Some Of My Favourite things..

I'm patiently waiting for 2 new boards, and hopefully the only boards I'll need for a couple of years. A simmer Quantum 95 and Flywave 85..

However, it got me thinking about some of my favourite boards. Some an instant hit, and some I had to learn to sail a bit but then were locked in my memory.. These are them in no particular order...

Fanatic New Wave Twin 86. First foray into multifins and a pretty big size at 86 litres. It was a harsh ride at first, the pads were not the same spongy pads of previous fanatics but once they settled in they were good. Coming from single fins the board was loose, and to be honest a little hectic. Once on a wave though, I loved the big, loose waveboard. Picture taken at a pretty good sideshore day Southbourne.

Fanatic Allwave 72. I got this on Ben Profitt's reccomendation, and it was superb - providing there was was enough wind. despite the squash tail, at 72 litres it was quite small for me. Often it is lighter on the inside and it lost out when not enough power. But it was lovely, and a revelation from the Fanatic New Waves which I didn't really get on with. Picture taken at Southbourne

 Fanatic Freewave 86. This board was amazing, quite incredible at most things at the time. Fast, super early planing, fun. Good at freestyle, excellent for jumping and not at all bad for wave riding - once you had the aquired technique. Certainly better than the bigger wave boards of the time at our sort of location. That said, I sailed one recently, and compared to the more modern shaped mistrals I have been sailing, it felt very dated . Picture taken at Kimmeridge.

Mistral Twinser 82. I have had this board for a couple of years now and really got to like it, which shows, actually, how long it can take to get used to a shape. Fairly similar in feel to the Fanatic twin, but with a slightly softer ride. I didn't really like it at first and was ready to ditch twins. However, getting off my lazy ass and experimenting with fins thanks to Thorpy's K4's and finding the right combination, I absolutely love this board. It's pretty well used now so I won't be selling it. Just keeping it for those days you want a loose exciting twin - A bit on the side... Picture taken at Avon beach on a really fun cross off day. 

Fanatic Allwave 82. I think this board was a revelation to me. Underated, it did what the evo did better, and more excitingly. I had 3 of these - they turned onshore into sideshore, totally transforming the approach that we can now take to cross on conditions. Picture Branksome Dene Chine

Kauli Pro 82. A board surely well ahead of it's time and probably should have been a multi -fin. Designed by Kauli Seadi who was well into experimenting with shapes and going against the grain, it was (still is) short and wide, with a fairly narrow pin tail. I had the 74, but rarely used it over this. 

Proof wave 72. Had this been made by Fanatic, you would probably think this evolved into the Allwave 72. It was more pintailed, however it was really easy to waveride and get into the pocket to aerial. Probably had my best aerials on this board until it snapped, one week into a 7 week trip to Cape town, landing, erm, an aerial... Picture Sunset Beach - Cape Town

Proof wave 82. I wasn't that sure about this board at first. It was very similar to the Kauli Pro 82, but seemed a little slower. It had a lot of grip, double concave and huge amounts of vee. I didn't really use it that much as I would swap between the 92 and 72. However one broke and I had to give the other one back. So I sailed it a lot after that, and got to know it really well. The grip on the wave was incredible. It was slashy, but you would just drive round a cut back with loads of power. Picture taken at Cape Point in Cape Town - a very scary place to sail!

What all these boards have in common is that they were all short and wide, volume further forward than centre. Pretty much what all modern boards are like now.

And the ones there are no picture of..

AHD Maxx ride 58. 
People always seem to assume it was Starboard that started the stubby concept off. I think they forget how innovative AHD were, with boards like diamond races etc, which at the time were short and wide. The 58 was very underrated, I think maybe people didnt know what to make of it. In 1999 or 2000 or whenever it was made. It had similar dimensions to some of todays boards. 58 wide, 240 long and 85 litres. It was an awesome board, that did everything well - freestyle to waves. I kept it as a spare board for a long time and always ended up using it. It lead to, in my opinion, the first short, wide, stubby board that would excel in our south coast style of wave - the attitude wave.

and FINALLY, probably my favourite board of all time....(which I can't find a picture of).

O'shea custom wave (a.k.a Buttercup)
O'shea was actually my first ever sponsor back in the mid ninetees. I had come from a longboarding background with some good results. Went to uni in Bangor and fell in with the funsport/abersoch crowd. Farrell agreed to give me a sponsor ship deal and for my birthday I was bought a full sandwich construction, bright yellow custom waveboard which I, erm, designed (well I gave them some ideas for it and measurements - funnily enough I said I want it wide quite far forward). It was still a bit of a turkish slipper, but it was incredible. It was so much better than any production board at the time - circa Bic Saxo. The only problem is that I didn't get to sail it much at first, anyone who had a go on it would not come back in for ages. It was that much better than anything you could buy. I learnt to loop on this board, to start to wave ride with intent,  everything really. It got the quite fond nickname of buttercup by the girls, a name which stuck.