6’8" x 20 ¾" x 2 ¾" squash tail Roll-flat-concave-double concave
spiral vee.
Rail. Mid low.
Check the Video pages.

Available lengths: 5'8"-- 8'2"
Available widths: 19"-- 23"
Available thicknesses:2 3/8"-- 3 1/4"
Price: 6'8" and under AUD$880
6'9"-- 7'0" AUD$950
7'1"-- 7'2" AUD$1,000
7'3"-- 7'6" AUD$1,100
7'7"-- 8'2" AUD$1,200
From 7'3" and up price includes a 1/4" stringer
Color and shipping extra.

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"easy paddling, stability, speed..."

The V-SKATE at first glance resembles a regular thruster. However closer inspection reveals a board with far greater volume than normal and an intricate bottom shape combining concaves and a spiral vee for generating high speeds. The V-SKATE has approximately 6% less volume than a Waterskate -- resulting in a "just noticeable difference".

This board is an excellent choice for those wanting high performance with extra paddling power.

Check out the Testimonials section and the V-SKATE Frequestly Asked Questions at the bottom of this page.

The following article has been submitted for publication to Tracks magazine

I just got out of the water at Narrabeen and was once again struck by the number of surfers still riding undervolumed boards and obviously suffering: Up to their armpits in water,trouble competing for waves, catching rails....Now--- if we were living in Mainland Mexico or El Salvador,places where well shaped boards are hard to come by---then this might be understandable----but here, in the land of plenty---with ‘shapers’ a dime a dozen----well, for me as a designer----its an interesting spectacle. Since releasing our Waterskate model in 2000 ----a board designed with volume and performance in mind---we’ve been overun with demand. Since then---although various shaping punters have thrown their hats into the ring too--- (more often than not just rounding off the noses a bit,going a bit wider,cutting in a swallow maybe---but without much real thought or understanding involved)---the volume of your average thruster has hardly changed---its still designed for the top 5% of surfers (70kg pros)--say 6’3" x 18 1/2" x 2 1/8"--and is then somehow expected to be suitable for the remaining 95%. How many 80kg+ surfers can happily ride a board like that? To me, it seems obvious that most boards are still too narrow,too thin and too rockered for your average surfer. The boom in sales of so called "Hybrids" and alternative shapes is the obvious evidence for this.

This article describes a design I’ve been developing since early last summer---the V- SKATE---with the name deriving from the spiral vee in the tail. We found that whilst people were stoked in the advantages of the Waterskate over regular thrusters---that nevertheless demand also existed for a board more closely related aesthetically ie-- with a pointed nose. During this time we had continued to develop various aspects of the Waterskate---mostly related to bottom contours and rail shape---and were looking to combine these improvements with a more conventional planshape/outline. The final catalyst for the design was Andrew Dunkin, 85kg, a decent surfer from Newcastle. He won Tracks letter of the month and a Waterskate. When I called him to sort the order---he asked if I’d shape him a high volume regular thruster instead. This request dovetailed nicely with our own intentions. I shaped him a chunky 6’6" x 19 1/2" x 2 5/8" squash. After surfing it, his feedback was: "its the best board I’ve ever had....fast,loose,stable,good paddler.....the board seems to kind of spring out of turns..... really drivey...I think you’re onto something". We were off and running.

We wanted to design a board which synthesised significant volume, with current bottom, rail and fin technology. Something easy to paddle and stable,like a well supported platform---and loose---but still with drive and speed. An all round thruster primarily for surfers of 80kg+. How has this been achieved?

The guts of the design are in the planshape (outline), rocker (bottom curve), thickness distribution and their relationship to one another.

On quick inspection,the V-SKATE outline seems fairly similar to your average board---but looking a little closer, significant differences emerge. Dimensions on a typical 6’8" V-SKATE (pictured) are 6’8" x 20 3/4" x 2 3/4"----now thats pretty far from average!! Compared with a regular board--the V-SKATE also has significantly more area up front (as well as total area) and a subtle hip in the back third ,whilst still maintaining a relatively constant outline curve. Apart from the obvious paddling and stability benefits, the distribution of this area means that the board can be surfed either off the front foot for linedrives when necessary----or from off the tail for tight arcs. The slight outline hip also contributes to increased drive.

