Category Archives: Board Reviews

Nic Von Rupp in “BRUSCO”

 

Nic Von Rupp has had a BIG year. He has endured cold water, heavy poundings and big barrels from Nazaré, Mavericks, Mullaghmore to Jaws. His ability to travel and surf anything is what sets him apart from the crowds. Making a huge push towards why he should be included on the 2019 WSL Big Wave Tour roster. Cant wait to see what is in store for next year! Enjoy!

Watch Nic and his 2018/19 XXL campaign below in “BRUSCO”. Music by Mars Red Sky – Strong Reflection
Edit by Felix Gansicke

Brusco from Nic von Rupp on Vimeo.

Nic’s 2018/19 XXL Quiver

CompGun – 9’0 x 20 x 2.65 – Vol: 69.4l.

CompGun – 9’6 x 20 x 3.5 – Vol: 70.8l.

CompGun – 9’9 Nathan’s Mav’s Knife

CompGun – 10’4 x 20.75 x 3.7 – Vol: 84.5

BuzzGun  – 9’6 x 19.25 x 3.5 – Vol: 70L.

BuzzGun – 10’4 x 20.25 x 3.8 – Vol: 85.7l.

 

NIC’S Nazaré 9’6 AND 10’4 BUZZGUN’S

9’6 AND 10’4 COMPGUN’S

NEW DFT 9’0 KNIFE

The 2×4 is the Ultimate Travel Board

“The 2×4 will increase your top speed, no doubt about that. There is a particular flex that you get when you are projecting down the line. A sensation that I obsess about” – @noamizuno

‘If you know, then you know’ is basically how word gets around about our 2×4 model. Without much exposure, it has continued to become surfers top choice of equipment for the hopeful mysteries of waves like Skeleton bay, Teahapoo, Pipeline, Honolua Bay, Kandui lefts and pretty much any wave on earth that one must push the limits of what’s possible.

Noa Mizuno’s 2×4 Legacy – 5’7 x 18.5 x 2.25 Vol: 25.1l.

With Koa Smith and Benji Brand both winning big paychecks from GoPro on matching equipment in Namibia, this board has been put to the ultimate test in stamina barrel riding and has came out victorious.

“I definitely couldn’t have made that wave without that board” – Koa Smith

Koa’s $35,000 GoPro winner Photo: Alan Van Gysen

“This thing helped me get drained all over the globe… 20 second barrels in Africa, 10ft Newport Beach, Nicaragua, Tahiti, Mexico and Hawaii. I need copies of this “2X4″ asap” – @koasmith

Koa Smith’s 2×4 Legacy – 5’9” x 18.65” x 2.3” Vol: 26.4l.

Koa Smith Photo: Alan Van Gysen

Benji Brand’s $20,000 GoPro Winner

“Fastest board around.” – @benjibrand

Brand brothers. 2×4 Legacy’ – 5’8″ x 18.5″ x 2.3″  Vol: 25.9l.

This past year Noa Mizuno and Nate Behl put on an absolute show at Kandui Lefts riding none other than their trusty 2×4’s. Again making it a tried and true choice of board for the “unknown” that surfers are faced with when traveling to places with no idea what to expect.

“I’ll never ride anything else ever again at Kandui Left.  Boards are literally like cheating out there compared to anything else I’ve ridden in 12 years ” – @justisstjohn

 

“That board as a quad seriously felt like a Tesla on autopilot cruising a foam ball.” – @natemcnasty

 

Noa Mizuno in the drivers seat. Photo: Justis St John

Nate Behl on a nasty one. Kandui Lefts Photo: Justis St John

Nate’s 2×4 CFT round pin – 6’0 x 19 x 2.3 Vol: 28.7l.

 

“Want to make own your own?”

order a new custom board with 3-5 week turnaround time*

$750 = EPS/EPOXY (2.0pcf Marko foam core glassed with EPOXY resin)
$830 = CFT (eps/epoxy with deck channels, bamboo stringer, bias weave S-glass)
$985 = DFT (eps/epoxy with deck channels, vacuum bagged bamboo inlay stringer, bias weave S-glass)
$1190 = LEGACY (CFT with cork deck/rails and bamboo bottom)

 

Contact: info@stretchboards.com for orders/questions

 

“Whats he riding?” Kevin Cortez

 

“What’s he riding?” Kevin Cortez on his Buzzsaw Sk8 from Stretch Boards on Vimeo.

