6’6" X 22 1/4"
X 2 3/4"

Bottom shape
Roll - flat - single concave - double concave - spiral vee.

Available lengths: 5'8"-- 7'0"
Available widths: 21"-- 23"
Available thicknesses:2 3/8"-- 3 1/4"
Price: Up to 6'6"-Single fin A$1,000,
Quad A$1,050, 2 + 1 incl fins A$1,100
6'7" - 7'0"-Single fin A$1,050,
Quad A$1,100, 2 + 1 incl fins A$1,150
Color and shipping extra.

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"a pure fun longboard alternative..."

This little board has blown my mind. Not since the Waterskate's release in October '99 have I been so thoroughly stoked about a new model.
The SUBX produces feelings and sensations that are unique. Awesome paddle power combines with unexpected rushes of speed and silky smooth transitions through turns that only an advanced Single fin can deliver. The SUBX is a viable alternative to a 9 foot Longboard and turns small waves and marginal conditions into fun as it recreates and extends the very best of the 70's Single fin era.

Check out the Testimonials

The SUBX largely owes it's genesis to my good friend Craig Marshall. Craig is a decent surfer from Narrabeen with a full quiver of Miller surfboards and a lot on his plate. He combines a full on career with family life and really values his limited time in the water. Often his available times to surf do not coincide with ideal conditions. Craig is 52, weighs 82kg and has a fractured spine from a snowboarding accident.

He came to me earlier this year whilst I was in Sydney with the following brief: “ I'd like you to make me a shortboard that I can ride when the surf is really small—when normally I'd have to ride my 9'2” Mal. The Mal paddles great, but is a pain to get on and off the car, and on the wave it's very limited”.

As a surfboard designer, this was a very regrettable request. Although making a shortboard paddle like a longboard is many a surfer's dream, it's exceedingly difficult technically for many reasons. In addition, normally such a highly specialised board would be very unlikely to perform well in other respects. Under further probing, Craig indicated he was thinking about a board around 6'6”---6'8”. As I was beginning to run through some preliminary ideas in my head, he then added that he wanted the board to be a Single fin. “ I want a board that feels different to a Thruster. Something that flows with the wave and has to be surfed deliberately”. Oh boy. Then, ostensibly helping me still further, he showed me some footage of Joel Tudor at Trestles riding a Single fin which was supposedly 6'6” in very good waves. “Look, look at how well that board goes” Craig enthused. I quickly pointed out a few salient facts to him. Namely that Tudor is quite a good surfer actually and that the waves were 4—6 foot and of excellent quality, and that even in these ideal conditions the board was clearly difficult to control at times and so on. These matters appeared to be of no import. Craig was clearly excited. “Yes, yes but even so.......” Desperately then I tried to interest him in a Powerglide. “Yes, but it's not a Single fin”. I was in the corner and the challenge had begun.

Craig sent me away with a thoughtful frame grab of the Tudor board and a palpable sense of confident expectation which was daunting. Where to begin? I knew at least what the components had to be: high volume and low rocker with the fastest bottom shape possible. I looked at the frame grab again. I watched Morning Of The Earth again a couple of times, especially the Peterson sequences at Kirra. I thought about the Powerglide and Waterskate fundamentals, and then I went down to Dion Chemicals at Brookvale. At Dion's I painstakingly trawled through all their rocker curves to find one that was almost flat, and then had some 7'3” blanks glued up to that exact curve. Somewhere to start now and feeling better. Then back down to Milton to bury myself in my shaping room on the mountain and create something from nothing. In between surfing and my regular shaping load, I spent the next few weeks working to directly address Craig's brief: A short Single fin that paddles like a Mal and flows with the wave. Here is the outcome of that process.

The SUBX is so much more than the components which follow. Although they are all individually important, it's the intentional and cumulative synergy between the design variables, often quite subtle and unseen, which ultimately creates it's character. This is a board which is inherently very difficult to copy.

