It's felt like a really good month to cap off the winter season. This is the most beloved time for Southern California surfing and we’ve had a couple good ones this past month. I tried to make up for not getting in the water as much as I wanted to this year and found myself riding a variety of boards through different conditions. I had both good and bad sessions, and had developed a couple ideas of where each board excels. Here are the surfboards I rode in March.
The Mahi (6’0 x 22” x 2.75”, 40L)
The Mahi has been my favorite board this month, and is quickly becoming my favorite South Bay board of all time. I don’t know of a better small board that excels in more wave conditions than this one. I’d have a blast in the most uninspiring and choppy waves. It also works going down bombs, and handles speed like any other performance shortboard. I will say that when you first begin riding this board turning may be a bit of a challenge. That’s because this board is speed oriented by having a completely flat bottom. Duck diving is also a challenge, since it’s a shorter board with a lot of volume. However, once you begin to master the Mahi’s simple intricacies you’ll have some of the funnest sessions on almost any kind of day.
The Big Betsy (5’5 x 20” x 2.25”, 31L)
Riding the Big Betsy this month was one of the most refreshing experiences. Whenever there’s any kind of size at all we’re always inclined to take our performance PU/Epoxy shortboard. Taking a break from this routine has brought me a lot of fun on my recent sessions. This is because I instead choose to ride the Betsy, which is always reliable. This board does great in chest to head high waves. It’s super easy to duck dive, and the paddling speed means you can get anywhere in the lineup with ease. It’s a ridiculously fun groveler thats great for anyone trying to get into surfing shorter boards. If it’s your first shortboard, then getting up may be a bit more challenging, especially for faster or steeper waves. My sessions have been great on the Betsy, I get to try a lot of new things especially when it comes to surfing vertically. It’s fast and light shape makes it the most portable shredding stick I’ve ever ridden.
The Casper (6’8 x 21” x 2.75”, 45L)
With a board like this you can really surf any day of the year. Like many of South Bay’s boards, the Casper carries a very unique shape and design. More of its volume is located in the upper part of the board near the nose, which almost gives you a longboard kind of feel. It also has a swallow tail with a twin fin setup, which allows it to score in so many conditions. I mostly took out the Casper on small days and had a blast. Personally, I stick to riding boards that are smaller or have less volume. The Casper was the perfect size and volume for where I want my step up to me, and I’m sure it will be for you as well. The Casper allows you to surf anyway you want, and is great for those that are on the bigger side.
The Status Quo (CI, 6’1 x 19”& /8 x 2’’&7/16, 29.6L)
I'm a sucker for shortboards, and when the waves are bad, I do what a lot of surfers in Southern California do. I take out my shortboard. However, working at this company has really increased my opportunity cost each time I choose a board to surf. That’s because now when I take my PU shortboard out on a day that wasn’t meant for it, I think about how much fun I could be having if I was riding a board from South Bay instead. Now that being said, I do believe that with greater will power I could have a more balanced relationship between South Bay softops and my own shortboard. This means being better about taking out boards on days that are best suited for it. In Southern California, more often than not this translates to riding more softops. It’s still important to ride PU and epoxy shortboards, however, since that’s what we’re trying to emulate here at South Bay with some of our hybrids (Notice how the volume of my PU shortboard is close to that of the Big Betsy). This is the motivation for surfing the Mahi, Big Betsy, and even the Casper along side my favorite wood shortboard, and I encourage you to do the same. Get yourself a South Bay Board and add insane versatility in your quiver, allowing you to surf every day of the year.