Bummed on Vaquero


Active Member
Oct 15, 2020
San Francisco
I'm going to preface this by saying I may get some hate mail from this, but know this comes from a sincere place.

So I've been riding my 7'9 Vaquero for about a year, previously a 9'0 edge vaq for another year prior. In a way its been my favorite board - my do it all, when in doubt bring that board. But lately I have to say I've gotten tired and annoyed by it. My buddy recently picked up a 7'6 Blackbird Hawkeye 2+1 and I've been trading off just to see how it goes on the same waves (both smaller and bigger faces) same conditions and it made me get annoyed at the Vaq.

Here are my gripes - in comparison the Hawkeye feels like it paddles easier (who cares - they both paddle easy enough) when its up on the wave the Hawkeye felt both looser, more stable and more so in control. Pushing off the bottom turn felt easy in comparison. Backside - was actually fun and felt way more in control then I ever felt on the Vaq. I am in the process of messing with the fin some - I know the master swears by his A-Flex but started trying the PhD and it does feel a good amount more drivey. But man dialing the fin position is an art in its own right. I think I'm planning to put it on the rack and let it sit for a couple of weeks - maybe the magic will come back.

Just curious if others had similar feelings or any insight to bring the magic back into it.


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Well-Known Member
Jul 28, 2020
Laguna beach
I also was feeling a bit bored of my vaquero resently. Id try a wide base L flex. The a flex for me feels really floppy compared to a volan l flex. Narrow base 9.5 l Flex feels money in my 10ft Vaquero edge, however narrow base fins are recommended for edge boards.

Bummer Dude

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2019
Oak View
I felt the same regarding vbowls and had a 2+1 speed eggy shaped made for me and got what I was missing. Then I missed the glidey-twangy single-fin feeling, thankfully lucked into a liddle to fill that hole (hull). Also added a quad longfish into the mix earlier for yet another feel. :p

There's a reason there are 2+1s.


Well-Known Member
Dec 25, 2005
United Kingdom
There's a reason there are 2+1s.

The vaquero, for all its lauded range and user friendliness, is a hull and therefore surfs in a fairly one dimensional way. It goes/ feels fast down the line, it climbs and drops smoothly.

Because it’s a user friendly hull, you can surf it backside and you can cut back on it. Fantastically well compared to other hulls but compared to an egg with 2+1 and a less rolled / concave bottom and some edge in the rail, you are still nursing those turns a bit. You guide it rather than manhandle it, you can’t push against it very hard.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a fun feeling but it’s still a one dimensional hull. That hull bottom also makes it feel like it paddles badly.

The board you borrowed has unlocked different lines and allows for more variation in the lines and feel you get.

Variety is the spice of life / a change is as good as a rest etc.....

FWIW I’ve had spence hulls and a vaquero recently but I’ve moved them on for this very reason. As fun as the feels are, I’m still young enough ( just ) to want to develop my turns and cutbacks and push a bit rather than nurse.

I do have an outlier which I really rate. It’s kind of a detuned vaquero, same template, same bottom but much mellower so it still has a lot of that hull feel but mixed with a more normal single fin egg capability so you can drive it through turns like Tudor (in my head anyway)