Proctor Surfboards are now available in Hydroflex as well! I’m ordering a 5’6 Proctor Monsta in Hydroflex…can’t wait to try that board out and post a review and maybe a video or two. In the meantime, read my other review of Hydroflex surfboards.
1976 G & S which I purchased new. The board has a few minor dings and is in great shape for its years. I don’t really know what to ask for it so I’m up to offers. Feel free to post comments below. Aloha!
Dimensions: 5’6 x 19″ x 2.18″
Dave from Hawaiian South Shore was cool enough to let me borrow the Lost Black Sheep Hydroflex model for a couple days. The Black Sheep is a combination of Lost’s two popular models, the Sub-Scorcher & the Rocket. I had heard so much about the new Hydroflex construction where you actually pump up or deflate the surfboard to alter its flex.
How it Works
To Pump or Deflate
The Hydroflex material feels very similar to the epoxy construction of Lost’s Placebo boards. Compared to a Surftech Tuflite, these boards feel very soft…even a bit more soft than Firewire boards. The difference between the Hydroflex and Placebo boards is the fact that you can pump out most of your pressure dings (Placebo boards are so soft their decks start to cave in on the first session). It’s pretty amazing how your board seems to come back to life almost like new…you won’t get the deck back to perfect but for the most part all the pressures go away. The Hydroflex material also appears to be more ding resistant than your standard PU board.
How Does the Hybrid Shape Go?
Sub Scorcher – The tail of the Sub Scorcher is pulled in which gives you a very good turning radius for great carving in the pocket.
So basically you get the wider front end and lower rocker of the Rocket which helps you catch a shit ton of waves with a more pulled in tail and increase tail rocker for better turning in the pocket (compared to the Rocket). Sounds like a no brainer! This board feels more like a shortboard than a fish when you’re up and riding but catches more waves than a standard Sub Scorcher. Surfers will really like the way this board feels on nice walled up waves and in the pocket…feels very positive.
Go check um out at Hawaiian South Shore on Ward Ave. across from Sports Authority. They have a bunch of them in-stock.
The following is an except from our interview with Ventura based shaper Todd Proctor of Proctor Surfboards.
Q: Todd, what’s your take on board design for smaller crappier waves. I’d like to discuss bigger wave boards later but I think the majority of the surfing population surfs less than ideal waves but have it stuck in their heads that they need to ride what the pros ride (me included). What types of designs work best and maybe we can list some of his top choices after the article.
A: My take on board design for smaller, crappier waves is this: a bit of the old wider, flatter, thicker concepts from the past conjoined with progressive, futuristic bending of rockers and nuanced warping of bottom contours. A dreamy, technical sentence that means just what…..? Ok, well for you and I that don’t have the luxury of two week waiting periods at the perfect spot during the perfect time of year waiting for the ideal swell…..or the benefits of jetski assist, or unlimited time off work for that matter; here’s what it boils down to….when we get that daily, or weekly window of opportunity to block the world out and find the rhythm of pure flow in the water, we want something that’s gonna go….no matter what…..even if it is two feet and onshore; something that will give us some jets under our feet to dust off the cobwebs and let the rail run free. Today, more than ever, all the board designs that have come before us are allowing us to borrow from the past, change-it up, add to it, re-invent our boards so they take us to places in marginal conditions we were never able to go before.
By mixing and matching, blending and inventing….this design process has landed us into the most exciting time to NOT be a pro, and to NOT be surfing good waves. And here’s why…board design has brought us to this wonderful place. Following, I am going to break down what I see as the essential ingredients for small, lackluster wave surfing. I’ve numbered each step because it will coincide with a particular aspect of how I put together a small wave board design.
It all comes down to (1)quick paddle speed, (2)up and into the wave early, (3)the board has to fit into the wave (4)a burst of speed at take-off, (5)speed to burn from there on out (which has always been the essential in surfing), but very important; (6)you’ve got to have hold when you need it, with (7)controlled release on demand.
