Mate, That Board Looks Rubbish
Why are you wasting your time, flogging 2-foot windslop on that thruster, bro?
It’s an early summer morning in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and as per usual the swell’s lacklustre, dribbling in from the north, accompanied by an ever so delightful NE (onshore) breeze.
This mightn’t sound enticing, but with the mercury pushing 25oC at 7am, you’re going to need to get wet.
As expected, I rock up to the beach and am greeted with a true ocular assault of 2ft mushburgers and a bank-tarnishing, high tide, the usual crowd of 30+ dudes, the majority of which have opted for narrow, rockered-out, high performance thrusters with a severe lack of substantive foam.
To me, it seems a perfectly logical decision to ditch the standard shortboard when the going gets tough, but judging from the surplus of DX1’s and Ghost’s out there this morning, not everyone shares the same feeling.
Now, this ain’t a bag on the good ol’ tri-fin, as we all know how the thruster revolutionised performance surfing and that without it’s invention we wouldn’t see the brain-melting performances that Dane, John and Gabby produce atop a three-fins.
There’s a time and a place for the high performance thruster, but it certainly isn’t that time, here in Sydney, right now.
Personally, I don’t throw punts, I rarely complete decent turns. Honestly, some mornings I might even struggle a little to get to my feet. The point of surfing for me (and likely most of you), is to try and have some fun. I’m not out there trying to compile footage, or dazzle a potential sponsor...
So why would I ride a board that stifles my fun?
Let’s face it, like me, the majority of you aren’t burgeoning professionals, so why do we insist on riding the same boards pro’s do—especially when the conditions call for otherwise?
You might turn around and refute my arguments by pointing me in the direction of Dane’s Marine Layer shorts or Julian’s Instagram’s ‘raw #100’, destroying onshore burgers.
But, at the end of that day, you’re not Julian, nor Dane.
Right now, as far as I can tell, the majority of Sydney is hovering around my skillset, yet I’m seeing a severe lack of fun in the line-up. Instead, everyday surfers like myself struggle to wrangle 2 foot Tama with the very same board that John drives through 6-foot Pipe or eight-foot Margs.
Do yourself a favour for the remainder of this sloppy summer: get your toes into a nice little fun-board*.
If it’s fat but smooth, perhaps a nice little 5’6” twin would tickle your fancy. You’ll be coolly waving those cumbersome flats sections goodbye.
Or maybe they’ve thrown the flags up at your local, smack bang on top of the only surfable bank; well don’t fear, grab a soft-top or a stand up boogie, knock the fins out and slide around ‘til your heart’s content.
Is your usual point break looking a little on the small side? Grab a log, put some serious foam under your feet and feel what it’s like to stand up on a wave 10 metres before the grovellers have even turned and started paddling.
And if you’re sick of standing up altogether you can just go full ‘Byron Bay’, purchase an 8ft foamie, assume the coffin position for as far as the whitewash will take you.
Even those who are more than capable of shralping the small stuff opt for a fun-board from time to time; have a look at Creed spinning like a Beyblade on his Speed McDraggit, Dane soul arching on his sperm whale or even Kolohe sliding along a snazzy little pointbreak on an MR twin just this week on Stab’s insta.
Do yourself a favour next time the swell is rubbish, keep your thruster under your bed and pull out something a little less conventional, a little more fun. Whilst I can’t guarantee that any of these boards will have you surfing your best, I am willing to guarantee** that they will have you turning your 2-foot stress fest into a semi-redeemable session.
As those of us who can’t surf well often say, “the best guy out there is the one having the most fun.”
*My housemate pointed out that “not everyone can afford multiple boards”. As far as Sydney is concerned though, if you can afford the exorbitant rent and the extra 50cents for almond milk, then you can afford to at least buy a new board for your sanity’s sake.
**If you don’t have fun, then feel free to drop in on me as repayment – it’ll be no different to any other surf, anyway.