Thursday, July 09, 2015
The board looks downright weird and is marketed as a high performance longboard that rides like a shortboard. The construction is SLX epoxy which I think is Bi-directional glass over 2lb polystyrene EPS with a 3/8" wooden stringer. The epoxy is pigmented white which makes repairs pretty invisible and the will also resist browning. It repaired quite easily. I had the board out in 2m, 15second swell and took a few lips full on, so it seems a solid board to me.
There are two unusual features to this board. Firstly there is an incut in the center of theboard which gives the board a waist. Secondly the tail width accelerates to nothing from the fins back.
On the plus side, unusually for a longboard it will tuck neatly under the arm of a person from 5'2" up and its reasonably light. That was my favourite feature of the board
My first day out, I kept falling off the board. I normally pop up and start to turn from toward the center of the board. This board does not like that and will behave unpredictably if you do this. I eventually found the middle of the board is unusable for riding and is only a bridge to move between the front and tail of the board. With this board you have to pop up and keep the widest part of the bottom portion of the board between your feet.
Once you can do this it really takes off and is surprisingly agile, reacting to drive and pumps. I found it pretty easy to do floaters and radical direction changes.
I'm not sure what the numbers on nose rocker are but I found it wasn't enough I was pearling on hollow drops I would normally make on the McTavish.
I also found the tail weird. Normally I can noseride a while, then if the waves hollows out I can walk quickly to the back of the board to turn. Not on this board - every time I tried it I came off the back.
In smaller waves it caught them easily and you could noseride it equally as good as any other performance longboard.
In fairness, the board does what it promises "hard turns off the tail" and it does that very well, providing you are standing with the bump between your feet. Ultimately it was not my cup of tea, I can do the hard turns without having to compromise midboard performance, its a bit like a bike with training wheels. I would think that this board would suit people who only ever ride meyerhoffer longboards and are tuned into them. If you want to interchange boards with standard longboards its too radical a change in style, one which I could not master. I swopped this board after 3 months for a McTavish Fireball, which was pure bliss first ride.
Solid construction, easily repaired, light and comfortable but a one trick pony.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
My first Zot was a 6'4" and it took me about 6 months before I felt I was doing it Justice. I felt for a long time it wasn't taking off and was bogging a bit. After a while I realised that while the nuggets are happy if you pop up and keep all your weight on your back foot, the Zot likes you to drive down the wave face with front foot pressure. SO it was back to the gym and practising pop-ups so that my front foot landed between my hands. Once I had that figured the board took off - literally
This board is the best board I have ever ridden.
Paddling firstly, There is a lot of volume in a very small board and with a single fin it is drag free almost. I suspect that the rocker is a lot different in the Zot either flatter or more distributed than a nugget. So it paddles really easily for all those reasons and catches waves with just a few strokes or in some cases no strokes.
Once up and running when you hit the bottom and put her on a rail it just drives then pick you spot you want to turn and hit it. the turns are so smooth and effortless and the board retains its speed all the way through. In a wave with any shape to it even waist high it will crank out continuous turns. ITs ok in mush also in the smaller versions where you can pump it for extra speed, although other options such as a light thruster may do better in those conditions.
In hollow waves it just comes to its own. I just pop up and grab a rail and pigdog the board just locks in on the perfect line. I have never found so many barrels in places I didn't know they even existed. The fantastic thing about the single fin is that right from the pop-up you can change your line with no loss of control.
Bottom line, this is a fantastic board, for me and my style of surfing and it may not suit everyone. I would say the size of the board is important for best results and for me at 5'8" the 6'0" board is better than the 6'4" version. It also take a bit of time to to fully adapt to the Zot, 6 months in my case.
This is such an unusual board it probably merits a few comments from other zot users to help someone decide to make the investment. For me its the best board ever, by a mile.
Friday, October 12, 2012
First off the single fin setup showed me a completely new perspective on wave riding. When you take the drop on a good wave on this board it just locks into the curl of the wave as if to say "Well what do you want to do now?". In a thruster it would already be driving up the face. so sitting in the curl you can just cruise, right there in the pocket and it will hold the perfect line or put her on a rail and destroy the lip. On a decent wave it becomes such a loose board with incredible hold and really feels like a much smaller high performance board. On a tubing wave there is no better board.
