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(Inga Hendrickson)

The Best Surfboard of 2020

A smoldering solution for a wide range of conditions

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At Trimcraft Surfboards, expert builders Ryan Lovelace, Gerry Lopez, Rich Pavel, and Davey Smith dream up the designs, and a cadre of experienced shapers bring them to life. The business model lowers the price without sac­rificing boutique quality. 

Trimcraft Burner Shortboard ($835)

(Inga Hendrickson)

Lovelace, who created the Burner, describes it as “a shortboard for surfers who don’t shortboard.” But don’t mistake it for a beginners-only model. He initially designed it as an all-around travel sled that does equally well hunting tubes in Indonesia, carving European beach breaks, and groveling through sessions when the swell hasn’t quite arrived yet. A wide point under your chest and ­relaxed rocker make for easy paddling and early entry into waves compared with most boards in the six-foot range. It’s responsive and user-­friendly, as long as you’re in the mood for flowy S-turns, not vertical, off-the-lip bashes.

We tested a 6'8″ board with a ­two-plus-one fin setup (length is custom, and you can order the Burner as a quad, twin, or single fin) and had a blast at waist-high point breaks and shifty Northern California reefs. Going smaller would deliver a ride more akin to a traditional (if old-school) shortboard. For advanced surfers, it worked equally well in large and cruisey waves. And while it’s ­certainly a pricier option than buying off the rack, the Burner’s quality and versatility make it more than worth the investment.

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