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50yrs: size advice

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  • 50yrs: size advice

    Hi all,

    Sorry to already ask for advice as my first step after joining this forum. But I have an opportunity to buy a new FW in short notice and am really in doubt which way to go.

    I'm 50 years old, 170-175, 5'10, with excelent fitness after doing long triathlons for the past 8 years. I put the long training sessions on crowded roads on hold and decided I would have more fun coming back to surfing after a 20 years hiatus. Before triathlons I used to surf eventually but did lots of windsurfing in the waves (small ones), and also started kitsurfing lately. Waves definitely arenīt new to me.

    I know paddling fitness is a very different ballgame, and I'm discovering it in the flesh. But I'm already working on it with specific swiming, surfing whenever possible and doing gym regularly.

    Last year I bought a 5'8 Dom after ignoring the volume calculator. I followed mainly the comments from members with intermediate skill level (I like to think I'm still one), similar wheight and age as mine.

    The 5'8 Dom, felt short at first but it paddles incredibly well and works fine as a quad in chest to head high good waves. But I know I still can't get all it has to offer though. And in the smaller stuff I struggle to keep it alive. Probably lack of proper technique and fitness.

    At the same time, in the bigger fat slopes, although the Dom works great, I just don't have any chance against the loggers who catch everything by droping much earlier than me.

    2 month ago I decided to follow the calculator, chose the lower limit of my recommended volume range and bougth a 5'6 SP (38.9 l). It was scary at first having underneath so much foam in such a small package. But it is amazing how easy it is to catch literally everything I want with it. Including the bigger fat slopes head to head with the logs. But that's the only positive aspect.

    The 5'6 SP doesn't work for me. It has too much foam and too thick rail. It feels huge and too floaty underneath. I can't duck dive it and make it obey my commands and do turns, go rail-to-rail, even when going heavy with the foot far back. I can't get close to the looseness and liveliness that everybody praise.

    So, I got a log for me just to ride the fat waves and work towards some noseriding (hope one day :-), as to get my wife surfing too, I will sell the 5'6 SP, keep the 5'8 Dom as my middle board for waist to head high good waves, and get another board for the up to 1-3ft days, as for fooling around in crap waves with something loose and playful.

    I want to stick with FST, so the Baked Potato is not being considered. Should I (ignore calculator again) and go:

    1) 5'2 SP, stay closer to the 5'8 Dom, although I still struggle (just for a while) with the paddling and the lack of ability to get all they can give?


    2) 5'4 SP to stay closer (but still far away) to the calculator range and expect it to give me the ability to do well (paddling, catching and ) in the short term so I can evolve faster and have fun now?

    or still

    3) a Potatonator in the same volume range as the above, with more drive and range, but overlap?

    I will appreciate any input you can give, experienced guys. I will also much appreciate to hear you Phill and Chris.

    Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    I'd point you towards the PN. It will turn better, have a better range, and not be so much volume in a small package. Also, transitioning from longboard to PN will be slightly easier. However, I think you should reconsider the BP. It's a fantastic board. Doesn't catch as easily as the SP, but it's such a great board I ride it in everything now.


    • #3
      Hey, Justo. Thanks for your comment.

      The calculator seems to overestimate the sizes for me and this makes me somewhat unsure.
      The 5'6 SP I've bought based on its recommendation feels too big, floaty and lethargic. At the same time, the 5'8 Dom works very well in waist-head high waves, although I still have to improve in many aspects to take all of it.

      So, based on my present level, and considereing the fact that I'll keep the Dom and the log, which size would you recommend the BP? 5'3 or 5'5?

      And the PN? 5'8?

      Many thanks!



      • #4
        I'd point you to something around 35L. So a 508 PN and a 505 BP. You could easily go less volume, but for the waves they're intended for id opt for more volume. I've calculated a guild factor of .44 for you. So your weight of 80kg x .44 gives the required volume. For me at 220lb/100kg I ride a 509 BP and its a quiver killer for me. 90% of the time the waves I ride are between waist and chest high. Above that I pull out my unibrow.


        • #5
          Really appreciate your input, Justo. After some really funny sessions with the SP, even being it too big for me, I really sold to these little rounded beasts (SP and BP). The PN looks to be much similar to my Dom. I think that now is a matter of choosing between being more conservative and going for more volume (36l) of the 5'5 BP, or overlapping a bit my Dom and going with the 34l of the 5,8 PN. 3.5l less to the 5'3 BP seems to be a Lot to jump..... Oh Lord...


          • onshoreandmessy
            onshoreandmessy commented
            Editing a comment
            Yo, like you i have a 5.8 DOM, i'm heavier than you at 185 lbs and i found the 5.4 SP too much volume (and other issues) and sold it to buy a 5.3 BP and as goldilocks said "its just right"! i have wrote a fair bit about it on the BP section so check out what i say about my experiences with the BP vs the SP on thread "BP overkill". Dont bother with the PN, not different enough than the dom.

            I'd say for your weight, if your intermediate, fully surf fit and quite happy on a 5.8 dom then, 5.2 SP or 5.3 BP (could even go lower by one size but id stick to them)

            Nice to see another 50+ surfing, it gives me hope at 38 ;-) i surf with two guys who are 50+, they still surf as much as me (pretty much every day) yet in the summer they can go in for 3 3hour sessions where as i can just manage one session before my smoke filled lungs give in and my body starts to fall apart