Top 5 Grovelers
Summer is upon us, and this means that when choosing what board, you need to combat the incoming swell of weak, waist high waves we have drawn up what we believe to be the Top 5 grovelers for these waves.
The below will give you the guide to what sets these boards apart and how they suit the waves that most boards don’t. The range of boards that make up our top 5 are options that can be considered by all levels of surfers. As pointed out by Ian here at Boardshop, no matter how good you are at surfing, a 25 litre shortboard won’t go very well in waist high waves with no punch to them.
Have a read through and hopefully this information will highlight the features and benefits of these grovelers, remember we offer 0% finance, our unique online trade in programme as well as custom options for all of these boards.
Everyone is more than familiar with the Pyzel brand, seeing John John rip the world tour apart, whether this be on his Ghost or Phantom, but what JJF doesn’t ride in the eye of the world is the Gremlin. Jon Pyzel has created a board that epitomises fun.
The Gremlin has been created and designed using the Pyzel Ghost as a base, but they have packed the Gremlin full of extra volume, made the board wider and shorter and flattened the rocker, by doing this they have created a Groveler that will make you very excited about the long summer surfs in waves that you would usually not get out of bed for.
I took the Gremlin on a trip to North Devon and surfed Puts in waist to chest high surf on the first day and head high on the second day and I am not sure I’ve ever had as much fun on a surfboard! The board is designed to gain speed easily and have great paddle power and that is exactly what you get, but while giving these features, it still lets you turn it hard and throw the board up towards the lip of the wave.
Whenever I encountered any flat or slower section of the wave the board would just breeze over these with consummate ease. I was super stoked on how versatile this board was, paddling into a strong head high wave the board got into the wave incredibly, and then the board allowed me to surf the wave with ultimate fun, going rail to rail and snapping the tail out the top of the wave like a high performance shortboard.
What I found best about the Gremlin, on waves where I made mistakes in my surfing, digging rails or not being in the correct part of the wave at the time, the board would more than often get me out of trouble and then I could get back to trying to surf as well as I like to think I can.
Pyzel have added to the Ghost family of boards with a perfect groveler that I certainly will be keeping in my summer quiver for a long time to come.
Pukas Heaven’s Door
A board that almost defies what is possible. The shape and crazy amount of volume in this board would have most thinking that the board could only surf in a line and would be impossible to move, but this couldn’t further from reality. This is a board that allows people to cruise into almost any wave and then gives you the chance to surf how ever you like, rail to rail, pushing the tail out or cruising to the beach with style for days!
Shaped by Axel Lorentz, out the Olatu factory in the Basque country, The Heaven’s Door was designed to have one thing in mind, to shape a groveler that has as much volume in the shortest board possible. By doing this, Axel has manufactured a surfboard that will transform any day where the waves are less than good.
This small wave craft has the ability to shred waves that are only waist high waves with speed and flow, as if it was on a much bigger wave. The board has a subtle rocker, and the bottom is practically flat, but tails off to a spiralling vee coming out of the boards tail.
The Olatu factory manager is an experienced and long-time long board rider and as many are, he was dismissive of the Heaven’s Doors capabilities until he picked on up and paddled out in waist high waves. He was able to surf the board with aggression and perform heavy turns and draw speed lines that didn’t seem possible on the waves that he had on offer.
Since this session, the factory manager has packed his longboards away for the summer and has been ripping on the Heaven’s Door in anything from head high pumping waves to weak ankle breakers, and he still is shocked at the way this board is able to function.
The Pukas Heaven’s Door is a very unique board and we are yet to find a board that can offer the volume and performance that is given, and we feel like this is a board that will surprise and surpass the expectations of anyone who doubts the ability it has.
Bradley New Barcelona
This groveler is pushing the boundaries on what a board like this can do and is making surfers everywhere pay attention to this shape. This board could start to make people rethink the quiver that they currently have.
