Growing up in a beach town, surfing started in grade school. First boards included cut down longboards—this was the short board transition era, that featured hand fashioned bungee cord leashes, before the real thing was productized. It was then that we all moved to second hand longboards and transition shapes. The most coveted had been ridden by local heroes and pros.
While more pleasure than transport, surfboard shapes, colors, shapers, and fin choice, do as much to establish your rank in the line up as that first takeoff at a spot that isn’t your home break. When you’re trunking it, there isn’t much beyond your board to establish your personal brand.
Many of my friends have gone quiver crazy, too many boards and confusion when it’s time to get in the water… Which board? Which fins, etc….
I’ve tried to simplify things and have gotten down to a reasonable number, five:
- 5’10” Channel Islands Fishcuit
- 6’4” Stretch Surfboards Fletcher Quad
- 10’0” Vintage Surfboards Hawaii Model A (Stays in Honolulu, stored at my friend Toru’s Surf Garage, one of the coolest little surf shops in the world.)
- 10’0 Con CC Rider, built by local shaper Bruce Grant
- 6’0” Classic Fish Pavel twin fin
I spend most of my time with the Fish and the Fishcuit, but the big South in Honolulu two weeks ago—Outer Canoes, Three’s, Black Point, and Queens—pushed the limits of the Model A. I had to run by Toru’s to pick up a leash and 9.5” fin, but the classic 10’0” worked well. Wouldn’t have been my first choice—would have loved to have the Stretch Quad with me, but that’s how it goes.
These days, other than San-O, and an occasional Dum trip, I stay close to home, surfing in front of the house with many of the guys I grew up with. I don’t need the dawn patrol, three-hour sessions, unless I am traveling, so four to five waves before work gets me straight.