infinity surfboards carver
When you're ready for high performance, you can't just head to Costco. Like a skilled golfer needing custom-fit clubs, it's best to find an esteemed custom board crafter like Dana Point, California's Infinity Surfboards. Benefiting from multiple decades of experience and a prime surfside location, founder Steve Boehne hand-shapes designs influenced by the Infinity shortboards shaped by his sons, Dan and Dave.
The Boehnes are doing their part to push the cutting edge of SUP 'shortboards' toward slighter and slimmer profiles. The lowervolume Carver (with a thruster-configured fin box) is a coiled snake—one that unleashes surprising speed into crisp bottom turns and sharp pivots off a narrow swallowtail. "There's a deep, defined V and the fins are aligned with the tail so water squirts off the 'sweet spot,' right off the wing," Dave Boehne says of the tail. "The wing creates a break in the outline to make it snappy and give it some release." While lacking the beginner-friendly glide and secondary stability of a larger-volume SUP, shortboard junkies and experienced SUPers who love steep, clean waves will feel right at home on the Carver. In PVC-laminated epoxy foam/fiberglass layers with two-way Gore-Tex membrane vent valve (9'0" x 29" x 4.375", also available in 7'6"-9'lengths, $1,200 for pictured coral layup, infinitysurf.com).
c4 waterman sub-vector
Dave Parmenter has been at the forefront of surfboard culture for nearly 30 years, first as a professional surfer, then as a designer for his Aleutian Juice brand and as a talented writer for SURFER. In the 1990s, Parmenter created the Stubb-Vector, a wide, user-friendly shortboard the everyman could ride. His current focus is SUP board design as part of Hawaii's C4 Waterman. In the Stubb's image, the 9'6" Sub-Vector is, well, a user-friendly shortboard the everyman can ride. Or rip, if said everyman has the skills. Five fin boxes mean the Sub can shred in a thruster, 2 +1 or quad configuration. Once you engage the edge on this beauty, the 17.94" nose carves easily through turns while the wide rails and nearly 29 inches of width mean you'll feel stable waiting for waves, even in big, bumpy conditions. "We designed the Sub with a similar rate of curve so the board is balanced and anybody can ride down the line on it," Parmenter says. "But if you know how to use your paddle as a pivot point, there's no limits to where you can take it." In Boardworks Epoxy (9'6" x 28.75" x 3.69", $1,499, also available in 9'3", 9'3" semi-custom and 10', c4waterman.com).