bellyboard for BIG guy

What works and what doesn't. Share design ideas, references and contacts for paipo board builders.
Gorillasurfer
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bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Mon Jan 05, 2015 10:52 pm

Hello,
I have been lurking a bit and have a question for any big guys that ride bellyboards. I am 6' and 300 lbs. Currently I am riding a 44" bodyboard and have a blast but, am looking to try a bellyboard. From what I have read and seen it will be tough to find something used that will float me. Could I just buy a small mini simmons and try that? Something around 4'10" x 23" x 2.75"? Thanks for your thoughts and/or advice and if this question has been covered I apologize for not searching thoroughly enough.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by rodndtube » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:02 pm

For some additional context, you stated you generally ride Huntington Beach Cliffs and Bolsa Chica, both of which are sandbar breaks, and also San Onofre, similar in general. This can somewhat change some ideas on board template design in contrast to a long point break or Pipeline type wave ;)

Even with the same set of criteria, wave type, height, weight, experience, you are likely to hear a lot of different ideas: Fins/no fins, Long/short, Wide/narrow, Wood/foam-glass, thick/thin, handle/nohandle, hydrofoil/or not.

The Mini-Simmons sounds like a good start, but a few of us would probably recommend a slightly shorter board (something on the order of 68 to 74 percent of your height). The width and thickness seem adequate for floatability and ease of paddling and duckdiving. I would recommend several FCS-style fin boxes/plugs so you can experiment with fin positioning and fin types/combos/numbers).

Have fun on the journey!
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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by SJB » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:29 pm

Austin makes a "Big Guy" paipo for 230lbs plus....he can tailor something as big as you want. You might give him a call to discuss.

http://www.austinsurfboards.com/boards_html/paipo.htm

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:07 am

Thank you! This is great info. I am hesitant on the mini simmons because of the length. I looked at Austin's site and it seems like he does nice work but, I worry about shipping a board and with all due respect, I would like to support a local shaper. Just need to find one who will make a bellyboard. Anyone know of an HB or Orange County shaper who does this type of work?

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by karuhi » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:50 am

Gidday Gorilla surfer, I'm also a big fella. I'm 6'3" and about 260lbs. My boards are a bit bigger. I tried a Jeff Chamberlain type mega platter and although it was very fast and made huge sections - it was impossible to duck dive. I'm now surfing a board with a plan shape more like Thomas Patricks - my thinking was the slimmer nose would enable me to get the nose under but i can still keep width down the back. Seems to work well although i need to use it a bit more. I've been doing more standup longboarding lately. my board is 4'7" and just under 24" wide, its set up as a quad.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:06 am

Howzit karuhi,
Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Honestly didn't consider duck diving to be a factor. I'm glad you mentioned it. I was looking at some of Thomas' boards and they look very cool. I just wrote to him for some info.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by soulglider » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:06 am

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welcome gorilla,
top pic is my design and build, the next one is my klaus jones and the third one is my fineline by brian hilbers. Klaus Jones in ventura, Brian Hilbers in San Fernando Valley are two great shapers in the displacement hull ilk and i'm in san diego. they have both made me foam/glass paipo boards in the past and i owe them for my shaping and design skills. i'm 6'5" 250lbs myself.
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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by SJB » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:56 am

I am in CAL and Austin shipped to me from VA no problem. My go to board now is Thomas Patrick TBG2. Either of these guys are good to work with. My first thought was Austin because he is also a big guy.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by rodndtube » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:06 pm

PhillyViking has an Austin Big Boy for sale. You might see what his price might be -- could be a good entry board for you and a used board would be less expensive.
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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:49 pm

Right on guys, thanks for the info. I actually spoke to Thomas today. Very cool guy. He is sending me some specs to look at soon. I am getting excited, feeling like I will have a new bellyboard soon.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by skiff » Wed Jan 07, 2015 1:13 pm

Gorilla- Us big boys have to stick together! Yes, my boards are outrageously sized, but over the years, I've found many advantages to this sort of template as opposed to the smaller ones. It's all personal opinion I realize. Mine are 6-3 x 29" wide. If something like this interests you, email me at jeffch@charter.net, and I can hook you up with the shaper; he's up in Santa Cruz. The boards are super light, EPS and epoxy, and are glassed at the Stretch Factory there in SC which ships out boards daily all over the world, so when it's done, it's easy enough to have them ship it to your house or your nearest surf shop or something. I abandoned wax a long time ago, and get my custom rubber decks from Casey Patelski at KneeloCove there in Costa Mesa, so that's easy for you as well if you want to go this direction. Anyway, just some thoughts, and good luck in finding your perfect tool. Best, Jeff
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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by krusher74 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:08 am

On the subject of duck diving. Does a heavier rider have an easier time duck diving the same Liter board as a lighter rider,or is the extra weight of the rider botany and harder to duckdive in itself? :?