So, for steps 1 through 3, not much has changed from our Steve Lis fish roots. For this you go flatter, wider, shorter, thicker…..these ingredients are nothing new; flatter rockers go faster on flatter faced waves, they paddle quicker thus getting into waves easier. The shorter length fits better into a smaller wave face…..kind of like a canvas your gonna paint on; the smaller the canvas, the tighter the tool, the larger the canvas, the more rail line you should have to draw elegant lines. At times you’ll see this rule broken such as when guys ride exceptionally little boards in big hollow heavy waves…..(aside from tow-ins, or step-offs, this is more a test of skill and a desire for a change-up of feeling under the feet…..an exciting challenge more than a functional big wave design breakthrough). Anyway, back to it….thicker boards also are going to paddle you quicker and get you into waves earlier; thicker boards ride higher in the water which is nice to feel on top of things in small waves rather than that sinking feeling.
Step 4 is where things get interesting…..welcome to the future. Bottom contours control the water flow through the bottom of the board; a regulator of sorts that tells a board when to hold back, when to slingshot, when to release. I am finding that more and more, concaves are here to stay and will play even greater roles in the future of boards…..combined with rockers that are blended in ways different than has been done before….new territory….it’s sick!! So, for the burst of speed at take-off, I am running quite a bit of single concave from the nose through the center of the board; combined with a fairly low entry rocker, this gets you in early, but then once you get up…..(which in small waves the norm is to be standing a bit more forward on the board initially and more off the front foot since the wave doesn’t have the push to allow for a steep drop with the back foot right on the tail straight away) the pressure from your front foot engages the concave (which creates both grip and lift at the same time….concaves are a crazy schyzophrenic design that is perfectly suited to modern surfing)….in return you get a burst of speed at take-off.
Step 5. The board needs to keep a constant steady speed regardless if it’s a flat faced part of the wave or a bit of a steep section coming at you. Typically “fish” style boards have always been quick out of the gates, but then the majority of them get all skippy and slidey and tend to loose speed out of turns….no good 🙁 A good small waves board can actually pick up speed as the wave spins off smaller and smaller, you can actually gain speed out of turns, and your board can hold in without slipping on you when you are pushing through a turn, or coming off the bottom as hard as you can. The answer, you guessed it….concaves….again. I use several different combinations of concaves that play off what the bottom rocker is doing and specific to the exact kind of bad waves the board is for. For example, in the worst, smallest, mushiest waves I’ll go with the shortest length, the fullest outline typically a roundnose, a very flat rocker, with a deep single concave under the front foot which transitions to an even deeper inset double concave past center, then into a deep vee cut through with concaves (otherwise known as spiral vee) which accelerates off the tail block. This combination makes for a board that books in the smallest stuff, holds a line through turns, but isn’t so grippy that the tail feels sticky in the flat spots….the spiral vee combo makes for a very free feeling board in the smallest, weakest conditions, yet will surprise you with how well it does hold under super high speeds and when it gets pushed on in maneuvers.
Step 6. I typically incorporate a highly technical rocker/ concave combination into the small wave boards that I refer to as “the beer belly”. The beer belly gives the boards an incredible amount of hold even though at first glance it does not have a streamlined or “fast” look to it at all. So, what is the beerbelly? Ok, I’m gonna let you in on one of my little secret brainstorms….I will put a dip, or sag in the rocker of most of my small wave boards behind center right around 2/3 of the way back of the rail line rocker of the board. At first glance, it looks like it will drag water, but if you think of a surfboard less like a water ski (which is pulled at high speeds along a relatively flat surface for the most part), and think of it more as a curve that needs to harness energy by matching the surface energy alongside another curve (the wave face)…..all of a sudden you never look at a surfboard like a water ski again; and you quit thinking about how fast a design will go on the straight, but how fast it will surf on the up and down and on rail…..since that is where all the speed comes from with surfboards…..harnessing the waves energy and getting your boards’ rails to take off like a slingshot. The “beerbelly” concept acts as a fulcrum or teetertotter between your feet that makes your board want to lay over on rail and want to gain it’s speed by matching the part of the wave where the most energy saturated parts of the waves curve are generated. A concave bottom that cuts through the center of the board just helps to create lift, allowing the beerbelly to do it’s hydrodynamic-harnessing thing.
