Surfing Question

I have a 6’2" Al Merrick M13, I’m about 6’2" and weight about 180 lbs. I really enjoy this board, but i find that its not responsive enough and not very “loose”. It feels bigger thant it is, is this problem because of the board (maybe its thickness) or my surfing (maybe I’m not powerful enough). I consider myself a pretty good surfer considering, I can surf overhead waves, can u guys share some insight on my problem, what should I do? i really want a responsive, fast, and loose board!?!


Perhaps you just need more juice and bigger, steeper waves.

Someone your size, if he can surf well, can snap turn a 9’6" longboard.

Are you judging your surfing skill by your own estimates? Maybe you should ask some friends what they think of your surfing. Listen to them, and remember, most peeps see your worse waves, choosing to ignore and look the other way on your best.

Make a re-assessment of your surfing skills, stand farther back, apply more rail pressure.

You might also try switching out your fins to bigger side fins with a smaller trailer for when it’s under head high. You’ll get the drive from the side fins, but you’ll also loosen up the board a bit. As Lee said, apply more rail pressure, then watch the thing fly…

This is the same type of response I get from my 6’3" son when I build him something bigger than 6’4". I don’t understand the unability to be able to turn something so short, when I can bury a 10 footer on rail. I personally feel if this sufer was on something longer, it would turn easier for him

Gotta agree sorta.

If surfer was on something longer, he would LEARN how to turn it, with speed, rail dig, standing back, and using your whole body.

I see lots of younger, big, strong, decent surfers always riding waay too small a board, thinking they are “ripping” when they are twist and shouting. They push the fins out, pivot the nose with their front foot and hit the lip, then pivot around with pure muscle, not making many waves, but always bashing the lip in the pocket.

Good for them, they think they’re ripping because they ride what the pro’s ride.

The pro’s use speed, power, rail banking, and extreme DRIVE on their turns, looking nothing like the amateurs trying to replicate their style.

I hope nothing more than if EVERYONE (but me) rode 6’2" x 18.5 x 2.15 boards.

so u guys suggest that i stand back farther?

No solutions in surfing as simple as that.

If your board is too small already, standing farther back obviously won’t solve the problem of sluggish turning. You’d need to trim from forwards, then step waay back so the back foot is 10" from tip of tail, then snap it quickly and move forwards at the same time.

Applying such turning technique in juicy just overhead waves will get you sucked over the falls every time.

Every wave needs a differerent application, but one thing’s for sure, a 6’2" M-13 is not too big for you.

i looked at the model description of the m13 as im not familiar with the merricks. it said “this is a performance hybrid that caters for the widest possible type and size of surfer. not to be confused with a funshape type board. paddles like a fun shape but surfs like a shortboard!” now i read into your question that the board is not responsive enough and not very loose and feels bigger than it is… when i looked at the pic it has the wide point forward of centre. the centre of mass is also quite forward. this is would give the board a much bigger feeling “paddles like a fun shape” i suggest that you have chosen the wrong model merrick to ge a responsive fast and loose board. the m13 seems a all round compromise time if your not gonna build you own from the archives get a m4 or a flyer.

Yerba, Your board is too small for you to begin with. You are 180lbs and 6-2 ! your board is 6-2 " I dont know how much experience you have. If you had been surfing since you were a kid and were still in the water alot, you could probably get away with a board that size. If you haven’t surfed that long, NO Way ! You also would need a wave with power to get that board to move. Plus most boards today are narrow and thin , so whats left ? Add length if you want narrow and thin. If you want short add width and thickness. As far as looseness goes, The advice above is very good. You have to get the board on rail and drive off the bottom to get into the pocket to be able to get the speed you need to do some turns. Should feel looser with speed. If your bogging already on a short thin board your done. Good luck, DR

Its not too small in any way, ive surfed smaller boards and this one actuallty feels kinda big, (its wider and thicker than most ive surfed). So its size isnt too small for me, I was just wondering why it was feeling not so responsive and not very loose. I can catch more waves than most on it.

Well maybe it’s the bottom. If it’s real flat with a low rocker it should feel faster planing , but the turns will want to draw out. A little stiffer. I have a fun board that I don’t ride anymore, it’s 7-3" and when I see the lip and want to hit it the board would take awhile to go up there. My new boards turn right away straight up. So thats why I put away the fun board. I still enjoy bashing the lip. You need to barrow some boards to see if it’s you, or the board. DR.


Its not too small in any way, ive surfed smaller boards and this one actuallty feels kinda big, (its wider and thicker than most ive surfed). So its size isnt too small for me, I was just wondering why it was feeling not so responsive and not very loose. I can catch more waves than most on it.

I think your board will “come alive” in larger more powerful waves. I think the board will become more sensitive,and responsive, with an increase in speed.

wat board do u guys recommend for me im thinking of using the M13 board mostly for larger waves and summer mush because of its extra float. I want a shortboard or retro fish, thats fast and is loose. Wat do u guys think of the the lost speed demon, the al merrick sashimi, m4, mbm, ksmall, kboard, flyer, or do u guys have other suggestions (local or other board shapers,etc…)?


whats the fin setup on this rig? just personally speaking of fins/brd combos. these can be a factor. also i’m not far from your body ht./wgt. 6’2 is a really small board unless riding a fish. the shortest i ride is a pulled template 6’6 2 1/4.rnd pin shrtbrd. is fast railtorail even in waist high but hollow surf. In mush its useless as is most thrusters,but thats just my preference. ive ridden /borrowed much smaller brds and they seem a bit a pumpkin seed. longer boards have more drive. buena suerta