A trend that comes from the Christiaan Bradley surfboards range is that most of his shapes will have a smooth outline and he loves curves on his boards. This is evident in the New Barcelona as soon as you set eyes on it, with a nose and tail that is slightly more rounded compared to the original, Christiaan still keeps the straight rail, which is essential to maximise the speed you can generate in weaker waves.
If you wanted a board that can be surfed with a high-performance level on a waist high wave then you should look no further, this board can perform rail to rail and be surfed as fast as any and you can also slam this board into section after section throwing buckets out the back of the line-up.
Surfed by one of the team here at Boardshop on the same trip to Putsborough, 3/4ft surf, the New Barcelona became his new go to board. He was frothing on this board, loving the fact that he could paddle for almost any wave that came his way, and then being able to get from the bottom to top of any wave with flare, and the board was picking up speed while going through turns due to the double concave and straight rail line.
A usual advocate for a Mini Mal in these conditions, Bradley’s groveler made it clear to him that he can rely on this board to spice up any surf that comes his way.
The impact made by this board will no doubt be felt across the groveler scene and this is why we have rated the New Barcelona in our Top 5!
Lost Puddle Jumper
Taking all the basics from the Bottom Feeder, Matt Biolas has added the Puddle Jumper to Lost’s Domesticated series. Unlike other boards in this range the Puddle Jumper features curvy rails that are pronounced and the concave on the board that flows and gives the Vee out of the tail, these allow the surfer to put this board on its rails and give you freedom to surf top to bottom and create speed on waves that are not giving you much to work with.
Matt Biolas himself came out early and claimed that the Lost Surfboards Puddle Jumper is the small wave board he had ever ridden, he hadn’t ever made a claim like that in reference to any surfboard of any type before, and it is hard to argue with his logic.
The board can do almost anything in average waves. Keeping performance in mind when shaping this board helped create this magic carpet. The Vee that runs through the tail allows the board to propel forward and gives extraordinary hold when the board is put through carves and aggressive turns.
The concave on the board flows water through to the vee and out of the tail, which is adding lift and helping the board give any user a ride that feels comfortable and as if you have been riding this board forever!
Shaping the board as a groveler and giving it a short wide design ensures that you get maximum stability when riding the Puddle Jumper, and this also is a key contributor in how the board can accelerate like not many others.
Nearly all the team here at Boardshop have ridden the Puddle Jumper at least once, most more than once after discovering the amp levels this board can produce, and we all share a common opinion that when we are looking for a groveler to surf, the Puddle Jumper is always a serious contender.
FORM Flow Stik
The inclusion of the FORM Surfboards Flow Stik in the Top 5 groveler picks has come from left field but is fully deserving of its place. This is one of those boards that you tuck under your arm before a session and you can feel the fun that you will be able to have!
The Flow Stik will give you clean, effortless and smooth surfing in waves that range from ankle to head high. You can surf the Flow Stik in so many ways, if you want to create lines that are unique and relaxed this board will allow you to do so, you will be able to connect to the wave, surfing up and down the face and styling your way all the way along the wave.
Along with this, when the surf picks up the performance of the board holds true and you are able to set the board on to a rail and draw out turn after turn.
At Boardshop, we have found that many avid shortboarders have been converted by the Flow Stik, due to the fact that they are able to catch wave after wave and not compromise on what they are able to do once on the wave.
The board was designed and developed by Alan Stokes, and as many know, Alan, is one of the UK best surfers, he can’ttalk highly enough about this board, loving the wave the board stays connected to the wave, and can be a change up from a shortboard, but also whenever Alan wants he can surf the board to its full potential, locking in turns and pushing the board through carving manoeuvres and swooping cutbacks.
FORM have created a very positive dilemma for anyone looking to add a new groveler to their current board line up, as this unconventional groveler option gives you all you need and much more to make any weaker swell seem attractive.
So that hopefully has given you a strong insight into the grovelers and why we have rated these in the Top 5. All of the team here have at least one of these in our quivers, Roger has all of these along with 25 others!
These boards are changing the groveler game and are making people open their eyes to looking away from their thrusted board and changing over and re-inventing the possibilities they have when jumping into the waist high muss or shoulder high clean lines.