Designing a Board with Kirk McGinty – Part 4, The Decision

Alright folks!  I’ve finalized the design.  First, I’d like to say a huge thanks for all the help with the decision.  You all have sent me photos, videos, feedback on what you’ve done and what you wish you would have done with your boards- it’s been an incredibly fun process.  I’d love to keep it going, but to have the board ready for Sept. 20th, Kirk said we’ve got to decide now.

So… Here it is!




She’s a 6.10 x 26.5 at 85L.

I chose the Popdart because I surf good waves most of the time.  Everyone who chimed in said the TV Dinner was great in bad conditions, and weaker surf, and I might pick one of them up in the future, but for now, I’d like a board that I can ride the majority of my sessions.

The common thought was that either the TV Dinner or the Popdart would be stable for the size and at 85L and 26.5 wide I am well within my range.  I am comfortable paddling the 25.5 starboard at 83L and even the 24 wide starboard at 78L, that one just requires more work.  I like boards that are a bit of a challenge to paddle, and I don’t like being on top of the water.

Sidebar – During the process of getting this board designed, I went back and used a few older boards.  If you guys follow, you know I do this from time to time to see if I notice anything about the shape.  In riding the 90L JP and the 95L JP in choppy conditions, I realized how much that makes me bounce around, and I actually fell a good bit more than on my 83-85L boards (but you do make up for it in glide).  This will get a full journal soon.

So, I want to be just a touch under the water while paddling.  85L is my perfect volume and my guess is that big nose will pop right out of the water.

I pulled the length back from 7.0 to 6.10 mainly because I want to test increasing thickness for volume and reducing swing weight.  My hypothesis is that once you get used to paddling a thicker board it won’t be much of a difference in stability.  And with the step-deck and thin rails she should still drive off the rail.  If both of those thoughts hold true, then the reduced swing weight should make her come off the top and come around much faster.  And she should be much easier to surf in offshore winds.  I really notice, and hate, how bigger boards get pinned to the lip when we have an offshore wind.  After a few months of slack winds, and having a stiff offshore yesterday, I fell 3 times because I couldn’t get the board around on routine turns or floaters.  It forces you to put your surfing more on the face, which isn’t as much fun.

That’s the decision.  I can’t wait to surf this beauty!

Published by Erik Antonson

Erik is the founder and host of the PaddleWoo podcast, 2X Costa Rica National SUP Surf Champion and owner of Blue Zone SUP Camps.

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  1. Great choice for your situation. Looking forward to your thoughts after you’ve ridden the board for a while. What did you decide re your glassing choices?

  2. Hi Kirk. Again, I made the same choice for pretty much the same reasons. I surf mostly reef and point breaks and rarely go out when its under chest high. I felt the ST model, with the hull nose entry, would be best for head high and under, while the more pulled nose and single/double concave/channel bottom of the PD would be better from chest to a 2-3 feet overhead. Those are the waves I surf 90% of the time.

    Seems like a 7′ or under TVD would be awesome for under head high stuff, but right now I don’t have the means to get a more specialized quiver. Hopefully some day!

      1. Erik, I decided to go for the triaxial carbon layup (bottom and rails+3/4 deck), which I think is similar to the one you have on your Infinity. From what I’ve read on the Graphite Master FB page, I think this cloth is heavier than 227 vector net, but Kirk said it’s pretty good at protecting the rails.

        or you could go for the carbon innegra layup combined with full carbon rails, which im guessing is stronger but could be heavier. Again, Kirk’s the expert!

  3. Eric,

    Have you finalized your glass layup?

    Also have them offset the handle 3-4 inches to the tail. My handle was installed in the middle of the board and with the wide tail and weight of fins/leash it’s almost not usable.


    1. Not yet. Thanks for the advice on the handle. I like a nose heavy carry. I also like incredibly small handles like the starboard handle. Nothing I hate more than getting a toe stuck.

  4. I agree Love the handles on my starboard pro’s! Balanced and small and never got a toe stuck. Kirk uses the FCS handle, it’s not bad just the location on mine isn’t good.
    I’ve sent a few request for information on Blue Zone but haven’t got any response. We have maybe 3-4 interested and want to get an idea of best time of year and cost.

    Aloha Jeff

  5. Saweet! Just saw the pre-glass photo of my Rawson 7.6×27.75×3.8 ..Pat says it is shipping with a hand shaped 6.10?! Pretty sure that one is also an SUP…you’ll have to get the deets from Pat on that.

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