I am ready to accept and follow advice. I have learned to surf the hard way, Now I am ready for all the help I can get. I am at the stage where some basic understandings are settling into my 36 year old brain. For example, nothing compares to raw years of experience in all conditions and locations. I do not have this experience. I have about 9 months of intense surfing practice (5 days a week average). I have minimal basic skills such as: I know before paddling out at a new break if I have no business there. I can blend in to the lineup and find my proper pecking order at new breaks without fuss. I have long endurance and strength in paddling. Not much finesse though, so tight take offs at point breaks leave me as a buoy when its crowded. I am comfortable in waves up to double overhead IF it is my home break, which is notoriosly slow and mushy. If the waves are fast and hollow, I stay away from anything over 5 foot measured front of face. If the bottom is shallow or rocky, I don’t mess with fast/ hollow stuff at all. I can generally catch 80% of what I paddle for right or left if there is some juice flowing.
I have obvious weakness, starting with lack of experience. I cannot pull off a decent top turn right or left. I can do it, sometimes, no snap in my top turn though. I have a tendency to trim and go blank. I am trying to get into the “constantly turning rail to rail at all times”
I ride an epoxy walden magic model 3. This board suits me very well. I can take off very late compared to all of the other boards i I have owned or ridden, including shortboards and fish. I can also catch waves early. It feels like cheating using it. I can walk up and down it, although I have not made a full nose ride yet. It fills me with confidance, even in plunging hollow closeout beachbreak. It is telepathic for me.
The reason I am asking advice is I need an additional board, and suggestions on moving past the sloppy top turn. What I am looking for in a board is something that gives me every possible advantage. I need something that paddles well when catching waves making up for my typical poor positioning and being the guy that didn’t grow up surfing these breaks around here. Duck diving is not that important. I am used to finding seams, and getting out back is my stronger area so if extra foam volume is called for, that is fine. I need a board that looks and behaves more like a short board. I do not want to step forward towards the nose on this one. Some breaks here are the kind where showing up with a long board is simply unacceptable, and I want to be able to surf them also. So I guess it at least needs to have a pointy front end. I need to develop rail turning. I do not want fish style surfing, I want vertical, turning for speed, surfing in waves with power. If the waves are junky, I will just use the walden. I also want to develop my ability to take off as late as possible, and still succeed. ultimately all I want is tube rides. Air and hard lip stuff is all very secondary. I am too old for that stuff. So I am looking for a transitional old/big guy shortboardish kinda thing. I don’t want to buy any more used boards because I am tired of finding out another board is not for me and screwing around with selling it. So, time to get one shaped. The only shaper I am aware of around here is Kennedy I am fine with using them if they are well thought of around this forum. So suggestions on good reputation shapers in LA or Ventura, and of course, help with the top turn, and getting vertical, rather than always standing upright would be tremendously helpfull.
At this point, I am leaning towards a board in the realm of 7 or 7 1/2 foot long, 21 or 22 inches wide, 2 3/4 inches thick. A wide point around mid way, thruster fin set up, maybe 5 boxes, so I can try quad, lots of tail rocker for late take offs and steeper waves, overall rocker aimed at turning and pumping for speed. And some miracle shape that gives stability, because I am really not very good at surfing…Am I on the right track here? I am 185 pounds before wetsuit, 6 foot tall. have lurked on this forum a lot, I know you guys know your stuff. This is why I am here. Thank you in advance for any help!