Swells are not really ‘summer type’ phenomenon and this is usually the time of the year we have all waited for in order to catch some sun by wearing boardshorts, rather than winter wetsuits because the water finally reaches some more pleasant temperatures. A longboard or a very thick, heavily-glassed fish from the 1970s was the only possible way to ride some waves during the summer some 20 years ago.
Things have changed for the better since the board-shaping industry decided to take care of average surfers who never go hunting some more challenging waves, but these are also great changes for the people like me, who surf whenever they get the chance. This usually means that we miss most of the good waves, but our wounds are going to be healed a bit with this new surf equipment and we don’t have to anticipate summer boards, made by some of the best craftsmen in the world anymore. We shortlisted 5 of them that might attend to your needs, now that summer is ahead of us.
When it comes to the design of anything, we always strive towards perfection. That’s why top-performance thrusters are what the shapers of these summer boards are trying to mimic. There are some differences like the nose has much more volume, the boards are 3-4 inches shorter than those thrusters, the center is wider and the curve, stretching from nose to tail, is not so distinct. All these differences have one goal – to adapt the board to the summer types of swells, with more drive down the line and improved paddle power, a mediocre surfer can have the best possible ride, considering the quality of the summer swells. Essentially, a summer surfboard uses elements from a classic fish and combines them with a top-performance, contemporary shortboard features, which gives you the best of both sides.
DHD Surf XRS
The board carries plenty of speed down the line because of the shape of its rocker and it paddles smoothly. It thrives in 1-4ft slop and it has an excellent background since XRS is made by the famous Australian sharper, Darren Handley, who shaped boards for great champions like Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore. The board doesn’t weigh much and it’s flexible, thanks to the 4x4x4 glassing schedule with a carbon strip and tail wrap. It’s simple to control because it has a double concave and a soft tail.
A great number of team riders joined together to help the creation of this board. The aim was to make a fast board, that can have features of a thruster, as well as a twin fin, with a small trailer fin appended. It can have one or two concaves with a vee off the winged swallow tail and the rocker is low along with the entire board. The board has two rails and wide outline for amazing performance in smaller conditions. It is regarded as ‘flying skateboard for the sea’ by Superbrand and they claim that the winged swallowtail allows for immensely tight turning radius for high-performance surfing when the conditions are not perfect.
Channel Islands Neckbeard 2
Catching waves and excel at paddling, due to its shape and large chop tail and its munificent shape are the two preconditions that a summer surfboard needs to fulfill. The first outlines were created by a team rider, Dane Reynold, however, Britt Merrick, a shaper, made some changes on this one. He opted for only one concave and he thought that the vee in the back was excessive, so he improved the board’s overall speed, wave entry, and down-the-line speed by removing it. It also became easier to maneuver the board when they made it 0.5 inches wider and added a small hip. It can be purchased in a thruster or quid-fin setup.
Chili Surfboards Pretty Sweet
Its creators believe that this board is quite suitable for beginners’ transition off a soft board, while it can be a fine choice for experienced surfers who simply refuse to have a longboard in their arsenal. A spiral-resembling vee between the back fins and a single to double concave, which tends to be bumptious, makes even the smallest conditions suitable for climbing up. It has great paddling with a lot of surface area and all thanks to the extra wide nose, ample volume (40.5L in the stock 6’0 model), quite low rails and around the square tail. If you like it small and maneuverable, this is the board for you.
The first thing that comes to my mind with this one is its ‘older brother’ Sweet Potato groveler since it’s similar to that popular model. Firewire is designed for hardcore quad enthusiasts. It works in not so perfect conditions and it’s a small wave predator, focused on performance, while a significant double concave is a novelty designed to channel water through the quad trailing fins. If you choose fins with a massive rake, the setup can be suitable for thrusters as well. In proper swell, the board works fine, thanks to its relatively thin design and helium shape, so it’s a great choice for someone who wants to enrich his/her board collection with a versatile model.