It does like a nice shaped wave to show it's true potential. If you are an older or heavier surfer who can still do the moves if only you can get a wave you will love this board.
Rating 5/5 Incredible.
Rating 3.5/5 Good board but could be a lot better if the foil was changed.
My first go on this board it felt funny, so much volume up front very different to the pavel trad fish when paddling. When I took off it really flew, very very fast. As i'm an active surfer and I will pump the board and drive it rail to rail, I really liked this board and will definitely keep it as part of my quiver.
Rating 5/5 does exactly what a twin keel should do, only better!
As a comparison I have a 6'0 Zot and a home build 6'2" laser zap I would rate them both way faster looser and more radical than the Stumpy - Sorry Geoff!
Board build as you would expect is next to none. When I passed it on there were very few marks after a lot of use.
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
9’2 X 22 ½ X 3”
I had been looking for a general purpose longboard for quite a while, something that could nose ride a bit and still surf off the tail. Among my friends the fireball was a really popular board. Between them I know that the fireball had been ridden comfortably at over double overhead however I was aware that they could noseride really well. I had tried a friends 9”6” with a greenough 9” single fin in small waves and it rode really really well off the nose.
I picked up a 9’2” model in “well used” condition and it came with a greenough stage 4 fin. I was really surprised at the amount of foam packed into the board. The nose, rail and tail are quite thick and not overly foiled out like pure performance longboards. Saying that The Australian longboard championships were won on a fireball some years ago.
The blurb on the McTavish website describes the board as follows:
“Big waves, small waves, beach breaks and point breaks – performance is guaranteed in all conditions. The Fireball has a loaded double concave tail for quick turns, a deep nose concave for stable noserides, and bevels up front for a stable walking platform. Whatever your skill level, weather you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, we can customise a Fireball to suit your specific needs”
I have known beginners buy this board and subsequently didn’t like it. I’m not too sure why. Initially I rode this board with the single fin and I didn’t really like it too much, even though I did like the 9’6” with the same fin, however I had been riding thrusters a lot.
So looking at the options I decided to go quite thruster like with the fin configuration. I went with a rusty 6.5” TK flex fin with small FCS H-2 as side bites. Wow this made the board come alive. I know some people don’t like to see longboards ridden performance style but there is something satisfying about slamming 8ft of board out the back of the wave as you bring it around. The board really surfs insane allowing you to do the big off the lips and reo’s with ease even in small waves. At the same time it still nose rides pretty good.
In summary it really is the ultimate all round longboard for mixed surfing. Note this was an Australian made board in standard construction and performance may not be comparable on the SLX or thai made boards.
Rating: 5/5 as an allround longboard for the intermediate to expert rider.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I bought this board for the big winter swell at a local beach, you have to catch the waves a long way out the back when they are fat and be in position as it hits the outside sand bar then pull out before it hits the inside bar and closes out. The first day I tried this board it was close to double over head, I stroked into the first wave and popped up as it jacked up. The drop felt so smoooth and controlled, this board was made for big waves and it handles them with ease.
The board comes with a 2+1 fin set up and I found it easy to pump the board for speed. You can also go pretty vertical on this board, and I layed down one of my best ever square bottom turns into a vertical re-entry on her.
When you have buckets of speed it noserides well on a hollow wall. I managed some solid hang 10's in vertical head high + faces.
In small waves it is a bit sluggish, and I would not consider it a general purpose longboard, there are better options out there. But if you have a quiver of longboards and you want a big wave board, then this is the one.
It is built quite heavy which is good for big waves and strong offshores as it maintains it's momentum once at paddling speed.
All in all a lovely big wave board.
Rating: 5/5 I does exactly what it says on the tin, handles size with control and agility
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Size: 6'8" X 21 1/4 X 3 1/8"
I had heard some very good things about Geoff McCoys nuggets over the years. Coming from Australia they are difficult to come by in Europe and the U.S. The one thing that struck me was that nugget owners were absolute converts to the shape. When www.downthelinesurf.co.uk got a batch of nuggets in I was intrigued enough to fork out a substantial sum for one. At the time I was happy that my Bonzers gave me what I needed in walling and hollow conditions and my fish fitted the bill perfectly for fat but well shaped waves. However most of my surfing is done in onshore or less than perfect conditions and I felt that there was a substantial gap in my quiver. As you can see I have tried lots of boards to fill this gap.
