Stab Magazine | Good Boards For Bad Waves (A Guide!)

Good Boards For Bad Waves (A Guide!)

How to have the most amount of fun in the least amount of swell.

hardware // Aug 5, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The term “summer board” seems to imply that bad waves only exist in the summer.

This is bullshit. A myth propagated by Morning Of The Earth directors Alby Falzon and David Elfick in the wake of the commercial success of Endless Summer.

Sure, it could be said that the waves in most places are worse in the summer. Or that a summer surf typically consists of milking impotent lines of energy created by a storm that is lighting up another hemisphere.

But you know what? The waves are horrible in the winter, too. And I for one am dedicated to horrible conditions throughout all seasons.

Surfing is always worth the effort — a sentence I type after just having wrangled two-foot onshore crap, alone, in hepatitis-laden water.

As a surfboard connoisseur and Stab’s Resident Bad Wave Expert, I’ve created this board guide to help you enjoy horrible waves all year long.

JS HYFI Monsta Box

If you want to make a heat in the local QS 1,000  

This is the most compliant board I have ever met.

Want to jam a turn in the pocket? Sure. Do a carve? No problem. Punt an air? Yep, it’s got pop.

The Monsta Box just goes. Sometimes I catch a wave on it and black out, only to realize that I spent those 8 seconds grinding out as many turns as possible.

It’s bizarre.

The bottom line is that it will improve your surfing to the point where you’ll consider sending a Sponsor Me tape to a poorly-run local clothing brand that will be gone in under three years and ask them to pay your entry into a QS 1,000.

The scary thing is you might actually make a heat.

Chilli Churro

If you want a trustworthy board you can hop on and off of

This board is like having missionary sex with 3-foot waves. There are no surprises.

One of the annoying things about small wave boards is transitioning back to normal boards — you can get used to having an outline do all the grunt work for you. The Churro will pick up your slack, but do it in a familiar way. It’s the right board for anybody interested in merely dipping a toe into the sea of weird boards. 


Your effortlessly attractive author and Instagram influencer, Big Dick Power Surfer, doing the fling.

The Super Fling

If you want to try airs every wave.

I have had three Super Flings in my life. (Maybe four. Justin Cote, can you clarify?) And I have loved them all.

It is the most fun surfboard I have ever owned.

Sure, you can do turns on it or whatever  — but if you’re gonna ride a 5’2”, then you might as well fucking ride it like a 5’2”. Get weird on it. Try airs, do ollies—basically, go backwards as often as possible. If you want to hit the QS, just see above.

A surfboard that you hand-shaped yourself!

If you want to permanently allude to the fact that you might surf better

Oldest trick in the book. Riding an awful board implies that you’re not trying, which implies that you could potentially surf better if you did try. This not only works for boards that you shaped, but also boards built by any bad shaper. You allow yourself the benefit of the doubt when your rail looks like it was shaped by Stevie Wonder instead of Simon Anderson.

It’s a self-imposed handicap — but I suppose there is some joy in trying to figure it all out.

Firewire Moonbeam

If you want to carve on waves that should not be carved upon

I haven’t actually surfed this board — but I have seen it in action. The waves were about 2 foot and weak AF as fuck. He and I were the only people that weren’t on longboards. This strange man was carrying his speed so well and doing proper carves. How is it even possible to draw a line like that on a 5-foot board when the wave is only 2 foot?

A finless soft top

If you want to eat bad acid, reconcile your ancestral karma, and actually never watch another WSL event, instead of just saying you’re going to stop watching, like the rest of the world

Enough said.


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