New Board Day

I know it seems like I’m always buying new toys, but I’m not really! Take my surfboards for instance. The last time I bought a new surfboard was last century. I can’t even remember exactly when because ‘blogging’ hadn’t been invented then so there’s no record of it on this weblog! It must have been at least 25 years ago though. Back then I had my own ‘shaper’ that I’d go. He knew me well, surfed with me often and would build me a custom board made to my exact requirements.

Trouble is, I’m now a very different surfer to the one I was 25+ years ago. Believe it or not, I don’t paddle quite as energetically as I did then, I’m not as agile as I was so don’t get to my feet quite so quickly. I don’t catch waves in quite the same way either. Late drops in the critical section as I pop to my feet aren’t really possible these days. If I try that it usually ends in a spectacular wipe-out. Even once I’m on a wave I’m probably not quite as energetic and aggressive as I was in my 20’s. Instead, the 50 year old surfer in me prefers a more mellow approach. A nice easy wave to paddle into and plenty of time to get to my feet. The ‘pop’ is more of a lurch and a grunt as I get up, often accompanied by a wobble and some shuffling to get into position. I need some margin for error.

The boards that had been shaped for the 20 year old surfer in me don’t really work for me any more. I’d been catching fewer waves on them and don’t really remember the last time I rode a wave I could be proud of. Obviously, it’s not all down to the boards but they were holding me back. That meant I wasn’t going out on them as much as I should and I was getting worse due to lack of practice. There was only one way to solve it, a new board!

Choosing a Surf Board

I’ve shopped around online for one for a few years now and kept returning to one board in particular. The 7’2″ Harley Ingleby Moe in Thunderbolt Red construction. This looked to be perfect. Long enough and with plenty of volume (49ltrs) to allow me to catch a lot more waves but lively enough to allow me to turn it and have some fun. It didn’t come cheap though at close to £1200 and then there would be another £100 or more to add onto that for a set of fins.

I always backed out of a purchase as I decided it was too much to spend on something I probably wouldn’t use that often. The conditions I’d use it in would overlap somewhat with the conditions I use my surf ski in so there would always be some debate over which craft to use. If I was getting the board to catch more waves and make life easier then the surf-ski would beat it hands down in most situations. That said, it’s a different sport and it would be nice to do some proper surfing now and then again.

I even borrowed one of these boards from a friend and nearly bought it from him. However, his board had already been damaged and repaired and I couldn’t bring myself to spend £850 (plus £100 for fins) on a board that wasn’t perfect.

We’ve had some good surf here lately. I’d been out on my surf ski in it but fancied a proper surf. Especially if that meant going out with Morgan as well. I couldn’t resist any longer and took the plunge over the weekend!


I was going to buy the board and fins and had them in my basket ready to go.

Harley Ingleby Moe and FCS Firewire PC Aircore Fins

I then noticed that there was a 5% ‘loyalty discount’ available. I didn’t qualify for it but if the fins were over £100 and I bought them separately first I would. So that’s what I did.

I chose some suitable fins that were £109.95 (reduced from £139.99). I went for the Tri-Quad set. I’ll probably only use them as a Quad set up so the larger central fin will be surplus to requirements. However, if I’d bought them as a Quad set they were just below the £100 threshold needed to get the 5% discount on the board. By paying an extra £10 to get the Tri-Quad set I’d get 5% discount on the board which would be a saving of £58.50. It’s always worth spending an extra £10 to get £58.50 discount elsewhere! The board itself was £1170 but with the reduction it came out at £1111.50. A lot to pay for a surfboard so let’s hope it does the job!

According to the bumf on the website it should be just the ticket:

If, like me, you’re getting older and need a little help with some extra float and paddle speed the Moe is definitely going to reignite your stoke without having to commit to a full size longboard or perish the thought surrender to the paddle board! The Moe is also a great option for the longboarder who fancies (for whatever reason) riding something a little shorter and testing their shorter-board riding skills.

When Harley got together with his shaper Billy Tolhurst to design the Moe, they set about creating an easy riding mid-length which would paddle easily and be a forgiving board for the beginner but at the same time deliver some performance (and heaps of fun) for the more experienced rider.

Whatever you do don’t confuse the Moe with a mini-mal, there is a hell of a lot going on in this genius little board besides the cutting edge tech and looks to die for.

Sounds good to me, let’s just hope that my new purchase doesn’t jinx the waves!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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