Edge of a Blade

Skegg

Well-Known Member
Oct 7, 2021
238
422
Maine
I'm deeply interested in edge boards and have read just about everything I can find about them, I own both On the Edge of a Dream and The Gift, and have searched this forum thoroughly. Yet, I still find myself searching for more information. Not information about the concepts that make edge boards work, but information about peoples' real life ride experiences (it's already obvious that some here love them).

I expect others feel the same. So, I'm hoping this thread can serve as a central location for just that. Tell us: What do you like about edge boards? What do you not? How have your experiences compared between edge and non-edge versions of a board? Have you had them tweaked in ways that felt especially successful? Also, if anyone has experience with the power blades and power glides, I'd love to hear honest opinions. True Ames' website isn't particularly helpful, especially when it comes to how these fins should be sized.

For my two cents I'd offer the following. I recently spoke to a shaper (not Andreini) who has made a lot of edge boards and shared some dissatisfaction with the design when it comes to turning: "the board has to transition from elevated plane to rail, and when it does there is a moment where the fin releases and has to re-flex in order to transition." The shaper noted that this makes the boards difficult to turn in one continuous, fluid, motion. From my limited experience riding a friend's 8'4" Edge McVee, I know this feeling. The board has moments that feel like absolute magic, banking off the bottom into the highline is so fun, but I do feel a hitch when making more aggressive redirections. Often, I am left nursing a turn or pushing through so hard that I over steer. I've assumed this will be overcome with more time on the board, but I wonder if others have had similar experiences. Perhaps there are fin or design adjustments that assist? Watching Ellis Ericson surf them, I don't see the hitch, but he's a different caliber of surfer.

This doesn't get in the way of my fun, I do really really enjoy the board, and it is in-fact like nothing I've ever ridden. It feels like it gets up and planes more immediately than other boards. A major factor to my curiosity is that I'm prepping for an Andreini order and I'm full of indecision about what to get. Would love to hear others' edge board stories.
 

KlausTheKook

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
122
163
Encinitas
I have the same questions! I've been dying to get my hands on one but I'm hesitant to take the monetary plunge without knowing how they actually surf. Take a Vaquero for example, I love my 6'10, how would adding an edge to that make it more magical than it already is??

My friend picked up an Ericson from Thalia a couple months back but we haven't been able to time a surf for my to test it out.

Im also interested if anyone has tried one of Ellis' edge hull boards, Thalia still has one in stock but at over $2,500 it seems a little ridiculous.
 

eggrider

Active Member
Feb 25, 2020
158
226
Bay Area
I too have an upcoming Andreini order. Pretty convinced by members here to get an edge. Now just mulling over the length: 7'6, 7'8, or 7'10 to be safe?
 

HMRKS

Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2021
307
528
SouthBay
Just picked up a pintail 7'0 mandala edge this past week and got to surf it in softish shoulder hi sano. Frontside didn't exhibit any hitchiness from drop, bottom turn and redirect back to pocket. It felt really really solid, to my surprise, after reading accounts on here. Backside felt slippy, but once planted just flew down the line. But that felt like a fin placement issue. The tail of my board is narrow though, there's not much material to get in the way of interrupting transitional changes... Will comment more after wave count increases.
 

nineohtoo

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2021
227
646
Pacifica, CA
^One thing to note, I believe Manny and Bob Leonelli do their edges a bit differently than Marc and Ellis. Never ridden Manny's and have only seen them in person, but have rode a 6'4" MP style Leonelli with an A-Flex IIRC, and had a lot of fun on it in soft chest high waves. I don't feel like the quirks described above are as drastic as with the Marc's edge (which I never experienced, but the one I rode was short enough to overpower)

I've had some comments about a shorter Andreini MP in other threads that I'll copy/paste here. My assumption is that my issues were less to do with the edges and more to to the overall foil and foam distribution of the board. Although another local today, who is about the same size as me, told me that his 5'10" Mandala Stubby in microlight also doesn't like steeper takeoffs and wants a wave it can ease into before it jacks up.

Andreini MP Edge - 5'8" x 20 1/2" x 2 5/8" Really interesting board. I've had some amazing rides on it as well as some frustrating ones. If waves are fast or I can keep it on rail, I seem to have a good time and can actually get thruster like projection out of turns. But if waves aren't fast or flatter the board won't let me generate my own speed and I look like an idiot trying to pump and tic tac my way down the line. The wide and buoyant front also make it kinda tricky for late takeoffs and constant duck diving. I'd probably ask for a slightly longer one that is more foiled out on both ends (or pray that Marc changes his mind and lets me get a flextail).

...

For more feedback and context as to why I sold it to @MeatHeadDeath: I grew up riding thrusters, and didn't get on a single fin until 2020, Griffin Stepanek shaped me his take on an MP style board which reminded me of Josh Keogh's Liberator. I liked it a lot, and I ended up preferring it in better/bigger waves than the small ones I originally intended to ride it in. So I thought it would be cool to ask Marc for something similar since I would see Japanese blog photos of very short Bullets, Leenoughs and MPs, and this outline looked the most rippable of his offerings.

First session out in very punchy shoulder high or so conditions and I had no trouble getting into those waves and felt a lot of speed going down the line and a lot of projection out of turns. I still needed to turn the board like a single fin, no mid face nonsense, but the drive out of turns was pretty wild. After riding it in steeper conditions, I found that the wide nose just floated too much and didn't cooperate when I wanted to stick late drops. And when riding it in smaller or softer conditions, I couldn't pump it to generate speed, I could really only go as fast as the wave would allow.

Ultimately, the board felt like it was better for someone who typically enjoys riding hulls but wants to mix it up with something shorter, as opposed to someone like me who normally rides shortboards but occasionally likes to ride a hull.
 

