The Best Surfboards of 2013
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Firewire RapidFire Baked Potato
If ever there was a true small-wave performance board, this starchy vegetable is it. Extra wide with plenty of volume, the five-fin RapidFire is designed to make the most of subpar conditions. The five-foot-nine model we tested paddled easily into thigh-high SoCal summer waves. And once up and riding, it showed surprising drive, and the diamond tail allowed for satisfyingly big turns. 5’1″–6’3”.
Walden Magic Dually
Like a mullet, this longboard perfectly matches two opposing styles. The front two-thirds of the nine-foot-six we tested looks and rides like a traditional old-school log, and it proved perfect for walking the nose. But step back to the tail, which has the shape of a high-performance longboard, and you can make quick arcing turns on steeper waves. We had fun on the Dually in everything from ankle biters to head-high beach break. 9’–10′.
Lib Tech Bowl Surfboard
Pretty impressive debut: the Bowl, part of the snowboarding brand’s first line of surfboards, is one of the most durable surfboards we’ve ever tested. It’s made from a lightweight composite instead of fiberglass, and the rails are wrapped in rubberized metallic fibers. We jumped up and down on a six-two thruster model on concrete and didn’t ding it! It also paddles well and comes alive in steep, chest-high beach break. While the board has lots of flex, which can suck drive out of turns, it’s also bombproof and ideal for moderate-to-big surf. 5’8″–6’4″.