Stab Magazine | Watch: The Gudangs Shredding Your New Summer Cure-All
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Watch: The Gudangs Shredding Your New Summer Cure-All

“For me in California, I could ride that board almost every day, it just gets me psyched, like paddle in and boom you got speed under your feet, you’re up and skating across flat sections…”

hardware // Jun 7, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It has been a long winter here in Southern California; the last few humble offerings of south swell have been met by surfers south of Point Conception like drowning men and women taking a desperate breath. 

The Worst Winter Ever has lowered expectations, expanded our definition of “rideable,” and most certainly had us reconsidering our small wave equipment. 

With the hopes of soaking up every drop of summer sweetness, Dane, Tanner, and Pat Gudauskas got into the shaping bay with Channel Islands ace in the hole, Mike Andrews, as well as the rest of the CI R&D squad, to design a small wave take on Dane G.’s beloved Rocket-9, arriving at the swallow-tailed thoroughbred seen under the boy’s feet in the edit above: meet the Rocket Wide 

Ain’t she purdy? Photo courtesy Channel Islands. 

With grovelers on our mind and a south swell set to arrive in t-minus one week, we hit up Dane for some backstory on CI’s new spicy looking small wave number. 

Stab: The Rocket 9 was a surprisingly versatile board, but a lot of people probably mistook it for a proper, straight-up groveler (I recall you having kind of a massive one, as a step-up, no?). What spurred widening the Rocket 9 up and giving it a makeover? 

Dane: The original Rocket 9 model was really designed to take the speed you feel with a normal shortboard, and change the outline to allow you to take different lines on the wave face. 

https://player.vimeo.com/video/171812376

Essentially I wanted to go as fast as I could, lay the board on a rail in tight areas of the wave, and trust in the design to allow for the board to come back underneath me. 

It didn’t really matter if the wave was 2 feet or 12 feet, it really allowed for a lot of control under your feet, in the curve of pocket and lip of the wave. I love that board, they are shorter, with the wide point pushed forward a few inches and a really pulled in tail.

It’s a really fun shape, and we’re excited to continue playing with that design, creating options for generating more speed in really small waves while still maintaining that rippable excitement that gets you fired up to go surf. 

I’ve never seen you un-fired up to surf, Dane. Who did you guys work with on this one? Andrews? 

Mike Andrews has been really fun to work with in the shaping bay. We worked together to create the Rocket 9, and he has been super knowledgable, taking our feedback and translating it into a more user-friendly small wave Cadillac.

All the crew at Channel Islands have been super involved with the R&D of this shape as well—nothing gets me more stoked that seeing someone in the lineup or someone on a CI, ripping on an idea you worked on.  

What should a person be looking for in a board, for the Rocket Wide to be their daily driver? 

It’s a great option if you live in more beachbreak style waves, or even cruisey point breaks. It’s really a board designed for an ease of generating speed when the conditions are smaller and soft.

For me, in California, I could ride that board almost every day, it just gets me psyched, like paddle in and boom you got speed under your feet, you’re up and skating across flat sections. It’s fun. 

  

“I could ride that board almost every day, it just gets me psyched, like paddle in and boom you got speed under your feet, you’re up and skating across flat sections.

Fin set-ups? what have you guys been running in them? 

It’s versatile, just like the original Rocket 9—you can ride the same board as a quad, thruster, a twin plus mini-trailer, or even a straight twin fin, and they all work.

It’s nice because it’s not limited to just that one fin setup, so if you aren’t feeling one, you can just mix it up until you find that magic combo.

Any magic sessions on the early models? 

Magic in a way of being surprised at how responsive it felt under my feet—but those sessions definitely wouldn’t have been the ones with waves you drew on your notebook at school.

Just like some super small days at T street, I remember riding the first modification, and then the next, and feeling like “Wow, we are onto something here.” The mojo was flowing. 

It has definitely given me the opportunity to really enjoy surfing small waves again. 

Available in multiple technologies? 

The Spine-tek technology seems to work really well with the Rocket Wide… Maybe because it’s generally a shorter model and the waves are so small that you are riding, that it seems to have a nice spring and natural lift to it.

But you can never go wrong with just a straight PU board either.

Nathaniel Curran with a Channel Islands Rocket Wide in spine-tec. Photo courtesy Channel Islands. 

Any recommendations as far as sizing? How much shorter and wider than the Rocket 9 should we be ordering?

I ride my Rocket Wide the same Length as the original Rocket 9. With that wider tail block, and a wider entry of the outline, the initial speed you get is noticeable right away. 

I ride a 5’11” shortboard, and my go-to dimensions for the Wide is 5’8” x 19 1/4” x 2 7/16”.   

Dream waves for the Rocket Wide?

T-Street to Trestles… some days you just gotta get out there and go surf!

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