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Over the last few years, surfboards have continued to get shorter and shorter, and wider and wider. Great for stability and static position planing, but the increase in widths has slowed boards down rail to rail. This causes boards to be slower in generating speed and also in transitions between maneuvers. How much slower? If you’ve been on a “fatty” for a while, you actually probably don’t even remember what fast rail to rail feels like.
The Roberts Modern Gem takes a fresh look at small wave performance by starting out with the popular “Modern 80’s” rocker and foam flow, then narrowing up the outline. The result is a slim ‘n sexy shortboard outline, blended with a flatter rocker and generous foam flow. Is narrow going to make a comeback? After riding this board you will be scratching your head and raising your eyebrows, “…maybe so.”
* Flatter rocker and generous foam flow
* Slight tail flip for maneuverability in tight spaces (and small waves)
* Slimmed down widths for increased rail to rail speed
* Single concave for max speed
What we like:
The Robert Modern Gem is easy to paddle, catch waves and surf. On a very average day, when we thought a wider “hybrid” board was the call, the Modern Gem caught more waves, made way more sections and had speed to burn compared to the standard “go to” hybrid style board. It wasn’t even a small difference. You literally felt like you had an extra second or two on take offs and for added turns that you just couldn’t get on the wider board.
The narrower width is noticeably faster rail to rail when generating speed and transitioning between maneuvers. This was Robert’s goal when designing this board
and it doesn’t take a pro level surfer to tell the difference (or extract that level of performance). The “conservative” approach of taking the shortboard outline and marrying it to a flatter rocker and generous foam distribution works really well. There’s not really another board out there like this. Everything else that immediately comes to mind as being similar, either is wider, or has more rocker, or both.
The smallest we surfed this board was about thigh high, backside and pretty gutless. We also had some bigger runners that were shoulder high with good punch. It handled it all really well. It will work in smaller surf for better surfers and will definitely work in bigger for most any surfer.
This board fills several niches in surfer’s quivers. There are a lot of surfers out there who were born and bread on narrow boards their entire lives. If you’re one of these surfers and you’re looking for an agile, fast, accessible, smaller wave board, the Modern Gem is a perfect fit and will be very easy for you to transition to. This group ranges from younger surfers who only surf shortboards to older surfers who progressed to where they are, well before hybrid style surfboards existed.
The other group of surfers we see this board working well for are hybrid surfers looking to up their game with regards to speed and maneuverability. The Modern Gem is an easy shortboard to surf and this makes the transition from a hybrid to the Modern Gem virtually seamless. The Gem doesn’t have the static “glide” of a wider hybrid, but it makes up for it with effortless rail to rail speed building ability. With the narrower width, you will also find yourself engaging the rail higher up on the wave face. This is where the wave has more power and speed. This gives you more speed on your first drop, and also helps you make those sections you just missed on your wider boards.
The fin set up we used was a Creatures Mitch Coleburn Vert Series thruster set. The more vertical rake on these fins kept the turns tight and the Modern Gem right in the sweet spot of the smaller, beach break waves. The Futures Roberts fins are also a good “go to” fin set for this board. On Robert’s own personal Modern Gem, he has found himself riding slightly smaller fins compared to his other boards due to the narrower tail widths
Why you want a Roberts Modern Gem:
You’re looking for a small wave shortboard with extra speed and power. The Modern Gem is a very accessible design that makes surfing a shortboard fun and FAST, even in very average surf.
Jeremy was wanting a board that was a small wave high performance board like the Modern 80's with low rockers and lots of speed. He also wanted a board that went from maneuver to maneuver as fast as possible
6'2" x 19.875" x 2.375" Vol: 39.5L
Board in Good Condition.
Very few dents, board color remains white and crisp.
Designed with Jeremy Ryan to complement his explosive modern style. Just as maneuverable and speedy as the Modern 80's while being quicker rail to rail using a narrower outline. Jeremy was wanting a board that was a small wave high performance board like the Modern 80's with low rockers and lots of speed. He also wanted a board that went from maneuver to maneuver as fast as possible.
Order this board 4 inches shorter and 1/4 inches wider and same thickness as your standard hi-performance short board or 1 – 2 inches longer, 3/4 inch narrower and in the same thickness as your White Diamond.
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