I had been wanting to try a Surefire for ages, but I was pretty sorted for boards already owning more than a few, but when I had the opportunity to test ride the 8'5" Degenerate I jumped at the chance. At 8'5" it was by far the smallest board both in size and volume that I had ever ridden. I currently ride a 9'0" x 32" x4.35 -150L and a 8'10"x31"x4.4"- 140L.
I am 6'2" and 110kg so I need a board with volume, but it is hard to find something that is designed to surf, yet have the volume I need. The dimensions of the Degenerate were 8'5"x32"x4.25"-135L.
It is really well designed and actually doesn't look like a 32" wide board, more like a shortboard outline and straight away you know this thing is going to surf really well. I set it up as a thruster. It has a 4+1 setup (sliding US box) and Mick recommended either a 2+1 (using a 6"back fin) or a quads, but as I have never ridden quads I wanted to try it as a thruster except I went with a small back fin instead of the 6" that it comes with.
The waves were waist high and fun and I initially found it a little hard to balance as it was much shorter than I'm used to, but within a few minutes I had it sorted and actually found it really stable and easy to paddle. It tracked well and was super easy to pick up a wave, but the beauty of this board didn't show until I caught my first wave. The thing just took off down the line, I did a few pumps and had speed to burn so I cranked out a turn.....BANG, I was already heading back towards the foam, I have never ridden a board that turned so quick.
The next wave there was someone in the way so I did a mid-faced check turn on a fat section, I didn't put it on rail and the thing almost went into a reverse but in a very controlled slide. This thing was amazing. I caught wave after wave and found that I could outrun sections that had closed out and make it onto the open face again, I could turn as hard as I wanted and if I kept it on rail it would continue to drive, but if I released my weight half way through the turn it would tail slide perfectly, easily picking up speed again for the next section. I actually really liked the feeling of sliding so spent the next 20 waves or so seeing how far I could slide it in the pocket without falling, adding in the odd power turn just to mix it up. It even felt fast through the fat sections and allowed me freedom to pretty much do whatever I wanted.
This session was filmed by Micks young son who will throw together a video, hopefully showing some of my waves soon, but in the meantime here a few photos of the board taken in the carpark after the surf.
All in all I am pumped that I have finally found a high performance board for the bigger guy, if you are looking for a more stable board that still rips in the waves ,then check these out for sure.
Nice one Jaybo.
ive actually already seen that video. I'll try and post the link.
Haha @ 50 seconds through. See that other dudes board go flying out back?
loks like a fun board for the conditions