Anybody remember that great phrase made popular by the public enemy song, "don't believe the hype?" well, apparently i wasn't listening when i purchased the beater.... all i could think about were those great commercials with the cool music and the guys pulling a bunch of 360s. So the following will list the why (as in why I feel the way I do), and it will be followed by the who (as in who is the best user for this board). Enjoy!
Why (my thoughts):
1)This is a great bodyboard. I say that because for years I was a sponger, so much so that I scoffed at my surfer friends who kept trying to get me to switch to their 'overhyped, sell-out, stand-up style'. At the time I was constantly wondering what it might be like to have a slightly longer bodyboard fitted with fins that could hold a line in big wave faces without having a lot of body drag. I believe the beater is it: a wonderfully fun bodyboard with low drag while riding prone; but try standing up on it and you will instantly surmise the problem with it as a stand-up surfer: when you lay on the board, your weight is distributed across the entire surface of the board, resulting in lower pressure at any point, which in turn leads to a higher buoyancy (less density), hence great bodyboard. Once you stand on the board however, your weight is concentrated into a smaller area (beneath your feet) creating areas of high pressure that result in the board starting to bog down. It is surfable, yes, because the board does distribute most of that weight, but as we all well know how foot placement affects performance, so it goes with the beater. In short, its diminutive size limits the weight of the rider. I don't recommend a rider weight exceeding 140 to 150 pounds on the board lest you bog it.
2) I have taken the beater out in surf from mellow, glassy 3 foot longboardy waves, to barreling head high closeouts, and most recently this afternoon at lindy in medium to head high combo wind/ground swell. The beater performed best in the mellow conditions; however with the longboard crowd all over the mellow peaks your chances of scoring a wave are pretty low. Add to that the challenge of riding a 4.5 foot long sponge, and I found myself wishing for a bit more under me. During today's final test, I hit one steep left with beater, riding it as a bodyboard up to the sand. Afterwards, I walked back to the car to fetch my quad fish, which felt absolutely zingy, fast, floaty and responsive when compared to the beater.
3) So who will this board work for? I believe this is the absolutely perfect board for a parent who wants to get his/her kid into surfing on a shortboard, but is looking for something safe that won't bang out the kids teeth or poke out an eye, or give him/her a severe fin gash when he/she falls on it. I could see a grom about 7 to 12 years old riding this thing perfectly. Another potential interested party may be the bodyboarder that wants to ride bigger, slopey waves (like what used to break on big swells up in humboldt county, when I lived there years ago). Having said all that, I am fed up with trying to ride this little beast. If anybody has a kid that you see as a good fit for this, or you just want to try it out yourself, reply on this thread and I will let it go for half what I paid for it (essentially a brand new item) courtesy of yours truly, f.s.
4) p.s. - If anybody else was out at lindy today, I enjoyed how spread out the crowd was, and plenty of fun waves to go around.