The Board Thought Blog

7S Jet Stream Board Review

 

If you’re anything like me, surfing daily is fairly high on the priority list.  So its critical to have those one or two boards in the quiver you can grab and ride without too much thought, and know they’ll perform well.

After riding the 7S Jet Stream in a variety of conditions, this board is certainly one of those.

Designed by former WSL professional surfer Richie Lovett, the Jet Stream feature’s Global Surf Industries exclusive Innegra Matrix (IM) material, which is unique to 7S.  It provides the performance benefits of an EPS build, with a feel that’s closer to a standard PU.

I tested the 5’9″ version in 1-2′ and 3-4′ surf to find the range that best suits this model (in quad and tri-fin set up’s).  I found the Jet Stream to be fast, responsive and have great flow in transition from turn to turn.

I was also able to ride the board on a recent trip to the Mentawai’s, where it went sensationally well in 4-5′ clean and powerful conditions.

This board suits my own style of surfing in 1-4′ surf.  I’d highly recommend this board for those small to medium size days, and I think it suits all levels of surfer.

I’ll go into a bit more detail below, but overall:

Construction

I’m a big fan of GSI’s IM technology.  The IM construction gives the board a very lively feeling under your feet – it provides great flex and pop, springing you in and out of turns.

And it’s more buoyant, so the paddle power is noticeably better than a standard PU of equivalent specs (the theory goes that an epoxy-styled surfboard provides an approximate 0.5 litre advantage).

Dimensions

I tested the 5’9″ version of the Jet Stream (29 litres), but the model caters for above and below this:

The Jet Stream’s width in the nose means more hidden foam, greater overall surface area and hence better paddling – a vital feature in riding small to medium size surf.

Tail width gives the board greater surface area in the back end, creating lift and speed down the line, and helps you get through those flat spots.

The 5’9 gave me plenty of rail in the water, giving it a high performance feel feel even in small grovel conditions.  It goes rail-to-rail in the pocket really easy.

Rocker & Concave

The 7S Jet Stream has a low entry rocket, is consistent through the middle, with a medium/relaxed exit rocker out the tail.

Fins

The board comes with a standard 5 fin FCS2 set-up.  In testing both tri and quad configurations, I find riding the model as a quad to be the better option.

Using FCS2 Medium Accelerators in the side, plus FCS AM’s as the smaller side trailers, the board is fast off the mark with seamless flow between top and bottom turns.  It’s especially fun to ride with this configuration in waist to chest high clean waves – I couldn’t fault it in any way.

In thruster mode (testing in different conditions with FCS2 Medium Performers, and Large Mick Fanning’s) the board is a little less lively, lacking the squirt you get from a quad, but nonetheless had reliable consistency turn-to-turn.

Overall

The 7S Jet Stream is designed for speed, flow and fun; and its a board that over-delivers.  Its the perfect step-down – maintaining a shortboard’s performance advantages while exaggerating small wave surfing capabilities.  In good wave conditions, its great top-to-bottom, and in weaker conditions it allow’s you to go anywhere you like.

For further details, check out the 7S Website.  It’s certainly one for the quiver.

JS Industries Flying Pony Board Review

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As the predecessor of the JS Industries Pier and Show Pony Models, it’s clear from the get-go that the JS Flying Pony is unlike most other dedicated small wave summer boards.

I’d been searching out the Pier Pony for a little while, and when the Flying Pony was released and touted as a significant progression in design, I was keen to get my hands on one (a 5’5″ in this case).

The remainder of the JS Flying Pony quiver all come in at 6 foot and under:

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Courtesy: JS Industries

 

For clean and very small and fatter waves, this board is super fun.  It’s got a stack of volume under the chest meaning great paddle speed and record paddle time back to the peak.  The board’s rocker is almost non-existent which is perfect for creating straight-line speed and glide.

Its a beefed-up board with a beefed- up square tail, which at first glance looks like anything but going straight would be impossible. Coupled with the straight nose-to-tail rails, this was the criticism of the first Pier Pony model – it was difficult to surf top to bottom because it was just too damn wide….everywhere.

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The original Pier Pony. Courtesy JS Industries.

 

This is where JS has made a notable improvement second time round – keeping the full rails but using double flyers to pull in the tail made easy work of top to bottom surfing, and provided great drive and release.

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That tail – very wide yet very manoeuvrable.

 

JS notes that the concave is narrow and specifically designed for a wider board – starting with a single from the nose, into a double at the fins, then out as a vee in the tail.

Fins wise, the Flying Pony comes with the 5 fin option.  With the quad set up, the board really got moving after the first pump or top-turn.  As a thruster, it was quicker off the mark and more consistent turn-to-turn.  But it lacked the speed squirts you get from a quad.  So I’d ride this board as a quad over a thruster any day.

