An Honest Review: The All Rounder Board Bag
Creatures Of Leisure provides piece of mind for the non-discriminating, multi-board traveller.
It was early September when the two E-Tickets I’d been hoping for finally arrived in my inbox.
Stab High was locked in for the 22nd and following that I had a month of leave pencilled. I planned to decompress after the event, drawing lines on the map that lead from Austin to New York and home again via a handful of weeks meandering along Sri Lankan pointbreaks.
Not only did I need quiver that would cater for the milder, gentler touch of Arugam Bay and its surrounding zones, I needed a thruster for Waco. From everything I’d seen on social media, and reports from Stab’s wave pool test dummy, Mike Ciaramella, indicated BSR’s pool pumps out shallow, drainy waves, of the rip-bowl kind. I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ on two when everyone else was running three, so I pulled the fins out of my 5’10”.
Lanka’s Arugam, Pottuvil, Okanda points (unless macking four feet plus) however, suit silhouettes with a little more junk in the trunk. In these parts speed is key, as is paddle power to get an edge over any hangry peers in the lineup; I grabbed a swallowed twin and my more bloated, left-wing, Neal Purchase Jr. Duo.
Wave pool virgin quiver report.
Six weeks of travel, three boards, a neoprene jacket, and a pile of clothes. I needed a bag.
Enter Creatures Of Leisure’s 6’7 All Rounder cover, with Diamond Tech fabric.
Creatures recognise that most of us aren’t travelling with a quiver strictly consisting of performance blades. Problem is the alt boards we use to fill the void of a skunked surf trip or to compensate for mortal-class waves almost always have big booties – they hog your bag’s real estate or simply can’t be squeezed inside at all.
The All Rounder is a relaxed fit wheelie bag with enough girth to allow the stubbiest of boards to stack comfortably inside and still have space for suits, towels and clothing. The 6’7” cover Creatures sent us can squeeze 3 to 5 boats up to 25 inches wide within its protective walls.
My trio slid in just fine, with room to spare. The widest craft in my collection being 21 inches across. The internal straps made packing easy and kept things organised while the inner lining separated wax from cotton and prevented any Irish wax jobs. After fastening everything in place and there was plenty of space to stash six weeks worth of threads, which also provided a tad more bump protection.
Stab recommends you fill the sucker. A flaccid bag is not your friend.
Something to note, if you don’t fill this thing enough it’ll sag and flop rendering the wheels invalid. The bag bends and drags making things horribly awkward. If you run the 6’7” you want your longest craft to be over 6’. The more you stuff in it, the better the system will function. Also, remember to fasten those external straps, they’ll help.
The exterior shell is crazy tough. Creatures call it Diamond Tech. It’s made with woven UV resistant Dobby Fabric, with 10mm impact dampening foam – basically bulletproof armour for your most prized possessions. We’ve all seen what can happen when transit workers misread the giant fucking letters, F.R.A.G.I.L.E. (poor John, Alex and Kanoa…).
Creature’s black magic skin will put your mind at ease during the usual anxiety-laiden airport visits. But it is black and black gets hot, most apparent when fastened for long periods of time to the lid of tuk tuk in Sri Lanka.
Up close with the famed Diamond Tech and the ventilation system that prevented my thee siblings from liquifying in the Sri Lankan sun.
During one such journey into the heart of a national park on the country’s south east. The coffin spent over an hour in direct midday sun. By the time we reached the sandy carpark of our destination the exterior was radioactive.
Thankfully on the inside things stayed chill, not a drop of wax out of place, which can be attributed to the cover’s slick insulation and ventilation system.
Another positive is that Diamond Tech comes in almost three whole kilograms lighter than its nearest competitor. Couple that with a sturdy set of wheels and you’ve relieved most of the pains of surf travel.
It’s also a bonus when you roll up to the baggage desk and slide in under the threshold. Obviously whether or not you get stung will come down to the airline you run and amount of foam your packing, which for alt boards is generally a little more. Thankfully for me Stab Accounts had the bill.
Cumbersome, perhaps. Functional, you bet.
Overall lugging a stupendously large coffin of clothes and glass around the globe can be a soul crushing endeavour, and I don’t recommend it, especially when over half of your travels are landlocked with your lady. Perhaps that’s why we’ve seen businesses like Awayco flourish in recent times. Or grabbing one from a street vendor; you roll up, pick the least traumatized board and barter down the store person, no dramas.
But nothing beats arriving at your destination/s with (unsoiled) shapes to suit anything the ocean offers, boards you understand and can step onto without bogging the entire first session.
The All Rounder carried my life for six weeks, kept it dry and scar-free. It was a piece of mind investment that allowed me options. And isn’t having choice the new age shortcut to happiness?
The All-Rounder is available across all good surf stores in the US and Australia, as well as online, here.
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