Designing a Board with Kirk McGinty – Part 3, 6.8 TVD

Erik Antonson
Erik Antonson
August 22, 2016

Here’s the initial design for the TV Dinner.  And the note from Kirk –

Original dims on the TVD were a typo.  The 7’0 x 27.5 x 3.875 is 92L.  This one 6’8 x 27.5 x 3.75 is 85L.  I offer two versions of tail design — One with split tail and another with a diamond “fang” tail with single channel.  Personally I prefer this split tail design to shorten rail line and remove surface area under your back foot to make it easier to turn.  This board is amazing.  And you will surely hear this from folks who are riding it.  Lightening fast, loose, responsive, stable for it’s size, etc.  Not well suited for big, hollow waves but perfect for head high and under points, reefs, beaches.

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Thoughts…  I’ve tried a few of the tomo style boards and haven’t found anything I’ve enjoyed riding yet.  They’ve all felt massive, and what’s the point of having a small board that feels huge.  But, from what Kirk is telling me, and the emails I’m getting from you all, this board is different, and I’ve got to say from the look of these designs I can’t wait to ride one.

My initial thought is that I can paddle it narrower and for whatever board I get shaped I’ll probably go that way.  Either the TVD or the PD would most likely be a board that I’d opt to surf in smaller surf, that’s where Kirk is saying they excel, and I don’t normally surf small waves unless they’re clean.  We get our smaller surf Nov.-Feb. and our conditions that time of year are amazing.  So, clean surf means smaller board.  Or, for this test, narrower, at the same volume.

Kirk, what would be the difference in performance if I were to go 6.10 x 25.5?  How thick would that need to be?  Is that too narrow for a TVD?

I like the split tail design.

Maybe you could give us a quick overview on the feel of the TVD vs. the Popdart.  You know our waves here, and this board will be my go-to for chest to slightly overhead surf.  I surf a right point break, a mellow beach break and a nice beach break barrel.  Which board do you see being a better fit?



Progression Journal


  • Paul

    “Lightening fast, loose, responsive, stable for it’s size” – as a split tail TVD owner I fully agree with this.

    Eric – what conditions are you trying to use this board in and what width do you ride now in those conditions? That’s what I’d consider. The TVD should let you ride that width in a shorter package. It will still be a little less stable than something longer and the same width. My 7’6 30.5″ TVD is not quite as stable as an 8’6 30.5″ but not a huge drop off. The performance difference is more than the stability difference.

  • Alex Norman

    Erik, based on what you’ve said about your waves and preferences, I’d go with the 6’10” Popdart 26.5 and 4.25 over the 6’8″ TVD. Kirk is the expert here but I’m guessing with the pulled in nose and narrower width you will be able to bury the rail easier which is what you want to do. Also the five fin on the Popdart gives you a lot more to experiment with fins which you like to do. Again this advice from someone who hasn’t ridden either board but thought a lot about the same choice. Just my 2 cents.

  • Kirk

    You’re right, Erik. One of the main things to consider with these parallel-rail, “chopped nose” designs is the redistribution of surface area makes them feel bigger than dimensions indicate. The TVD is meant to be ridden much shorter to compensate for this. For small waves these little guys are magic. The trade off is that in larger or rounder surf they will not be as versatile as something with more curve in the outline — like the Popdart which will fit the waves you describe better. At 6’10 and 25.5″ wide the TVD would need to go 4.125″ thick to net 85L. Should you decide to go the TVD route I would encourage you to change your mindset from “How narrow can I go?” to “What width makes sense?” These boards want to be ridden short and wide. Think of them as airplane wings — faster speeds equate to lower aspect ratios (F-18 hornet) whereas slower speeds need higher aspect ratios (gliders, prop planes, etc.). The TVD is made for generally slower, smaller surf so it has a high aspect ratio to help it get up on plane quickly. The true beauty of this design is once you’re locked into trim on a lined up wave it flips into “F-18 mode”. 🙂

  • Gary

    What Kirk just wrote is solid gold. Smaller waves = TVD, bigger waves = PD. I surf in two locales, Maui and Santa Cruz CA. As an older SUP surfer I ride larger boards to compensate for my age. On Maui I’ve got a 7’10” ST which is perfect for winter’s larger waves and is a bit too big for the smaller less energetic summer surf. So I’ll be ordering something like a 7’6″ TVD (glassed as light as possible) for next summer’s waves. For Santa Cruz I’m currently surfing a custom 7’8″/7’6″ asymmetrical chopped nose L41 that was an experiment in asym’s for right hand point breaks. As a backup I have my 8′ S3. I envy you younger guys ability to ride Kirk’s shorter, lower volume designs. They are the best of the best.

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