Surftech Glen Minami Surfboard
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If you're going to a rodeo, you'd better bring a cowboy hat; you won't summit Cho Oyo without an ice ax; you can't charm a snake without a flute; and BASE jumping without a parachute becomes something a little less glorious. No matter the passion, you need the right gear for the game, and if you're surfing fast, hollow waves, Surftech has just the stick.
Surftech Glen Minami SurfboardSurftech Glen Minami Surfboard
Surftech's six-foot-ten-inch Glen Minami is a simple board, and follows a simple philosophy: Go fast, get barreled. While I didn't find the board neck-snappingly responsive on smaller days, when the surf picked up at Frigate Pass, an open-ocean reef break 14 miles off the coast of Fiji, the board performed. It has a moderate rocker from nose to tail, giving it good drive through the pocket, and the pintail gives it added speed.
The Surftech design also influences the board's feel. The company uses an expanded polystyrene foam core instead of the standard polyurethane found in conventional surfboards, and they glass the boards with an epoxy instead of polyester resin. The result is a board that's 20 percent lighter and stronger, making it easier to travel with and more difficult for airlines (and waves) to mangle.
But the design takes some getting used to. Because the epoxy construction is stiffer than in conventional models, it doesn't flex as much, which is why I felt more bumps and chop in the wave than I do with a normal board. The upside to this is that the board is a little quicker and more responsive. At 18 3/8 inches wide and 2 3/8 inches thick, Minami, a North Shore shaper, explains that he designed the board for surfers weighing between 145 and 165 pounds. I weigh a buck fifty, and found the Surftech a little beefy at times, especially since epoxy boards tend to be more buoyant and ride a little bigger than polyester boards. For someone a little heavier, this board could be perfect.
Which leads to another Surftech trade-off. Because these boards are machine-shaped from a hand-crafted prototype, the manufacturer is able to make each one identical. So if you snap the perfect Surftech, you won't have a problem getting an exact duplicate. However, if you want any modifications for your next stick, you have to go elsewhere.
This is a specialized board, and while I wouldn't recommend taking it down to the local beach break when it's breaking at two feet, it's perfect for those classic South Pacific dream sessions or at your secret reef break back home. It's a great board for great waves. $575; www.surftech.com