It ain’t pretty but it works! In search of the ultimate groveler (by that, I mean something that catches anything), I took a concept to Mike Psillakis of Psillakis Surfboards and asked him to work his magic. This is the result.
+ So wide, so thick, so voluminous; I can pick waves off of longboarders on the smallest, weakest days
+ Despite the enormously wide outline, the rolled nose design still allows me to sneak into steeper faced waves
+ Fast and surprisingly nimble in the tiniest, weakest conditions
– I admit, the tail is just too thick to turn hard…the next iteration will rectify this
– The rails could be lower and sharper. Again, next time around!
This beast of a custom groveler Psillakis Surfboards at 6’0 x 23 x 3 @ an unknown but enormous amount of volume! I estimate it in the high 40’s. This is a custom design so there are no standard volumes and dimensions.
Best Wave Type
Tiny, weak waves from knee to shoulder high. It handles mush, it handles soft, flat faces but can be ridden in better quality, more hollow small waves.
- Arc swallow tail
- 4-fin quad setup
- Wide point forward with ridiculously oblong, round outline
- Full rails
- Tiny flip up in the nose but otherwise rocker-less
- JS Pier Pony Surfboard Review: a great, versatile tiny wave option – just couldn’t bury that big tail!
- Firewire Sweet Potato Surfboard Review: my first groveler…sometimes I loved it, sometimes I hated it…
- Channel Islands Average Joe Surfboard Review: a fun tiny wave option from Channel Islands
- Lost R.V. Surfboard Review: one of the better grovelers out there. Catches anything but will handle a bit of size and steepness in the face
- Nick Blair (Joistik) Surfboards Cab Sav Surfboard Review: still a favourite – proves that ‘high performance’ and groveler can exist together!
Hello! Welcome to Benny’s Boardroom. My name is Ben and I buy, ride, and review surfboards…for fun and for you!
This is a custom groveler that I asked Mike Psillakis of Psillakis Surfboards – who’s been on the show before – to make. When Firewire came out with the Sweet Potato, [00:00:30] it was, in my opinion, the first groveler-shape of its kind. It was really big and wide, and oblong. But I didn’t get along too well with the Firewire Sweet Potato; not nearly as well as a lot of other people have. Then I went and got a JS Pier Pony, and I really liked my Pier Pony. I found it versatile, it was great at catching tiny waves, and I could surf it all the way up to a couple feet overhead. However, the tail on the Pier Pony was so big, so wide, and so thick that I couldn’t turn the thing.
I went to Mike and said, “Mike, [00:01:00] I would really like a board that has all of the paddle power that I have in some of these other grovelers – something that allows me to paddle into anything when it’s knee-high and mushy and terrible; pretty much any wave that can be ridden before you get to that point where only a longboard or mini-mal is going to do. I’d also like something that will take a steeper drop and will also be able to turn.”
We brainstormed a bit and I had seen a few different types of boards that I had liked the look of and we pieced this board together from a few concepts. [00:01:30] My custom groveler by Psillakis Surfboards has an enormously-wide groveler-ish-looking nose. Mike rolled the front of the nose and added a little bit of lift. That dynamic allows me to put this board into a steeper face. I was surfing this board this last weekend over the holidays (January 2014) and I was surfing this fantastic little shoulder-to-head-high beach break. [00:02:00] It was steep and breaking fast and hollow and I was able to get into waves and get down a line with that big, wide nose.
The big, wide point through the center holds lots of foam and runs all the way to the rails. I wanted to pack as much foam as possible into a small package. On the tail, Mike put this little wing, this little hip, to pull the wide outline into a smaller tail. Then I had this idea that I wanted an arc swallow tail, [00:02:30] which is what you have here. Imagine an arc tail that has had a little swallow cut out. You get the pivot points and the drive of the arc but then you get the rail-to-rail transitions and release of the swallow tail.
That is my custom groveler by Mike Psillakis of Psillakis Surfboards. It doesn’t really have a name; I guess we can call it ‘The Benny’!Just goes to show that you can piece something together that could really work well for you if you have a good idea in your mind of what you’re looking for. That is [00:03:00] my custom groveler. Thank you very much for watching the show.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
This is a full custom design – no standard surfboard volumes and dimensions.
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