 

Name: Kevin Cortez

Height/weight:

5’6 “/ 150 lbs.

Model/size/fin set up:

Buzzsaw Sk8 – 5’7″ x 18.63″ x 2″     Vol: 25.83L.

Location/conditions:

Playa Colorados / Pumping

Rider background

Hurley Team Manager quote on quote: “Yes, this kid freaking rips. Good style, progressive, and great barrel rider.” -Asher Nolan

Initial thoughts/expectations

Bizarre, weird with no rocker, felt weird at first on a high tide session but after two waves the flow came in and the combos came too!

Ride experience:

Works in everything pretty much any conditions, I like how you do airs sometimes and you disappear in the whitewash the board has enough volume to get you in front of the white wash again and complete a maneuver with good flow. That’s my first thought on my first good ride.

 

Strengths: Volume gives you extra pop and it’s fast on rail works really good on rail!

 

Weaknesses: No complaints just like any board loses its spice as I use it more and more but I surf A LOT!!

 

Summary Helps you with rhythm and flow between rail turns, it’s fast, maintains!!!

Social

follow Kevin on Instagram

 

photo: @gerardo_photo

Kevin at home photo: Brian Scott

 

 

 

“DFT” Construction Explained

Darshan and his new 2win in “DFT” Construction

DFT

Dampened Flex Technology

  • stringerless 2.0 pcf. Marko blank
  • Vacuum bagged bamboo veneer inlay
  • Epoxy lamination with 4oz. direct sized RWG E-glass deck and bottom
  • 4oz. S-glass deck and bottom layer 45º off-axis quadrilateral cloth matrix
  • Individually hand-shaped deck channels

$750 standard + $235 upgrade = $985

Get a custom quote

DFT from Stretch Boards on Vimeo.

Couple of “DFT”s for Jamie O’brien

 

 

2×4 round pin Ride Review with Darshan

2×4 round pin first ride review with darshan gooch from Stretch Boards on Vimeo.

Height/weight:

6’4″ 180-185 lbs

2×4 round pin 6’2″ x 19.25″ x 2.375″ vol. 32.0L

darshan testing the 2×4 round pin barrel riding capabilities photo: Bryan Garrison @wetfeetphoto

Construction type:

6’2″ x 19.25″ x 2.375″ shown with abstract color lamination and futures AM2 techflex thruster set.

CFT std with uni-directional carbon tail strips and with the exception of the abstract color lam bottom, features duplicate CFT std glassing as seen in previous Thing v2 round pin ride review seen here

Fins used:

Futures AM2 thruster set:

fronts: 4.73” deep by 4.64” base – flat foil

center: 4.49” deep x 4.63” base – symmetrical foil

Fins Unlimited custom Stretch Generation 2 quad set:

Fronts: 4.75” deep by 4.625” base – custom stretch inside foil

Quad rears: 4.25” deep by 4.25” base – symmetrical foil

Conditions tested:

Wintery types of CA waves varying from chest high to several feet overhead.

Initial thoughts/expectations (was this really what you thought you were getting?):

The initial idea when ordering this particular 2×4 model was to find the performance differences between the THINGv2 and 2×4. We basically kept the dimensions and construction completely the same. I would imagine a fair portion of people ordering the 2×4 may have ridden it a little bit shorter. Considering the time of year and lack of any contemporary tri or quad fins available in my quiver, I thought I better get with a board that could not only fill a missing link in my quiver, but also a board that would be adaptable in the decent to good wave category.

What 3 board models come to mind when checking out this design?:

Stretch’s THINGv2, Matt Biolos’ Mini Driver, Channel Islands Fred Rubble?…

What wave types do you imagine surfing when viewing this design? (full spectrum and size range):

One of the strong points of this particular board is it’s fairly adaptable. Beach breaks, Reef’s, Point breaks, anything with enough juice to get you going and some space to move around. I had a couple great surfs on this board in hollower/down the line type of waves where I rode it as a quad. The majority of the time i rode this board as a tri fin as the waves on offer around town this time of year seemed most suitable.