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by rodndtube » Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:50 am

There must be some kind of step function or order or magnitude function going on. Different buoyancy levels in my boards appear to be more important than my 30 lb range in weight in duck diving. Duck diving ability also benefits from fitness particularly in beach break conditions with shorter wave periods.
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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:39 am

Hi Skiff, thanks for posting and YES we need to stick together! Those are some really nice boards that I may look into in the future but, for my first belly board I ordered a board from nomastomas and we decided on 50"x23"x2.75". I am excited to get it and kick out for a session in a few weeks.
Krusher, in my experience my size and to some degree strength has always helped me duck dive. I am a big dude and carry it mostly in my upper body which I would assume makes a difference. I can duck dive a 9'x23"x3" Becker Mike Gee board in head high surf with no issue but, I am a Gorilla. lol On the flip side, my best friend who has been 165 lbs. for the past 20 years, couldn't duck dive that board to save his life. He's tried, it's hilarious. It is equally hilarious to watch me try and surf his 6'7"x21"x2.5 "fun board". HAHA! I find epoxy boards are a bit harder to duck dive as well.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by krusher74 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 4:50 pm

I'm in the 165lb range and find my 25L board much harder to duck than my 23L board. :o

I also find it much easier to duck dive in good waves, they seem to have that natural undertow you can duck into and get pulled through

sorry if i missed it but did thomas give you a Literage of your new board?

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:32 pm

Sorry, I forgot to put it in. 50"x23"x2.75" 36 L I'll let you know how she duck dives when I get her in the water but, I don't suspect it will be too much trouble for me.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by jbw4600 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:17 pm

I am a terrible duckdiver. Even with my new board (51 1/2 x 21 x 1 7/8 EPS), I can't effectively duck dive when a wave breaks in front of me more than about 4 ft. I think distributing the volume over the length of a longer board makes it easier. Such as in a short board. They can punch the board down pretty deep, because the nose is so slender and also they push the tail down with their foot or knee much easier due to the length and get the board much deeper. I can get pretty deep with my 1 1/2 inch paulowina wood board. But it doesn't have enough rocker for the waves I ride.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by karuhi » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:22 am

Hi guys, a bit more info for the bigger fellas ...... sorry to upset all - but its summer here. I've just come back from 2 weeks up north with the family. Didn't take a standup board. Just had fun on the paipos. two boards - one the Jeff inspired mega(ish) platter, my god its fast, drop bottom turn and woosh on the shoulder wave gone.... what the hell happened!!!. Still a pig to duck dive in a nasty shallow shorebreak, but great fun.
The other probably around 30-40L volume more of a Thomas like shape. I think i may have given it a bit much nose rocker - maybe pushing a wee bit. Still fast and fun. and infinitely easier to duck dive. Still a big board but like Gorillasurfer says - when you're a big fulla it's easier to get the nose down.
I'm going to have an experiment in something along the lines of soulgliders thin hull shapes. Thinking more along the lines of planing area and getting away from thinking of volume/thickness.
Many things to try.......

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Gorillasurfer » Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:59 pm

Hi karuhi,
Hope you're having a good summer. We are technically in winter here but, compared to most places our winter is just less summer. I am so excited to get my T Belly from Thomas and kick out for my first session! Should only be a few more weeks. I want to try one of soulgliders boards next but, I am going to enjoy my T Belly for a little while first. I love experimenting with new shapes too but, I have a hard time moving away from volume. I am going to play with different skegs on my T Belly to see what works best in different conditions.

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Re: bellyboard for BIG guy

Unread post by Pes78 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:48 am

I got one from Thomas and I feel it was a little short for me and the belly didn't help me much. I don't like belly in my boards and I should have mentioned this to him and maybe could have taken it out. I then shaped a 4'9 22 2 7/8 not sure about the volume but it does catch waves good unless its high tide conditions or weak. Now I think I went to long on it and thinking of doing another few inches shorter. Need to figure out what to do because I may try the t belly some more. Maybe I need to start a thread on how long is to long.

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