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THESHAPESHIFTER ROGER HALL
Ladies and Gentleman Choose Your Weapons: How to decide on your next surfboard.

For me choosing my next surfboard normally starts with a dream. A day dream that is. I’ll be thinking about a specific riding style for a specific type of wave. My imagination will soon start to suggest to me surfboards in certain formats that will suit my purpose. It’s a live feed streaming in my head like a movie and I’m in it. There’s waves, with me riding them, I’m surfing a certain way. There’s the new board already under my feet looking the part and doing the bizo!

With summer approaching fast, also comes the promise of long, warm days with spare hours for riding waves, seemingly endless days of small swells pushing towards us off the back of slowly moving high pressure systems far out to sea. I have been surfing more this winter, I’m feeling fitter and more tuned, with a drop in board length a tempting reality, might as well strike while the iron is hot. It’s time for a new board!

There are a million options, yet I’m guided towards my new surfboard by the movie that’s playing on a short loop in my head. Always the same waves: small, softish, shapely and playful. There’s me, “S” turning all over them, speed on tap, flowing as I go, all the time adjusting to the needs of my board, shifting my back foot out to the rail and back again, running out over the flats, letting the board do the work before interjecting with back foot rail pressure, re-directing back and up into the pocket, tapping back into the energy source… over and over streaming the dream.

My next surfboard quickly comes to fruition, presented in 3D with its parameters clearly defined as if it’s already shaped; there it is, a clear vision, it’s white, colours can come later. Plenty of time for that, right now it’s all about the shape. Do you want to know what it looks like? OK I’m happy to share, but before I do, I want you to promise me something, are you down with that? You must remember that I am me and you are you and this is MY dream, yours is most certainly going to be different to mine, feeding off what your next surfboard needs to look like. It’ll be YOUR buzz, and not mine.

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Issue 188