Daniel swung by last night and unleashed his newest design on us: Vader. If you “get” the planing hull mentality, then you can immediately tell this board is going to rip. I think over time you develop a keen sense of what works in a board without even having to ride it–you feel it in your arms, under your arms, slide your hands down the rail, view it from all angles, sense its volume, density and lightness (or heaviness). All I know is Daniel was frothing over this board, and Daniel rips, so it must be true.
Vader is to 2014 what Vanguard was to 2013. And people are still working on getting their minds around the Vanguard. I think it’s cool to progress up the planing hull design ladder. There is something to gain at each level, I think. Personally, I’ve learned a lot: I rode a pure planing hull/mini Simmons and learned what planing is all about. I rode Ryan Burch’s Sledgehammer and “got” how critical a straight rail is. I’ll never forget how stoked I was to feel what setting my straight-rail edge into the face of a wave does to a ride. I loved the WTF feeling I got when I first rode an asymmetric design–how the design whips you down the line. I get so many questions about Carl’s asymmetric board when I take it out–folks can’t wrap their minds around it. I can barely articulate why it works–but you know what’s going on as soon as you ride it. In any case, going up and down the planing hull totem/ladder has been a very valuable lesson in design and riding for me.
Finally, I’m very excited that I finally got a pretty decent camera that takes good video. I will (hopefully soon) be getting some much needed documentation in the coming year. Here’s to an epic 2014… –MB