However I'm not going to provide really fine grain detail here. I'm not going to make it any easier for the thieves from Asia who copy our boards to do their dirty work. I'm very serious. This is part of what's going on in our industry at present. The dark side of the surfboard industry. And not all the theft of intellectual property originates in Asia either. Australia's East Coast also has it's fair share of participants. These parasites copy, pure and simple. Part of their 'business model' also includes the exploitation of websites like Realsurf and Seabreeze, where they flagrantly promote their offerings under the guise of helping people, thereby avoiding paid advertising. A story for another day.

subx foil ROCKER
As flat as possible. Looking at the rocker/foil shot above, its obvious that the SUBX is a very low rocker board. Low rocker increases the effective waterline which in turn contributes to its awesome paddle power. Research and development experiments demonstrated conclusively that a 6'6” SUBX paddles as well as an 8'4” Longboard. Paul Davis, who ordered the very first commercial SUBX version, reports in the testimonials (18/9/13) that his 6'6” paddled on par with his 9'3” Mal. Sweet feedback indeed. People in the water frequently ask me how come the board paddles so well? I have even been asked if the SUBX is a Mal, as I'm paddling quickly up the line. I noticed some chatter on Realsurf recently refuting our SUBX paddling claims. The individuals concerned are both unqualified to comment and lack direct experience with the board. With a low rocker board, the question of potential nosediving is a legitimate one. This board does not nosedive. Why not? Because it has just enough nose and tail lift to prevent this occurring. Tail lift is as critical as nose lift. Correct tail lift allows the tail to fit appropriately into the wave curve on takeoff and drop slightly, thereby allowing the nose to rise simultaneously. Everything is considered here.

Very small changes in rocker can have highly significant effects on performance. Too little rocker and the board would feel clunky and would not feel smooth rail to rail. Too much rocker and the valuable paddling advantage would be lost. All these matters have been thoroughly tested and resolved.

subx deck
Look at the SUBX outline. Full, wide and with plenty of area. Starting at 6'6”, I thought around 22 1/4” wide should be close to home. Then, combining some of my existing templates from the past 34 years and some freehand, I marked out on the blank what I thought would work technically and what looked and felt right.

In a small wave board, paddle and drive are primary. The shorter the board the more area has to somehow go into it, hence the width in the nose and tail. A wide tail also provides for a lot of drive. The gentle constant curve in the outline helps the board to transition really smoothly between turns, with no nasty surprises going rail to rail. You can run out onto the shoulder and then cutback smoothly whilst maintaining speed and then into your next turn. Think of Peterson at Kirra.

Very complicated and time consuming to shape. The SUBX is a triplane hull, incorporating some aspects of the Simmons bottom shape. Beginning with a fairly heavy roll in the nose to ensure there is no rail catching when coming off the top, we fade into flat and then into a deep single concave. This morphs into a deep double concave with a spiral vee at the tail. You can find a detailed description of a spiral vee below the V-SKATE technical article in the question and answer section.

The concaves promote lift and speed and in tandem with the rocker are the real engine room of the SUBX, crucial ingredients in a board designed for small often gutless surf. The board can be surfed either off the front foot for longer reaching turns, or from the tail for shorter arcs. When you move forward on the board it really takes off in an unexpected rush with speed which blows you away. At times this feels like a supercharger at work. Very nice.

subx bottom Reviewing the rocker/foil shot again reveals a substantial and consistent thickness distribution. Although maximum thickness is under the chest, the nose and tail areas retain significant volume.

Rails are reasonably refined through the centre to enable deep turns with appropriate penetration in good waves. Although the SUBX was conceived for small surf with little power, the rails are also designed for high performance in decent surf and so greatly increase the board's versatility. Nose and tail rail foils are very deliberately chunky for maximum float in marginal conditions. The bottom edge of the rails is very forgiving in the nose, with a little more edge through centre and then super hard in the tail for bite and holding power.