I e-mailed Geoff for a recommendation on size and he suggested a 6’6” for my 78Kg.
Unfortunately the 6’6” sold out in a few days and the closest I could get was a 6’8”.
The board is 6’8” X 21 ¼ X 3 1/8. Downthelinesurf provided a good service and in a couple of days it was shipped over safe and sound. When I opened the box I was shocked. The tail on this board is MASSIVE like nothing I had ever seen before. I was truly shocked. The board is a lovely clean shape, perfect glass job and spray. The fins are white glassed on. The board is quite heavy, I don’t know the glass schedule, I imagine 6+6+6. I guess the foam is Australian, Bennett or Burford. It’s a heavier pour and incredibly ding resistant. Bottom contours are very different, there is significant roll through the entry rocker slackening off to a flat planning area under your front foot leading into the fins with significant roll through the fins and off the tail. This is the McCoy Loaded Dome. Totally neutral and forgiving performance.
The first night I took it down to the beach it was 1-2ft onshore crap and crowded. At first I couldn’t even sit on the board, there was so much float I kept falling off. I kept looking at the tail and think how can I turn this board with all that width. The first couple of crappy little waves it felt downright weird. I was in the midst of a bunch of groms who were paddling for everything. Eventually a half decent wave came through. I picked it up before the groms in a couple of strokes. It started to shape up a bit and I pumped down the line for more speed, the wave shaped up and developed a nice little pocket. Three big backhand snaps later I was halfway across the bay. When I paddled back out the groms were silenced jaws agape. Definitely the wave of the night. The board did everything I wanted to do with no resistance or tracking in any way.
Four months later I have ridden it at least 50 times from 1ft onshore beachies to head and a half reefs. It handles everything you can throw at it, even better it is totally forgiving in the way it surfs. You can pop up too far forward and still make the drop, when the waves get fat you can trim from the flat spot in the middle. It will do anything in terms of performance you want to do, I am certainly not capable of finding the limits of this board. Floaters, re-entries, off the lips, cutbacks it handles them all with absolute control. The first few re-entries were a little sketchy as I wasn’t keeping my back foot over the fins, But the nugget cured that bad habit very quickly.
I was initially sceptical about all the foam in these boards, but it actually helps you surf better and is no hinderance. It has taken 10 years off my surfing. Paddling is no longer ever an issue and the session is all about the manoeuvres. At my local I’m out paddling groms and longboarders! I was a little iffy about duck diving as I surf big onshore beach breaks all winter with wall after wall of white water. Well I needn’t have worried. The truth is, you get out the back faster because between the sets you can cover more ground. I do is what I call a bear dive! A duck dive followed by a bear hug. It works.
To sum it up, this board is magic I should really start a new rating because this board is completely off the scale. The best all around board I have ever ridden absolutely amazing. Open you mind and improve your surfing tenfold, buy a genuine Nugget if you can get one. I have a custom 6’2” stumpy model on the way shortly from Geoff.
Rating: 5/5 Outstanding far better than I could ever possibly explain in words.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I met Rich Pavel a couple of years back and I was really impressed by his boards in the Green Room Shop in San Diego. When Loose-fit got a couple of boards in, I knew I had to have one. They had a 5’10 Micro-wing and a 6’0 Classic fish. I wanted the 5’10, but it sold out fast, so I took the 6’0”.
The board has a green resin tint to lime green bottom. Fins are Lokbox removable Pavel design keel haulers which are double foiled. There are good and bad points in this board. The good is it’s performance. The bad is in the finish. So I’ll go there first. It is a pretty board with green acid splash on the deck to lime tint on the bottom. It looks good, however on micro inspection the laps are not cut as perfectly as you would expect from a California glassing shop such as Moonlight or Channin. I have subsequently been told that it was glassed in the UK. I know Pavel machine shapes most of his boards and does only a small amount of shaping if any. This is par for the course with a big name shaper. I don’t know if he touched this board or it was produced under license, but the deck is quite soft for a classic board with a gloss and polish, which leads me to suspect that it was overshaped by a machine. There are loads of compressions on the deck after a couple of months with a huge one near the tail. The glass job also dings easily.
