First impressions on a v.Bowls

Discussion in 'Surfing' started by Chilly Willy, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2004
    USA New Jersey
    I recently picked up an 8'4" v.Bowls and finally got a chance to take it out this morning. I had originally planned on going with a shorter v.Bowls, but I had a good opportunity to pick this one up (thanks Croweater, and double thanks to ShadyDave and Makawaosurfer93 for the board train) and thought it would be a good chance to try out a v.Bowls to see what all the hype is about. Seems that most are more in the 7' range.

    I found all the reasons to not paddle out today -- too windy, too chilly, too small, should have brought a bigger board, parking meters are now being enforced, I could go get donuts back on the mainland instead, etc. I finally decided that it was a Saturday morning and I might as well suit up and surf, and I'm so glad I did. My local spot was doing its best impression of a small righthanded pointbreak with solid knee to waist peelers wrapping around a shallow sandbar. A few slightly bigger/juicier sets, but it was a waiting game. Strong offshores and no one else out. As someone who usually surfs boards at least a foot longer, I thought I might struggle to catch waves on the v.Bowls. I was surprised at how easily it caught even the smallest waves, with the waves picking up that wide tail on takeoff. It seemed very sensitive to trim -- it lets you know right away when you're surfing even slightly too far back by bogging down, but eeching up just a hair is all it takes to completely change the game from dropping anchor to a rocket ride. I've heard Ryan Lovelace refer to the feeling as "riding on ball bearings", which was a good frame of reference for helping me find the sweet spot and a pretty accurate way to describe the playful squirt of speed that took me by surprise the first time it happened. I had a couple bigger sets with long walls where I had a chance to open 'er up a bit, and just a little pump of a turn up and down the face was all it took to blast past some sections that I really didn't expect to make. Nice bite and confidence on steeper sections. It could also surprisingly do the glide routine, letting me connect sections and milk some barely-there waves that were ankle high at best by the end (making me laugh out loud at one point - I didn't know you could surf a wave that small). The turns felt great, although I admittedly will have to work with it a bit more to find the finesse to cutback and not run out of speed on the second half of the cutback. Part of that might be technique, but part might also be those small waves.

    All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised. It exceeded my expectations and had enough similarity to a longboard to make the learning curve very palatable, but it was a lot more like a longboard's youthful, energetic little brother.

    IMG_4189.JPG

    PS: Don't judge me by my awful, awful lawn.
     
  2. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    Who cares about lawns when you experience what you just described. So nice!
     
  3. strez

    strez Active Member

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    Mar 23, 2012
    Hamilton, Massachusetts
    Stoked for you, Chilly!
     
  4. T-Bone

    T-Bone Active Member

    Super stoked for you Chilly!! - Great detailed first impression ride report for the rest of us. Hopefully we'll get some clean swell with a little more size to it for you to get her out again soon!
     
  5. JMJackFish

    JMJackFish Active Member

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    Jul 5, 2016
    USA North Carolina
    I echo what you said on the V Bowls. I traded for mine with low expectations. It has far exceeded them. Very unique ride. The Ball Bearings comment is spot on. Slight tweaks to your feet or weight make that board some alive.
     
  6. kpd73

    kpd73 Well-Known Member

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    May 8, 2013
    USA Rhode Island
    One of the best most upbeat review I have ever read here. Thanks for the genuine smile.
     
  7. newlyn

    newlyn Active Member

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    Jul 20, 2013
    USA Pennsylvania
    I debated long and hard this morning whether to drive to Seaside today, but decided to do yard work instead. When I logged in I thought, "I hope no one posts about good waves in NJ today." Darn! But stoked for you, Chilly. I love the color too.
     
  8. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2004
    USA New Jersey
    Thanks guys... T-Bone, you're right. It's going to go great in a little bigger surf. And ha ha, that's pretty funny, Newlyn. Don't be too bummed - no one else made it out either. I love those low expectation days when it turns out to be fun though. I needed a good surf, and it was refreshing to mine a nice healthy stoke today.

    Another thing that's nice about the v.Bowls: it's lightweight. Having a lot of heavier glassed boards, it was a nice change of pace to ride a board of less consequence (in the sense of dinking your shins or whatever).
     
  9. Chilly Willy

    Chilly Willy Well-Known Member

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    Feb 15, 2004
    USA New Jersey
    Yep, agreed. Even just body posturing, as slight as shifting your hips a little bit, made a pretty big difference. Pretty neat board.
     
  10. SeniorGrom

    SeniorGrom Well-Known Member

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    Mar 20, 2012
    USA New Jersey
    8th St 09252016.PNG

    Snapped this last Sept. Unidentified. Never seen the guy before or since. He was on a V-Bowls. Beautiful ride with 4-5 bottom turns and cutbacks. This little cover up barrel too.
     

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