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The Flying Pony

 

Drawbacks and improvements to the model?  Only a couple.  In onshore conditions, the board wasn’t a spectacular standout versus other small wave performance models.  Its clearly most at home in clean pint sized peaks.  And you don’t see many getting around – with many surfers wanting more fun in their small wave surfing these days, JS could really hammer this model as being the summer time go-to solution.

 

All up, I really enjoyed surfing this board, and think its one of the best small wave grovelers on the market.

Featured Designer / Shaper – Richie Lovett

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To make the mark as a true surfer/designer/shaper, you have to have had a serious impact in all areas. Sure, most coastal towns will have a guy doing ten-plus boards a week who nails a few daily turns at their local.

But, in an era where not even a single surfer on the WSL seriously designs and shapes boards, its a rare commodity indeed that someone makes their mark at the top of both disciplines.

Richie Lovett is one such rarity, and Boardthought got a behind-the-scenes peak via a one-on-one in the mix of his busy travel, board design and family schedule.

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Gnaraloo Flounder Pounder – Guest Board Review

Gnaraloo Flounder Pounder

We’re continuing to put the Gnaraloo Flounder Pounder through its paces – this time guest Board Reviewer and surf scientist Marc in-het Panhuis paddled into a few peaks…then took it one step further.

What follows gets into the nitty-gritty of board review zen; understanding not only how the board feels, but what the data says.

So here it is – wrap your head around it…

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Featured Shaper – Soularch Surfboards

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Point the compass due south, grab your 4/3 sealed seam, and hit the highway before sunrise – you’ll find a coastline that’s a magnet for south swells, grass-roots board shaping, and good coffee.  And in the case of Robbie Marshall, master shaper and founder of Soularch Surfboards, its all three.   

Custom shapes and precise attention to detail is Robbie’s bread-and-butter.

Boardthought caught up with Robbie in the midst of foam dust and all sorts of other creative stuff…

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Featured Shaper – Wayne (Webby) Webster

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Wayne (Webby) Webster, is not only recognised as a seasoned innovator in big wave gun design and shaping, his short board shaping game is also turning heads on all major continents.

And with a stellar quiver of team riders, a Webster sled is fast becoming the board-of-choice for more and more surfers.

Boardthought caught up with Webby in the shaping bay to get the latest…

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Win a Surfing World Prize Pack!

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Boardthought and Surfing World Australia have joined forces to bring you this sweet little contest.

Post a board review between now and Sunday 22 May 2016 and you’ll go into the draw to win one of three 6 month Surfing World subscriptions, delivered direct to your door.  Plus, you’ll also score a Limited Edition 1989 inspired Warrior Waves Melting Skull shred tee!!
But its only a three week gig, so get cracking – the more reviews you post, the more chances to win.  It couldn’t be easier!
Sign up now, get your thoughts up, and keep your eyes on the prize…

2015 Model Of The Year

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Like it or not, its unlikely you’ll come across a rack of freshly minted sleds down at your local that aren’t decaled with a model reference of some kind.

And whether you’re a die-hard hand shaped purist or have embraced the new efficient and consistent world of computer shapes, it’s a safe bet in anyone’s books that model branding is here to stay.

With the growing Boardthought community analysing real-life-every-day performance – shaper by shaper and model by model – we thought it worth a look back at 2015’s top selling sticks:

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Design & Performance – A Tale of 4 Tails

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Tail shape can be a complex beast.  Most surfers would admit to having one or two ‘go-to’ tail shapes making up the bulk of their quiver.  But the evolution in tail shape and design is now in full swing, with more hybrid options than ever to scramble your brains.

So we’ve broken it down into its simplest form – slot these details into your melon…

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MODEL OF 2015? AND THE TOP 10 BEST SELLING MODELS OF 2014

2015 model of the year

Twenty-odd years since the Momentum era of Slater and Co. riding tooth-pick fashioned sleds to a soundtrack of gritty punk rock, surfboard design has pendulum-shifted into the realm of shorter, fatter and wider…

If you’ve got your finger even slightly on the pulse of current board design, what the best are riding, and the marketing that comes with it from the big names in shaping, you’ll know that the “all round performance model” is typically sub 6′ with single to double-barrel concave, and finished with a neat-as-a-pin square tail.   And the best surfers in the world ride these models…highly customised and tailored versions.

But when board costs are skyrocketing for the every-day surfer, what are the models of choice,  and how does actual performance stack up against what’s claimed in the hype of each new model release?

At BOARDTHOUGHT, we ask these types of questions every day.   What’s your go-to board for the week day afternoon sessions?  Which step-up connects well with your local when its pumping?  What works for you, and what doesn’t?  BOARDTHOUGHT’s aim is to find this out, and de-construct board performance by shaper and model.

The clear trend today is that surfers want something a little shorter, wider and fatter to catch more waves and have more fun.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on what the best sellers are for 2015; but this won’t always equate to best performing.

All that said, and with 2015 drawing to a close, lets recap on 2014 with Stab Magazine’s Top 10 Best-Selling Surfboard Models:

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