McCoy Nugget Critique

Lets be honest, the last decade has seen an amazing increase in shortboard perfomance, with light weight, low-volume boards allowing talented surfers to perform carving turns in very critical sections of waves, and draw some amazing lines on and above the waves. Shortboard evolution has also led to the phenomenon of kids who can bust airs but not bottom turns, and guys who once thought they were decent surfers struggling to catch waves and maintain any semblance of style or flow on modern equipment. Reaction from the second group has led to an increase in “alternative” shortboard designs that try to provide the performance of a shortbaord in an easier to ride platform. Fish, twinnies, eggs, discs, wateskates nuggets etc etc. Opinion on these designs seems to be divided between people who swear a particular design will revolutionise surfing as we know it or those who write off anything that deviates from the norm. What I want to do here is provide a balanced evaluation on the McCoy Nugget based on my experiences riding 10 McCoy surfboards during the last 10 years I started riding Geoffs boards in the early nineties. The boards I was ordering typically had standard shortboard outlines with slightly wider tails (14 – 14.5 inches), soft rials, fairly low rocker with Geoffs “loaded dome’ bottom. This bottom comprises a convex domed bottom that is particularly pronounced in the nose and tail. These boards were very fast! The bottom configuration allowed for very smooth rail to rail transitions which gave a great feeling of glide and made it easy to generate speed in a predictable way without the “squirtiness” of some concave designs I’d tried. The boards were also easy to ride with forgiving rails and a bit more volume than most surfboards around at the time. I loved these boards and advanced during the nineties from an average surfer to a very good one – no pro by any stretch of the imagination but usually one of the better surfers out on any given day at my local. During the late ninetees I started riding modern zaps and then nuggets. The last nugget I bought was 4 years ago with dimensions of 6 foot by 19 ¾ with a 15 ¾ inch tail and 2 5/8 inch thick. The board had full soft rails with a wide round tail. I think this is similar to what Geoff is shaping today and were good dimensions for me at 5’10’’ 145 lbs. This board was very fast, very easy to generate speed and very easy to catch waves. It had good drive and felt smoother than other small wave shapes I’d owned such as MR’s modern hybrid twin fins. The board was great for surfing top to bottom and would roll smoothly from a bottom turn to re-entry without catching any edges. You have to surf nuggets off the back foot but this was no problem after getting used to it. Moving forward on the board made it stiff and slow and had to be avoided. The soft rails prevented the board from spinning out and I had a lot of fun in everything from 1 foot dribblers to 6-8 foot Uluwatu. In powerful waves this board and other nugget semi guns I’d owned surfed great off the bottom, off the top and in the tube. Problems I had with this board and nuggets in general relate to their ability to control the amount of speed they generate. It is very difficult to do a carving gouge/cutback in steep sections of the wave on a nugget. Maybe Shane Horan can manage it but he’s a stocky bloke with tree trunks for legs. Instead what I was forced to do is to was to go further out on the shoulder, set the rail and draw a longer turn back into the pocket. This meant I had to take a softer line instead of trying to do an Occy-style schralp in the pocket. To be fair my shralps in the pocket have never been compared to those of the Occ, but I aspire to surf with a powerful style and to do this you really need a board with a narrower tail and thinner rails. So I moved away from my nugget days and now surf standard boards, which, although not shaped by Geoff are more similar to the boards he was shaping me in the early nineties. I also know of three pro/semi pro surfers who have spent periods surfing, and swearing by, nuggets who have returned to ride more standard shapes. To end this ramble I’d like to say that Geoff McCoy is a great shaper who makes beautiful shortbards that are easy to surf, fast and loose. He also shapes longer boards but I have no experience with these. Nuggets go great in all sorts of waves but are particularly suited to lined-up softish points and beach breaks. In these conditions an average surfer could easily surf better than ever, gaining speed easily and carving long stylish lines that are the envy of others. They can also be surfed in powerful waves but the lines you choose will be limited by the wide tail and thick rails which define these boards. I hope my thoughts are useful to anyone thinking of giving the McCoy nugget a try. Have fun in the sun, Wavo ps Any Australians thinking of moving to Cape Cod to advance their careers – Don’t!

