Stab Magazine | A Performance Stick For The Sloppier Stuff (Or A Wave Pool)

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A Performance Stick For The Sloppier Stuff (Or A Wave Pool)

Admit it, you’re not surfing 6-foot peeling points all the time.

hardware // Aug 8, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Do you have a board in your quiver that’s good when it’s good and absolutely crook when it’s not. I do, and you probably do too. 

For many of us, we place trust in the big name shapers and surfers for what shapes work, and find ourselves mimicking the contours that our favourite surfer’s confide in. And while this is a good option when the waves resemble those the boards were intended for, it’s not as ideal when you’re surfing what actually breaks along your nearest coastline.

Admit it, most of the time, you’re surfing average waves; perhaps not awful, and it’s probably good enough (or even too good) to hold a WQS event, but it doesn’t really warrant your “go to 6’0″” every day does it?

Occasionally, longboards, fun-boards and other well-volumed craft are suitable, but there’s times when you want to do proper turns, and perhaps even throw caution to the onshores with a punt; this is when you want something, dare I say, a touch more serious.

DHD’s serious about boards, and consequently produce fucking good ones. Ask anyone who’s got a DX1 what they think? And it’s no fluke Owen Wright jumped ship over to Darren’s designs mid-year either. 

Now, Darren’s worked with Matt Wilkinson to craft a shape that suits waves that aren’t really rubbish, but are still a log’s length from proper ‘perfection’.  

The F13 Wilko! 

DHD Wilko Board Deck Bottom 300DPI

The happy medium! The Wilko F13.

As with most slightly non-standard shortboards, the Wilko F13 is a little more buoyant, wider, and thicker than your prototypical performance oriented stick. And while these types of boards are perfect for generating speed in slop, they’re not exactly synonymous with high performance surfing – they’ll provide you with speed, but not with a rail line that’ll handle it once you change direction.

As Wilko puts it, the F13 is a “happy medium!” between your small wave and performance board. Not exactly you standard 6’0″, but far from your biteless small-wave boat. 

Wilko copped his first F13 around “six or seven months ago”, and it’s fair to say he hasn’t considered waxing up anything else when the surfs in between cooked and cooking.

While it’s well-suited to groomed smaller swells, the boards also equipped in the artificial realm of small wave perfection. Wave pools.

After being disappointed with the epoxy set-ups expected to suit the pool best, Wilko opted for the F13 and was elated.

“It’s got that speed off the start, but once you’re up and going real fast you can hold a carve as if you’re on a standard shortboard,” Wilko said. “Everyone on small wave boards in [the pool] started off good, but then looked like they were nursing it.”

He then palmed it off to Owen Wright to watch how it went under the feet of someone else. 

As you can see below, it went pretty fucking well.

Footage alone isn’t completely convincing to the fastidiously minded out there, so for those who are enamoured by templates and specifications, here’s a quick rundown on the F13.

As most short-wave-boards do, the F13 has a low entry rocker, which runs throughout the board with a slight single concave and finishes off with a little extra rocker out of the tail with a double concave. To keep your starting speed as nimble as possible, the board also has a square tail and a standard glassjob, 4x4x4, with carbon innegra toe patches for a bit of added strength at the back. 

As with every board model ever, there’s a range of sizes and proportional specs, but the one feature of the F13 which stands out is the flat deck. We typically pay little attention to the curvature on the deck our of boards, but as Wilko points, it plays an important role in terms of the boards floatation and thickness. 

“Normal small wave boards have so much foam [in the centre]. When you’re standing on it your front foots so far from the water, with the flat deck you can ride it thinner but keep the foam.” Wilko explained about the flat deck, “The rails are still not too thick, they don’t feel boaty and don’t try to pop out. You feel close to the water and you have the responsiveness…it brings all the feeling of riding a good normal shortboard into riding a small wave board, but still retains the benefits of a small wave board.”

The flat deck essentially even out the foams density throughout the deck and consequently improves the boards paddle power. As a result, the model also features drop rails. 

You’re best riding it an inch or two below your standard short board length – Wilko dropped one and half inches – but don’t drop too much because it’s not exactly a fun board either.

conradpk 5012

It’ll also get you above the lip – if you’re that way inclined.

Imagine that its built for waves analogous to the person you’re currently dating. Nice enough to look at, kind of fun to ride, you definitely wouldn’t pass it up, but in the end, you’ve seen better.

It’s not a board built for the waves you want, but the waves you’re actually going to ride – and it’ll let you ride them well. Whether you’re on an absolute heater or even when you’re hungover after a morning of toilet-bowl woes.  

If you’re in the market for a stick, or even if you’re not, head over the DHD’s site to peruse their newest model here.  I’ve already sent in my order for a 5’10”.

If it’s good enough for Wilko, the it’s good enough for us. 

dhd conradpk 03511

One man shapes them, the other surfs ’em. DH and Matty Wilkinson in the bay.

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