Mad scientist + innovative shaper Dane Hantz brings us his tiny wave planing hull concept, the Vulcan Surfboards Archetype. A crazy looking groveler, the Archetype is lively and responsive even in fat, slow low tide conditions.
+ The Archetype is amazingly lightweight. Despite the size and volume, this makes the board feel surprisingly nimble
+ Carbon laid corrugations running the length of the board (the heart of Vulcan’s patented ‘Convex’ technology) are purpose built to store and release energy efficiently. This Convex engineering makes the board feel lively and springy through turns and when pumping down the line
+ Devours small, mushy days where you would normally give it a miss
– It always takes me a session or so to adjust to riding this style of board. In the beginning it felt stiff (part board, part fins) but once I adjusted my weight it was off to the races
The Vulcan Surfboards Archetype at 5’11 x 21 1/2 x 2 7/8 @ 42.5L’s of volume. I surfed the Archetype with my tried and true wide tailed groveler fins, the Futures Seaworthy Quads. At first, they felt stiff but as I learned to get my weight distribution right on this board, they delivered. Standard Vulcan Surfboards Archetype dimensions and volume at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
Low end of the wave range: smaller, weaker, mushier. Soft high tide sessions but it can handle slightly bigger, better conditions, too (surfed mine for the first time at a nice Baja point at about shoulder high).
- Ultra low rocker, straight rail line, fuller foil and rails provide instant hull speed
- Planing hull concept with a chopped off nose
- Convex engineered, with corrugations through the length of the board
- Multiple tail configurations – I chose the diamond
- Quad fin for max speed or thruster fins for greater hold
- Misfit Surfboards Mermaid Killer Review: my first of this kind – a lightning rod when you set your line. The Mermaid Killer is intended for bigger, better waves vs. the Archetype
- Firewire Surfboards Nano by Daniel ‘Tomo’ Thomson: leverages Tomo’s modern planing hull and absolute dynamite to ride…this is an epic all rounder that every one should try
- Tomo Surfboards Vader in Firewire Surfboards Tech: coming soon…
Hey, welcome to Benny’s Boardroom! I hope you’re doing well. No surfboard stands today, I’m shooting on location in California where I’ve been out riding some pretty cool boards. I was able to connect with some great shapers prior to coming over here and have some boards ready to ride over in California. The first board that I picked up is this Archetype by Dane Hantz of Vulcan Surfboards.
This is a crazy looking board. I’ve done reviews of boards that are similar to this but I haven’t ridden one and have had quite as much success as with this Vulcan Archetype.
The way this was described to me in a nutshell is that it’s like the Firewire Surfboards Vanguard but a little bit more user friendly. This board is intended for that lower end of the wave range: smaller, weaker, high tide sessions where the waves just don’t give you as much push. There are a couple of things about this board that I really like. It is fantastic in those smaller conditions. I’ve surfed it a couple of days where it’s been really high tide, tiny and it’s been mushy. I was still able to get some fun little waves and find some little corners.
The first weekend I surfed this, however, I was down at K38, which is as beautiful right hand point break in Baja, Mexico. I was looking at this thing in my board bag and like, the waves are shoulder to head high, maybe a little bit overhead on the largest sets and they’re peeling and running and this is probably not the right board for me to go out and surf in those conditions but I just had it sitting there. I was like,
“I have to try that thing!”
I ended up chucking these fins in it (Futures Seaworthy Quads) and I took it out. It did take me a couple of tries to work this board out, especially on those bigger waves. This is a 5’11. It’s a little bit shorter than I normally surf, A, and, B, again, it has this planing hull concept where the nose is chopped off and these parallel rails. It’s a more compact package.
Once I figured out how to make the drop – it took me a couple tries to get it right – man, I was off to the races! You can see that it has this very pronounced vee spine at the back here, very pronounced which really turns the board into a two-dimensional thing where when you really get it on rail, you’re turning through that side or turning through that side.
It actually doesn’t feel too dissimilar to some of the other boards that you might be riding, some of the other shortboards. I was very surprised – and pleasantly surprised – that this works so well on those kind of nice, point break waves. One thing I’ve observed about these types of boards as well is that I tend to be pretty heavy on my front foot – on my backhand especially – and again, the adjustment for me is usually figuring out that you can’t really put too much pressure on that front foot on these types of boards or you just end up pearling it.
That’s what happened to me a few times but once I figured out to balance my weight properly, get more on the back foot, then I started really having a good time again surfing some pretty decent, good quality should to head-high point break waves on this Archetype.
The other thing that really impresses me about this board is the weight of it. This is a decent sized board with 42L’s of volume but it weighs almost nothing. It’s actually amazing. I looked at the size of it and I just expected when I picked it up that it’s going to be a lot heavier than it is but it’s not heavy at all. I think, that’s due to the construction that Dane Hantz of Vulcan Surfboards leverages.
He’s actually got a patent on what he calls Convex engineering. That’s probably the most identifiable feature you can see on this board. There are these crazy corrugations running down the length of the board. I asked Dane to describe it to me and he described it perfectly. He said:
“Look, you have to think about a steel roof with corrugation. That’s really thin 16 gauge steel and it would bend very easily if it wasn’t for that corrugation. The corrugation gives it structural integrity.”
The element of corrugation actually makes the lateral bend through the center of the board a lot less or rather it applies a lot more resistance. When you’re pushing down through the center of this board, those corrugated rails are really helping the board to spring back. Obviously, it’s not going to snap through the center there because there is an enormous amount of tension that these rails cause. They don’t make it feel stiff or anything like that. It just helps the board feel quite lively and springy.
I’ve been surfing it with these Future Seaworthy Quads. These were recommended to me by the guys at Futures. Actually in that weekend at K38s, I felt in the beginning, I felt a little bit stiff but I think it was just me getting used to board because once I started surfing it in those smaller, mushier, more high tide days that I’ve surfed since then, the board felt really lively and responsive and it was doing what I wanted to do.
Thank you so much to the guys at Vulcan Surfboards for helping me to organise this Archetype. Actually, I like this board so much that I have already ordered another one from Dane which I’m actually going to go pick up today. Great little board, definitely worth a try especially if you’re in and around San Diego and you want something that’s going to get you through those small, mushy days where you want to get as many waves as you can, this is a great option with a very, very flat rocker.
Again, this is a great small wave option. I know from experience, however, that it will handle the slightly bigger surf as well. That is the Vulcan Archetype. Thank you so much for watching the show.
OUTRO: The Vulcan Surfboards Archetype will be your new best friend when it’s tiny and weak grasshopper.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
[most Vulcan’s are built custom – these dims are just a guide]
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