Longboard for Indo

I know there was a discussion about this not long ago, but instead of deciding if I should take my tried and true board with me, I’m asking what I should make for the trip. Currently I ride an old school 9’0" noserider I shaped myself, and a 9’1" CC Rider squash tail. I feel like neither of these boards would be a good fit for the waves in Indo. I’m going for two weeks to take a surf journalism class so I feel like I should have time to get a feel for the board while I’m there. I’m a decent surfer, but I’m also from the East Coast and am not used to surfing in very powerful waves. Head-high to slightly overhead is fine with me, I surfed all winter and slowly got more comfortable in larger waves.

I’m thinking a 9’0" x 22" x 2 3/4" rounded pintail with a 2+1 would be my best bet. I’m also bringing a new 5’10" fish I shaped and perhaps another board. I’m not a shortboarder by any means, and my trip is in July so I don’t feel like I could pick it up fast enough to feel comfortable.

Anyone have any advice? Thanks

I would think about some type of longboard gun / speed shape with a more pulled in nose and tail and hard release rails in the tail.

I agree with the pintail, 2+1…it’s the length that might get you in trouble. The waves, even small ones, jack severely before running down the line. You want something that paddles really fast but isn’t so long that it hangs up on a steep drop. I’m thinking 8’6" at the most…

Hi Rachel…

For the reasons Lee suggests, a good “fit” helps anywhere in steeper waves. Think thin/pulled tail outline with extra rocker back there. Being able to sink the tail allows you to negotiate the drop better.

I would be inclined to go for a quad rather than a two plus one. Fast, hollow waves is what quads are supposed to excel in. As for rocker and width, I would go for 5 1/2 in the nose, 3 5/8 in the tail and about 22 wide. A longer board will pretty much let you get into a wave earlier but you’ll have more rail to deal with as well which seconds the motion for a quad I think.

There’s an Aku Shaper file attached that may interest you as well but I haven’t tried it yet. (Next board).

I’ve never tried a quad but I feel like that would be a smart way to go. I was looking at a couple of Griffin’s thruster longboards and they looked really nice.

Is there any way to set the fin placement for a quad and a 2+1? I’m just thinking options, but if that won’t work then I’d be interested in trying the quad. Maybe a pair of identical longboards with the different setups? I bought a 4-board coffin for the trip and my boards fly for free so I’m not too worried about that. Just concerned it’s gonna be ridiculously heavy and tough to lug around. Thank god it has wheels.

Have you thought about trying 4WFS along with a centre box? Never tried them myself but for experimenting with fin positioning they sound like the go to me. If you can’t get the install kit then Pro Boxes allow you to vary the cant. All other fin systems are pretty much fixed positioning wise once installed I believe. Also try this link for longboard quad positioning. http://www.mckeesurf.com/brucemckee/longboards.htm


Is this shape similar to what you are looking for, this one is 8’4" X 23" X 3".


This board is EPS/Epoxy, extremely light yet durable, and more importantly a killer performance LB. 

9’0", 17.5" x 22.5" x 14.5" x 2.75"

I would be inclined to go for a quad rather than a two plus one. Fast, hollow waves is what quads are supposed to excel in.

aside from wide tailed fish, what doesn’t excel in waves like that?

Rachel - huge props for shaping your own rides, very few gals that core…

The board you bring should be based on the waves you plan on riding. If you want to ride hollow, shallow reefs, then would suggest your bring something in the 7’6 range, nothing over 20" wide, rounded pin thruster for a really dependable board. If you want to longboard those type of waves, better bring something with plenty of rocker…

On the other hand, lots of fun, mellower waves to be had in the Legian, Medew and Kuta areas, and the longboard you described along with your fish should work just fine…

enjoy the adventure!

2+1 is tried & true, and if you’re used to the feel of a center fin, don’t abandon it now :wink:


16.5" nose, 22.5" center, 13.75" tail on a round pin.

BIG rocker - 6" nose, 4.75" tail - but not gradual. Give yourself a long sweet spot for speed in the middle and kick the rocker at the ends. If you want to longboard in heavy waves (and yes, I’m among those who think it rocks!) you want a custom rocker. Don’t sweat it - you know plenty enough about shaping to nail it.

4oz bottom with a patch over all the boxes; 6+4 on the deck. Just clear, to stay cool in the bright sun. Urethane/Poly so you can fix the dings anywhere. :stuck_out_tongue:

How much rocker did you put into that thing?

Rounded pin would be the call.

Like Ben said you’ll want alot more tail rocker than you’d normally use

for waves that pitch out like that.

Anything to hold your tail in with that much face curve is critical

more nose rocker helps as well as a pulled in outline up front to prevent from catching an edge coming off the shoulder.

Hard edges in the tail to get you going out of danger

If you got the gumption and technique I think a classic 6 channel bottomed rounded pin longboard with alot of kick behind the rear fin(thruster set up) would absolutely smoke in those conditions and fast pitching waves.

