I have recently started testing out my summer quiver and I decided to share with you some of my inputs.
I’m an extremely light surfer (121 pounds and 5’5 height ) from Costa Rica, and my go-to board is a performance 5’5 x 18 1/8 x 2 1/8, round squash tail.
I made some experiments on my 3 last boards, changing only the bottom contours of them.( measures stayed 5’3 x 18 1/4 x 2 1/8) - I know there are many variables regarding to foam density, stringer fibers direction, etc… But it was the best I could have done to make all 3 boards look as close as possible.
After many test drives in small waves, what I could realize was that:
1- Deep single concave really increased the board projection trought turns. In other words, it felt that the board kept really good grip on the face of the wave and all the way trought turns. It felt good for long archy moves, and better in a litlle hollower and powerful conditions(specially in better waves with at least 3 feet). However, in opposite to what I always hear, it seemed that the** deep concave had not increased the board speed at all** (specially in small weak surf).
2 - Flat bottons felt really more sensitive and apparently made the board a bit faster and looser. For me this is the perfect bottom for small waves, combined with a swallow tail, giving excellent manouverability in weak conditions. It seemed that the board felt really more alive trought dead sessions, not to mention the speed.
3 - Single to double concave - I didn’t feel enough difference from this set up compared to the single concave, but the board felt more alive and with more drive in small conditions. I guess it has increased the rail to rail transition with good precision, and the main difference was that the board looked faster in quick turns with less space to work with.
After surfing with those boards, I started to think about the design differences from one bottom contour to another.
Mainly, in my point of view, it felt that the single concave really makes the board easy to “sunk”. I guess it creates more drag, and for that, gives the board more control, decreasing speed. In my eyes, single concaves doesn’t reduces stringer rocker, instead it increases the rail rocker, making the rails to be more immerse in the water.
Flat bottoms felt the opposite. Not enough hold or drag, less control, but full speed… A litlle slipery in hollow and perfect conditions, but perfect for small, and mushy surf. The board feels more up to the surface, and it seems to create that lift at the tail. Really connects well trought turns and really helps you to catch the next session and to make quick manouvers in short spaces.
Single to double seems that a mix between single to flat bottom. It hold the board well but the double concave at fins area really increases the capacity to put the board on rail while making bottom turns.
Anyway, I would like to ask you guys your opinion, if you agree or not with me, and what’s the best next choice for small wave surfing!
Any inputs, ideas or critical analises are welcome
Sorry for my english.
Pura Vida Supershape
PS: My perfect combination was a 5’3 with slight single (1/32) to double concave (1/32) - (almost flat) with swallow tail.