Symptoms Of A Sick Board

- Shares

John John Florence, fully cured. Photo: Jimmicane

Guy walks into a doctor’s office with a carrot up his nose and says, “Doc, what’s the matter with me?” The doctor takes a look and says, “You’re not eating properly.” Sometimes, shapers can be doctors. Because sometimes, we got a carrot up our nose, claiming the board’s a lemon, when we just needs bigger fins. Or a little more practice on our backhand. Or a board that’s a quarter-inch thicker. We asked a few major shapers their take on a few common ailments and here’s what they prescribed.
—Beau Flemister

Symptom // Treatment

Bogs on turns:
The first thing to do is look at the volume and make sure the surfer is on a board with the appropriate length and width. Then analyze your stance and foot placement. Also… work on your surfing.

Loses speed in flat spots on waves:
Again, volume is the biggest part of the equation here. More specifically, take a look at the rocker. A board with less rocker may help. And if that fails, then take a surf trip to waves without flat spots.

Too loose:
Check the fin placement and fin size. Generally, it’s too loose if the fins are too far up. Getting technical from there, you can look at the splay of the fins. If the fins get thinner towards the tip, the less drag/resistance, which will produce a looser feel. Also, look at what kind of waves are being ridden. If you’re at Pipe and the board feels loose, it could too much tail-width (go narrower). But if you’re at Lowers, focus more on the fins.

Too stiff:
Get a board with more rocker and/or get some smaller fins.

Goes better frontside than backside (and vice versa):
This is tricky, as 9 out of 10 times it’s a technique-based problem and not the board’s fault. A certain board will suit certain types of waves and certain types of curves better than others, and you can draw different lines on your backhand vs forehand. But technique should overcome any board difficulty.