The storms are finally starting to recede; the sun is peeking through the clouds; and summer is just about here. Blink your eyes and all your favorite b’s will be back: babes, bikinis, breasteses, and of course, boards. And if you want to get your fair share of the first three, you’d better find some PU that’s built to make you look like you spent the winter turning down sponsorship offers.
Best Overall: Channel Islands Pod
Surf Science takes more than 5,000 reviews mashes them up into a numeric matrix, breaks things down into categories and averages, and then spits out the best of the best for us all to read. It starts off bro-riffic, ends up pretty geeky, but one thing’s certain: we’re not going to argue with their results. The Channel Islands Pod, a hybrid board, took home the number 1 spot for 2011 with a 93.93 score–yeah better than anything you ever brought home in high school. The board is angled at intermediate and advanced riders thrashing knee-high to head-skimming waves.
Best Fish: MR ’82 Concave Retro Twin
Just look at that smorgasbord of colors; you know you want to ride it. All Jamaica (with some blue on the side) the Mark Richards 1982 Concave Retro Twin is bound to be one of the flashiest boards of the summer. Beneath the flash lies a board that oozes versatility. Transworld Surf slapped a ‘Transworthy’ label on it and said: “It’s great in the small stuff, the vee out the back helps it get through the flattest of sections, it’s loose and turns on a dime, can hold in some heftier stuff, and catches the littlest knee high dribblers you can imagine.”
Best Shortboard: Firewire Dominator
Close on the Pod’s tail for best overall, the Firewire Dominator was Surf Science’s best shortboard by a comfortable margin. Firewire describes the aptly-named Dominator as one of its most versatile boards. Shaper Dan Mann thinned out the nose, making for faster charging. Couple that with lightweight, flexible design, and you’ve got a board that’s ready to take you to the next level.
Best Longboard: Walden Magic Model
An age-old classic that’s as relevant today as it was when Steve Walden first sculpted the design 30 years ago, the Magic Model topped Surf Science’s longboard list with a 92.34 rating. Versatile enough for the gamut of riders, the Magic Model delivers remarkable stability. It also turns and noserides like a beast.
Best Finless Alaia: The Seaglass Project Tuna
Some shapers take us back to the 80′s, some take us back to the very roots of surfing. It may look like an ironing board, but National Geographic Adventure promises this thing is ready for fun no matter how you ride it. The adventure blog gave it a Gear of the Year award, stating: “Australian shaper Tom Wegener, in partnership with Global Surf Industries, has taken what he’s learned from his wood alaias and built an epoxy foam version that’s more buoyant, lighter, less expensive, and easier to find.” Wegener says that the design adds a new dimension to surfing, giving you more freedom for slides, spins and grabs.Best Surfboards For Summer 2011 ,