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Making the Jump from Fiberglass to a "Foamie"

Making the Jump from Fiberglass to a "Foamie"

Last week, I wrote an article about what to expect when you make the jump from a foamie (like the R-Series) to a traditionally-built fiberglass surfboard.

This week, we're flipping the script...

What should you expect when you make the jump from a fiberglass board to one of our R-Series Surfboards?

I should know... I surfed an R-Series almost exclusively for 18 months in 2018 and 2019, when that construction was first being rolled out. I spent so much time on them that it was actually weird to be back on a glass board for the first time.

Between myself and Alex Swanson, I would venture to guess nobody has spent more time in the water, riding an R-Series Surfboard.

When you first pick up a board from the R-Series range, you will notice several things:

  1. They resemble our custom surfboards quite precisely—that's because they are 3D replicas of our most popular shapes. That includes rocker profiles, rail shapes, and bottom contours. Grabbing the rail of an R-Series Secret Menu is like grabbing the rail of a slightly beefed-up fiberglass version.

  2. Soft-ish construction. Over the last 4 years, we have seen a ton of people's first reactions to the R-Series range. One of the most common things we hear when someone picks one up is "wow, it's sturdier than I was expecting".  Although it has no fiberglass, it doesn't have the same squishy rails that you may expect from a "foamie". 

Paddling out on any surfboard in the R-Series range is 85% the same as paddling out on any Almond Surfboard—every detail designed to make the most of the everyday conditions you are likely to encounter.  While the construction does not have the same springy "pop" that fiberglass provides, I have found that taking a slightly higher line on the wave allows the rail to engage beautifully and the board to surf with ample speed and flow. 

You really should not be surfing down at the bottom of a wave anyway (in the flats). The speed and power of the wave is best harnessed further up the wave's face. 

When you find that sweet spot in the pocket, you'll know, because you'll feel the effortless glide that we are all seeking—every time we paddle out. 

When to Paddle Out Your R-Series?

Swanson is the only person who I know has me beat, when it comes to hours in the water, on an R-Series.  This is what he had to say about deciding when to take which style of board out...

"At the end of the day, when I’m deciding which board to take out between any of my fiberglass boards vs an r series, the fact of the matter is the r series is fun in ANY conditions whereas my fiberglass boards are a bit more specific to particular conditions. Even on the worst blown out and junky days, the r series is somehow the perfect board to take out and I’ve had yet to have a bad session on one." -Alex Swanson

The beauty of surfboards is, there is no perfect surfboard... only the best board for the conditions at-hand. So build variety into your surfboard quiver and be prepared for whatever the waves might be doing on a particular day. 

Some days, a classic noserider is the perfect board.  Other days, you need a smaller board that is more nimble under-foot in order to navigate more critical conditions. And some days you just want to go out and goof-off, sliding around and catching a few small waves to yourself.

The full range of R-Series Surfboards still finds a tremendous amount of use in our personal quivers and brings maximum fun at a moment's notice.

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