Nathan Fletcher is human. He faces challenges like you and I but perhaps on a different scale…
Nathan Fletcher is human. He faces challenges like you and I but perhaps on a different scale…
What comes to mind when checking out this design?
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.
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”!
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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!
A surf trip south of the border can reset your mind, your soul and your perspective on the world we live in. Re-visiting childhood adventures as a new father brings a whole new meaning to the journey.
“…It’s a different world… and i like it!”
In this “First ride impressions” piece, the featured board happens to be none other than the most under stated, longest continually offered and most inquired board in the Stretch model line.
Darshan really wanted to wrap his head around the IT and what the mystifying board design was meant to do, where it could go on the wave and how it fits in to a surfer’s quiver.
Stretch would sum up the IT model as longboard paddle and stability up front with control and maneuverability out the back. It’s got rocker, it’s got foil, it can be pushed harder than you may think. Over the past 20-something years since it’s inception the IT has turned heads and put smiles on every person who rides one.
The stock size dimensions for Darshan’s 7’0″ IT show a nose width of 17.8″ and a tail width of 15.1″. That’s loosely calling it a “not so pointy” Super Buzz nose width spliced onto a tail width the same as a THING v2!
The IT really isn’t a down-sized longboard. It’s not an up-sized shortboard. It’s not really fair to call it a “funboard” or “mini-mal” or “micro HPLB”. The IT is so much of an anomaly we couldn’t come up with a more descriptive name!
I would’ve called it the “Surf Mullet” if someone had asked but i think that name was already taken. The IT has been around longer than i have so we’ll just leave it at that. “Business in the front, party in the back!” Makes sense to me!
Name: Darshan Gooch
Height/weight: 6’4″ 180lbs
Model/size/fin set up:
IT round pin 7’0” x 21.5″ x 2.65″ vol. 43.2L CFT std construction. Ridden as a quad with Firewire template (Futures)
Steamer Lane: Fairly clean, 4-6 ft waves off the slot and inside middle peak., a little challenging with the higher tide wobble and refractions..
Pleasure Point: 4-6 ft, North westerly slopey walls with lots of people/ obstacles.
Rider background (general skill level, current board(s), misc. other factors):
Goofy looking regular footer, 25 years surfing experience.
Initial thoughts/expectations (was this really what you thought you were getting?):
Considering this board is fairly different than the boards I usually ride on a regular basis, I tried to approach this particular board with an open mind.
The first thing I noticed when I jumped off the cliff and onto this board was it’s incredible paddling abilities. It was almost like I had to wipe the smirk off my face once I discovered the advantages I was gaining.
Paddling! There was a huge advantage that opened up in the accessibility of catching waves I wouldn’t usually consider paddling for. Great down the line speed and maneuverability.
The only weakness that comes to mind might be the amount of people you may upset if you take full advantage of this boards wave catching abilities.
Summary (your best one sentence description, recommendations or overall feeling):
The IT : A very user-friendly board for a wide variety of waves and skill levels.
Check out the available stock IT models for sale at: store.stretchboards.com. As always, each board is made custom and individual.
Not seeing exactly what you are looking for? Choose from the “fast track” options in the pull down menu to put down a deposit and build up the stock dimensions with color, fins, logos, tail template and construction specs to your own personal preference!
There’s been a set of commonly asked questions in regards to the IT model i’ve encountered over the years. Darshan responds back after gaining some insight:
Can you duck dive it?
DG: At 7’0” I found the IT reasonably easy to duckdive in the 4-6 waves IT was tested. I think in bigger / more powerful surf or in larger sizes the IT could get challenging to push under waves unless you could over power it.
Quad or Tri?:
DG: I have ridden the IT both with quad and tri fin setups. Personally I have enjoyed quads more recently but trust the tri fin setup to be equally functional. It’s all personal preference in my opinion.
How does it work when the waves are pumping?
DG: If the surf was pumping the IT will open up nicely! In a perfect world I would enjoy this board in some overhead walls where you could get in early with an abundance of speed and push this board down the line and through it’s paces. Top to bottom waves might be a little more challenging of coarse.
What are your intentions?
DG: My intentions with the IT would be: taking a load off and cruising along like a sea bird. Long flowing movements, nothing to serious, just riding like the wind. Enjoy!
Would you travel with it?
The IT is a great travel board for easy locations where the consistency needle is trending to the lower end of the spectrum. It will cover all the bases and when the surf jumps up you won’t necessarily be scrambling for shelter since it has the rocker and foil to handle a bit more punch that the waves will throw at you.
Can you nose ride it?
Cheater 5’s, maybe. For sure in the longer lengths with a steep wall. Perching on the nose in full trim isn’t something that most people can handle on an over rockered longboard let alone a mid-length though.
Can it be ridden as a tri? Single? 2+1?
The IT was originally designed with a thruster set up. In the mid-2000’s when the quad craze went full tilt we were doing them as convertibles and also 4+1 set up’s with 8.5″ center fin boxes and even 10 1/2″ boxes if the length, width and rocker would accommodate it. This gave the most options for anyone who wanted 2+1, tri (with center box adapter plug for your normal FCS center fin) and yes, even a single if they wanted to get funky. Everyone raves about the quad set up in the IT but tri’s work darn well also! We make them 5-fin convertible so you get the best options to choose from.
Can you get a longer version and surf cowells on one?
You could….. We’ve made them long but the sweet spot is in the 7’0″ to 8’0″+ range. Groms, light footed proficient folks and smaller statured surfers could get away with it in large, slopey, slow moving walls but there’s a reason flat rockered logs dominate longboard zones. Paddling harder and getting less waves doesn’t sound super fun.
What construction would you prefer?
We’ve made them primarily in our CFT construction. EPS/epoxy gives a lively feel and adds the durability and longevity which is paramount in a board design such as the IT. Legacy cork/bamboo builds and funky color laminations are another way to spice things up. Custom builds are what we do so sky is the limit and is all about what your personal preference dictates.
Still have questions? Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the groovy IT stylings sans verbage in the edit courtesy of Mike Cochran here:
Buy any board (new or used) from store.stretchboards.com and receive 25% off any fin set in stock!
just add to cart and use promo code: UPGRADE
offer expires December 31, 2015
Modern day surfing as we know it wouldn’t be the same without fins. Surfboard design is a whirlwind of design theory and application. The fins on your board as you can imagine are equally as significant. Whether you are adept at dissecting rocker profiles and outlines, chord length and foil sections or just don’t have a clue what the difference is between future and fcs fin systems, don’t you worry… you’re definitely not alone.
Highly sensitive and ultra “tuned-in” surfers may be able to discern the flex difference in their glass job or the extra 1/16″ lift in tail rocker but for everyone single person who surfs, simply swapping out fins can give you insight, perspective, adaptability, confidence, control and (most importantly) the sought after joy that surfing brings.
For a fraction of the $ cost, space, decision making and time it would take to get a new board for that slightly different and elusive magic board sensation, it’s a no brainer to simply swap out your fins into the board you’ve already got.
Simplicity is admirable. Versatility is significant. Having the ability to switch fins with the turn of a screw (or a quick snap out/in) is something previous generations of surfers had only imagined.
Now is a good time to be a surfer. A variety of fin templates, sizes, foils, constructions and even matching colors are available to dial in your ride!
send a message to: email@example.com
Super Buzz sk8… the “quiet riot” Continue reading