Step 7. Ok, so we’ve got speed, we’ve got hold, we’re already into the wave early……now, we’re throwin’ down turns….maneuvers like we never thought…..yew….this board is one step ahead of me….what did I just pull…whoa that was killer….:) Controlled release…very important. It’s good to not slip and slide once you get goin’, but you don’t want to be stuck when you’re trying to break free either. This is when you are half way though a turn and you want to break the tail free a little… or your about to smash the lip, but you want the fins to disengage for just a bit. Everything from a little extra snap in a turn, to boosting a reverse. This comes down to your tail rocker, the way the bottom contours run off the tail, your tail shape, and your fins. On the really small wave boards….for the gutless horrible days, a straighter tail rocker, with a spiral vee bottom, a swallowtail or moontail and a two plus one setup (bigger side fins with a small trailer in the back) works unreal. Like I said before flatter rocker is faster, spiral vee keeps the tail free in the small stuff, a swallowtail/ moontail…..or anything where the tail block has an area cut out of it will let the water through and loosen thing up off your back foot. The moontail does this even more drastically…..the moon acts like an exhaust pipe of sorts, letting all the compressed water from the bottom concaves out, exploding off the tail block.
A more versatile all-around small waves board that will go in the crud, but also handle up to head high, will typically run a slight bit more entry rocker (still much lower than a “good waves” board), a flatter run in the rocker through the mid-section of the board; under your front foot for drive and carry through the flats. Followed by a touch of rocker just off the back fin. This little tweak off the tail rocker really does a lot for a board’s liveliness in maneuvers. I’ll run pretty even heavy concaves through the entire bottom with some inset double concaves through the fin cluster to keep the board running quick when laid over on one rail or the other. Then I’ve been putting concave running right off the tail block which has been working unreal to give the board an extra pop and a nice crisp explosiveness out of the last part of turns/ maneuvers.
Larger side fins make a board more drivey; faster in small waves. There is more fin area for the water to leverage off of when pushed on in turns…..this increases drive. The smaller the back fin is, the less drag that is created when the board is on trim or going down the line…..this keeps the board quick through sections and loose off the tail. A similar concept with quads….no back fin reduces down-the-line drag. Quads are incredibly fast. They will not pivot off the bottom and release and snap off the top the same way that tri-fins will, but they do draw the most amazing sweeping on-rail turns. The best drawn-out picking-up-speed-on-rail roundhouses can be done on quads. You’ve basically got double the fins on your rail, so you’ve got double the leverage for maximum pushback through on-rail turns. By the same token you can square up a tri-fin that much quicker coming off the bottom by pivoting around one fin…..the radius is tighter and will allow for more of a yank of the rail off the bottom and pulling of the board more out of the water and throwing it more vert into the lip. That is why I recommend going with a five fin set-up on most small wave boards. You get so much versatility i.e. drawn out down the line stuff, quad for sure…speed runs and huge arcs. Tighter, beachbreaky, more cornery vertical stuff….the tri-fin rules those conditions.
Here’s my favorites for small waves:
>From 1ft. – 3ft.: The Twin Fang and Quad Fang
>From 1ft. – 4ft.: The Lil’ Rascal and Rascal II
>From 1ft. – 5ft.: The Scarecrow
>From 2ft. – 6ft.: The Greased Pig
>From 2ft. – overhead: Da Monsta
I have just gotten done custom detailing a nice selection of these boards for Surf n Sea on the north shore and Hawaiian South Shore. I’ve taken the conditions of summertime Oahu into mind when designing each of the boards now available at these two fine shops…..having lived in Hawaii myself and being familiar with all the various breaks around the island. Be sure to check them out. I think you will be stoked. A lot of heart and soul is poured into each of the boards.
You can check out the lineup now available at Surf-N-Sea here:
And the lineup now available at Hawaiian South Shore here:
Custom orders available through both shops.
