Board quivers..

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Excessive compulsive surfboard selection syndrome…

 Once when i was on a two week family stint in the heart of japan away from the ocean, I read all my surfing mags I had. I finished “Salt and suits” the surf clothing industry book by Phil Jarret then got to thinking about my own path and the surfboards we use.
 When I started surfing with that lonely old red single fin, it was the only board I had. In fact it was the only board between all my direct family and cousins staying at the family beach shack in remote south Oz. As time went on and I moved to Queensland in the early 80’s I continued to have just one board. From my Sky thrusters to my ex reg Riley Shaping Co’s, AB channel bottom & even a Jim Banks semi gun, all single board quivers. Selling one off to finance the next one. That practice continued on even when I started shaping, that first year I made around 30 boards for my self moving one on the pay for the next one trying all kinds of things out in the shapes to see what they did.
 It wasn’t until my first trip to Indo I learnt about a quiver… Some of my workmates were Indo veterans by then and recommended I take three boards with me. My normal 6’4 board a step up 6’8 and a 7’2 gun. That was the common quiver then. I used the 6’4 the most, while the 6’8 got wet a few times the 7’2 just was a dream chaser. Most of the waves were great for normal boards.. 
 Over the next few years I ended up taking lots of normal boards and selling them off to other travelers. But I digress from the original reasons I’m writing this. I’m talking about the one board quiver. All those years of surfing, having just the one board in the car was normal. Surfing the same board in all conditions taught me a lot about what it did and how to ride it.
 When did this all change? What happened to us? We seem to have a ever growing quiver needing to have a retro twin fin, quad fish, small fat thrusters, traditional short board, semi gun, minimal and a couple longboards. We check the surf on the Internet and then become thrown into a quandary over board choices as there is always another board option, by the time we get to the beach there’s two board choices in the car and invariably there’s another we wish we had there… We blame our poor performance that day on the incorrect board choice, wafting on about that wave being too fat, fast etc.. 
 What really triggered this excessive compulsive board collection? 
 Well for me, I thought back and realized it was when I started to make really short boards that fitted in the boot (trunk) of my fat american car. They were excellent boards in the everyday Tugun and Currumbin surf, but when it became time to surf the points of Snapper and Greeny those little board had too much outline curve to race sections and the shortness made later take-offs in crowds less desirable. So I started keeping boards for the right conditions. Being a shaper/designer I had understanding of what worked good in specific conditions and only wanted To ride the perfect board for each conditions. I’m sure I was not alone on this path and our team riders were always like this, needing to perform best in just the right waves. 
 So too in our ego driven, wanna be pro surfing pursuit of the 90’s very man and his dog wanted several boards in his quiver, I remember making an advert for a surfmag sitting amongst seven boards, all mine, and all for a particular wave nearby. 
 As my business is consumer driven, my customers all followed suit. Everyone wanted a several board quiver. I wasn’t complaining, our industry always has been cut throat and low profit margin so every order was important! 
 Today I look and see everyone around on with several boards in their car, coming in my shop looking for a new one to add to the confusing choices to ride. Sure I’m happy your buying another sweet board to add to your smorgasbord, but how about you just ride one of those boards for a month. That’s right no matter what conditions you are faced with just ride that one board with the fins that are in it( I’m not even going near the multiple fin templates and choices we have for today’s removable systems!) Your really going to appreciate the nuances of that board, where it goes best on the wave. Your surfing style will improve as you modify what your doing on the wave to suit the boards characteristics. I actually challenge you to see how much you learn! I’m of the opinion your going to learn more in that month riding the one board than you will in the course if six months changing boards every couple surfs. Just do it. Go choose one board, put them all out on the lawn in a circle stand in the centre with a blindfold on and spin. Where ever you stop that’s the board your riding for the next 30 days… Appreciate the board and get to love it for what it does best!

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