So I really want to learn how to ride a directional but having a hard time feeling comfortable. Why do you use the size board you use? Not really what is best for me but why? I mean I can ride strapless just fine on a Mako King so why do people suggest a 6' 1" surfboard... Just seems so big and bounce on the water. Does anyone ride waves with supper small directionals?
As with many things, it's not just the length that matters. Board rocker and volume are a BIG deal when it comes to what you want out of the board.
I recently sized down from a 6'3 standard quad fin surfboard that took about as much power to get going as my wakestyle twintip. Now I have a 5'8, flatter, and slightly thinner board. When the conditions are perfect, it's fun, but for the most part when I get up to speed i have zero control because it has no rocker line, and it has less float on the wave so it feels like I'm riding a twintip with no straps on it when trying to surf. It's pretty much good at doing 1 turn on a wave and going the other direction (like how most kitesurfers "surf") but if you actually want to ride the wave, give me a high rockered, regular sized surfboard any day
I am185cm/80kg and ride a 5'4" directional. I sometimes ride a Sector 60 (in the surf) and I have a 6'6" unstrapped surfboard to ride as well. Whatever I feel like riding really.
There is a lot of technique in trimming a surfboard/directional correctly. If you're getting a lot of bouncing or skipping then you need to look at your technique. More front foot pressure, maybe move the back foot forward or get better at riding with a wider stance.
rightguard wrote:So I really want to learn how to ride a directional but having a hard time feeling comfortable. Why do you use the size board you use? Not really what is best for me but why? I mean I can ride strapless just fine on a Mako King so why do people suggest a 6' 1" surfboard... Just seems so big and bounce on the water. Does anyone ride waves with supper small directionals?
I have a 4'8''...super fun. I also have the 5'4'' and a 5'8''
I ride a 5.5 Naish Global (2012) strapped. That board is around 44cm wide, a width I feel very comfortable with at 75kg. We only get something which you could call a wave when it is really windy and then it is usually pretty choppy as well. I like to go fast and jump using the waves as ramps when going out.
You could argue that I could use a wave TT and I do (Shinn Speedball). Also been on classic mutants around 2004-2008. But is not the same. Carving and wave riding is still so much better on the surfboard.
Riding waves with a kite and a mako is like riding a bike with training wheels... You cant slide the tail out, do proper floaters or take fast steep drops on a razor thin mako while baby sitting a balloon in the air... Its like a six year old with training wheels asking why they need a two wheeler..
Last edited by NYKiter on Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Great question! Impossible to answer. Too many variables. But I think you can learn from the answers given. All of us, I think, have arrived at the boards we use by trying different things and then finding what suits our style. The best advice I was given back in the day was to get some used cheap standard surfboard and just start kiting with it.
I am 5'8'/165 lbs as a reference. My 1st experience, like you, was the Mako King strapless. At the time I loved it because it was a "new" feeling. Then a small strapped Ocean Rodeo (maybe 5'4") - that was a hoot. It was the 1st time I rode where I noticed the nose of a board was loose. Cool feeling. Took a lot of kite power to get it planing. Going down a wave face is one thing but busting out through shore break and riding upwind are another.
Then a 5'11" standard Doc Lausch Pro thruster in Aviso (carbon fiber). Now we're talking. Sucks up chop, gets better the faster it goes, indestructible... Then a 5'8" Wide Fish Surftech Xanadu Wave Rocket (almost 22" wide). Rocks in light wind and small waves and mush, session saver. Get it going down an 8 foot face and it's too fast. Then a 5'6" North Whip strapped for jumps and slashing around.
Owned Sector 60 and could not warm up to. Just didn't feel safe on it. The strapped position is off to the side for almost windsurfing Formula type riding. But down a wave I couldn't move it around. Huge dagger fins... Incredible grip and upwind performance though. Sold it.
6'3" Jimmy Lewis - seemed to big and cumbersome for me. Maybe needs a large body on a large wave but not for me.
So in the end get on as many as you can and see what fits your style. Or get one and adapt your style to it...
Now that I have found my style I can't ever see using the Mako again except in TT mode and then I ask myself "why do I keep this board"? Kiting on a surfboard is freedom to me...