I'm sure that certain designs or types of shape suit some people's natual flair more than others, i think it's a two way process and I think it's interesting how riding different things influences and improves your surfing. What you ride changes how you surf, how you look at a wave and the lines you aspire to draw . It's something i really believe in.
I've been riding my dano old pleasure a lot lately but last week i swapped it's place in the van for the classic malibu jai lee, one of my old faithfuls.
The dano's definately pig influenced - narrow nose, wide tail and wide point aft. Getting it to perform means quick footwork, an almost exagerated level of body english and stall and trim style surfing. Especially at a slack wave like saunton, it needs to be kept in the pocket as much as possible and bogs quickly on the nose if you stray too far away. In the wrong place it feels sluggish and heavy, in the right spot it's loose and stable will beat sections from the nose in breathtaking fashion. It's also my heaviest board yet turns on a dime with a bit of grunt to help it rotate.
The Jai Lee is more of a conventional noserider shape, albeit with a bit of a hips back influence, and is a much easier board to surf. This particular session i really noticed how much quicker my footwork seemed to have gotten and how much more power (in a pivoty sense) i felt in my cutbacks since i've been riding the dano. Maybe it's just my perception but it really felt like riding the dano and thinking about how to get it to work best had kicked up my surfing just a little notch, that i got a few seconds more on the tip, that my crosssteps were more surefooted, my cutbacks a little deeper, my surfing more fluid around the pocket.
Of Course i'm sure i still looked like a kook fromt the beach but i'm a legend in my own mind!