geriatric small wave shortboards

Wide, thick boards are a lot of fun in small surf but when the surf is overhead, there is some loss of control, but since the surf is usually small and junky, I think wide boards are very practical, especially for the age and ability impaired,although there are some very skilled surfers who ride them. Wide surfboards are good for learning the body mechanics of surfing because of its stability, affording the surfer to grasp the feeling of the board and since it moves a little slower, it gives you a little more time to make adjustments in positioning. When I was young, surfing was an electrifying experience and now as an older surfer it still is a lot of fun, but it seems I have to work a little harder, and the added width seems to reduce the work load.

I think the design I am imagining would almost be a micro-mal:

under 7 foot 21" or so wide with a big wide paddling nose like 18"

rocker would be longboard-like, around 3" nose 2" tail.

just to give you a data point. I took a 8’0"x18"(n)x22"x?(t)x3 mini-mal pin tail template trifin out and the wide nose seemed to plow instead of aiding in paddling. But then I’m ~210# + I was in a 4/3mm with booties. But in any event I was suprised how poor the board paddled out to the break. It was fine for take off, but not for the long paddle.


thanks for yer data point.

I am certainly NO EXPERT, however, I would hope that such a board given your weight, would be at least 3" thick. everything I’ve ever learned would indicate that wide nose = paddling benefit & duck diving detriment. plowing such a nose would seem to be a deficiency in bouyancy rather than planing width. my beloved 8’6" with similar dimensions (r.i.p.) was a serious paddling machine even at 2 5/8" w/ mod foil - (I weighed 185 at the time) - I should spare anyone reading this thread and just go get another one and quit my belly-aching :slight_smile:

this course of inquiry started when a friend bought a really unique board shaped by bob (theman) pearson.

template = 16" x 21 1/2" x 14" @ 7’2" (squashtail - std tri-fin)

this is a funny looking board.

however my buddies wave count pretty much doubled.

he also found getting caught on more solid days, or inside where its shallow, in a word: sucked. ocean beach!

for me personally, I didn’t like the squash/tri aspect, I don’t feel a benefit from these ‘std shortboard’ features in a board designed to function where a std shortboard is (for me) behaving as if the wave does not have enough power.

Then I saw the infamous bonzer egg and though “this baby looks similar - but with a round tail and bonzer bottom/fins” thats me all over: concaves, round/roundpin, low-rocker, 1+2 (4 actually!) fin setup.

Thus this enquiry began, much to the chagrin of those who know what the ‘right’ questions are and those requesting a ‘verdict’

Thanks for yer input 4est.

My question stands: has anyone shaped a micro-mal:

under 7 foot 21" or so wide with a big wide paddling nose like 18"

rocker would be longboard-like, around 3" nose 2" tail?

If no one can answer affirmative, maybe I should just ask bob how short I can go when i replace the beloved 8’6"…

I had an Infinity Secret Weapon which is pretty much what you’re talking about. Most are based around 8’. Mine was 8’2", nose & tail pulled in a little to handle slightly bigger stuff than most of them. Steve Boehme has basically built a career out of making thicker boards for big guys & tandems. Wherever the Harbour size/weight charts project board length (according to those, I, at 215 lb or so, should be riding like an 11’2" longboard!) Infinity adds thickness instead.

The SW can be pulled in as much as you like. The deck can be domed as much as you want, if you prefer rails more pinched than blocky. It comes with the heavy double concave into Vee through the tail and the Infinity “cluster” fin set up. Steve uses 5" lokbox sides and a 3.5" center with the trailing edges of the sides even with the leading edge of the center. I liked that much better than other 2+1 setups, as it held but was not tracky and for a big blocky board it turned with a thought not even an action.

Definitely order it with a center box, not the cluster-standard lokbox center. I found that in OH+ waves, if I had the center where Steve recommended it, if I angled the takeoff, I’d break loose & chatter down the face. Yes, at OB, north of Sloat at the old sewer pier. Not fun. (But a good spot for a board like that because the channels are a little better & you can use the float to jam outside without having to dd so much…) So I was glad I had the center box & could slide the trailer back. With the box, you could also switch out to a more traditional setup like 3.5" sides and a 7" center if you wanted, but those setups always feel driveless to me. Didn’t try it with 4.5"'s all around like a true thruster.

I sold the board because it was just too thick & blocky. When I first started talking to Steve, he recommended 3.75" to 4" thick! Holy crap. That would feel like surfing & paddling a sailboard. So I settled on 3.5". As soon as I got it, I wished it was 3.25". I surfed it about 15 times and sold it while it still looked good.

Steve was great to work with. It took about 3 phone conversations and then I felt he really knew what I was looking for. The board arrived in the Bay Area in less than a month - a week ahead of schedule. With shipping, it was around $675.

PS - and not a shot at Steve in any way - he is really into the thick stuff. I’ve heard that if you can get your board into Cobbo’s shaping schedule it’ll be foiled out more & better for the more seasoned surfer… That was a tip from a friend with many custom Infinitys.

Steve’s son Dan also shapes a whole set of shortboards for bigger guys. Nice, nice shapes.


Interesting pdf file. I’ve noticed a bug in the software, very sorry about, especially because I thought we fixed that one long ago. But your pdf file shouldn’t read 6’ 12" for the length, that’s not as cool as 7’ 0".

Currently I’ve having a hard time reproducing that, as again I thought we fixed that one a while ago.

I’ve be stoked if you could email me that brd file. I’d like to get to the bottom of this. Although, it’s not a debilitating bug, I’m still don’t like it too much.

I have an address, with the name jimmy.

Thanks for showing the bug and sorry for that.


yeah, that through me at first; but then I do s/w so I know how those things can be.

Here is the board file. I’ll also email it.

b.t.w. it would be nice to get pod dimensions in the sumary; just a thought.

Oh and another sugestion. I run aps3000 on my mac. when I go to open a file it always defaults to Applications directory. It would be nice to specify were my .brd file hime dire is.

great s/w b.t.w. thanks

My Super Grouper!

6-6, 22.25, 2.75

Futures twinnie w/ small trailer.

43, 6-0, 200 lb

Inspired by Grant Miller’s Waterskate:

Tom Neilson made me this:

6’8" x 20 5/8 x 2 5/8

Very flat rocker, thickness throughout, spiral vee tail

Cut from the back of a 6’11R blank.

I’m 48, 5’6" 160lbs.

wow t-bird and larry those are both very nice designs.

would you mind sharing some more dimensions?

or profile photos?

I’ve not heard of the ‘waterskate’ but yeah baby wow!

a big fella could really paddle that and turn it too - an fir me, I don’t need it to go into very large surf - if it gets overhead I have that covered with other boards.

I realize that rocker in terms of inches is rather crude, but at least its a start: what do you mean by ‘Very flat rocker’? the only board of this length i’ve ever had with less than 5" in the nose was shaped in '77 and still that board was 4 3/4"…


rockin stix mates

15 1/2 tail.

Don’t have a way to measure rocker at the moment. Will estimate later.

Pretty flat, but not as flat as a retro fish. Flatter than a rocket fish

or G and S fish. Does have concaves.

It’s basically Tom Neilson’s standard Floaty Fish at 6-6 plus I got an extra 1/4 inch

of width for FL slop.

The nose on my Neilson 6’8" is 15 1/2, tail is 14 5/8.

I don’t have rocker numbers, but here’s a side view.

This board works well in waist high to a little overhead waves.

If it’s smaller than that, like it is a lot here in FL, I ride a 9’0".