City and Surf 5: The right board for YOU
Choosing a surfboard can be a minefield. A subtle difference in the shape of your board, whether its losing a litre or an inch, can be the difference between loving the sport, or hating it. Turning 29 earlier this year was a harsh reality; I'm a little heavier than I was at 19, there's grey hairs emerging on the sides of my head, and hangovers last for two days not one. The dream of being an aerial surfer like Jon Jon or Jeremy Flores is kind of over, but my love for surfing, and my desire to catch waves is bigger than ever.
Earlier this year I teamed up with Mango Surfing to work on my first ever custom shaped board. I've always thought custom shapes were for pros only... until now. I met with UK surfing legend Nigel Semmens (now shaping for Mango) to work on the perfect board for 'me'. He asked me what I wanted to achieve from my surfing, 'realistically'. After weighing up multiple options of performance boards, he reminded me why I got into the sport in the first place - to have fun. And thats exactly what we decided to shape, a board called fun. A few weeks later I collected my new board; a 5'10, 33 Litre fish. The waves were 2ft and on-shore but I was frothing so much I got in anyway. It flew. In that short rainy session I had more fun than I have had in the water in years. I probably surfed 20 good waves an came out the water convinced I was the new Dave Rastovich.... I wasn't, but the main thing was I felt good. Really good.
I realised then that whats held me back with surfing sometimes, is probably the fact I haven't had the right board for 'me'. The desire to be the best in the water was both unrealistic and also sapping the fun out of surfing. We are all different shapes and sizes and surfboard shopping can be a bit like stock brokers buying suits - if you get one too small, you're always going to end up looking like a dick. Needless to say, nobody wants to be the guy that only gets two waves a session because they're on the wrong board. My advice therefore is that custom surfboards are not for pros only; custom surfboards are worth investing in for anyone who can stand up! If you work hard and surf less than you want to - getting a custom shaped board is the future!
For more info head to www.mangosurfing.com and enquire about a Nigel Semmens custom shape. Its worth every penny.
Special thanks to Nigel for re-igniting the fire!