We Tested Positive | A Surfboard Test at Wavegarden Cove
4 surfers, 19 boards, hundreds of waves... and 1 world record attempt
Filmed & Edited by Pietro Franca // Action photos by Pacotwo/Wavegarden
"Wavegarden's Cove provided the absolute ideal testing ground"
In late September, while Huey was having a bad hair day, we hit up Wavegarden's Cove facility somewhere in the Basque countryside, with a bus full of surf boards and test pilots Mikey February, Adrien Toyon, Victoria Vergara and Aritz Aranburu.
With the talent chomping at the bit to sip on the some of latest craft from Pukas, Channel Islands, Bradley, Chilli, Lost, Hayden Shapes, Rusty, Catch Surf, Mick Fanning Softboards, Semente, Pyzel and many more, and a fantastic, consistent swell forecast for the Cove, it was the perfect setting for Surf Europe's inaugural We Tested Positive Surfboard Sniff.
The trouble with testing surfboards in the ocean, of course, is standardising the test conditions. With no two waves ever really being the same, it's pretty hard to compare different boards fairly. Factor in the tides in Europe, and the fact that a right barrel can turn into a rip bowl left in the time it takes to come in and change boards a couple of times, and you're really moving the goalposts, so to speak.
Hence why Wavegarden's Cove technology provided the absolute ideal testing ground.
Air: 20 deg C
Water: A touch cooler
Surf: Clean, headhigh rights, perfect tide, glorious water colour
Snacks: Almonds, bananas, dark chocolate
- Pukas Surf by Axel Lorentz Tasty 5'10"
- Pukas x Eye Symmetry 0cto-rail 5'9"
- Channel Islands Black & White 5'10"
- Channel Islands Rocket 9 5'8"
- Bradley LC6 Chocolatine 5'8"
- Chilli Miami Spice 5'3"
- Pyzel Pyzalien 5'8"
- Semente Bondo 5'8"
- Rusty Chewy Toy 5'8"
- Hayden Shapes White Noiz 5'9"
- Lost Driver 5'10"
- Lost Pocket Rocket 5'10"
- Catch Surf J0B Special 54"
- Mick Fanning Softboards Eugenie 5'10"
- Pukas Vintage Twin 5'7"
- Dead Kooks Nausea 9'4"
- Hidden Wood Alaia 5'10"
- Chipiron Bonite 5'4"
Tester / Adrien Toyon
"Some of the most eye-pleasing backhand in chlorine since Roger Federer over-bleached his Wimbledon whites"
Adrien Toyon may or may not have broken a world record during We Tested Positive, alas nobody from Guinness World Records was on hand to verify his feat.
Still, if anybody out there has video evidence of a human surfing more than 16 surfboards in under two hours, do let us know.
Adrien made his own way down to the Cove, with his mum, who helped wax up a few of the sticks.
He preferred the Eye Symmetry, the Rusty and the Semente from the many boards he surfed. In the process of trying all the boards out, Adrien put down some of the most eye-pleasing backhand lines in chlorine since Roger Federer over-bleached his Wimbledon whites.
Tester / Mikey February
"Smoother than a freshly shampoo'd otter"
Mikey is one of the smoothest surfers you've ever seen. 'Smoother than a freshly shampoo'd otter' someone once said. It may have been us.
Mikey, currently high-flying on the QS, was staying with Aritz in the Basque Country so had the very finest of tour guides for his time in Euskal Herria. Mikey blazed his Channel Islands so well that one fully grown man in attendance said, "He's my new favourite surfer," choking back tears of joy.
He got tunnelled on the Fanning softie, went over the falls on the alaia and in generally tested as positive as anyone ever has, ever.
Tester / Victoria Vergara
When we were picking surfers to be part of the project, we were thinking 'Shredders!' and we were thinking 'Rippers!'. Right?
But we also fancied mixing it up with the twinkle toed log antics of French longboardeuse Vic. Her longboard skills were every bit as good as we'd hoped, and watching Vic hang ten, with someone carving hard behind her and someone else blowing tail on the wave behind that, was certainly a thing to behold.
Tester / Aritz Aranburu
What's left to be said about Aritz Aranburu? An absolute mad man in heavy barrels, absolute legend of a bloke on dry land.
Aritz has probably had more sessions at the WaveGarden in the past few years than seems fair, but that's what you get for being well-connected in life, right? Aritz ripped on his sponsor Pukas' Lorentz sleds, and had a ball on an old vintage twin from their legendary collection.