Wavo, I ordered two nuggets this year, 6’4 and a 7’0 both single fins. I was looking for a full volume performance board. I mostly surf powerful beach break in northern california, lots of paddling, steep take offs. I wanted to agree with your assement,I have increased my wave count by virtue of more paddling volume, Ihaven’t done very many lay back snaps in the pocket. Ihave noticed that I’m getting barreled more not sure why. I am really enjoying figuring these boards, I just got a starfin an tried it yesterday in some overhead surf smooth and stable.What fin set up did you have on your nuggets? I am still excited and curious everytime I paddle out on my nuggets. overall I am very stoked, thanks for your post. Adam

Adam, I take it your McCoys come from Australia. If you don’t mind my asking…How much do you end up paying for each board after shipping costs? I’m amazed how McCoy configures his boards not to spin out with such wide tails.

what’s wrong with having to do a big, roundhouse cutback??

Is it true there is going to be a SURFTECH Nugget?If so ,that would kinda be funny cuz in the “about” section on the McCoy website,he says he doesn’t like computer shaping? Kinda confused… I really want to try one though!!!

Adam, I too changed boards around from shortboards, and I have had zaps and now nuggets. I find that my nugget, makes very short arcs in the pocket and turns on a dime. Mine are all single fins, with Mccoys gull wings. All Mccoys love the barrel, it has been one of his trademarks for almost 40 years. He is currently shaping boards called Micro nuggets to compete with the modern shortboard. I am Mccoys distributor here in the states and also sell Cheyne’s keels and have had numerous discussions with them both on the designs. I don’t think I will ever go back to stock shortboards again. I think the nugget pretty much does it all and is something you can enjoy for years to come. I really enjoyed your post. You should run that by Geoff, he returns his E mail and could give you some good feedback. If you look on Mccoys web, he has posted the micro nuggets. I have in stock the very ones in the picture. They are pricey because shipping is a bitch and the aussie dollar is stronger now. Unlike you though, I find my nuggets seem to work better on really steep hollow waves rather than crumbling ones. Not spinning out is one of those secrets Geoff has that very few have been able to master. That is one of the reasons the lazor zap never gained a huge following, because surfers were going to their own shaper and asking them to replicate Geoff’s designs and they simply could not do it exept in outline. If the pro tour were not such a boys club and bias towards new designs, I feel many of the aussies would opt for nuggets on certain parts of the tour. Cheyne whipped Tom Carrol on a nugget back in 99 proving that the design is valid for more than simply being easy to ride. I will post some pictures here When I get my web up and running. I am glad to see more nuggets riders out there. Geoff Still does a neozap if you guys like the pointed nose.

My post was to wavo not adam. adam, How are your keels riding?

Are they going to make SURFTECH Nuggets?

Check out the new McCoy Nuggets ,New for 2004 season. Go to Happy Holidays, sk

sorry no You sure about that link?

Thats not my link by the way! I don’t know where the hell it came from.

Why the hell is this porno link showing on my responses?

Ive seen a few guys who can rip on them down in Byron but Ive found with wide round tail that they are limited in waves with power,

Mike , I have seen 3 or 4 McCoy surftech nuggets here in Western Australia at the Scarborough Longboard shop look ok weird design almost a foil like a surf ski Fred

Mike , I have seen 3 or 4 McCoy surftech nuggets here in Western Australia at the Scarborough Longboard shop look ok weird design almost a foil like a surf ski Surftechs are popping up all over the place.I have an NSP I know they have been bagged but it was all I could afford to get back into surfing after a 20 year break and a young family with teenagers who burn cash Fred

Hi Adam, All my McCoys have had standard tri fin setup. The last one I bought was in Australia about 4 years ago and cost me about $620 AUD. Glad you are stoked on your new boards. ALthough I found some hang-ups with the design they definately give you a feeling that other boards can’t replicate Wavo

Go to the search engine, type in m-fiberglass and there you will find nugget’s . sk

foamdust, the boards were $850 each delivered. they re glassed strong so I’m hopin to get a lot of use out of them. they do hold in well in steep faces, soft rails?

I tried the starfin sunday in some overhead beachbreak. strong offshores made it a bit challenging. the fin felt very stable and smooth. it felt a little slower rail to rail. I look foward to riding it in some smaller surf on my smaller nugget to get a better feel. thanks for setting me up with those fins. I gave the other one to my buddy for christmas.

Sorry about the possible thread hi-jack I have a used 6’8" tri-fin Nugget to sell if anyone’s interested. Bought it in Byron a few years ago. Lightly ridden. Send email to if you’re interested.