my thruster is actually the same template as the Super Twin (MR calls it a bonzer spitfire - not that it is anything like a bonzer) and it works well in bigger waves… When I got it, MR was actually trying to talk me into another shorter twinny, but that’s another story :slight_smile:

As far as 2+1 setups go, I’m sure that there are a number of board manufacturers playing with or offering this option… just ask around, or as I said above, play with it yourself with the fin options that are now available - Most fin systems now offer a twin fin option, so with Twin Fin sides and a smaller trailer it would be worth trying out.

Maybe a parmenter stub vector would fit the bill. They look like the alround big guy board.

I make bunch of “big boy” shortboards that the guys love! typical dimensions - 6’9" n-13" w-20" t-15" th-2.7" thruster setup, any tail design-square, squash, swallow, r. pin. they all turn like a champ! me being 6’4"/ 220lbs i know where to put the foam volume. other options are hi-performance hybrids wihich have a fuller nose (Merrick “baby blue”) and a shortboard back half outline. a little more stable/paddle friendly but still has the “ferrari” back half. there are the boards for you out there!