Ride experience:

In all honesty this was a slight adjustment and exercise in remembering how to ride a contemporary shortboard again. My experience was a little humbling at times considering this past year I have mostly been surfing with twin-fins and singles. Similar to the THINGv2 I tested last year, I found the 2×4 to have a vague familiarity and user-friendly characteristics. Immediately there was an ease or comfort factor when standing up and getting moving. My personal challenge was making the subtle adjustment of stepping further back and finding that sweet spot towards the back fin. (Which isn’t quite the same with a twin fin in particular.)

Likes/Dislikes:

I think there is something to be said here about adaptability and having a board you know you can rely on. The only dislikes worthy of mention would be my own personal limitations from prior lack of interest in contemporary shortboards, This resulted in issues of the balance, timing and rhythm department of my own physical doing.

General observations:

In comparison to the single concave throughout the THINGv2 , I felt there was a little more excitement or eagerness of availability on the back foot that felt like quicker rail to rail transitions.

“If I could choose between this and one other model, I would get the ….. (can be a different stretch model or any other shaper/design):

I’m torn between the 2×4 and the THINGv2 at this point. If I primarily rode contemporary shortboards on a regular basis, I may be leaning towards the 2×4 due to the liveliness available off the back foot. At this point in my limited use and interest in “shortboarding” on a regular basis, I would probably lean more on the predictability and control that the THINGv2 offers.

How well does this board match up to it’s model description?:

I can only account for the slightly longer version being consistent with it’s description. Perhaps a slightly shorter/wider version might be the perfect adjustment in the small to medium sized waves category if you are primarily a conventional “shortboard” type surfer.

Summary (synopsis, recommendations or overall feeling you would tell a friend):

The 2×4 is highly adaptable, user-friendly, performance shortboard. Daily driver certified*

Check out the Stretch Boards webstore for available stock 2×4 models or contact orders@stretchboards.com to get started on a new custom!

Exactly the same construction as the previous Thing v2 round pin, CFT std with marko EPS, bamboo stringer, 6oz. RWG bottom and deck with 4oz. bias S-glass and carbon tail strips.

 

“What’s he riding?” Willy Aliotti’s blacked out quiver

Check out what models William Aliotti regularly packs into his bag for travel.

height/weight:
1.75m  by 70 KG
(5’8″ 165lbs.)

 

All boards built with:
CFT medium construction
  • 4oz. RWG + 4oz. bias S-glass bottom / 4oz. bias S-glass + 6oz. RWG deck
  • 2.1pcf Marko Foam EPS core
  • 1/8″ bamboo stringer
  • deck channels

3k uni-directional carbon fiber tail strip reinforcements

Future ILT fin system with Jordy Smith Medium HC 4.54″ height by 4.59″ base

Whether threading through gutting tubes on his frontside or wafting tail-free drifts in small points on his backhand, Willy finds the Lil Buddy as his “go-to” board. photo: david aumentado

 

Lil Buddy squash tail – 5’10” x 18.187″ x 2.13″ vol. 24.3L

“personally the Lil Buddy is the board for me that i can take on any trip ! for any kind of condition like proper barrel 4 to 6 ft and in normal and mellow waves from 2 to 4 ft ( the lil buddy model will be the first one in the board bag”

Willy cracks a frontside ollie on his 5’8″ skate. photo: @laurentpujol

Skate swallow tail – 5’8″ x 18.25″ x 2.187″ vol. 24.5L

“the second board that i will always take on a trip is the Skate ! when the wind swoop on shore this board become amazing and really skatey on shity waves”

thing v2 CFT 5’9″ x 18.187″ x 2.13″

Thing v2 squash tail – 5’9″ x 18.187″ x 2.13″ vol. 24.8L

2×4 step up round pin – 6’4″ x 18.25″ x 2.4″ vol. 29.5L * modified nose outline and tail rocker

“…and to finish my perfect  last boards of the quiver on barrel destination i will always the 2X4 step up and normal short board”

aiming for the cosmos on his cosmic color lam thing v2. photo: @chroniclesofchristie

 “i trust stretch surfboard more then any other! i just thinks they are super solid and so performance! they stay magic forever and never get old”

Willy has switched from his rocket red airbrushes into the dark side. Apparently Stretch didn’t get the memo when he decided to surprise Willy with this neon twinnie!

 

 

Speak softly and carry a big foil

Perennial waterman Peter Trow floats along with his custom Stretch foilboard.

photo/video/edit by Ian Boyd

Hydrofoil Surfing with Peter Trow from Ian Boyd on Vimeo.

