I just placed an order with Vec Surfboards in Orleans, MA for a custom midsize slider. I'm adding to my single fin collection. The people who know me will tell you that I've always had an affinity for anything retro. I've actually been riding single fins since the early 90's. And while thrusters are my preference, especially when it's warm and the waves are good, I've found that I choose my 9'2 single fin longboard more often than not. I just trust it to perform, and it rarely lets me down.
There was a time when I rode a 6'2 double wing single fin as my everyday board. The "smurfer", appropriately named after it's distinct color, has probably ridden more waves than most people who consider themselves a surfer... and it's done more traveling than any board in my quiver. Originally it was a prototype board that Gee Rainbow made me in 2002 for designing his Escape Surf website. The smurfer could handle a full range of conditions, and I've proven it on more than one occasion. One time at Blacks Beach in San Diego... wish that session was on video. But It took a while for my thrusters to feel normal again after spending a few years riding the smurfer on a regular basis. I threw a 9-inch flex fin in there and it was in fact magical. These days, the smurfer is mostly retired, but it is a popular loaner board when I have company. Sometimes I throw it in the bag when I go to CR.
My surfing has changed quite a bit over the last few years. Age and location have impacted the boards I ride. I'm looking for a lot more volume and girth when I surf the winter season in the Northeast. I've been experimenting with different midsize boards the past two years, but I haven't found anything magical. I usually end up selling them pretty quickly on craigslist. The only exception is a 7'4 Sharp Eye Blowfish quad/thruster that I will use for point surfing if it's gigantic and perfect. Honestly, I still end up choosing the more classic feel of my 9'2 single fin on most occasions... so that tells me I should add more surf crafts along that line.
I am going to purchase a log for this summer but I'm not ready to pull the trigger on that one just yet. I'm in the mood right now for something new, but classic. Not a longboard, not a shortie, and definitely not a funshape. A crusier. Midsize. Thick glass job. So I decided to test out a local shaper and a board model he makes called the "Singlecut". It's a high performance single fin that should handle anything winter throws at me. I ordered a 7'6 and I'm looking forward to picking it up during my February vacation.
Vec Surfboards actually has a brand new website, with a ton of interesting shapes in stock... check them out. Shawn Vecchione is a well known shaper and local hero in the Orleans, Cape area. I've never been to his shop, but I'm stoked to get one of his boards under my feet. He rips hard and I have a feeling his crafts are going to work well for me. Stay tuned.
2001, Melbourne Beach riding an 8'2 swallow tail. This was an amazingly unique shape that was part of my quiver for more than a decade in the 90's.