Saturday, March 9, 2013

Classic Blues....

I'll be the first to admit that shapers are pretty spoiled when it comes to new boards. I pretty much ride a new board every couple of months. And with that kind of frequency, its pretty easy to fall into the "just-another-new-board" mentality when it comes to evaluating the latest-greatest stick in the quiver. But this blue board is special...really special.

When I started to design this board I was aiming for a true classic noserider (even considered doing a Pig), with wide-point slightly behind center, 50/50 rails and nose concave. I wanted a LB shape that would work well in the small, slow, point-break surf that that I find about 70% of the time at my local break. And to better compete for waves with the young hipsters on their old-school logs, I knew I needed a little more volume and a lot less rocker than my 9-6 Nova. I decided a 9-9 x 23 x 3-1/4" would offer a good compromise between float and responsiveness. Nose rocker would be 4-1/4" and tail rocker would be 3-5/8". I chose a round pin tail shape to make the tail easier to sink when turning and when making steeper/later take-offs, and kept the nose at 18" to compensate for the flatter nose rocker. A lot of shapers like to put a 19"-20" wide nose on their noseriders, but I don't care for the aesthetics of the wide nose, and they make the outline too parallel and move the wide point forward of center. As always, I drew up the board in Aku, and printed out the spec sheet. This would be my shaping plan.

I found that my shape would be easily accommodated in a 10-2B blank with natural rocker, and after a quick visit to Fiberglass Hawaii in Ventura, I had the blank on my shaping racks and my planer in my hand. There is an old military saying that the battle plan is the first casuality of contact with the enemy. Same is thing is true for shaping when not doing a board for a customer. When the dust settled, I had what amounted to a progressive single-fin longboard.

Dimensions stayed the same, but I pinched the rails for a more foiled look and added plenty of tail V for smooth turning. The three tone resin tint job turned out great thanks to Ray at Lucke Glassing. 

I decided to go with a  9"True Ames Greenough 4A fin in matching blue.

These pix were taken last week, just before I waxed it up for the first session. I lucked out with some nice shoulder-high waves and a small crowd in the water.  Board paddled easy, caught waves with little effort and turned very smoothly. Noserides were stable and seemed to last forever. In short, this board may be the best LB I've ever built. 

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