Fins. Since the tail of the SUBX is so wide, a fin with significant area is required. We are using an 8.5” fin with moderate rake and area, combined with a 10” finbox which allows for substantial adjustment. The fin has fairly minimal flex at the tip. Flex fins are OK in retro Longboard fashion articles, but as a rule, in practice they do not produce reliable performance. The board comes with an optimal fin location marked on the finbox for initial fin set up. From this point you can move the fin forwards to increase manoeuvrability or shift back for more drive.

However with a wide tail, notwithstanding the 8.5” fin, there are limits to how far you can roll the board over before it spins out. I’ve been riding SUBX'S in surfs ranging from near flat to double overhead for the past 4 months, and at times in really full on rail turns in larger surf the fin leaves the water with minimal warning. But, as Craig seems fond of reminding me “that's not the sort of surf they were designed for”. Very true.

The SUBX is also available in Quad format. It seems that those people wanting Quads are looking for an experience which is closer to that already provided by their conventional boards but with the addition of greatly improved paddle power. The Quad needs to be surfed in a more active fashion, in contrast with the pure flow of the Single. We are also optioning the SUBX Single to come with side plugs so that you can run small side fins if desired. (see below for further update)

Since we do not supply any retail shops, all Miller Surfboards are custom made. In consequence there is no fixed glassing format and boards are individually glassed to suit the requirements and expectations of our clients. However since the SUBX is designed primarily for small waves, I am encouraging clients to consider allowing us to glass their boards a bit lighter than normal. Lighter boards float better than heavier ones. They are also more responsive. Experience has shown that these boards surf better when they are lighter, particularly with respect to manoeuvrability. Those of you who already own a Miller board can attest to the very high build quality we consistently produce. However with lighter glassing there will inevitably be some “golfballing” or minor denting which will occur on the deck. Nonetheless, I think the benefits outweigh this disadvantage.

The SUBX was originally intended to be a special one off design for my friend Craig, but as mentioned earlier, I was not initially enthusiastic about the project. However once I rode the first prototype, it was immediately apparent that the board I had created was something very special. It was very exciting to ride and significantly exceeded my expectations in various respects. It seemed obvious to me then, that the board would also have significant appeal to others. Over time, random positive feedback from other surfers who saw the board both in and out of the water strongly confirmed this. Therefore I decided to thoroughly develop the board as a new model and release it commercially. This is already proving to be an excellent decision, with interest and orders quickly gathering pace. The SUBX appears to be tapping into existing demand for a Longboard alternative which is less bulky and more convenient to handle. There is also a high level of interest in Single fins in general and for alternative boards which maximise fun in small waves.

The SUBX is specifically designed as an alternative to a 9 foot Longboard and is proving to be an unqualified success. It provides Longboard advantages such as easy paddling, stability and high trim speed, but without the bulky downsides. Its a short agile board which is tremendous fun in small marginal surf and which can also be successfully surfed up into more challenging conditions depending on wave quality and surfer skill.

So how does the SUBX actually feel in the water? OK, you paddle in really easily and really early and set yourself up. Due to the board's inherent stability, your pop up and takeoff do not need to be lightening fast. Then, if you want to simply get into trim and stay there, the board obliges with very decent speed. However if you encourage the board by driving it through turns, then things really heat up. The SUBX is capable of really amazing speed and surfs rail to rail with a silky smooth sensation. Moving forward engages the main concave and feels like a supercharger. Very long turns are also possible from forward on the board. However if you want to surf it more vertically, simply step back and boogie. Running out on the shoulder at high speed and want to cut back? Just do it and feel the speed maintain throughout the turn. It can be surfed either very 70's old school or as loose and fast as you like. It's very addictive.

So what does Craig Marshall think of his 6'6” SUBX? Ecstatic. Frequently he calls me in various states of euphoria to report yet another blinder of a session he's just had. Currently, neither of us are riding anything else. Nor have we for the past 3 months.

