The end of winter is welcome for a lot of us.
I’m finding that winter is becoming longer and I’m feeling the cold more. So I look forward to Spring certainly, and summer a little. Even though the rubber in the steamer is good, it will be great to get out of the steamer and transition from Springsuit to boardshorts and vest.
This spring we have introduced 2 new models and 1 revamped.
Varmit and Alley are the new models, and XFC has had a makeover.
Varmit is a volume added all-round semi-performance board to assist the surfer who needs some help.
Help at what ?
Help competing in the line-up for waves with better paddling and a better platform to spring to your feet.
That sort of assistance can be had because the nose area is increased and the nose entry is lower so you glide in and then feel the stability on the transition getting to your feet.
The back half of the board is pretty much a normal plan-shape and normal width with normal rocker, so back foot moves can be tight in the pocket and also have real good hold through bottom turns.
The plan-shape is a contributing factor in that hold thru the bottom turns, the wider nose to normal tail gives you an outline and rail line that promotes pure lines in the turning arc and won’t jump out of the water and thus produces carves with no chatter or give.
You would surf the Varmit as big as you need, but it can be surfed equally as well as a minimum volume board.
Take me for instance, I produced this model as a way for me to have an advantage at age 61, so not unreasonable, surf a fairly short board in good waves but with added volume for easier wave catching but with enough performance to not let you down.
Let’s get real here, if you add volume you take away performance and feel and sensitivity, it’s a physics thing.
There are ways to lessen this manifestation, like keep the higher volume board lightweight and keep the rail low, maybe add some vee to the bottom.
There are a few tricks to engage and the trick is to balance it out in your favour.
I started out with the Varmit on a 6’6 21 2⅝ 39.24 litres Roundtail. This was good, great to paddle, nice feel, solid turns.
The next Varmit prototype board I increased the thickness to 2¾ and then also added a rounded-squaretail to the equation.
This gave me real impressive paddle power at 40.85 litres and a nice blend of performance.
So for me, real good when I’d had a break from surfing and was coming back a little underdone the extra board was most welcome.
Then after building fitness I wanted a pickup in speed and sensitivity, so moved to a 6’5 20¾ 2 11/16 RSQ Varmit at 38.31 litres.
This board was trimmed down a little from Varmit model guidelines, mostly in the nose with just a little less area.
The board was comfortable and getting towards a low volume high performance feel and a genuine all-rounder for reasonable waves in the 2 to 5 range.
My brother Mark has claimed this board after a trial session and is surfing it in everything this winter from 1 to 6 feet.
This brings me to the 3rd board in the Varmit range that I could surf, the 6’4 20½ 2⅝ RSQ 36.72 litre board.
Fits nicely into a low volume high performance thruster board for me, making the Varmit a versatile model for all levels and requirements.
The Varmit will be available as a thruster and quad option board.
Contact me if you have any further queries.
The Alley has had a meteoric rise from new board for Cooper Chapmen, to new model in the range.
Alley is a low volume high performance thruster with a flatter rocker throughout particularly in the middle and nose entry with a slightly lower tail rocker than the rest of my models.
The concave, single throughout, is deeper as well creating a combination to generate speed when needed, particularly for Cooper when he eyeballs a section and wants to launch off it.
The Rounded-Square tail is a slightly wider style along with the nose planshape.
Surf the Alley as short and narrow as is practical, but get it 1/16 thicker than you normally would for a Simon Board.
The deck is vee style with a low blocky style rail which is slightly different to my usual deck and rail contour but not too far removed.
Cooper has been ordering repeats of this design 6’0 18⅝ 2 5/16 RSQ 26.8 litres and is stoked on the performance and feel.
We have been mucking around with fin placements for various conditions and have come up with a formula that gives him maximum versatility for the surf he will encounter on the WSL WQS Tour.
I have settled on a stock board fin placement that is further up the board than normal and is a nice balance to give hold but release at the end of the arc, or aid in release of the fins out of the top.
My experience has been good with the Alley, generating Cooper’s design up to 6’4 20 9/16 2 11/16 RSQ 36.56 litres.
I have surfed this board at Narrabeen and Lowers Trestles in California and the feel is different to my normal rocker boards in all my other models.
I like the speed on tap in the Alley model, with the ability to pick up more speed in transition to blast off any upcoming section down the line.
Being a short, low volume high performance board it is also pretty good in the pocket and smashes the lip with great efficiency.
I also like the ability to release the fins with control at the end of the arc in a cutback.
This is due to the fins being forward and the combination of lower rocker and deeper concave.
To further backup the testing stage of the Alley at Bells this Easter I was able to get a nice little 5’11 18 5/16 2¼ Roundtail 25.25 litre Alley board under the feet of Wiggolly Dantas.
Wiggolly liked the feel and balance of the 5’11 and surfed it in a Bells heat at the Rip Curl event.
In truth I haven’t done too much to my old flagbearer model.
Just modernising it a little with updated dimensions to fit the trends of modern surfing and equipment.
The NewXFC is slightly shorter with slightly more area in the nose and tail.
The rocker also is a little lower nose and tail and really smooth and continuous.
The intention is to allow you to surf XFC slightly shorter, but with the same volume as before.
Concave is single to double and everything else is not far removed from previous XFC boards.
NewXFC is my all-round rounded square short board high performance model for waves from 2 to 6 feet.