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Building a Florida Quiver


the jebshred surf dojo

While a lot of folks will throw out golfing as a comparable sport to surfing- one that requires you have a collection of tools in various shapes and sizes to handle the different shots you might take- it's not really the best comparison. The idea in golf is to have a variety of clubs, that when made contact with a golf ball, alters the trajectory, in order to achieve a desired distance. For just one hole of golf, you might use 2-3 different clubs from your bag. By the end of an 18-hole adventure you might've used all the clubs in your bag at least once... and hopefully not the sand wedge too many times. But surfing isn't like this. Yes, boards have different shapes and sizes, intended to impact your trajectory on a wave, but you're not swapping them out between rides, or during a ride. Furthermore, you couldn't really complete a round of golf with just one club, but you'd be just fine completing a surf session with just one board.


A golf bag filled with clubs of various angles and sizes isn't really the best analogy for a quiver of surfboards. Outside of the idea that each club has a different set of characteristics designed to give you some measure of control for the conditions you find yourself in, there's not much similarity there. In surfing, you're committed to just the one board you paddle out with, and switching from wave-to-wave isn't something you do, unless you own a wave pool, or you've got a quiver on the beach with someone to be your board caddy or something. In golf, you've got your bag right there where you can choose your weapon from shot to shot. Again, you don't do this in surfing. I suppose you might change out a board once during an outing. And some surfers like to throw a couple options in the car to choose from if they're driving to the beach, but for the most part you're pretty much locked-in to whatever board you choose for that session. So I think as surfers we shouldn't use the golf analogy anymore, and we shouldn't be in a rush to simplify surfing so normal people can understand. Just let surfing be what it is. There's no comparison.


What Is A Quiver?

According to the Oxford Languages dictionary the word QUIVER can be used as a noun, referring to "a set of surfboards of different lengths and shapes for use with different types of waves." It's not the formal definition, also recognized by Merriam-Webster's dictionary as "a case for carrying arrows". So it doesn't take much deep thought to understand how the surfing connotation probably formed. But modern surfers use the word quiver literally to refer to their personal surfboard collection.


Why Do You Need More Than One Surfboard?

This is an easy question to answer. Simply put, boards of different shapes and sizes behave differently in various conditions. Having multiple boards to choose from gives surfers options for cruising at different angles and trajectories. Surfing the same way over and over again can be a little boring, but having more than one vessel at your disposal can really shake things up. Some surfboards perform more naturally in specific conditions, while others seem to work in anything you put them into, but they all ride in their own unique way. You'll need to be really familiar with the types of waves you regularly surf and honest with yourself about your skill level. But If you can do those two things, there's probably a combination of boards out there if you do your research. I recommend Real Watersports YouTube, and T&C Surfboards YouTube channels for great information about surfboard design. But you need to get out there and try some different boards! Buy them old and cheap at places like Another Ride Surf Shop. Check out a FireWire Fleets rental program near you and trade-out different shapes and sizes, OR just ask your local shaper or surf shop if you can ride some of their used surfboards. YBYB of course.


How Do You Choose A Board for Your Quiver?

This is a multifaceted question. It implies you've already got an idea of the shapes you like to ride, and the waves you'll find yourself surfing on a regular basis. It also means that you're at a skill level that is high enough to ride different boards in different conditions. If you're a super newbie, or barely into the intermediate range it's probably best that you stick to one-shape-at-a-time, at least until you've mastered all the basics. If you're an adult learner, you may never get to this skill level, so it's a waste of your money to build a quiver. But if you've got the skill and experience, having different boards to choose from can really add excitement to your surf sessions. The size of your quiver is relative, and there really aren't any hard and fast rules about what types of shapes have to be in there. Some folks like to have a longboard, a groveler, and a shortboard, and choosing which one to surf simply depends on the size and steepness of the waves on offer. Small, slow rollers? Pick the longboard. Under waist high, but rippable sections? Go with the groveler. Waist+ and fun? It's shortboard time! So it CAN be as easy as this. You'll have to dial-in exact sizes to suit your height, weight, and skill-level but developing a 3-board quiver isn't terribly difficult. If you want to go more than three, you're going to need some goals and a purpose for each stick. Otherwise, you'll never get them all in the water. Here's what I've got going on now, as I convert my Northeast quiver into one that will suit my needs in CFLA. I had 20+ boards at this time last year before moving south. I'm down to 17 at the moment, and I get them all in the water throughout the year. I have multiple same-shapes, so I give my boards names (in quotes) so I can refer to them in conversation, and give them a little personality.


GROVELERS

I'll begin with this category because it's a big one for these parts. The waves are small in Florida, outside of a couple of storm events per year. So nearly all of my boards have some groveler characteristics built into them- wider, more foam- because the waves don't have a ton of power , and generating speed becomes your responsibility. I like to go fast. If I'm not flying like a bat-out-of-hell, I'm probably not having fun. I've currently got four dedicated grovelers, one for winter surf and the others for spring and summer. I definitely don't need a winter groveler in Florida... it's just leftover from my northeast quiver and I can't bring myself to part with it. But I like the Lost Puddle Fish a lot for groveling. Actually, I LOVE this shape. It's got a fishy outline with a unique swallow tail that has flat corners (like two mini squash tails), and channels on the bottom. Between the channels it's round and convex, peaking at the stringer. The roll from rail to rail is very smooth, and it's never slid out when I go full rail turn. I'll sometimes ride the Puddle Fish in overhead longer period waves with close-out sections, because it's so damn fast, and it can get to the lip pretty quickly off the bottom. I'm amazed at the performance I've gotten from this shape. I think they come a little thick for stock sizes, so I slim them down a bit. Technically, these Lost grovelers ARE fish boards, but these fish are specialized for groveling. The soft top grovelers are mainly for the kids, or for when I'm on my third+ session of the day.


