Gary Hanel 5'8'' Pill

This board rules
Length
5'8"

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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.
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