Your subjective opinions please.....

Hi Guys,

I’m about to make my first board and now have to make a final decision on the design. I was originally going to make a copy of the 7’2" hybrid in Dave Parmenters Anatomy of Surfboard. It’s a 7’2"x12"x20.5"x14.25", thickness is 2.65" with 5.75" nose rocker and 2.5" tail rocker. Just a pretty typical big guy tri/hybrid.

Then I read about Fairmount’s Rusty Piranha, which is a 6’10"x14.5"x21.5"x15.5" triple wing swallow tail & the thickness is 2.5". It’s shorter but wider so I guess the volume would be quite similar. Although I probably wouldn’t include the wings if I made this board.

I’m 26, fit, 5’10" & weigh 200lbs. I bodyboarded for about twelve years before making the move to a surfboard a little less than a year ago. I’m progressing well and looking to move down from the 8’0" funboard/hydrid that I’m on now. The waves I surf vary quite a lot. They range from about 1ft-6ft, beachbreaks and point breaks, some being fast peelers and others being slower mushy type waves. So the board needs to be pretty versatile. By the way, I will be making a 9’6"+ longboard so it won’t (nor should it) need to cover that territory.

My concern with the 7’2" is that it may not be short enough compared to what I’ve got now, but my concern with the 6’10" is the width and the potential handling problems of a too wide tail/board.

So I’m asking for your subjective opinion of which board (or any another suggestion) you would recommend in this scenario???

Kind Regards,


Choose either, or neither.

You will never make a decent copy of an existing board, not at #1.

Don’t matter, width or length, in your case because both are enough.

Some much smaller, but more skilled guys ride 10’ waves with a 21" wide board.

As long as you stay longer than 6’6", and wider than 20, you can go up lots, or a little.

As a shaper, YOU decide what you want.

Three things make up 80% of how a board performs; length, rocker, and fin(s). All the rest is personal preference and fine tuning. You get these three things to work together you’ll be pretty happy. Don’t fret too much…Like they used to say, “The first one’s free…”

Your first board will have mistakes, and it’s going to be on the heavy side (if you glass it yourself). Go with something that can handle a few mistakes and the extra pounds… the closer to a hybrid/funboard, probably the better.

I would be very surprised if you could duplicate the Pirannah. It’s the single best shortboard I ever owned (well, don’t tell Rod that. And, well, the 6,7 he made for me two years ago is INSANE in steep, grinding surf—the best), but that Pirannah works in ALL conditions under, say an eight foot face. It starts to spin on really, really fast surf, but it wasn’t intended for such. It’s made for mushy surf, but works very well in hollow surf, provided it’s not too big.

After you shape it, conservatively, take it to a pro shaper and have him fine tune it. You’ll be glad you did. Of course, his time is worth money, so pay him, and if he’s Jim Phillips, throw in a six pack of Newcastle, his favorite beer :wink:

The weird thing is that I actually had a 6,8 Pirannah before this one. It worked great in most conditions, but this 6,10 is MUCH better. That two inches, a little more thickness, and a little more width really did the trick.

Since you are a bodyboarder, a Pirannah-type shape will be good for you. Wider is better, in my opinion, if you are surfing anything under eight feet. Bigger waves are a totally different animal. When the waves get extremely big, I think a 6 foot Morey Doyle would work great.