Pukas x Eye Symmetry Cali Quad Surfboard
A lean, mean speed machine for the open highway
There are several excellent reasons for making the next addition to your quiver an Eye Symmetry.
One of the main ones is that, in the words of Tom Carroll, Eye Symmetry surfboards are flabbergastingly well made. Each board is built from start to finish by Max Stewart, a one-man band from Sydney, whose duties include shaping, glassing, sanding, sweeping the factory floors, applying the resin tints, fashioning the lovely epoxy leash loop by hand, and making the tea.
The fact he shapes for Tom Carroll is another. Recently he’s also started making boards for members of the Basque massive, thanks to yearly European visits and an ongoing collaboration with Pukas.
The Cali Quad is a performance fish, geared towards good, clean surf in the small to medium range, and inspired by the waves and shapers of California. "What especially caught my eye," Max said when I spoke to him recently, "were some of the wide quads that [legendary Californian shaper] Stretch was making."
This one was made for Kepa Acero, and it’s most startling feature is the octo-rail design; rather than a smooth, continuous curve, the rails consist of multiple flat surfaces and hard edges, like an octagon. The idea is rooted in hydrodynamic theory, according to which "curved edges create drag whereas hard edges reduce drag”. We tried a similar board — not a Cali Quad but a "Lucid Eye" model — at last year's Wavegarden Board Test, and Adrien Toyon loved the thing.
“In the words of Tom Carroll, Eye Symmetry surfboards are flabbergastingly well made”
These particular rails aren’t octagonal but heptagonal (or pentagonal, if you don’t include the deck and bottom), but let’s not split hairs, they’re fucken octo-rails, okay. They don’t come as standard on the Cali Quad — it tends to have more conventional, if heavily bevelled, rails — but Max wanted Kepa to give the octo-rails a go with their additional drive and speed.
"With the extra hold from the octo-rails I've found sometimes the board can be a little less forgiving, especially as a quad," he said. "So I would definitely recommend using 50/50 or 60/40 foiled rear fins as opposed to flat sided fins."
Kepa described the board as “fast and sensitive”, and excellent in smooth, medium-pace waves, especially of the beach-break variety. But it doesn't love “baches” (potholes), nor does it thrive in the evil cross-shore, preferring a glassier water texture.
So on bumpy backroads and weather-worn lanes (messy or wobbly surf), it probably won’t be your vehicle of choice. But out on the freshly laid tarmac of the open road, with the air-resistance rippling through its hair, it’s a lean, mean speed machine.