It’s been an incredibly busy couple of days at the surf school. We have just taken delivery of this years surf-hire fleet from Redback. We trialled one of their softboards last summer and were so impressed we bought a further 60 for this season. Most soft surfboards will either surf well or be very hard-wearing but it’s nigh on impossible for a surf school teaching softboard to be both.
Or so we thought.
The Redback soft surfboards are different to the rest however. Originally devised as a ‘Blackball Beater’ – Blackball is when lifeguards close off a part of the beach to surfers with hard surfboards – these surfboards are designed to be able to surf. Quite a few Australians have these as their back up surfboard now – that’s how good they are. They pick up waves really easily and because they are still a soft foam construction they are ideal for beginners and intermediates. They also feature a three fin thruster set-up for stability, drive and control. And frankly, any soft surfboard that can take the sort of daily punishment that hire and surfing lessons dish out during a summer has got to be as strong as they come.
Another unusual feature of these softboards is top and bottom slicks. You wax these surfboards like a fibreglass surfboard so they are really grippy under your feet and if my some disaster you do manage to ding it you can fix it with Araldite – yep, good old fashioned Araldite available from any hardware store.
But the most unusual thing about them? It’s the price. £170 for a 7ft softboard is incredibly good value. You won’t find better a all-round beginner or intermediate surfboard anywhere for that price. Or even double that price for that matter.
I’ve sneaked one into my van already for small days! It hasn’t been all good news for surf school manager Ian though. He has had the onerous task of unpacking and putting the fins into all of these new boards; it’s taken him 8 hours so far – another 3 should just about do it!
Unlucky Ian, unlucky.