BY TODD PROCTOR
Q – Todd, what’s you’re take on the new trend to go shorter, wider, stubbier ala Dumpster Diver & Dane Reynolds which I hear about all the time? Is there a specific model that resembles this trend?
A – Da Monsta would probably be the one that falls into that category….even though it has existed some years prior to the ‘Dumpster Diver’….Da Monsta is in that genre of shorter, wider, thicker boards that take the performance aspects of a “good waves” rocker chip and adapt it to a more practical board for the typical less-than-supernatural conditions we all surf in day in day out. The concept behind this type of board is speed combined with maneuverability and hold….to allow performance surfing in less than performance type of waves. You know the slopey, crumbly little corners we have to deal with in hopes to blast a section with some semblance of speed and power if a little piece of lip should pop up along the way. The biggest difference that Da Monsta has from most all of the other “tricky” little boards out there, is in the rocker/ bottom curve of the board and the hull contours. I have found that just going wider, thicker, shorter, etc… does not really fulfill the entirety of what surfers need out of a small/ average waves design.
I have come up with three different, uniquely tuned and out of the box rocker/ bottom contours that I’ve applied specifically to Da Monsta….this is what I like to refer to as the ‘engine’ of the board….even more so than just plumping a board up and shortening it, ‘the engine’ is what really gives it the get up and go…..the magic of the board.
Here is a brief breakdown on these three uniquely tuned “engines” :
Surfers in Hawaii can find the Monsta at http://www.hawaiiansouthshore.com
Deal: Mention you saw this ad on the Surfboard Shack and get $15 off the price of a new Proctor at Surf-N-Sea Haleiwa! This
I’ve been using ‘The Trunks’ from Elephant Surf on my recent surf
So I know you’re asking yourself why would you want to wear something
I’m a big fan of stretch boardshorts and after trying my first pair I
Another cool benefit of the Elephant Trunks is they actually keep your
I recommend this product to anyone who has problems with lower
They offer ‘The Trunks’ in size M (30-34 waist) $48.00 and L (34-38)
Dimensions: 5’3 x 20 x 2″ 5/8
I’ve recently been riding this Kane Garden 5’3 quad fish courtesy of Peter Johnson. The board features a domed deck with a lot of volume near the stringer which makes paddling this thing so easy yet offers foiled rails (more foiled than normal for retro fish boards) for performance. Most of the twin and quad retro type fishes I’ve seen in the past have flatter decks and chunky rails which help with paddling but make it harder to sink your rail during turns. I was pleasantly surprised to see more foil in the rails for more performance from these type of wave catching hogs.
I took this board out for its first go in less than ideal conditions; waist high and onshore slop. Normally I would’ve passed surfing on this type of day but I had to go out and give this board a test run. I was surprised at how well the board paddled considering it had a domed deck and short length. I zipped out to the lineup with ease and took a late drop on the first onshore mushburger that I caught. The board felt a bit short and loose though my timing was off and these waves were barely surfable…hardly any wall or wave face, choppy, and weak.
I caught several okay waves and noticed the responsiveness of the board…once you start pumping the board it really flies and carves pretty tight…more so than a lot of the other fishes I’ve ridden. I think the short length, rails, and quad fin setup make this board perform well.
The 5’3 Kane Garden fish was surfed a few more times during that same week in small but more favorable wind conditions. I was beginning to realize how fast this board is on the open face and it was weird how it had a good amount of drive off the bottom but was pretty loose in turns and carves. Usually a board is drivey and turns tight or feels loose turning and has absolutely no drive. This board somehow is able to provide you with drive, projection, and speed down the line combined with tight turning ability when you really need it on the open face and the shoulder. Another cool aspect about this board is it has more flip in the nose rocker than any other fish I’ve seen which to me, allows you to throw the board up in the lip and ride high on the face without fearing that you’re going to dig the nose.