Now the good points. It’s such a blast to ride. I usually consider fish to be a down the line style ride taking the high line. Well this sucker turns and turns pretty well too. In fact I have been riding it from knee high to overhead and it catches waves easily, paddles great and can really turn. My back hand turns are better than my forehand and this board is well able to take a bucket load of power in a backhand turn without bucking you off. (There is also now a big compression under by backfoot heel). I think that this board will let you surf to what ever level you are capable of and will be well able to keep up the performance(if it lasts long enough). Potentially it’s a one board quiver. A big thumbs up, pity about the glass job.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Saturday, February 02, 2008
I picked this Board up in Tubes shop in Cork for a trip to Fuerteventura. It is the same contruction as a surftech, however the deck seemed to dent just as easily as a standard shortboard. A LOT cheaper than a surftech though.
I really didn't like the ride of this board, it felt really dead.I got rid of it as soon as I came back home.
Saying that I know a really good surfer who rides one and really likes it.
Size: 6'8" X 19 1/2" x 2 3/8"
This board is a Surftech. So the comments made in previous posts about Surftech construction and flex apply here also.
I bought this board from the same friend who sold me the 6'4" PMM below.
The shape is a strange blend of dimensions. Its pitched as a step up board from the 6'4". But its not a fat boy (or lazy boy) either. It manages to keep a very subtle blend of volume and high performance curves. The nose rocker is a beautiful progressive curve, I think its about 4 1/2". This type of curve suits my style as a front footed surfer.
As always the first thing was to take out the cheap plastic fins and put in a pair of FCS H2's. My first day out was at my local beach in head high messy conditions. I have always been looking for a board that makes the most of these conditions. Well this is the one. On my first wave the board just flew down the line cranking 3 or 4 really nice smooth turns. I have ridden this board quite a bit and I really like it, its fast smooth and handles messy conditions really well.It also paddles great. I have nothing bad to say about this board. If you have put on a bit of meat or are sprouting some grey hair it could be the one to keep your surfing high performance.
Rating: 5/5 loving it!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
NOTE: Please read the comments below, my review seems to be out of kilter with everyone elses view. Perhaps the one I had was a dog.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I had waited almost 12 months for this board, and the final bill came to over €800 euro. I had no doubt that it was going to be worth it. A custom board from Malcom Campbell. I discussed the board with Malcom on the phone as he was preparing to shape, and he was going to make some changes to suit me.
When I got the board I was surprised by the volume, I reall expected something thinner, as there is quite a bit o thickness in the nose and the rail are quite boxy.
I needn't have worried, the board paddles like a dream and with a relaxed nose rocker catches waves easily. I asked for a bit more tail rocker this improves my ability to complete top turns but you pay a bit of a price in loss of drive. This is never a problem for me on a Bonzer and so the trade off was worth it. I am really blasting off those top turns now, even in smaller waves with this board. The volume however makes it a bit of a challenge to duck dive.
To sum up, I love this board, it has more range than I expected and is rock solid in hollow waves.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Hello and welcome to my blog. The purpose of this blog is to share by experiences of different surfboard. Over the years I have had many surfboards, so great some not so. I hope that my reviews will help you choose a shape suitable for your skill level and the waves you ride.
The particular impetus for the blog was the delivery of my Greg Griffin 5 fin. Many people were waiting for my comments on it.
I'm an average surfer, riding average waves. I have many different boards, thrusters, bonzers, singles, fish, performance mals and traditional noseriders. from 5'3" to 10". I can do a reasonable job of riding most of them. I also occasionally shape some boards for my own use.
If you have any comments on the structure of the reviews I'd be glad to hear your comments.
SHOPS/DISTRIBUTORS: If you want me to to give an opinion on one of your boards, I'm happy to do that, however I will require the board for around 3 months so that I can test it in a range of conditions.