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: