Review: Superbrand’s Fling Changed The Way I View Surfing
Thoughts inspired by a truly divine instrument of pleasure.
5’11”x 18.33″x 2.25″. Deep single concave. Thruster. Tuck that rail in tight and don’t pull the squash tail in too much. I was fucking devout about it.
That design, incarnated into many different chunks of polyurethane, slid me through some of my finest years of surfing. I didn’t fall in love with riding waves because I liked feeling the glide or because it forged some sort of relationship with the wild infinity of Mother Nature. Nah. I surfed because I wanted to do airs. I wanted to win contests. I wanted to approach waves with the attitude of Andy.
Those were the things that made surfing cool in my mind – not arching your back like a freshly-treated dickhead scoliosis patient because you have “soul” and/or the common ability to replicate what people were doing half a century ago and only because it was actually progressive back then.
Then, three years ago, something changed.
The catalyst: a Superbrand Fling. 5’2″x 19.75″x 2.38″, five-fin, built with their Superflex technology. My expectations were low when I ordered it. My enthusiasm, laughable – I ordered a 5’2” because I thought the idea of a 5’2″ was legitimately funny. But, coincidentally, I had just moved to San Diego and it might actually defy state legislation to ride a 5’11” thruster at most of Cardiff State Beach’s reefs. Thanks, Jerry Brown.
No joke: I ended up falling in love with the board first session.
So, here’s where we get to the review part. The Fling flies. I’ve only ridden it as a quad, but it whistles through dullness and gives you all the speed you could ever crave. It’s loose, but don’t you dare surf it off the back foot – ain’t gonna work. Distribute your weight, use the rail. It also has more pop than any board I’ve ever ridden. You can do airs with reckless ease. So I’m saying that a flat and stubby board is fast, responsive and easy-going above the lip? Groundbreaking, I know.
So, here’s where we get to the interesting part. While the Fling is clearly made with small waves in mind, I fell so madly in love that I wanted to ride it in all conditions. The 5’11”, with its three fins and deep single, began to feel so… bland. The Fling, so wild and fun!
Fast-forward to today and I’m on my third Fling. Haven’t touched anything too far north of double overhead on one, but it creates nothing but unconventional liberty when things get XXM – you can still hack it. Just, like I said, you use that rail.
The Fling I’m currently on has been sans six inches of nose since August. A low tide x alley-oop collab was to blame. But the EPS foam doesn’t take on water, so I’ve just rolled with it. Oh, and it was once run over by a car with no identifiable damage. I still ride her nearly every day, and not due to absence of option.
This strange turn of events has made me re-evaluate the way I look at boards – I’m much more curious now. I even began to consider why a board works instead of just if a board works. With a valid explanation, I’d try an asymmetrical 4’9″ over Mick’s favourite board. This way of thinking has made me realise a few things.
The surfboard manufacturing industry is in a weird place. There are plenty of people trying new things, but the most inventive stuff seems to be aimed at boards built to for the scoliosis crew. That’s counter-intuitive – you can draw a boring line on anything. Why not pump experimental designs into boards that are actually meant to, you know, experiment.
I’m not saying it doesn’t happen at all. Biolos dabbles. Firewire/Tomo/Slater are having a mow. But overall, it’s so rare for people to drastically stray from the norm when shaping a high-performance surfboard.
It’s time to change that. Consider this a dare.
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