Leave it to Hayden Cox to do things differently. The Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard Review is full of surprises.
Hope you enjoy the Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard Review for Compare Surfboards!
All the best,
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A wider belly with a generous foil provides plenty of paddle power but the dramatic hip and thinned out tail add a twist to this Haydenshapes surfboard design.
Buoyancy under the chest helps you to get up and going easily in smaller surf but the Haydenshapes Holy Grail is no slouch in better waves.
What We Rode
Craig rode the Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard at 5’9″ x 20 x 2 1/2 x 29.5 L’s. He tried a few different fin setups on the board. He tried the Futures Fins AM2’s, Futures Fins Jordy template, but felt really comfortable with the Dane Reynolds large templates from Captain Fin Co.
Standard Haydenshapes Holy Grail dimensions and volumes may be found at the bottom of this page.
Best Wave Type
The best conditions for the Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard is 1 to 3 foot wave range, the waist to kind of shoulder high range, and it really handles its own in smaller surf. It’s got enough volume through it, but it definitely handles bigger waves.
- The Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard unique looking hip and tail curve
- It has a fairly flat rocker through the belly that holds quite a bit of volume
- Extruded stringer with a deck that drops away into quite a nice, low rail line around the whole tail
- Double concave through the fins off the tail giving a nice rail to rail feel
- Nice thin tail and a nice light rail line that likes to snap and turn in the pocket and those deeper sections
- The Holy Grail comes with a five fin setup and uses Futureflex technology
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Hey. I’m Craig, and today for Compare Surfboards, I’ll be doing a surfboard review of the Haydenshapes Holy Grail. I’ve been riding the Holy Grail in the 5’9″ stock dimensions, which is 5’9″ x 20 x 2 1/2, and it comes in at roughly about 29.5 litres. The Holy Grail is a different board from Hayden Shapes.
I really like the aesthetics of what he’s done. I think this strip down the centre, no one else is kinda doing this stuff that I’ve seen, looks pretty cool and when I first saw it, it really stood out as something different. And I was really keen to check one out. So when I had a chance a few weeks ago or a month ago, to get one under my feet I was pretty keen to check it out.
Looking at the outline, you can that it kinda holds its width through here. It holds its width through the tail and you can see this pretty unique looking hip and tail curve. That comes in the tail, which really stood out when I first saw it. I was kind of a bit, I didn’t know where that sat in the kind of continuum of groveler board through to performance shortboard and I was really keen to get it under my feet and check it out.
Having a look at the Holy Grail on the side, it has a fairly flat rocker through the belly, and if you can see up there, it actually holds quite a bit of volume under your chest, under your front foot and through to about the back 1/3 or back 1/4 of the board where it thins out quite dramatically.
And I don’t know if you can see right here, the stringer from about here is actually extruded and the deck starts to drop away into quite a nice, low rail line around the whole tail. And that kinda gets mirrored by the vee on the bottom that we’ll have a look at in a minute.
But yeah, there’s a lot of volume up here, which holds a lot of buoyancy, which is good for paddling into waves. And also when conditions are flatter or even for downline conditions. It helps heap when you move up the board a bit of pace, and down the line of speed.
On the bottom of the Haydenshapes Holy Grail, there’s a single concave through the belly. It holds for like the mid 1/3 or more of the board. Quite much of the board. And then as you come through the fins there’s a double concave and it has a nice light, I think calls it a double vee but, just a vee off the tail. That gives it a nice rail to rail feel.
For a board that holds quite a lot of volume up the front end, the deck dropping away and the tail and the vee brings a nice thin tail. Not too thin, still a bit of volume under foot towards the center but, a nice light rail line that likes to snap and turn in the pocket and those deeper sections.
Experience in the Surf
So I’ve had a chance to ride the Holy Grail over the last three or four weeks, and in that time, I’ve actually had a bit of time off, and I’ve been up and down the coast and been in some pretty average conditions and some pretty good conditions.
But when I first got it we’ve had some really early northeast swells so anyone who’s familiar with Sydney or south New Zealand’s coast knows we get a lot of northeast wind swells.
They can be good and bad but, generally two to three foot. Pretty junky, bit of fun. You get some sections. If there’s a bank, you might have some good waves so there’s a little ride where I live. And I was riding this for the first two or three days, this little ride that runs into the corner and it just, the board felt very interesting.
It has flatter fin that found me moving myself up the board a little bit and kind of almost doing like, it felt kinda like, I don’t know, a kind of coffin or something a J-bay with this kind of high line to keep pacing down the lines of speed. Very different to me, I’ve been riding like, CI Fevers and different things like that lately and it felt very, very different to any of those performance shortboards or whatnot.