Good Single fins feel unique. In this case as Paul Davis remarked “a really pure and awesome feeling” . Although words can be misleading and we are all different, the SUBX Single certainly feels freer, smoother and less restrained than a Thruster. It would make a valuable addition to your quiver for small waves, or be equally successful as a convenient stand alone Single fin for small/medium surf. The SUBX is available in lengths up to 7'0” which would suit someone up to around the 100kg mark.

Grant Miller.

Following is an approximate surfers weight to length ratio for the SUBX.
This is a general guide only and needs to be carefully interpreted with respect to a surfers age, level of experience, frequency of surfing and ease of paddling expectations.
Should you be considering ordering a SUBX, rest assured that Grant will carefully assess your individual circumstances with you and make specific recommendations for you at the time of ordering.
5'10"--- 65/70kg
6' 0"--- 70/75kg
6' 2"--- 75kg
6' 4"--- 80kg
6' 6"--- 85kg
6' 8"--- 90kg
6' 10"--- 95kg
7' 0"--- 100kg

We have recently released an exciting and thoroughly tested 2 + 1 fin option for the SUBX. When it came out last winter, the SUBX was specifically designed as a single fin for small waves. We also offered a Quad option for those who wanted more of a regular shortboard kind of feel. However the majority of surfers have been ordering the single fin version.

I am so into the SUBX, that since last winter I have only ridden my V-SKATE and Semi-Gun once or twice each. What began with the SUBX as a flirtation in marginal conditions has steadily developed into so much more. Because I love the board so much, I was unwilling to get off it in bigger surf. However as I surfed it in more and more challenging conditions I was forced to consider various fin options because it would naturally spin out at times. Following is a quote from a diary entry I wrote last winter, just to give you a feel for what's been happening.

“I've just come out of the surf down here on the South Coast after a blinder of a session on my 6'6” SUBX. The waves were a touch overhead, long beachbreak lefts with hollow sections and very workable walls. I was riding the board as a 2+1 with a stock 8.25” Dion Single fin and small outside tracer fins for additional hold. Using the side fins allows the board to be surfed much more aggressively from rail to rail without any possibility of spinning out. Without these little fins, the board will spin out at a certain point as discussed in the SUBX article. Certainly it all depends on your approach and style of surfing. In Single fin mode you can still really get the board going, but just not as radically.

Recently I surfed Golfcourse Reef at almost double overhead on the SUBBY. Again I was using the side fins and the board felt totally controllable in the powerful conditions. I was able to paddle in and take off almost as early as the Mal riders, but then really get going with heaps of drive and speed. Deep powerful bottom turns preceded shoulder runs at very high speed, the board maintaining its momentum through roundhouse cutbacks into the foam again. As usual, the speed of the board and the Pine Lime Splice spray turned plenty of heads in the water with guys paddling over for a sticky.

The small tracer side fins are Dion branded 100% fiberglass hand foiled little numbers. Beautiful fins. It's an additional $100 for the side plugs including these fins but so worth it. Because of the forward and backward adjustment possible with the Surfinz plugs and the large adjustment in the 10” Box, you can really fine tune the board to suit the way you want to surf it in different conditions.”

You can understand from the preceding discussion how we got to the present 2 +1 fin option. Theoretically, the SUBX should not really work in bigger surf. Certainly it's success depends partially on how good a surfer you are and how much you push. I have not ridden anything bigger than double overhead on it. However considering what it was designed for, this is massive. The two little side fins make an amazing difference. The SUBX is therefore proving to be a very versatile all round type of board. If you are wondering about downsides, there are two which are directly related. Because the SUBX has so much area and width, duckdiving in bigger surf can be an issue. In addition, at times the nose has a tendency to want to catch in very tight turns, usually when coming off the top or during recovery from a cutback. However once you are aware of this it becomes less of a problem. My SUBX lives in the car.
At times I feel a bit guilty when I glance at my fleet of other boards all racked up with nowhere to go. But as in other areas of life, we all tend to keep doing whatever feels best.

Grant Miller