You may remember that last October we posted a blog, entitled Harry Squatter in The Photographer’s Zone. I thought it was a great pun but apparently I was alone. Pun quality aside, it was about how Harry, the head coach here at Surf Simply, had designed a short, flat, wide board for Black & White Surfboards. The board was called the Puffin.
Anyone who has joined in one of Harry’s board design classes will know that he is not only passionate about the subject but he also has a baffling depth of knowledge. So we were stoked but not very surprised when we heard from Black & White that the Puffin has been one of their top selling board and the orders were still coming in thick and fast.
Let’s hope we don’t lose Harry to the shaping room. I doubt we will as I don’t think we could drag him away from the beach. Here he is (below) laying down one of his signature power carves out the front of the Surf Simply resort from a fun session last Wednesday morning.
When it comes to surfboard design, we can get a little geeky here at Surf Simply. When I say a ‘little’ i mean that that it’s not unheard of for Harry’s 20 minute board design classes to a sneak up to the 2 hour mark with the right audience.
We’re always looking for the best boards with which to teach specific skills. Some boards are great for horizontal turns while others are better for more advanced, vertical turns. Some work well when you’re focusing on wave selection but at the same time, are impossible to duck dive.
When we stumbled across the Santa Cruz Pumpkin Seed, an all round fun board, made out of a similar material to the SurfTech epoxy, it took us several months to realize just what a awesome board it is.
Disclaimer – We’re not on commission and don’t have any affiliation with Santa Cruz. These are just great boards.
We had a 6’8″ although you can buy Pumpkin Seeds from 5’6″ to 7’6″. I took it on a small day when the waves weren’t big enough to ride a shortboard and I was surprised how easy it was to catch waves, turn and duckdive (I’m about 160lbs).
I thought it must be yet another small wave board to add to the arsenal but, just for fun, I paddled it out last autumn when we had one of the biggest days of the year and, rather than skidding around like most small wave boards, it felt solid and made surfing double over head Guiones a piece of cake.
We’ve actually found that it’s by far the best all round board we’ve ever had: great for making the transition from longboards to shortboards; it goes fast in small surf when other boards stop; it feels solid in big surf when other boards skid out and while the epoxy is not as smooth to ride as tradition PU boards, the difference in performance is only going to effect a tiny minority of elite surfers.
We recently used the Pumpkin Seed for shooting some of the demo footage for our new series of surf coaching podcasts which will be out soon on iTunes. The board did everything we wanted it to without any surprises (and with a little bit of forgiveness).
So we’ve just gone and bought a few more Pumpkin Seeds last week: a 7’6″, a 7’0″ and a 6’6″, all for you to try on your next visit to Surf Simply. I’m not quite sure about the spray jobs on the bottom of the boards though (that wasn’t my selection). You can be the judge!
Surf Simply coach Harry Knight’s trademark stance has been popping up all over the web recently as Black & White Surfboards have just released two of his board designs as a signature model surfboard. Anyone who’s stayed with us will know that Harry’s obession with board design is infectious. So if you’ve caught the bug, here’s a bit more about the boards Harry and Black & White have come up with together…
Here’s how Black & White describe the first board, the ‘Pro Quadster’ – The Pro Quadster (above) is a totally new design incorporating the very latest fin placement ideas. Unlike the Quad fish where the fins are clustered on the rails and work together to create drive, the Quadster’s fins are more widely spread. This placement is closer to a thruster set up in how it works, but with the back fin working more efficiently due to its slight toe-in and angled setting. This board is designed to be a good summer board for experienced surfers slightly flatter in the rocker and a fraction wider in the tail. Its proved to be fast, loose and launchable!
(Above & below: Harry test piloting the ‘Pro Quadster’ in between coaching session here in Nosara.)
…and here’s what the have to say about the other model, the ‘Puffin’ – The Puffin (below) is a new design for 2010 developed from a commissioned custom order it has similar qualities to the highly popular Quad Fish but its rounded tail and Five fin set-up make for a whole new feel. Great summer board and mush buster, but still able to handle most average UK waves. Like the Puffin bird this board looks short and fat on land but is fast and agile in the water! The Puffin has the nose and middle rocker line and rails of the Keel fin fish so catches waves and paddles like a dream, then I’ve added a modern tail lift, concaves and foiled tail to give maximum drive and grip from the wide tail.
To see the other boards in the Black & White range check out their website www.blackandwhitesurfcoltd.co.uk or drop them a line on firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Was this the best blog title we will ever come up with or what!)