There are two boards I've always wished to own. The first is a 6ft 10 inch Channel Island Black Beauty and the second is a Greg Webber Fat Burner. These boards could be ridden well by big boys. At 6ft 4 in and 16 stone, I'm not your average shortboarder for sure. For the last few years I've been riding fishes and have nothing but praise for Steve Lis and his fellow kneeboarders who designed them through the 1960's. You know, whilst on the topic you have to mention a few of the many great fish pioneers such as Skip Frye, Rich Pavel and Dick Van Straalen. And to be honest if Tom Curren hadn't hopped off that boat in Indo in 1994 when the swell was making and jumped on a fish, the world might have forgotten about the fish and .....my beloved surfing might be dying with matchstick boards and that terrible music.
The music is terrible as is the footage but half way through this section the fish was reborn and with it bigger guys began to see an alternative to longboarding or missing waves.
The fish rebirth naturally led to quad fins, no finer example here than the Pavel Speed Diallers. The speed and unique characteristics of the set up, brought back larger tails.....more good news for the big guys. The whole Clarke Foam debacle made alternative more buoyant materials accessible too. You can see where the big guys are getting some love from here by now.......
However , a solid PU construction thruster for men packing a bit more explosion in their suits has never truly been under my feet, that is of course until the Webber Fatburner! I've heard all the patter going, "Simon Anderson is a big guy his boards are for your gang".....blah blah, well the proof is in the pudding and his XFC model sits in my room, a bit like all warships after the dreadnought superseded all that went before it, eclipsed by light years. Greg Webber himself is quoted as saying "its the best model I've ever shaped". And as you can now tell I'm a devotee.
Every surfer who owns one adores it, I had to have one and yet....the 450 pound price tag has kept me as a distant admirer, until .....shameless plug coming.......Down The Line...gave me a staggering 150 pounds off......minus a near miss divorce.......I've never looked back. The distribution of foam, rocker and ...just everything has enabled me to generate speed and knock it off with solid turns, access the top part of the wave far more easily and allowed me to draw lines I simply couldn't before. Where it differs from my lovely quad is that middle fin and tail shape allows pivot and turning arc in a different way, there is a place for both in this cavernous heart. What is most noticeable apart from its voluptuous nature are the appreciable set of double concaves running through it, reminding me off a more moderate Brett Warner I lived and swore by in Bali.
Surely the quiver can take no more?!?!? I haven't got a Black Beauty though...still in the world of Cornish beach breaks it's hard to envisage its function.