Took out the ombak lastnight for it's first spin!
Was a bit of a lull when I took the pic but it was 1.5-2m waves with bigger sets that you could see in the horizon when they come. Went to my old fave spot on the far left when it was fairly hollow and grunty (came as close to getting overhead barreled yesterday as I did when supping in Bali @ balangan!)
The board is the Lokahi Ombak 8'4 x 29 x 109l.
First test was a resounding success. It literally did everything I thought it would do based on paper.
Despite the decent rocker and pointed nose, it was really stable. Most stable-low volume board i've tried.
Managed to get out back without even getting wet- while paddling out back a wave started to build and I caught it straight off the bat doing a long right hander with multiple turns before coming off the top still standing on the board.
Very user friendly! So much easier to catch waves and get out back. Paddled in to about 12 waves ranging from chest to overhead / peeling and made every single one of them.
The board still feels like it can lay on a rail but I haven't quite found the sweet spot of release yet (although mind you I have been riding a 8'2 x 28 board with a much more narrow tail). I'm sure I will get there though, and might try swapping fins over to my other quad set to see how they go.
Speed: seemed fast enough without being too fast but also easy to keep on the wave and control. Only tried as a thruster with my am2 set from my surfboard so would be quicker as a quad. Any new board will take a few tests to get the sweet spots nailed but seemed to go pretty well straight off the bat.
Ability to handle size: Really good! I paddled in to some late drops which surfers were getting nailed on and made every one of them except for 1 which was user error. Paddled very late in to a well overhead wave which was literally peeling as I was trying to take off. Still went down the face and held a line until I lost confidence in riding it out and bailed. Easily made every other wave I properly committed to.
Grovelling: feels like it could still grovel smaller stuff and wip around nicely for fun which I did on some smaller sets.
Tail: I've never tried such a square cut off tail and it feels very different to the smooth flow and release of a round or pin tail when turning. Seems to take off well but requires more effort to get it off the edge and just a slightly different body timing to what i'm used to. Look forward to using it more.
Paddling: Paddles really well for the rocker and volume. More than capable for flat water and messing about.
Construction: Feels relatively light without being silly light- maybe 8kg. Supposed to have been built fairly strong and made for big waves including a stringer? Seemed to have very slight compressions after yesterday so will have to see if these get worse.
Overall: I think for what I was looking for, it's about as close to the perfect all rounder as I could have asked for. Stable for heavy whitewash / waves, good rocker for late drops and performance, fast enough to grovel if need be.
Brought me back to having fun on a sup which is important and something I started to lose on the twicthy 8'2 mano.