Here there is a good mix. In Kailua, there are a lot of people riding TT's, but also a lot riding surfboards. At Moks, most ride surfboards.
If surfboard are better for downwinders than TT depends on where and what conditions you ride in. Some of them are great for really powered riding, but some are better for being right powered. If you ride (in) waves in your downwinders then yes surfboards would be an advantage no doubt
I don;t think you can compare todays surfboards with the 'old-school' ones.
No disrespect but comparing the TT's with surfboards is kind of weird. They have completely different things they are good at....and then you have the boards that are sort of in between...the mutants.
I think that I'd have to say I enjoy riding my twin tip more than my directional. But, the directional is outrageous fun for a change of pace. Calls for a different style of riding that helps break up my "regular riding habits".
My directional is 7' Naish Sky Pirate - big board, circa 2001, more like a surfboard than a present day directional. Haven't tried a present day directional.
Dude, your Sky Pirate is a classic (I started on a 7'6, then 7'0), but they are very far removed from the latest wave directionals
this isn't just a case of the latest must be better due to hype, etc, but they are faster, lighter and turn harder/faster.
The 5'10 Naish has to be the nicest overal for waves - the tail shape/rocker is spot on
The 5'4 SS (four fin) is very fast, great for boosting and gets going surprisingly early (and can be used in light wind with a 19m - when other lighter riders are struggling on 12's & 16's)
The 5'5 onshore fish is the lightwind board, super loose, great for planing early (as fast if not faster to plane than a 7'6 sky pirate) and due to the shorter length is useable for jumping/moves - whereas both the 7'6 and 7'0 can be jumped, but feel huge in comparison.
Board design has moved on. I am using an Airush Hammer wavy twintip and a custom DC Boardz quad from Dereck in Florida (but colder here in Scotland)
The 'wave specific' twintip is nice but cannot compare with the feel of the surfboard. maybe I am too laid back but my minset changes on the surfboard and i feel a lot smoother in the water.
My old custom 5 foot surfboard was slower than TT to get going - was harder work and at speed the canted in tri fins cavitated. So I went bigger ....
The quad design is great doesn't feel overpowered (i am 155lbs / 70kg) and was using this in 30knots+ with overpowered Halo bow kite in January. Up to the point where the lines broke because the kite was jellyfishing so much the board was great. It was the first time I used the board in waves and I was going out cross onshore into the waves toeside ....
Since then I have been practising my gybes (they are 50% there now) but no real hassle to sink and quickly switch. Most of the time I simply go toeside.
Lastly light wind sailing is fun even if it is slicing a 1 ft wave .....