The Pukas Original Sixtyniner, Axel Lorentz’s opus magnus, is possibly the most popular surfboard model in the history of the Basque Country, if not the universe. You’ll know it by the distinctive paint job — all colour on one side of the stringer, all white on the other — and the trail of retro lines it leaves in its wake.
It rose to prominence as Kepa Acero’s go-to travel board: wide-point toward the nose, pulled-in at the tail, ride it as a single-fin or a thruster, looks great on African point breaks. Its undeniable appeal was at least partly based on the dubious notion of the one-board quiver, a notion somewhat undermined by the subsequent spin-off models.
You can still go for a standard soixante-neuf, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you might decide you want to spice it up a little — either with a performance twist (the 69er Pro), or, as we chose, a bit of small-wave nous.
“You can still go for a standard soixante-neuf, nothing wrong with that, but you might decide you want to spice it up a little”
The 69er Step Down is basically just a shorter, fuller version of the original, with a wider tail. Still hugely versatile, then, but whereas the original really flourished in good, hollow waves, this board will give you a similar feel in average conditions, plus perhaps some extra manoeuvrability.
Pukas 69er Step Down
Dimensions: 5’8" x 20 ¼" x 2.5" / 31.7L
Shaper: Axel Lorentz
Materials: EPS blank/epoxy resin with carbon strips
Price: €700 / £600
If you’re not familiar with the Pukas set-up, Axel is the chief in-house shaper, but the brand also loves a good collaboration — with shapers such as Matt Biolos, Chris Christenson (see his Mescaline model here), Eye Symmetry (whose Cali Quad is the latest addition to Kepa’s quiver) and McTavish (ogle a wondrous single-fin creation here). On top of that, they’re entrusted with the European production of Channel Islands and Lost Surfboards, 'cos they're legends.