Build Your Perfect Three Board Quiver
With a perfectly executed Three Board Quiver, you will be prepared for whatever conditions you are bound to face over the course of the year.
The key is carefully selecting your three boards—each with a well-defined purpose.
Board #1: The Daily Driver
Every good quiver starts with a strong foundation. In this case, you need a reliable Daily Driver that is well-matched for the conditions you are likely to encounter most often. This the board you should put the most time-in on.
You want to spend so much time on this particular board that you know it like the back of your hand. You know what it excels at, you know what its limitations are... This surfboard epitomizes your surfing preferences.
For some of you, that will be a longboard. Others might prefer a versatile mid-length. And if you've grown up as a life-long shortboarder, your Daily Driver might be a smaller board like a fish. It honestly depends on where you surf most often and how you like to surf. Figure out what board sits at the center of that Venn diagram and then get incredibly comfortable on the equipment you choose.
Your Daily Driver will evolve during different seasons of your life. In my early 20's, mine was a 6'0 Twin Fin Fish. Then it became a 9'7" Surf Thump for my late 20's. These days, in my mid-30's, it's the 6'6 Pleasant Pheasant.
Board #2: The Compliment
Once you decide on what your Daily Driver will be—during this particular season of your surfing journey—you need to look at what it's limitations are. So much of the enjoyment of surfing is tied to our ability to match our approach and equipment to the waves at-hand on a given day.
- If your Daily Driver is a heavy noserider, then you're likely looking for something to ride when the waves get a little bit bigger.
- If your Daily Driver is a 5'8 Special Recipe Fish, then your next biggest need might be an R-Series Joy for taking your young kids surfing, or a 7'6 Joy for when the waves are too small to ride your Special Recipe.
Again, we are trying to cover a wide range of circumstances and surf conditions with a well-appointed quiver of three boards, so Board #2 needs to fill a different, yet common, need for you.
Speaking to my own quiver, if my 6'6 Pleasant Pheasant is my go-to board, then without a doubt Board #2 needs to be a longboard because the most common situation I'm likely to run into is that many days the waves are just plain too small to ride my 6'6". I tend to prefer the Surf Thump model, so board #2 in my quiver—the board that gets the second most use—is my 9'4" Surf Thump.
Look at the waves you surf most often and the limitations of your Daily Driver, what is the most glaring need? That is where you should start your search for Board #2.
Once you have a solid 1-2 punch, most of your needs for year-round surfing should be covered. You could surf 90% of the days you go to the beach and have a blast.
But there is still those other 10% of days...
Board #3: Reach for the Stars
With your basic needs covered, Board #3 is where you get to reach a little.
- Maybe you've got your mid-length and longboard set (like my personal example) and you want something for when the waves are big—like the Arrowhead or a WTRP.
- Or maybe you have the Lumberjack and Sandia Fish as your 1-2 and you want to keep a Pleasant Pheasant in your quiver as your travel board.
Board #3 is a great way to harken back to your youth with something you can reach for during the brief windows of opportunity when the waves get really, truly great. Reclaim something that typically only exists in the warm memories of Summers past.
My personal board #3 is our 5'4" R-Series Secret Menu. I have loved that shape / model for many years... when the waves are about shoulder high and rampy / peaky... it's like a skateboard on a skatepark of waves. Those days don't always come around, but are a true delight when they do.
What's the dream outcome of all of this Three Board Quiver talk?
The dream outcome of all of this is equipping you for maximum levels of enjoyment, and dare I say "stoke", and covering all of your needs for year-round success in the surf.
We want you to be able to glance at the waves, know exactly which board to reach for, and then go respectfully and thoughtfully catch more good waves than anybody else in the lineup.
That is what being the best all-around surfer looks like—the ability to match your equipment to the conditions, read the waves and predict what each wave is likely to do next, and then ride the waves that come to you with precision and speed.
We say it all the time, but we believe the goal of every surfer should be proficiency on a wide range of equipment. The broader the range of equipment you can ride, the more days you get to spend in the water.