Stab Magazine | Foam Party! (Five of the best waves for non-fibreglass rides)

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Foam Party! (Five of the best waves for non-fibreglass rides)

Five of the best waves for non-fibreglass rides.

hardware // Sep 12, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Sometimes you just need to mix it up. Keep it fresh, and put something a little challenging under your feet. The beauty of riding a less conventional craft than your everyday short is that you’re more easily pleased. A floater, a well-executed lip bash, a closeout barrel on dry sand… you’ll be dancing on the inside, during a session when you’d otherwise be more likely frustrated. In the last 12 months, the non-fibreglass board has become a very good backup plan when the waves are less than shortboard-friendly (or, even when it’s pumping – just ask Jamie O’Brien). There’s a lot of skill in gunning a shorebreak wedge on a 56″ round-nose twin fin. But more important, there’s a whole lot of fun. Here’s some of the world’s best places to find such fun:

Words by Theo Lewitt

Ehukai Shorebreak (above): Located just to the north of Pipe on the North Shore of Oahu, this sandbar’s got it all. While not as death as its ugly cousin, Keiki shorebreak, only a short skip down the beach, the sandbar at Ehukai Beach Park offers a far more user-friendly experience. You’ll still get throttled, just won’t end up in a hospital… probably. With most of the surf co houses lining the stretch of beach directly behind the sandbar, the scene on the sand will perk you up after getting a nose full of that coarse North Shore sand. Beach yourself to the backdrop of bikinis. Sure, they may be hoping to seeing their fav surfers tackle the Banzai, but perfect your Baywatch exit routine, and you may see a shot. Oh, and there’s a natural swimming pool on the beach… very neat. And the wave? Ehukai shorebreak is steep, offering square tubes over near-dry sand. The kicker? You can actually make the wave from time to time. At Keiki, a successful ride still ends with carnage… always. At Ehukai, at least you get that glimmer of hope. Just don’t burn the groms that call this wave home. They have dads. Often big. Probably scary. Definitely close by.


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When the flags are up at Tama in summer, you’ll be happily forced to retrieve your non-fibreglass. Time to play. Photo: Aquabumps

Tamarama: Tamarama is one of the main beaches in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. Sandwiched between Bondi to the north and Bronte to the south, the beach is tiny. So small that the swimming flags encompass the whole span of the beach for the entire time the lifesavers are on patrol. That means, for essentially the whole day, you can only ride a foamie (no fibreglass between the flags). A safe haven for the foam-inclined! It’ll just be you and your fellow sponge-wielding, shorebreak enthusiasts. How fun! You’re pulling into closeouts and dodging swimmers on 32-degree days. Finish your biz in the lineup, and join the party on the beach. There’s girls everywhere. The beach is even nicknamed “Glamarama” by the locals all thanks to the hoards of wonderful sunbathers. Swell or not, a pair of trunks and a foamie will go a long way at this fab nook of Sydney coast, no doubt!


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Photo: Brent Jacobson/ Plight of The Torpedo People (a book you should certainly look into).

Oh, The Wedge. Free massages! Bring braves and foam everything. Photo: Brent Jacobson/ Plight of The Torpedo People (a book you should certainly look into).

The Wedge: If you’re floating out at The Wedge, you’ve made it to the big leagues as far as foamies go. When big south swells steamroll Newport Beach’s more tame spots, The Wedge lights up. Wait out the back and huck yourself over the ledge into the meanest refraction-born double-ups the Californian coast can offer. Or, if you’re looking for a different kind of beating, one involving less free-fall heroics, sit by the jetty and get yourself into the waist high side-wave nice and early. Granted, you’ll still end up in the belly of the beast eating a sand sammy, but at least you got to your feet, right? Either way, each time you lose your board, which will happen every wave, every time, you’ll be greeted on the beach by a wall of spectators and lensmen, cheering you on towards your next spinal realignment via the fine sand of Newport Beach. Keep in mind that you’ll be heavily surrounded by bodyboarders. Power in numbers is a real thing.


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Yes, La Grav can be shortboard heaven too. But not always. It’s real prone to some close-to-shoreline games.

La Graviere: While you may want to snag a few gems on your fibreglass board first, this infamous French beachie is a perfect playground for the foam-minded. Big peaks feather out the back before doubling up and unloading on the shallow sandbar close to shore. The beauty lies in the early entry. Stroke in way before you’re handed a vertical wall, fade if you please, and enjoy the room with a view. Depending on your alternative craft prowess, you may even get spat out of a few drainers on your feet, leaving you close enough to shore to see the topless European beauties enjoying the French sunshine while they can. Oh, Europe! You’re too much! If you plan your session right, closer to sunset, and can carry your own in the French language department, you may even convince a few of said sunbathers to join you at one of the local bars just off the beach. Probably Dicks, maybe Rock Food, drinks regardless.


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Barra, a place that screams fun… how could it not when it’s in such close proximity to Rio? Plus… closeout beachie city around here.

Barra De Tijuca: One of the most consistent beaches in Rio De Janeiro, you’ll quickly find a peak with your name all over it. As we saw during last year’s Billabong Pro, Rio, this beach can deliver its dose of juice, perfect for a foamie assisted womp-sesh. Shape isn’t always all that perfect, but you’re pulling into sand bottom drainers nonetheless. Don’t get competitive with the grooms pulling rotations, either. You’re on a foamie… make up a new trick! Plus, Barra De Tijuca is like the Brazilian equivalent of Miami beach. Scantily clad Brazilian goddesses roam the beach, improving on their already golden tans. Join ’em, and work on a bronze all your own while you recoup for your next session… either in the water or on the town. Discotheques with a samba twist!


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