1. EPS Lost Puddle Fish - 5'11 x 22.1 x 2.72 "Puddle Dart"

2. PU Lost Puddle Fish - 6'3 x 22.5 x 2.8. "Knightro"


3. SOFT Album Secret Menu - 5'4 x 21 x 2.75 "Seabiscuit"



4. SOFT Ben Gravy Performer - 6’0 X 21.5 X 3 "Benny"



SHORTBOARDS

This category used to be a major category for me, but these days not so much. If I'm traveling somewhere that has powerful waves, like Central America, Caribbean, or Hawaii it's the only board choice for me. If it's too big for a shortboard when I travel, I just don't surf. No step-ups or guns for me, at least for now. Maybe if I spend enough time in one of these places I would graduate to a proper big-wave board, but as I get deeper into my 50's I just don't see that happening. Twice I've been in Hawaii recently and wave heights were close to 20-feet. Yeah, so I surfed inside Turtle Bay, a couple feet overhead and sketchy, riding a 6'4 Lost Driver 2.0. I'm not looking to ever repeat that experience, but I do love overhead pacific waves that have good form. I don't get to surf very often where generating speed isn't a focal point. So dropping in on a curvy set wave and ripping turns without even thinking about it is pretty much a luxury surf for me. I spend so much time racing sections on the east coast, that i have to train my brain to NOT do that when I travel to juicy surf. All that being said, I know exactly what I like in this category, and if the waves are firing, it's the only choice for me. I currently have 6 shortboards with different characteristics, but they only get used a handful of times per year. When I choose a shortboard from my quiver, I'm looking at ocean surface conditions caused by wind, and how soft or juicy the waves look. The juicier the waves are, the more I like longer rails, curvy rockers and narrower widths. The softer the waves are, the more I lean towards flatter rockers with rounder, wider outlines. I usually go with round tails, thumb squashes, but I like a more squared tail for the sectiony close-out stuff. I also have a shorepound specialist that mixes a wide outline, thinner shorter rails, lower entry rocker and a lot of kick out the tail. My shortboard bottom contours are pretty standard, single concave to double through the fins, vee out the tail. I mostly ride neutral fins in a shortboard, but I have some rakier fins for carving in bigger lumpy surf.


5. PU Lost Sub Driver 2.0 - 6'2 x 21 x 2.65 "Cali Board"

6. PU VEC All-In-One - 6'2.5 x 20.5 x 2.75 "Juice"

7. EPS Lost El Patron - 6'3 x 20.1 x 2.75 "El Patron"

8. EPS AR Hippo - 6'6 x 21.8 x 2.5 "The Hippo"

9. PU Lost V3 Round-It - 6'1 x 21 x 2.75 "Green Machine"

10. PU Lost Puddle Jumper HP - 6'5 x 22.2 x 2.8 "Love Boat"




FISHES

This is my favorite board category for surfing in Florida. I'm choosing a fish board more than half the time, no matter the size waves, because they just work really well for the mostly gutless east coast conditions that I often find myself in. A fish gets into waves easy, has very quick acceleration, and provides a playful platform for Florida ripping. They do have some limitations in top-to-bottom style waves, or oversized hollow surf, but there are plenty of professionals putting these shapes into extreme positions (See Corey Lopez). Some folks don't like the looseness and skatey feeling that a fish provides with it's wide outline and twin fin set-ups. So they do take some getting used to. But I find them to be very user-friendly for east coast waves, and in some cases can serve as a legitimate one-board-quiver. Stock fish boards come a little too thick for me being tall and lanky, so I slim them down as custom orders, or I ride them really short. I like keel fins in the true twin fishes, a twin + trailer in the performance fishes, and I'll even ride the one-board-quiver fish as a thruster. This is what I've got going now, minus the Puddle Fish mentioned above for their groveling prowess.


11. EPS Lost RNF 96 - 5'11 x 21.1 x 2.65 "Fish Lips"


12. PU VEC Cod Fish - 6'2 x 22 x 2.75 "OJ/Orange Julius"


13. SOFT/EPS Pyzel JJF AstroFish - 6'0 x 21.75 x 3 "AstroFish"



LONGBOARDS & MIDLENGTHS

The longboard category is quickly becoming my go-to category. With my age and injuries on the rise, it just makes sense to slow things down and ride longer equipment. Easy paddling, seemless pop-ups, turns, floaters, and noserides... what's not to like? I've recently unloaded some longer boards that weren't working for me. Right now, I'm hooked on my 22-year old HP hybrid longboard made by my pal Gee Rainbow. This thing is all-time. There's not a better longboard out there for me. This one just works, in everything. I do have a few other logs in my quiver, but I'm light on the mid-lengths, selling a couple of them before moving south. This is what I'm holding right now, with another custom order from Gee in the works. Also, I'm going to be reproducing this magic shape in EPS/Epoxy construction, in sizes 9'2, 9'4, and 9'6. Stay tuned for that, I should have about 50 boards for purchase by end of summer.


14. PU GEE HP Single fin - 9'2 x 22 x 2.75 "Wilson"


15. PU VEC HP Quad - 9'2 x 22 x 2.75 "Quad Log"


16. PU Christenson Bandito Single - 9'6 x 23 x 3 "Big Blue"


17. PU VEC Singlecut - 7'6 x 22 x 2.75 "The Egger" (egg shaped point chaser)




Some mediocre surfing using some of these boards...







Happy quiver building! Let me know if you're interested in a Gee Rainbow longboard, or any of the VEC shapes. I'm happy to help get you started on your very own custom order. The waves are flat around here right now... I hope you're surfing where you are!

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