Hollow riders

How many here have ridden, or currently ride, hollow surf craft? What were your impressions of the feel and performance? How about the construction?

I rode a Hollow W.A.V.E. for about two years in the early 70’s…pre-leash on California point breaks, plus a summer in Honolulu. Single drain plug in the nose, removable fin. No material or construction defects (there should be more on this in the archives).

It felt “corky” in the water, probably given the domed decks of the time it was thicker than need be, and the top deck cracked when the board washed in and plopped down on a fairly pointy rock. That’s an issue that leashes would make moot now. Otherwise the thing was bombproof. I realize when writing this that so much time has passed that separating memories of design vs. construction/materials may be hard; I wouldn’t want to have to ride a 6’9" diamond tail with v in that configuration now. Definitely would want it thinner. Same design out of wood might not have had the corky-ness if wood meant more weight.


how do your hollow wood boards perform? float? what`s the feel compared to glass and foam? your craftsmanship is awesome!

what gave you the idea to ride a mat? have you tried to ride standing on a surfboard? thanks- I liked your post before you zapped it.


If you search the Swaylock’s archives for the word “surfmat”, you’ll find there are quite a few mat-surfers here on the forum.

I learned about mats from Dale Solomonson. Dale’s the only source for high-performance, modern surfmats ([/url]http://www.surfmat.com). These light-weight wave rockets are nothing like the old canvas rafts or flimsy, dime store inflatables.

I ride standup surfboards too. It’s nice to have choices. One of the unique advantages of the surfmat is its peculiar tendency to turn on in less-than-perfect conditions. Questionable surf spots and unrideable conditions suddenly swell with possibilities.

I had a Hollow Wave back in ‘72 and really liked it. It was 5’-10" with a rounded pin tail. The thing that I liked the most about this board was how it landed after hitting the lip. It felt like you were gliding on a cushion of air on the way down. Once you hit the bottom it was a smooth landing. Haven’t had a board feel like it since.

Mr. Paul Jensen, you are RIGHT, the board’s alive, it’s a drum, has plenty of floatation , my board is 2’’ thick, and if I seat on it it floats me below my belly. Yes, it’s heavy, mine about 20 pounds, but it’s fast, manouverable, smooth, the best. I know some people may think that my board is ugly, a cheap copy of your boards, and yes, it is, I spent about 70 dlls in the whole project. No CF, no cork, no epoxy, I laminated with 4 oz glass mat and poly resin, and made the fin by myself. Today I took the board to the beach for the first time, everybody asked me for a ride and about how it was build. Later I’ll explain how the board feels and behaves in the water, I’m tired, sunburned and I forgot my rashguard…bloody nipples. Jack.

Hmmm…another conceptual expansion. I never thought about my surfmat in terms of being “hollow”, as when I use it I personally fill it with my own breath. But obviously it doesn’t have solid structure; more of a containment vessel? But it contains more than earthly exhale exhaust by-products…