Reviews by shredsickgnar

Gary Hanel Pill 5'8''
5'8'' x 21 1/2'' x 2 7/16''

My dims, 5'10'' 200lbs dadbod(185lbs when I first got it though..) . Surf ability = average with moments of glory.

Waves surfed, garbage beach break to high quality point breaks and everything in between. Knee high to double overhead +. At least 500 sessions on it, likely more, wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve had 1,000 session on it.

Board Description: full outline, big tail. Tuned and foiled rails. low rocker with just enough kick in the nose. Bonzer concaves with a quad setup.

I'll just get this out of the way I guess. This board is hands down the best surfboard I have ever surfed. Maybe it just works perfectly for how I want to surf, and I've adapted my surfing to it in kind. I got this board in 2015 as an anniversary present from my wife, she's the best. Since then I've let many friends try it. All of them comment on how well it goes and 5 of them have gone on to buy Pills from GH after surfing mine. I've surfed a few of the ones that were bought and they all go really well, but mine has more special sauce to it.

Ok so how does it surf? First, this Pill is the fastest board I've ever ridden. It catches waves extremely early, it trims fast, and maintains that speed through flat sections and at the bottom of the wave. But when you're standing on the board you can feel something between the fins right under your back foot. That when you want to pump it, it will take off. The best description I can think of is that there is stored energy there and when you pump or bottom turn you can cover a lot of ground. The board has a deep double concave running through the quad fins. They are bonzer concaves and they work really well. I use two sets of fins with it for different conditions. When its small and it want the board to be loose and free I use the FCS WCTs. When I'm gonna surf something bigger and want more hold I swap the Quad fronts to FCS CI template size L and that can hold it down in most conditions.

Despite the wide full outline and big thumb tail, this board turns better than you'd think. For a long time I only surfed it forehand. I'm talking like 2-3 years I only went right on it. It's because it did that so well and it was so natural to create speed and do turns frontside with it. As I surfed it more and more I learned how to create speed and put it in the right places backhand as well. It goes equally well backhand as it does forehand, but forehand will come naturally and the backhand you might have to "figure out". As for what turns it can do, I think I've done my most radical and critical turns on this board, or my 5'10'' "Diet Pill" that I ordered after this one. Blow tails, straight airs, 12 o'clock lip hits, 360 foam climbs, full wraps, laybacks, cutbacks and slam it into the foam. Basically if you have the talent to do it, this board can handle it.

I have no idea how it functionally surfs in barrels. I've got tubed on it, but I don't know why how or what happened I just got some nice visions and I'm happy about it. The amount of speed it has might make positioning yourself for the tube difficult but I don’t know. I suck a riding barrels.

The thing I value most in a shorter board is the speed. The ability to created it and maintain it through flat sections. This board has it in spades. I haven’t surfed a board that can go faster. The range of what this board can handle is impressive. I’ve surfed it in literal knee high slop trying to keep up with a talented friend on his shortboard. I was blowing the fins out on tiny waves. I also surfed it in DOH+ while there are definitely better boards for waves like that, this board handled it just fine. I have surfed this board in every condition that my local waves can provide and I’ve never been disappointed that I’ve been on it. I’ve travelled with it and its handled everything. It is absolutely the best board I have ever surfed no question or doubt about it. I have a 5’10’’ Diet pill that is a little narrower but not as foiled. Its a great board too but not as magic as the 5’8’’. I tend to take that one out more now, as the 5’8’’ is pretty beat and I don’t want to break it.

The photo I included is of the 5'10, surf photos are on the 5'8''. I'll take some pics of the 5'8'' later and add them. But its a bit shorter and wider.
shredsickgnar recommends this factory surfboards
Wayne Rich Wildcard 1
I'm not sure to put these reviews in custom of factory but whatever its going here. This board came into my local shop and was an off the rack board. I'd been check in out every board that had been coming in in my size for months. When I saw this one, it took a couple days but I snagged it pretty quick. 9'7'' x about 23 1/2 x 3 something.

My dims 5'10'' 200lbs. Dadbod. Ability = average surfer that experiences moments of glory. I've had this board for a month and a half probably close to 30 sessions on it. Mostly in lined up beach break but also had a number of sessions in some slop. Just enough to get a nice feel for it in lot of different conditions.

