Epic comparison mate! Thanks for taking the time, I have thought about a Howard mini for a long time and the insta footage of cj at San o demonstrates the contrast between the two boards. Sounds like an awesome combo.They’re quite different even allowing for the howard being 6’10 and the outlier 7’6
The Howard is still probably my favourite ever board to surf but it needs at least a shoulder high face and a bit of go in the wave. It’s got roll into quite a lot of panel vee so it’s not great at generating speed in a slack wave but it’s really smooth and drivey carve around on a wave that’s the right size. It’s pretty confidence inspiring and it’s top end is way above my wave comfort zone! I tend to surf mine on the bigger days here and it’s also been amazing at the wave pool - enough glide to go over flat spots but short enough to fit in the wave there. The pics attached are probably it’s smallest size that it works in and the wave is quite punchy there.
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The outlier has a very different feel. The Howard is very much an egg style thing and feels much more “performance” (in a very smooth way) if that makes sense.
The outlier has a lot more of a hull feel than I expected and is much more of a cruisey board. As others have said, you are very aware of the belly up front, it definately has that buttery slippy hull feel as it goes over on a wave ( the howard doesn’t have this) and it definitely rewards a full rail crouched bottom turn like a proper hull. It also definately has a forward trim spot that the board accelerates in a high line of a steep section like a hull does.
What’s great about it is that it turns much more like a single fin egg from the tail without the classic hull weirdness. You can engage the rail and wrap a proper cutback like a normal single fin egg and not the weird half cut back stall back into the pocket a true hull enforces.
Waves wise I’ve used it in smaller surf so far as I can only just duck dive it. Sure it will “go” in head high stuff as well but would need a tiny bit more nursing than the Howard.
So between waist and shoulder high plus so far. It’s not a board you pump for speed but it will cover a lot of ground and beat sections with a climbing and dropping flow - like a hull it will cover a lot of lateral ground on a drawn out bottom turn. It bogs a little in a flat section but generates its own speed as the wave steepens. It works great in lined up waves because of that but it’s good in junky peaky surf too as it will race through steep spots as they form ahead of you in the mush and it’s easy to cut back to the pocket.
Second session on it was super onshore two foot junk and I was linking waves right through well enough that someone asked me if it had a propellor underneath!
I really like the outlier. Reckon it will be fun at the pool when it reopens. it’s definitely a different design ranch to the howard
So, maybe you can help me justify adding a Howard mini and outlier to my quiver in addition to my 7"6 liddle! They seem quite refined, I wonder how a longer Howard mini would go for example 7"8-10.
Fortunately north Coast surfboards who make the takayamas here in Australia is not too far from me...... which makes me wonder how a vouch evo compares to an outlier.