Compared to other boards---the V-SKATE has noticeably less rocker. With this increased wetted planing area come many benefits: easier paddling,more drive and momentum over dead spots in the wave, and the ability to surf the board from further forward when necessary. However low rocker also has the potential to make a board quite stiff. With that in mind---the V-SKATE has additional late tail rocker, which in concert with the pronounced outline curve and fin positioning, maintains controlled looseness whilst simultaneously preserving the benefits of a flatter rocker. The bottom shape used has been evolved over time in the Waterskate. Up front is a light roll under the nose facilitating direction changes during full rail turns, and preventing catching whilst coming off the top. This flattens and fades into a full width concave---promoting speed---then into a double concave in the fin area. The advantages of strategically placed concaves are well known. In brief---they create lift--- friction reduction and thus increased speed. A spiral vee ensures that potential tracking problems connected with the double concave and associated vee do not occur---and also adds a touch of extra tail lift for looseness.

In a sense--everything begins with flotation. Not enough,and right there you’re up against it---too much and you’ve got a corky little boat. Typical V-SKATE thicknesses are 6’4" x 2 9/16", 6’6" x 2 5/8", 6’8" x 2 3/4". In the V-SKATE the thickness distribution is fairly continuous so that even though the thickest point is under the surfers chest---the nose and tail are not wafer thin. The tail in particular is pretty chunky. Why? Heavier surfers obviously need more resistance to lean on through turns. Also--when fully sunk during a turn---the extra tail buoyancy has an effect similar to that of a coiled spring---and provides a definite sensation of thrust/drive as you unweight. Additional tail volume also helps keep the board up on top of the water in smaller gutless waves---- preventing it from catching/bogging down. Rails are medium/low in volume. Soft in the nose and through centre---with a tucked under edge becoming harder towards the tail. This rail set up provides responsiveness, forgiveness in chop and drive/bite when necessary. Slight deck roll contributes to easy rail to rail transfer. Fins and their positioning are a crucial and often overlooked aspect of design. However through vigorous experimentation, we’ve acheived very predictable outcomes.

These boards are a lot of fun---combining easy paddling,high drive and turning possibilities with multiple sweet spots. Although they appear to resemble a regular thruster---they are really a complex synthesis of 80’s volume--- with current bottom,rail and fin theory. Happy exploration.

Grant Miller

V-SKATE Frequestly Asked Questions
1. Why is it called a V-SKATE?
The V refers to a spiral vee in the tail area. V-SKATE---because in many ways---eg---easy paddling,stability,speed---the board is like a Waterskate.

2. Whats the difference between a V-SKATE and a WATERSKATE?
Actually the boards have a lot in common---flat rocker,constant outline (planshape) curve with an even thickness distribution. Both are really easy to paddle,very stable, loose and fast. The 2 main differences in the V-SKATE are:
  1. Narrower nose---slightly easier takeoffs in very hollow waves.
  2. Concave bottom with spiral vee---perhaps a touch faster than a Waterskate under certain conditions.
3. What is a spiral vee?
Spiral vee refers to the way in which the area of the bottom behind the vee --(created in part by the double concave)--becomes flat as it leaves the vee and exits the tail. That is to say--the vee does not extend right through the tail---it is not continuous. Continuous vees tend to track/creating problems with direction changes--whereas spiral vees do not. Also--converting the vee into a flat area behind the back fin has the effect of creating extra tail lift (rocker). This extra lift helps facilitate late takeoffs, and makes the board looser--with a negligible reduction in drive.

4. Why is the tail so thick?
Tail thickness is deliberately chunky for 2 reasons.
  1. Maintaining thickness distribution for better all round flotation.
  2. To help keep the board up on top of the water as its surfed---so it doesn’t "bog down" in slow sections or in small gutless surf.
5. Why does it have a concave?
The single into double concave bottom makes the board faster. This is because the water flowing first through the single concave, is compressed into the narrower double concaves---in turn lifting the board and reducing friction. Concaves also contribute to speed by creating a fine air pocket of bubbles between the water and surfboard bottom---thereby reducing friction/drag.

The V-SKATE has a touch less volume than the WATERSKATE -- between 4%-6% -- however in practice this is barely a just noticeable difference. Therefore -- if you are trying to decide between the two, the variable of flotation should not be weighted too highly. Here is what we generally recommend for various weights. Experienced surfers may wish to ride shorter than this. These are general recommendations only. Grant will carefully assess your situation with you at time of ordering.

Weight /length ratio:
75/80kg: 6'4", 6'6"
80/90kg: 6'6"‚ 6'8"
90/95kg: 6'8"‚ 6'10"
95/100kg: 6'10"‚ 7'0"
100/110kg: 7'0"‚ 7'4"
110/120kg: 7'6"‚ 8'0"