Since 1969 I have been a very active participant in riding, designing and building kneeboards. I believe that with the prerequisite skill and watermanship, a good kneeboarder can take on almost any sized surf (within reason) and shine. I believe that with the right board the rider can perform as if this union is a natural, if not unconscious, extension of his will… of board and rider being one.
The concept of the “magic board”… is this an item of fantasy or does it exist? Of course an accomplished kneeboarder has a lot to do with how a board seems to perform. I am sure most serious wave riders have heard this term. I believe the concept has
validity. Having had the relative luxury of using many various designs over 30 plus years, I know what works and what doesn’t after a good wave or two. If you have had the good fortune to have ridden a board that might qualify as a “magic board”, you know what I’m getting at… this board has really fast down-the-line speed with quick (not squirrelly) responsiveness. Hard bottom turns, slashes off the lip and tube riding seem to come without effort. The qualities are such that the rider must consciously acknowledge them.
That “magic board” might be my 4 fin, rounded pin-tail. Its qualities are such that most of my shapes since 1990 have been this one. Most of the riders I shape for have one or more of this design. I have three that I rotate for place, size and conditions as of August 2001. One of these, built in 1993, was one of two I took on my first Tavarua trip in 1999. This board, christened at Wedge and tempered by winter-time Black’s and Baja, seemed as if it was made for Cloudbreak and Restaurant’s. In fact the other, a brand new board, was never taken out even though it was similar.
From my point of view this design is proven. It may be a matter of how I ride (my style) but I haven’t ridden anything better. Maybe you might want to check out this board’s credentials for yourself.
F.C.S. Fin System available
Double, bump-wing, rounded pin
tail Tri with the Red X system
This board, with 5 Red X fin boxes, is designed to be used as
either a Quad or a Tri, as conditions may dictate
Dean and his rounded
pin tail quad – 6/97
Mark Skinner and his rounded
pin tail quad – 3/01
Brothers John & Tony Foote
with their new boards – 7/97
Jack Sedevic – Ocean Works sander showing rocker line of a Romanosky rounded pin tail quad – 5/97
The Surfer’s Journal
Charles Bowen with his custom
5’ 10 3/4” Puerto Escondido
big wave 4 fin pin tail
showing rocker line
A 5’ 8.5” Quad pin, with channels and kneewells for Dale Dagger, 5/03. Check out Dale’s website: www.nicasurf.com.
Tom Caraisco with his
5’ 6” Quad. 1/03
Jon Tattersol and his channel
bottomed Quad. 2/03
Jon, showing his Quad’s rocker
line and deck pad foil.
Charles Bowen Testimonial…
“The quads that Ron designs are fast, loose and turn around sections to put me back up and into the pocket where I can ride high in the critical part of the wave. I find Ron to be a meticulous craftsman who understands a style of wave riding that most people don’t until they see it done properly and aggressively on the right equipment.”
1999 Culver City, Ca.
“After all my years of surfing, (30+) and all the boards I¹ve ridden. I can finally say that I have a board that feels like it¹s a part of me rather than me a part of it. Thanks for the new board, great craftsmanship.”
There was a swell running thru with a real hard push from the south at just head high and tubing down the beach in incredible high speed sections. I ran back to the car pull on my wetsuit and then realize my fins were back in my garage. Back in the car, 25 min. round trip and I am running in to the surf with daylight fading. First wave I take I drop in on an angle, airborne right in to the tube and just scream along for 150 yards of just high speed blur, most of it still in the tube. Just incredible, the board just flew. I managed to pick off two more waves prior to getting caught inside by a set at which point I decided it was truly dark now and good sense said it was time to get out of the freezing Atlantic (39f, coldest so far this winter). Oh well, at least I got to ride a couple on the new board. I was stoked.
Miller Smyth, Bayhead, NJ., 2/03
This is Miller’s account of his first go-out on his new TRI/QUAD OPTIONAL DESIGN (with 5 RED X Fin System boxes)
Hi Ron… Took the new board out at Moss Landing this morning, it worked great! I hit Moss at the crack of dawn, was the 2nd guy in the water. Waves were solid 8 foot A-frame barrels. On my first wave I pulled into an overhead left and got covered up thinking that I wouldn’t make it out, but I did. I was amazed at how fast the board was compared to my previous boards. The board is so quick and responsive. After getting used to it, I was dropping into some big set waves deeper than I ever would have attempted on any of my other boards. The board is so stable, yet loose, if that makes sense. I pulled off one of the best off-the-lips that I’ve ever pulled. It was about as close to an aerial as I’ve ever come. One of my buddies said that from behind the wave, he could see all of the four fins get air. Needless to say, I’m totally stoked with the board. Can’t wait to take this board to Puerto Escondido. When, I got home, the board-bag had arrived. It fits the board perfectly and seems to be really well constructed. Looks like you have another satisfied customer. Thanks so much,
John Sieraski, 4/03
Ron – The board is AWESOME! The rail to rail responsiveness is incredible and the speed is something I have never experienced before. I am now pulling maneuvers I only thought possible with my other boards. I can’t wait to see how it handles in some serious size (6′ + ).
Rick Harrington, 6/03