The outline is very full, big wide tail. Hips a little back of center I think. Has some nose concave that blends into some belly about halfway down a little tail kick but not much. Full but nicely shaped 50/50 rails. Nose and tail both have some cool stuff going on. The nose is turned up in the last inch or so and the tail has some really nice foiling going on. Its hard to describe and even harder to take a picture of but if you ever get to see one of his boards in person, check out the nose and tail. I've noticed there's just a lot of stuff going on with this board. Like there's a lot of little details like the nose, tail, concaves to belly, outline and rocker that when you put them all together it gets really complicated. You can tell all of these details have been refined over years and executed with purpose and perfection. Has a nice weight to it but not too heavy. The design and look of it says its a longboard propose built for smaller waves. I've surfed it up to head high and its done fine but its not an all arounder 1 board quiver type that you'd want to surf in overhead plus or powerful surf.

I've surfed 3 fins in it. A 10'' 4a, 10.5 Harmonic, and my 9.5 Fibreglass Hawaii fin from my JP SWT. Of all the fins the 9.5 Fibreglass Hawaii feels the best. There is a nice mix of speed and stability. 4a felt really good was faster, and similar to the 9.5. Harmonic fin was the fastest but it didn't retail the stability so I swapped it out. All fins pushed as far back as they can go.

Ride report: Going from my SWT. The first thing I noticed is the board is slower and not in a bad way. As soon as I started walking on it I could feel how much more stable it was. I had some great first few sessions on it and I found myself much more relaxed and easily walking around on it. It felt like walking around and noseriding instantly became 15% easier. My feet naturally found the nose when I was walking up instead of landing a few inches from it which would often happen on other boards. So over all a huge and almost instant improvement in my surfing and nose riding. It catches and glides into waves easily. Turns and carves well, and can direct from the middle of the board and nose very well. Lots of control. But it does come with out a couple draw backs....

I can't think of better way to say it but it is more difficult to surf compared to other longboards I've rode. I'm not a bad surfer, and I've found myself pearling on at least 10 or more take offs on this board. The sweet spot to paddle seems pretty small. The nose rocker is low but it doesn't feel like its not there and that I should be pearling this much. After the first couple times I would take steps to correct it but I'd often find myself swinging around late and ending up too far forward and pearling again. I really enjoy paddling in on a wave left towards the peak, then dropping in and swinging around and going right. Its a really fun bottom turn and can set you up better for the wave. Most of my other boards when I do this I can do like a carving kind of bottom turn. If I try to carve off the bottom for this kind of turn on the Wildcard I will dig rail and fall. Instead I have to do more of a pivot bottom turn. This isn't really anything wrong with the board, but its something that I tried to make happen a bunch and kept falling until I figured out how to do this take off how the board wanted.

Now even though this board can be difficult at times and I've had to change some things about how I surf it, this board has blown the doors wide open on what is possible for my surfing. With my SWT, and other boards I've surfed, I knew my limitations and my surfing wasn't really progressing too much past that. I could surf how I wanted when everything came together. Most of the time I'd feel rushed, a bit unstable, and I couldn't get the nose rides I knew the waves could provide. I think a lot of this could be that I ummmm out grew the 9'4'' SWT and at my current 200 lb stature should have been on a bigger board. With the Wildcard 1 it just make everything easier. It has a different feel and stability. It matches the speed of the wave better, it goes fast when it need to slow when you want it to. As you walk around on it your movements back and forth have more effect on your trim speed and that gives you more control of whats going on. The SWT felt like it wanted to go fast all the time and it would be skimming across the top of the water always searching out that speed and you'd have to rain it in. I can't fault the SWT for that, that is what it is meant to do and it excels in even the smallest surf. The Wilcard feels like it sits in the water more and it is much more stable and predictable. The Wildcard has made my surfing smoother, easier, and I can nose ride those sections that I was only dreaming about before and I stay in them longer. To get this much improvement in my surfing with a board change is everything I could have hoped for and I was worried I was going to buy this board and there would be no difference.

I have had the opportunity to A/B this in the water with a 9'6'' Harmonic 67 and the results were very interesting which I can go into later. Then a couple days ago a 10' Harmonic 67 came up for sale used and I was able to snag it for a good deal. I missed the custom order which is why a bought this off the rack. But if I was going to order a custom before surfing these it would have been a 9'10'' or 10' Harmonic so I was super excited to get it. I've only had one real session on it but all signs point to it being a great board. I'll do a Harmonic 67 review at some point when i surf it more.
shredsickgnar recommends this board