So…. what exactly are Stretch and Pete putting together?

Modified No Friends model 5’10” x 20″ x 3″

EPS/EPOXY light construction with stringerless 2.1pcf Marko foam blank and some carbon treatment.

Tuttle box mates a Go Foil Kai model.

You may recall Pete’s previous foray into foiling when he teamed up with Stretch on a kite foilboard a little over a year ago. When the wind isn’t blowing and the swell is building, it’s pretty funny to hear him tell me that he’s amping for the waves to get crappy so he can go surf!

Custom foilboards are available to order. send any inquiries to orders@stretchboards.com

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2win fin ride review with Darshan

Two fins in it to 2win it from Stretch Boards on Vimeo.

 

Surfer: Darshan Gooch
Height/weight: 6’4″ 185lbs.
Board model: 2win single wing swallow tail
Dimensions: 5’11” x 19.75″ x 2.375″ vol. 32L
Construction type: Varial foam core  (no deck channels) + CFT std glassing + carbon tail strips
Fins used: futures Akila Aipa fiberglass 5.4″

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What comes to mind when checking out this design?

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the importance of rail profile, rocker, edge and fin placement are amplified in twin-fin designs. stretch and darshan examine the minute details.

Considering this is Stretch’s version of a modern twin-fin, it stands alone. Channel Islands has an updated version of the Merrick Twin but i don’t feel that these boards are comparable.

Where do you think this board will shine?

I imagine this board to be very adaptable in an assortment of different waves, mostly waves I wouldn’t consider riding a standard or contemporary shortboard.  Most ideally this would be for waves in the thigh to head high range that would be lacking in quality or substantial curve throughout the wave face.

Location/conditions surfed:

Sub average to decently good waves and everything in between: beachbreaks, mushy to decent point waves, wedgey and fairly hollow reefs. This board can be a real “go-getter”!

Initial thoughts/expectations:

Originally I had ordered this board amidst our 2016 summer season in hopes of finding a fun and user-friendly board that would get me excited to surf an assortment of sub-average summer-type waves.

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darshan bleeding speed via active rail engagement. photo: Kookson@aol.com santacruzwaves.com

 

Ride experience:

The “2WIN” immediately turned me into a 14 year old frothing grom again! Like experiencing the excitement of a fish for the first time, there was an immediate spark and sensibility of speed and freedom as soon as you hit your feet.  One of my favorite things about the 2WIN is riding that line between casual flow and radicalness. Naturally this board goes fast without the struggle of having to create your speed. It’s up to you where and how you want to use or bleed all that forward trajectory. For me the art of twin-fin surfing is learning how to use and engage the rails more actively, while exploring those boundaries of speed and control.

 

General observations:

I found it very suiting for the types of waves I surf regularly around Santa Cruz. With uncanny accessibility to an abundance of speed and a natural sense of user friendliness, the 2WIN proved to be very adaptable. What i had initially ordered for so-so summer days, turned into a board I felt confident bringing into larger overhead barreling waves. This is now a board I am having a hard time putting down.

Eventually when I pushed this board into waves that became too steep or square (far outside of it’s intended capabilities) the tail could begin to drift or slide. Sometimes if I mis-stepped behind the fins the board became a bit too squirrely and directionally challenged.

At times I found it challenging to project vertically in tight places, and sporadic situations. I don’t think this board is vertically challenged as much as it needs the appropriate time and space to find it’s optimum line.

Likes/Dislikes:

Strengths = natural speed and user-friendly characteristics.

Weaknesses = Not a “do-it-all” design for me. Need to pay attention to what that back foot is doing.

“If I could choose between this and one other model, I would get the …..

In a perfect world I would choose a 2WIN 2.0 version geared for the winter season and better waves in mind. And have the current 2WIN for a variety of average, to sub average conditions.

Summary:

“Twin it “2-WIN” it!” This board is sure to put a smile on your face especially if you are feeling tired of your conventional shortboards and stuck in the rigidity of habits and routines.

How did the difference in foam core affect performance?

The “2WIN” is the second Varial Foam blank I have tested. Initially Stretch made me two THING’s, a version with a 2.1pcf Marko foam EPS blank with 1/8″ bamboo stringer, and a duplicate THING using  Varial Foam, both in CFT construction glassing.

