The latest Hit the Roads are something else. The introduction of the FLV into the bottom contour about 18 months ago has proved to be a massive breakthrough. Not only does the FLV allow the boards to sit over on their rail so much easier than previous concave configurations, they are also much faster than a concave or a vee.
I've been hitting speeds on the latest version 7'3 that I've never hit before. And doing so, without even trying. I recall one surf on it late last year in pretty sizey, double to triple overhead waves. The board was high speed swooping and gliding effortlessly. All i had to do was point the board where I wanted to go and the board would do the rest, even if it was 20 or 30' down the line.
And turns were an absolute breeze. Even when I was absolutely flying, the board would respond easily, allowing me to do whatever I wanted to do. And even though the board was very responsive, it still felt very smooth and very stable under my feet, giving me fantastic control over whatever I wanted to do on the waves.
But this didn't happen overnight. It took a year of building version after version of my 7'3" to get it to this level of performance. Read the previous blog for more about that.
With my FLV 7'0" Hit the Road, I got super lucky. Straight off the bat, the very first one that I built was spot on. I've been surfing it for over a year now and still feel no need to improve it. Right from the very first wave, I could feel how the board just wanted to play. It was so much more responsive and alive than it's previous concave version, which up until the FLV version was by far the best 7'0" that I've ever ridden. But the new FLV version was light years ahead.
One of the things that I really love about the FLV's is how they allow subtle adjustments on the face, while still feeling smooth and stable under the feet. I had got so used to the stickiness of a concave bottom, that I had forgotten what it felt like to have a board that responded to subtle weight adjustments, and how much easier this made the board to ride.
Probably the biggest surprise with my 7'0" was how easy it is thru tight hooks under the lip. I can still remember the first hook under the lip with my 7'0". It happened so fast, I was almost not ready for it. No loss of speed thru the turn at all. If anything, it actually accelerated thru the turn.
Sorry if I'm raving a bit here, but my son Harley, who usually cops my raves, has told me that I need to share this with crew so that they can also enjoy the benefits of having boards that are so much faster and easier to ride.
Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the new improved paddle power.
Over the last 18 months I've been playing around with the volume in the last 18" of the nose of my boards. Originally I was doing so to improve the flow of the rail as it moved thru the nose. But what a difference it's made to catching waves. Once again, it was another big surprise for me. I remember during one of my first surfs on my FLV 7'0", of paddling for a wave and thinking that I had missed it, when much to my surprise, the board picked up momentum and launched me into the wave. I'd say that it's least a 20% improvement in wave catching. Which, when you consider that most waves we miss, we probably only needed another 5 - 10% paddle power, is a stack of extra paddle power.
Anyway, that's enough raving from me or now. I'm going to check the surf...
2019 WINTER SERIES