Go Longer and catch Way, Way more Waves

I just built a 10’ x 23” board and IT CATCHES EVERYTHING: Big waves, tiny waves, wind chop, no-wind chop @ 10’ x 23” x 5” @ 153 liters 14 lbs 1.8 oz (6.4 kg) with pads and strap.

Downwind boards started at 6’10” then 7’ 6” then 7’11 then 8’. We hear rumors of Hawaiians on 9’ and 9’ 6” boards of ?? widths. So I pushed it further and:
• It paddles fast enough to catch big, fast moving swell well before it become white-water
• It is stable enough to stand ALL THE TIME in nasty conditions.
• It is quick enough, in small chop, to chip relatively easy into 18” – 3’ wind chop

Lets face it 99% of downwind super heroes are mid 20 year olds, or professionals in their 30’s and massively fit. I have watched many, many people buy the latest Kalama, or Armstrong or KT shape in the 7’ 6” range and struggle to a maddening degree to 1) Stand on the board and 2) Catch waves. This has especially been true with the over 40 crowd.

I made this board for the ocean in and around Pillar Point, Mavericks, California. Because of the reef, and currents the chop and surface is terrible even when there is no wind. I wanted something that I could stand on 95% of the time and be fast enough to catch big long period waves. Then I took it out in one of our smaller “No-Winder” conditions and it worked great. Catching open ocean 18” – 3 foot swill with NO wind chop.

Surprise! It does it all. People talk about the ‘longboard’ version of a foil board. Could this be the solution?

Note: I was on the Axis 1201, 375P tail, 75 cm HM mast, and Advanced (40) fuse 644 mm.


The video above was just my 3rd session on the board. On a day like the one above I might have historically just caught 1 or 2 waves. The risk of going too deep is that if you get hit all your gear will break. I estimate that this 10’ board

Catches waves 30% better which means you get 500% more waves.

On a day like the one above I might have historically just caught 1 or 2 waves. The risk of going too deep is that if you get hit all your gear will break.

Dave West recently posted this on longer boards:

"For me the bullet at 8’ 10” has just totally changed my downwind experience. . .”

1 Like

Maybe this is just back to the future. Kai was riding a 10’ board on day one. But it was likely heavier, with a poor box placement and a generation ZERO foil.

I had a call with Jeremy Riggs and discussed the design, specifically what width. He mentioned a time that he paddled out to Pier 1 on Maui in big double overhead + swell. People were towing in to waves and he thought he could just paddle up and catch waves with his 7’ 10" barracuda. But . . . . the waves were just too fast and the surface was way unstable. As he said there is a big difference between going downwind to catch waves and trying to stand up to catch waves. He had to sneak closer and closer to the reef, and eventually take off closer to the whitewater that involved hair-raising drops. Not good! What he described is exactly what I have experienced around the reef at Mavericks.

I wanted my board to be able to stand up in those conditions. Hence the 23" width. No regrets yet. Long, light, fast and stable.


when every paddler will be super good at catching chop…and foil will have an insane range…board will then get shorter again? :slight_smile:

1 Like

Biggest mistake I made in foiling was listening to the shops telling me to go short and wide. Set me back for years!

The glider of foil boards

My progression in 4 years.
I could have save some money. But there is still a place/day for a 5.0, and can ride it LOL.

Been loving my 8’4”x18” cuda

The 90 cm mast has been helpful in the bigger surf to prevent breaching in the moguls.


Looks like someone else is going extended length.

Does anyone know the dimensions on James Casey’s board shown?

Build video: Final nose panel lamination.

My first downwind board was 7’ 8" x 25" @ 125 Liters and weighed 19.5 lbs. A total pig. Wouldn’t pump. So I committed making the lightest boards possible.

I make these ultralight boards using XPS waterproof foam. The XPS is more structural than EPS so I use a thinner lamination schedule and do not worry about waterproofing. I have calculated that making a board pretty, with a waterproof candy shell, adds 2 - 5 lbs additional weight. The lack of waterproofing leaves inherent pinholes that also prevent the XPS from delamination (some people claim this has happened but my construction technique has been a workable response).

I focus on reinforcing the deck area, call it a cassette, to be beefy enough not to fail under foot, or from the loading of the foil on the boxes. 3 layers of tri-axial 6 oz carbon on the deck, 1 layer on the bottom with 18x1/4" carbon arrows to carry vertical load deck to deck. 1 layer of 3.7 oz S-Glass on the bottom and 1 layer of 2.2 oz Kevlar on the top with a 2" x 9 oz Unidirectional Carbon ‘stringer’ top and bottom. Vacuum bag every panel.

Weighs less than 10 lbs / 100 liters @ 9.3 lbs per 100 liters which is lighter than any production board on the planet.