Humans are, for the most part, bilaterally symmetrical. Our right side looks like our left side and vice versa. Same goes for surfboards. Trouble is, a frontside turn looks dramatically different from a backside turn, and it’s almost never the case that a board travels in a perfectly straight line, with water running uniformly underneath. So it’s a little strange that, although none of us surf symmetrically, 99 percent of surfboards are designed as if we do.
Enter the asymmetrical surfboard. Though the provenance is murky, it likely first appeared in the late fifties or early sixties. For years the boards were a fringe concept, but recently they’ve enjoyed a bit of a resurgence, thanks to talented young surfers like San Diego’s Ryan Burch.
Album Disasym ($650 and up)
The Album Disasym—designed by San Clemente, California, shaper Matt Parker—has a longer rail paired with a twin fin on the toe side and a shorter rail matched with a quad set on the heel side. (It’s available in regular and goofy-foot versions.) The result is a blazing performance board that doesn’t skitter out through turns. And don’t assume it was designed to go only one way. The shorter rail line allows for quick and snappy backside turns. Ride it a few inches shorter and a little narrower than your standard shortboard—the Disasym generates speed on its own and doesn’t need a ton of planing area.