During the sessions where I compared both THING’s, I first noticed a subtle damping effect when surfing the Varial board in semi-chattery conditions. In cleaner conditions there were times when I could feel the board loading up in turns and almost having some subtle springiness qualities as you are unloading pressure. Almost like a rubber band on a very small scale.

My feeling is that Varial could have a lively, more natural – multi dimensional flex pattern as it interacts with the wave and different weight distribution. The subtleties of Varial had proven very hard for me to pick up on immediately, so I was interested in trying it in a summer type surfboard such as the “2WIN”.

Both these boards built with Varial cores were and still are durable. Outside of foot dents, I am amazed that neither boards have had any legitimate dings on them.

Compared to my CFT constructed boards with EPS/EPOXY, both of these Varial foam versions were not “lighter”. The THING built with the Varial foam actually weighed 6oz. more than the Marko foam and bamboo stringer version. There are a lot of variables in surfboard construction of course. Personally I’m not a “team light” kind of person and I don’t mind a little weight and these boards seemed appropriate to me. Not heavy in the slightest degree.

Honestly, I think a custom built surfboard with a longer lifespan is a step in the right direction. Some may find it a challenge to notice the performance differences but maybe that’s where the fun is at, learning and experimentation. Enjoy!

mos-tube-photo-by-brian-garrison-wet-feet-photo

photo: brian garrison

 

Buzzsaw sk8 review with Darshan Gooch

 

Buzzsaw sk8 with Darshan Gooch from Stretch Boards on Vimeo.

Name: Darshan Gooch
Height/weight: 6’4″ 185 lbs

Board model/dimensions: Buzz Saw sk8 6’0″ x 19.5″ x 2.25″ vol.31.8L (straight off the stock board rack!)

Construction type: CFT std (1/8″ bamboo stringer, marko foam 2.1pcf compression molded EPS, deck channels, 45º bias weave S-glass and RWG) + striped carbon tail strips

Fins used: Futures Timmy Patterson (sides) with Fins Unlimited S2 Stretch fiberglass 4.25″ quad rear pair

Conditions tested: Point breaks, reefs and beachbreaks,. Average to good waves, from slopey / mushy, and into hollow barreling waves as well.

Background (general skill level, current board(s), misc. other factors):

Just another working class parent from around the way. Continuing to remain passionate about riding waves, while keeping those kids fed and bills paid. 25 years surfing experience.

Initial thoughts/expectations (was this really what you thought you were getting?):

This was actually a stock board that was sitting in the factory. Initially I was drawn to this board looking for a daily driver to fill a few places where my quiver was lacking. Although the volume was a little towards the full side for my comfort, I previously had really enjoyed my experiences with the Super Buzz and was interested in going further down the rabbit hole prior to our El Niño season of 2015/16.

What wave types do you imagine surfing when viewing this design? (full spectrum and size range):

Since this board is coming from the daily driver sector I would imagine this board to cover a wide range of waves / conditions from average to good waves.

Ride experience:

Perhaps due to new board excitement, I found my first wave to actually be one of the best waves I ever caught on this board. The Buzz Saw paddled very comfortably and with my feet slipping right into the sweet spot of the concave SK8 deck I was ready to dig in at first draw. Over time I found this board to fit and work best in the pocket or curvature of the waves face. Also having great tube riding capabilities, there were a number of sessions were I took the Buzz Saw into waves outside of what I perceived to be it’s preferred size range. More often than not, I was surprised at Buzz Saw’s capacity to adapt and conquer in good waves in the overhead range.

Likes/Dislikes:

The Buzz Saw thrives to fit and be pushed through turns in tight/round places on the wave where your standard shortboard might not fit. Perhaps my stubbornness to only ride this board as a quad made for times when I struggled or fought the extra volume of the skate deck in slopey or mushy parts of the wave. Considering my size 13 foot, I may have found my width limit for preferable SK8 deck options here.

General observations:

The Buzz Saw has an uncanny ability to be very adaptable from average everyday fun, into great waves that would be more performance oriented.

Summary (synopsis, recommendations or overall feeling you would tell a friend):

Lively daily driver that loves to be ridden in the pocket and also thrives in the decent to good waves category.

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voluptuous curves deserve something to feast on. gooch nurtures the buzzsaw sk8’s voracious open face appetite. photo: chachi

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“baby got BACK!” the butt tail is the default stock template off the rack. nice curves! chemically transformed image sharing courtesy of: darshan gooch