There are, essentially, two types of surfer. Those that trim, and those that wiggle.

Trimming, that is, cutting a line across the wave face, is one of surfing's most basic, but also most important acts.

When judgment day comes, and the axe falls, you'll have decided your own fate, so to speak, chiefly by the boards you've elected to ride.

The purchase of, and therefore membership of the ownership club of non-high performance shortboards (be they singles, logs, eggs, mid-lengths, widow-makers etc, etc) is influenced in much the same way as urban expansion / rural depopulation in developing countries.

There are pull factors, and there are push factors.

The pull factors are more straightforward. You love the glide, in both sensation and aesthetic. You treasure poise, speed that is self generating. You dig resin tints, 'cut laps', Volan, gloss finishes, flex fins. Glassing in general, gets you hot. High on your priority list sit boards for life or at least, quite a long time, as opposed to yellow-and-full-of-dents-in-6-months, disposable boards. 

The push factors are perhaps more diverse and almost certainly more interesting, in the zit-popping pus fascination sense.

Perhaps you saw footage of yourself doing a backside off the lip in the Maldives on a 5'10" x 18 /1/2" JS, and cat sicked in your own mouth.

Perhaps you noticed your hair thinning whilst brushing your teeth, then had an anxiety dream about being that deluded balding guy riding Griffin Colapinto's dimensions badly at your local very average beachbreak, spazzing, bogging, fish-killing and generally committing crimes against visual decency.

"Perhaps you saw footage of yourself doing a backside off the lip in the Maldives on a 5'10" x 18 /1/2" JS, and cat sicked in your own mouth"

Perhaps you read Josh Kerr's recent assertion: "Can't understand why anyone over 20 who isn't training for a contest is riding a high performance thruster"

Perhaps you've come to an abrupt realisation that unless you were already blowing fins out of top turns by your mid teens, any subsequent attempt to 'catch-up', cheeks puffed out, mouth agape, arms 'Y'-ing off the top, head bobbing furiously off the bottom, is not only unfair on anyone who might be unfortunate enough to be paddling out watching, it's also an affront to surfing in general.

However you got here, welcome. You just want to trim... and if at all possible, trim inside the tube. 

Bravo.

 

McTavish Diamond Sea

McTavish Diamond Sea

Dimensions: 6’0” x 20” x 2 1/4”
Shaper: Ben McTavish
Set up: Single
Materials: PU 6/4oz Volan with tint
Price: €940 (with tint and 9” hull fin included)

McTavish

I was at the Pukas warehouse in Oiartzun, fingering Merricks, fondling Mayhems, caressing Christensons and getting lured by Lorentz’s, when this thing winked at me out of a cast of thousands of surfboards.

Actually, it was a rail wink. And once you’ve had one, you’ll never go back to the other kind, or so they say.

My eye fell upon the Diamond Sea’s rail in the rack, then followed a hand. An hour later, she was in the back of the van. Read the full review

 

Josh Hall Le Sliviar Glider

Josh Hall Le Sliviar

Dimensions: 11’6” x 21 ½” 3 ¼”
Shaper: Josh Hall
Set up: Single
Materials: PU / custom glassed by Blend
Price: €2000

Blend Glassing

Protege of San Diego legend Skip Frye and following in the footsteps and planer passes of other builders of note, Josh Hall rejects the idea of shaping for a retro or revival movement, rather merely making the kind of craft that you need to surf the various waves found around San Diego.

Break down what kind of waves they are — everything from thumping reefs to bowling beachbreaks, average reefs to very ordinary beachies, and every swell size from giant to minuscule — and you’ll extend that argument to the kind of waves you surf in your own backyard... to create a diversion as you reach for your credit card. Read the full review

 

Grace Single Fin

Grace Single Fin

Dimensions: 6’6” x 19 ¾” x 2 ¾” / 37.5L
Shaper: Phil Grace
Set up: Single
Materials: PU
Price: € 670

Euroglass

Someone once said, “If you can remember the single fin era, you weren’t really there...”