Then as I said it thins out to the tail and when you get a section so you might get a, you come towards the end of the wave, or you want to do a top turn, this narrowed out like tail outline and it thins out through the tail and really like to top turn into a bit of a snap. No so much a round turn off the foam, but a really kinda snappy thing.
It felt good I think it’s this outline where the tail comes in quite dramatically to a narrow tail from a quite wider point. And also how it thins out under your back foot. It feels really nice to move back from where you’re trying to hold pace into a really tight, kind of snapping turn.
I was also able to go up the coast where I got some pretty pumping waves, and they were pretty sucky kind of like right little barrels and whatnot. And that volume and that buoyancy under chest was really good at getting into some sections kinda really early.
So those barrel waves are either going to drop with a section and go around, or you’re gonna get in nice and early and get under. It felt really good that that flatness through the centre, through the front, and that buoyancy under chest was able to get into them early, get under them. Just some little barrels like, it wasn’t backdoor pipe or anything like that.
It just gave you that extra kind of, that paddle power and that drive to get into them. And then also that flatness that holds a line quite nicely and you’re able to come out of them into a turn that felt like it was a really, it went from this kind of groveler board cause I had only ridden it in some pretty average kind of summery conditions. It went into a kind of performance shortboard that I wasn’t quite expecting from it. I wasn’t sure how the flatness would work in a wave of more consequence. But then the rocker pool’s away at the nose and it’s not too flat that it wants to catch. And also the outline has been designed really well. That it’s not too wide up the front so it’s gonna catch as well.
So they kind of complement each other and it really worked pretty well in those kinds of waves. The only thing that I found kind of, I kinda had to adjust to it cause a lot of the surfing, especially in my forehand felt really natural with a board.
But when I surfed it on my backhand, and all surfing is left, I’d go up to the top and try and do like a Rio top turn and I felt like the board would kinda jump out of the water and I don’t know if it’s from this wide point coming quite narrow, or where my foot was on the board or I just wasn’t surfing that well.
Also, the fin setup is kinda looser through the middle but it took me a while to kind of work out how that board would top turn cause it felt very unnatural at first. But once I did, I think it was more about engaging a bit of rail rather than leaving it flat and relying on the fins. It was able to do a, quite a nice backhand top turn. But at first it felt really strange and it took a little bit of getting used to, cause on my forehand it felt so natural.
The Haydenshapes Holy Grail comes with a five fin setup, well this one does anyway, and I’m pretty sure most of the stock do. I haven’t ridden it as a quad, not really a quad guy. I kind of don’t mind a quad at the opposite ends of the spectrum so on your little groveler you kinda plunder and then at that end when you ride like a seven foot step up I like quads. But in that middle-performance sort of shortboard thing, not really my thing.
I tried a few different fin setups on this. I tried the Al Merrick’s then I tried this Jordy template I had and I didn’t really like them but I rode these and I hadn’t ridden these before but these are the Dane Reynolds large captains.
And it felt really good. The centre fin is a tad smaller. Similar to the AM2’s but I think they’ve got a bit of a different rake, and a different can and this felt really nice on this board.
The flex was really good and I really enjoyed this fin with this board.
I also as you can see, the Haydenshapes Holy Grail I have here is in the Futureflex technology. This is the only version of the board that I rode. And in the past, I haven’t been a massive fan of the epoxy technologies.
Sometimes I’ve liked them but, you know, I just like a good light blank and a good glass jump, it has always done me well. But I must say that Hayden has designed this tech and he knows it intimately and he’s designed this board. And I feel like the characteristics of the outline of the board and the flex of the technology have come together to really compliment each other. And its turned me from a bit of a critic, sitting on the sidelines, to a real fan of the Futureflex technology. So if you get a chance, check out some of his stuff. I have had it before, but I was never like, kind of super sold on it. But yeah, this is the first time I’ve been a real believer in it and I’m pretty keen on maybe trying some different things out in the technology.
Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard Review Summary
So that’s today, my surfboard review of the Holy Grail by Haydenshapes Surfboards.
Hopefully get a chance to check one out.
And if you do get a chance and you use Instagram check out our page @BennysBoardroom.
And also if you notice some shapers that you know, we’re in Australia so sometimes it’s hard to get in touch with shapers from around the world but, if there’s something you want to see on the show, hit us up. And if there’s a shaper that you know whatever, then link is up with them. We’re trying to do stuff up there that’s not directly linked to this and a little bit different.
Thanks for watching, have a good day.
Stock Standard Dimensions & Volume
Standard Haydenshapes Holy Grail Surfboard Dimensions & Volumes available at the Haydenshapes website:
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