My advice for intermediate to advanced surfers looking to get a fish for those small mushy days is to get one at least a couple inches shorter than your height. These board are wide and buoyant so you don’t really have to worry about paddling ability when you cut off several inches in length. I’ve ridden other fishes like this in the 5’6 range and even those boards feel too long. With this width and thickness, I could probably ride this board as low as 5’0 but I will say that having an extra three inches helps with paddle battles with longboarders!
Lastly, you have to hand it to Kane Garden’s craftsmanship. This board has a beautiful acid splash on the deck with complimenting black rails and the glass job is second to none. Overall, KG makes well made high performance fishes that every fish enthusiast should try at least once.
Dimensions: 5’7 x 18″ 7/8 x 2″ 1/4
With every surfer in sight going shorter and wider on their everyday performance shortboards, I decided to get in on the action and get a shorter/wider small wave shortboard. Enter the Proctor Greased Pig II. A normal shortboard for me used to be somewhere be somewhere in the 5’10 – 5’11 range and when I got the Greased Pig I was a bit skeptical that I’d be able to surf this board in small waves.
Much to my surprise, the Greased Pig paddle great and even better surfed awesome in small and weak lined-up waves. The Greased Pig II features a slightly wider outline compared to a normal high performance shortboard along with a more relaxed rocker. The deck is pretty flat allowing fuller more boxy rails which I think allow you to really push the board on its rail in weaker surf. I have a tendency to dig the foiled rails of a performance shortboard when the surfs weak and small but I think the fuller rails allow you to push on the rail and actually compress and push off the wave with ease which in my opinion is critical to generating speed in small waves. Couple that with a single to double concave and this board really flies down the line when the wave walls up.
This particular board has a five fin box setup though I’ve only ridden it as a thruster. Surprisingly, the board generates more than enough speed as a three fin (I usually struggle to generate heaps of speed on a performance shortboard in small waves). I had another surfer ask me if the board was setup as a quad after seeing me catch a nice little lined-up chest high right. He was surprised that the board was able to generate that kind of speed in such small surf. This board surfs well from knee to head high though it prefers the wave to be running along the reef/bank with some wall to it. The wave doesn’t have to be punchy but you do need a small wall to generate some speed.
The Greased Pig turns well thanks to its tail rocker and bump wing squash tail. It allows for easy round house cut backs and is snappy in the pocket. I would say that it draws a slightly longer lines compared to a high performance shortboard but most surfers can’t ride their HP shortboards in rubbish surf. This is the go to board when you still want to shortboard when it’s small and crappy as you can still generate speed and do tighter turns than any fish in your quiver.
Fish riders looking to transition to shortboards will find that this board makes the learning curve much shorter. The template and fuller rails make the board very forgiving which is key to surfers who don’t surf HP shortboards on a daily basis. Advanced surfers will love this board when the surf gets small and they don’t want to ride a fish. Those surfers will get the most performance possible in surf that’s just too small and mushy for their HP sticks.
My last thoughts on this board is that the speed this board generates is pretty amazing. This is by far one of the best small wave shortboards I’ve ridden and I think every surfer looking for a small wave groveler should give it a try.
Don’t forget, mention the code: SHACK when ordering your next Proctor and get your choice of FREE 5 fin install, Dakine tailpad, or resin upgrade! http://www.proctorsurf.com/Surf-Boards/shack-offer I hope to have a few photos and videos of the Greased Pig II in action. Stay tuned. Aloha!
I recently tried Silverfish’s Standard Eyewear surf shades. These surf shades are similar to the Oakley Water Jackets and Sea Specs surf shades. They rival Sea Specs in price ($44.95) though the Silverfish Standard fit over my face way better than the Sea Specs. For some reason the Sea Specs felt very stiff over my nose and those shades never sat evenly on my face. I’m not exactly sure why the Silverfish shades feel better…I assume it’s due to a slightly different design.
For those who surf in the day, I highly recommend wearing these Silverfish surf shades…you’ll be surprised how much more comfortable you’ll be without fighting glare and all the squinting you normally do. The shades also protect your eyes from the dangers of your surfboard and reduces your risk from long term eye complications like glaucoma which can cause blindness.
Standard Eyewear Features:
Buy online at www.silverfish.com