If you haven’t been in those types of conditions before, practice getting to your feet quickly and place as much weight off your back foot as much as you can on the drop which is foreign to some classic types of longboarding. Also practice taking off at angles to help with the drop which can be frightening to newbies. Also envision in your mind seeing the bottom so clearly it’ll look like you’re going to land on dry reef. That’s the other factor that’s forgotten about in pristine areas like that. Then all you have to do is just go when you’re there…

I agree with everything Benny said, but, based on your previous posts, think it’s going to be hard for you to glass a board without color…

What I don’t agree with is summer school in Indonesia. I had to take Chemistry one summer. It was not in Indonesia. It was in Connecticut. There was much suffering.

First of all, let me say that it depends on where you are going as

the waves can vary quite a bit from the Mentawais to Bali.

Also, (been there, done that) don’t take anything that you haven’t

spent some time on getting dialed in. July in Indo can be some of

the biggest surf you might find there. We went in June/July and it

never got below 1 -2 ft overhead.

I’ll attach some pics of a series of longboards that went to the

Mentawais on the biggest swells of the past 10 years and worked well

for our group of older longboarders up to double overhead.

If you haven’t spent time on shortboards, don’t bother as this is not

the time to learn. Forget the wide nose longboard, as you never get

up there anyway, as you are trying to get down the line the fastest

you can and if there is any offshore wind you will not be able to drop

in. If you want to look at shapes that work in Indo type surf,

Yater’s boards worked in Hawaii and work in Indo as well. Just keep

your dim’s smaller than what you think will work and all should be ok.

The biggest longboard we surfed in xx conditions was a 9’5" and it

was a bit sketchy on the inside hollow stuff. Rocker is super important

also as it allows you to get into the wave early but fit the face once

the wave hollows out. Most of the shortboarders surf 6’3"s to 6’6" in

these conditons so to do a longboard that works requires a bit of tweaking

of most designs. My recommendations are:

9’3" max length

N = 16"

T = 13 1/2"

W @ 5" up = 22.5"

Rocker (super important!!)

N = 4 7/8"

6" = 3 7/8"

12" = 2 5/8"

24" = 1 1/8"

T = 3 15/16"

6" = 3 1/8"

12"= 2 3/8"

24" = 1 1/4"


Box (10.5") @ 7" up

9" center fin, wide base

Sides @ 17.5" up

1 3/8" in from rail

1/8" toe, 4 degrees cant

4.5" base (can go smaller back home)

Shaping cues:

slight belly in nose to flat with slight

single concave (1/8 or less) thru middle

of bottom (if you are sanding, watch this dim)

to 1/8" vee starting in front of side fins thru

tail. spiral vee is ok and works too, but we

noticed little diff as we were going really

fast!! Rails should be down and hard the last

1/3 of the board. Don’t square out the tail

as this doesn’t help in the hollow stuff but

is more of a shortie cue to help the tail slide out.

Good luck and pm me if you need more info.


Sorry, pics didn’t go first time, here goes.


Left to right: Two 9’2" Speedsters

Pic 2, Top; 6’6" hi pro thruster Bottom; 6’ 2" speed-dialer (stayed in bag whole trip!)

L to R: 7’2" Thruster, 8’ Fungun, Two 9’2" Speedsters, 9’4" Speedster,

9’5" Speedster (BigBoy Model)

retro, you know me too well. I cringed when he said clear. I was already imagining the abstract resin art! I think a 2+1 is a good start though. I’m used to singlefins only so I should probably not add too many fins.


PS: I couldn’t have made these boards

and had such an epic trip without the help of

Griffin & George G. who post here. If you pm

them they might be willing to send down the

knowlege from on high…


Oneula, it’s going to be quite the change trying to stay on my back foot when popping up. I’m so used to having to force myself down the face of the wave. The usual drop on a small day is to pop up pretty close to where I would be in trim, then run up to the nose and hop up and down to get the board to drop in.

Being able to see the bottom is going to be weird. I know there are rocks where I surf regularly that aren’t too far under the water, but I can’t see them so I don’t think about them. Unless of course I wipe out and almost hit them. I’m definitely buying reef booties, I don’t want to sacrifice my feet. I surf in booties 80% of the time anyway, so it won’t be an adjustment for me.

Basically I’m praying for small waves. I’m sure everyone else on the boat won’t be, but that’s my plan. I wouldn’t mind sitting out occasionally and just watching the other guys surf. Plus I’ve got a pretty fair complexion and am planning on being completely sunburnt when I return. There isn’t enough sunscreen in the world to keep me safe in the tropics.

I think the trip will be mostly in the Mentawais, but since it’s not the usual charter trip I don’t know where we’ll be going and I don’t really have much say in it. I plan on just enjoying paradise because I’m trading this trip for a semester abroad.