REALPoll – One board to travel with: What would YOU take?
The seasoned surf traveler has become accustomed to the standard 2-3 board quiver. He/She knows that their board bag will be cleverly packed with drivers, step-ups and all rounders. But what happens if this all went away, what happens when you are stuck in a place where multiple boards are not an option and the airlines say NO! Which shape would you be most comfortable with when backup does not exist! I put this question to the REALPros to see the response. Below are the top 3 boards from that poll:
#3 Lost V2 Shortboard
Given the relative infancy of this board I was surprised that it made it into the list but the credentials it has make it one of the best picks for the one board quiver. Starting from the nose, the board begins with a decent amount of rocker and this makes the larger days and more vertical attack more manageable. Coming down from an air drop or sneaking into a late one behind a frosty local is no issue with the V2 SB. This combines with a slightly wider nose outline than say the Lost Whiplash TB (Pro Model) and adds some forgiveness and wave catching ability when the waves are not pumping.
Through the mid-section, the board is pretty flat and there is not really much in the way of concave through the center. This enables fast paddle speed and holds good amounts of volume to manage the smaller days. Coupled with this however, the rails on all the sizes are nicely thinned out to still allow for good performance on the better days. An amazing amount of highly publicized contests have been won on the V2 and the true versatility is certainly one of the main drivers. As we head into the tail section, a slight amount more concave is present to give some acceleration through the fins and a decent level of tail life keeps the more front footed surfers sturdy on the steep sections and making more critical turns. Personally I love the tail shape. A squash at heart but with generously rounded edges to allow for a little more hold when you are getting some deep ones!
Of Note: The V2 Shortboard can be shaped to fit domesticated dims too, which adds width and thickness to each length. This again makes it the ultimate one board travel companion, meaning you can step off your thanksgiving board and still paddle into anything!
#2 Lost V3 Rocket
Another new shape to hit the racks of surf shops around the world, the V3 Rocket was a massive favorite amongst the REAL team. Why is that? Well, this board covers wave types and surfer standards that are totally in line with so many people out there today. When considering the one board threat most of the guys & girls here basically blurted out V3 before I could even preface the question. A close relative of the hugely popular Lost V2 Rocket, the V3 builds on this template but by no means makes the V2 obsolete. In fact, I think that if the V3 was not around then V2 would have been the #2 board instead. The main difference making the V3 SO good as an all rounder is the reduced tail volume. The board therefore can handle much more sizeable conditions than the V2, and this is the main catalyst to its success. An amazing board that still allows for early entry, speed control and creation and to top it all off, looks amazing as shapes go! As the stories continue to arrive from surfers that have been riding these boards, I am sure the hype will grow, but for now the V3 truly does cover all bases and stays totally at home whether under the feet of Julian Wilson or yourself!
#1 Lost Mini-Driver
The Lost Mini-Driver was born in the fabled waves of the Mentawai Islands. Where, guided by both Matt Biolos and Kolohe Andino, the brief was to create a board that dealt with reeling Lances left to a fun sized crumbly Playgrounds (all in one board!). Hasten this back to more humble surroundings and the Mini Driver was the standout winner of this question. The rounded tail, the little bit of added paddle volume, the continuous and smooth rocker all contribute to this board being a great choice for that one board quiver. What the Mini-Driver has over other boards is that it cleverly incorporates a tail shape (round pin) into a board that if shaped with a squash would be a specialist. This round pin does wonders in steeper waves and keeps the tight arcs and wraps that you have been dreaming about all summer looking smooth and controlled. When you then combine this with a domed deck that still holds onto good foam balance and volume under the chest area, you realize that paddling into the biggest wave of the day is no longer a worry. Forget your step-up, the Mini-Driver covers it. Forget your groveler, the Mini still shreds. Intermediate and Advanced surfers revel in this shape because you can surf it short and fast, stay speedy in mush and yet find all important hold when the day of the year comes up!
Honorable Mentions –
Roberts Black Dump Truck
Lost Beach Buggy
If you are thinking about picking up that one board quiver, whether it be today, tomorrow or next year, here are some things to consider.
1) Shape for Success – The one thing that you do not want to do is be out gunned on the big days. Small days are for camel racing, BBQs and a few beers around a camp fire. Add a little length and you will reap the rewards when your heart is in your mouth!
2) Consider your Limits – There is no point getting carried away and ordering a gun unless you are seriously thinking of giving Pipe a go. Consider what you want from a trip? Head-high to double with most days in between. Lots of boards are capable of this (see above)
3) Why Not Start a Holiday Quiver – Many people find travel nirvana at some point in their lives and then return year after year to the same place. If you cannot stand the thought of one board to surf for the 10 magic days you get away then start hoarding the dream quiver wherever you start to make a base.