MeatHeadDeath

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2021
598
1,567
SF Bay Area
Here is my contribution.

Tough to figure out how to turn at first, sensitive to sloppy feet work near the rails, and near impossible to duck dive anything over 6’10” …. but then they also go bananas.

My edge does plane really quick, paddles and surf shorter than the board is, and it goes real real fast. Often, I regret not having it in the car when I go to the beach.

 

Adamclimbs

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2017
182
464
Santa Cruz
There are several threads on the subject but here are my two cents given the questions above.

I have three Andreini edge boards and ridden a bunch of others plus had plenty of comparisons to the non-edge versions. Marc has refined the edge bottom quite a bit since he started making them. The earlier ones seem to have foam distribution that was problematic. The new ones are highly refined and masterfully created.

I find the main advantages to be more speed, extra hold on the wave face and a significant advantage over the convex bottoms when the surface texture or bumps are less than ideal. I feel like the edge bottom is almost like riding a good full suspension bike on a bumpy trail. It cuts through the chop. I've noticed this a lot after going back to the hull bottoms. When it gets bumpy or choppy the edge cuts right through where I often get knocked off on the hull. I feel like a super hero on these boards.

As for the speed aspect, the boards plane up much earlier than a hull and seem to make the speed for you and maintain it no matter where you are on the wave. The hulls demand that you position them in the best part of the wave to make speed. When the juice comes on the edge bottom seems to have big advantage. There’s a whole extra gear. At first I wasn't ready for all the speed right out of the gates.

The edge versions tend feel like you are floating/flying over the wave while the hulls ride deeper in the wave and feel more connected to the energy of the wave. Marc prefers the hulls when it's clean. I would agree.

As for turning. I have not had any problems making turns and going rail to rail on the boards that are customs for my weight and the waves I ride. The boards made for heavier folks I have a harder time making proper rail turns. But in general I have not had problems making nice fluid long turns or quick slidey turns at all. That said the characteristics of the tail make a huge difference. Narrower vaquero or serena style make fluid turns while the wider round or squarish tails make more twitchy slider turns.

As for the fins.... I really like the feelings of both the GG high Speed and the power blade fins. With the 7’10” that I've been riding for a year, which has a wider tail than a vaquero, I initially only rode the powerblade and Powerglide fins. I absolutely love how they feel. Twitchy, frenetic and easy to make speed with. So much energy and a frictionless feeling and they turn so well. The harder you push the more they flex and turn with a rudder like feeling. They also seem to flex and allow different approaches to how I ride a wave. A bit more vertical of an approach. But then I lost the powerglide 45 (finjak fail) and having been using the high speed for 3 or 4 months. I might like that fin even more... Marc told me I would and I've learned to not question what marc says... in the end I come back and he was right from the beginning. This fin feels more grounded and allows more of a rail turn in comparison to the more slidey turns with the PG/PBs. It feels more traditional and seems to have a bit more friction (foil is twice as thick) which seems to rotate the board forward a bit earlier and changes the balance of the board. Seems to have more lift with that fin and opens up more flow for me and a trimming-based approach. I really like both fins a lot. When winter comes around I'm curious how the high speed rides. On my 9’6” streaker it's all about the high-speed fin. PB/PG is garbage in that board.

Thats all I've got for now. Good luck on your journey. Trust Marc, as he really knows his stuff. The edge bottom is a total drug. It took a whole year to come down off that mountain. I was so fucking high up and scared id eventually fall off. But I'm doing okay now.
 
Last edited:
Sep 6, 2016
69
95
One word -> fast. 7-6 Vaquero edge. Paddles same as most of my other mid lengths excepting a semi gun. Easy paddlers. The fin makes a huge diff. Came with the power blade Marc recommended. 'SQuirts' out of the bottom turn is a bit disconcerting at first, be ready for that. Listen to Marc on where position fin, huge difference. The fin adds to the speed post bottom turn, you can feel the flex and speed on smaller adjustments down the line. Board running on a smaller surface along with fin antics, for me is more receptive (susceptible??) to body movements. Good and bad. I am not a vertical surfer, this board meets my style...trimming and speed and flowing with wave. Did i say fast? Its insane. A board I'll never sell. I surf beach break, sometimes shallow, it maybe is not the most ideal board for that though.

Tried a couple non blade fins, never felt the same magic. Never gave more than a single session always back to blade, and being beachy break could have been reason, a point or longer walled up rockier bottom maybe different view on volan flex fin tries.

Also own a Spence Sam (spoon) hull in 9-4. this board is also fast. Not sure can comparo a 7-6 to 9-4 though. For me this board does not accelerate like the Vaq edge, rail engage in the wave face is where shines. The PG red fin also flexes like mad not the extent of the blade...

The 9-4 is a trickier ride, especially beach break or faster steeper waves, nor is it a shin high nose rider. Not for beginners. The Vaq is forgiving, quirky on initial turn with that fin flex, but much less if really any learning curve vs Sam 9-4 hull.

I feel both rides sort of make you surf a certain 'way' with the wave, I can see how some would not jibe with a Sam longboard. I cannot see how anyone would not jibe with a Vaq edge middy!

I love both. I have to think about position and angle on the Sam 9-4, and never think about that on the Vaq. Then again, almost 2 foot diff in length. I look forward to a mid length hull some days, but think it will overlap with other rides and not be the best beach break stick.
 

Nilus

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2008
511
1,123
I recently grabbed this ten footer from my neighbor's yard for $50. Mainly just for the fin. Thinking I'll put the board up for sale separately. Gonna get one or two from marc when my number comes up as well.
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