“Every surfer should have a single fin in their quiver,” said someone else.

Balderdash! We say. Poppycock, on both counts.

Every surfer should have several singles in their quiver, not just one. And when it comes to selecting the shaper of your single fin, who better to assign that noble task than a man who not only remembers the single fin era, but recounts epic, romping tales of it with legendary zeal, ‘Doctor’ Phil Grace. Read the full review

 

Brink Left-Foot-Forward Asymmetrical

Brink Left-Foot-Forward Assymetrical

Dimensions: 5’10½"
Shaper: Donald Brink
Set-up: Thruster/Single
Materials: PU / PE
Price: €800

Brink Surfboards

This one in the photo's for regulars, but there's no reason goofyfoots shouldn't get their asymmetrical shuffle on too, obvs.

The Brink philosophy, often articulated in a language all of its own, is about helping you "surf the way that you stand” (he says that a lot). “There are areas we can enhance and certain frustrations we can minimize with careful cohesive adjustments.” (He says "cohesive" a lot, too; even the most minor adjustment will be counter-balanced or complemented by multiple other, equally minor adjustments.)

As for this particular board, it’s “essentially very simple”, which is how he seems to characterise all his surfboards, however complex they may appear. “The distribution of foam is well balanced, yet the twisted curve in the rocker is where fitting turns into wave shapes will be rewarding. Imagine longer flowing lines on softer waves with a flexy single fin up forward in the box. Now for a more vertical approach in the same board, with a balanced tri-fin set up, one can surf more into the exit rocker and define more precise lines as desired.” Read the full review

 

Phipps One Bad Egg

Phipps One Bad Egg

Dimensions: 7’4” x 20 ¾” x 2 ¾”
Shaper: Mark Phipps
Set up: 2 plus 1
Materials: PU with tint
Price: €795

Euroglass

Funny how things change, isn’t it? Once upon a time, not so very long ago, when a sinister ultra conservative orthodoxy of shortboarding ruled, there were only two types of surfboard.

The high performance shortboard or ‘surfboard’ as it was known, and the ‘mal’, which was everything else. An egg in the 7ft-ish range was probably referred to disdainfully as a ‘mini-mal’, and the purchasing of one was taken as a sign of the throwing in of the towel by the once virile and aspirational, a giving up on life by the once relevant and potent.

These days, of course, that’s all gone out the window, and the mid-length surfboard has never enjoyed such trappings of fame, acclaim and performance. Read the full review

 

Chipiron Gamba

Chipiron Gamba

Length: 7’4”
Shaper: Damien Marly
Set up: Single
Materials: PU
Price: €750

Chipiron

Damien Marly started Chipiron surfboards in 2006 after losing a long and expensive legal case with the Marley family and in particular Damian Marley aka Junior Gong, of Welcome To Jamrock fame.

The Marley family expert witness and his extensive DNA evidence proved conclusive, the case was thrown out, and Marly was thus forced into the lucrative custom surfboard business to pay legal costs.

Some twelve years on, Marly has no plans to return to Jamaica. Read the full review

 

Maurice Cole Shiva

Maurice Cole Shiva

Dimensions: 6’0” x 20 1/2” x 2 ⅝” / 35.5L
Shaper: Maurice Cole
Set up: 4 + 1 
Materials: PU
Price: €675

Surf Odyssey

 

OK fine, this one is less trim-y and more wiggly than others in this list, but technically, you can ride it as a single, in longer lengths, and thus surf to this article's 'criteria'.

Just when you thought you had everything covered, your quiver well rounded, all-encompassing, eclectic, inspired, inclusive... along came Maurice, stroking his beard and laughing, loud.

Got thruster/quad 5 box? Course. Got 2 plus 1? Sure, obvs. Got 4 plus 1?...

*Crickets*

Maurice’s latest model, and one that he’s particularly proud of design-wise, is the Shiva, a board he came up with in conjunction with Roark (who make nice boardies). “The brief was a board for Roark to travel the world with.” Read the full review