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For the summer, I've been working with 9:Fish Surfboards to test out some boards within their line and bring the first ever surfboard reviews to Gear.com. The first 9:Fish board I got to try was the 6'2 Seared Ahi, 9:Fish's most popular, and arguably most versatile board. Before we get to the meat and potatoes of the Seared Ahi, lets chat a bit about my surfing abilities. I think it's important to disclose my own ability levels and previous riding experience before you read any further. I began surfing less than a year ago, when I spent a while surfing in Costa Rica. I was instantly addicted, and squeezed in another trip to the Northwest coast in October, despite being full time graduate student. Writing my thesis and studying in the car didn't matter, so long as I made it back to the waves! This whole time I was surfing on a 6'8 epoxy, super floaty, very beginner board. Since moving to the coast, I've been surfing every day for 2 months now, but I am definitely still a novice surfer. Now, enough about me. Lets talk fish. Specifically, Seared Ahi. First, here's the rundown of all the specs.
9:Fish Seared Ahi-Specs and Features
- 6 foot 2 inches long
- 3 inches thick, 22 inches wide, and 16 inches at nose and tail.
- Future fins
- Quad fin setup- put the big fins in back when you first get the board for added stability, then when you're comfortable, move them to the front fin boxes for a looser back end that turns more precisely.
- Available in a traditional glass model, and also epoxy.
- Cost= $529
9:Fish Seared Ahi- The Review
- The Ahi is friendlier to novice/intermediate surfers than other boards of similar height. With my minimal surfing background (see above), I was able to stand up, drop in, and cruise down the face of a wave within a week or so of getting onto the Seared Ahi. That's saying a lot about the "ease of wave catching" that 9:Fish strives for.
- Speedy Speedy- Despite being easy to pop up on, I immediately noticed a difference in board speed and responsiveness when compared to my old board. The old one felt like a slug compared to the Ahi! Definitely wasn't sacrificing manuverability for the ease of popping up, which was awesome. The Ahi is still responsive like a more advanced board, and keeps its speed going down the line.
- Paddling = a breeze on the Ahi- The wider profile (22'') makes it a bit more stable, and the minimal rocker allows you to glide over the water easily, instead of feeling like you're pushing through it.
- Performs in a variety of conditions- I loved it on the waist to shoulder high days, and my boyfriend (a much more experienced surfer than myself) rocked it on some overhead days and loved the manuverability and speed the Ahi gave him. He commented on how much easier it made it for him to surf his heel side, and how much fun it was!
- Take it everywhere- At 6'2, the Seared Ahi is a great "pack-it-around-from-one-foreign-country-bus-ride-to-the-next" board, and also fits in the back if your Tacoma or Sube with ease. Gotta love the portability
- Give it some "break in" time- It did take me a few days to get used to riding a fish, and riding a shorter board. Kinda like a break in period for a good pair of boots. You're not stoked for the 1st few days, and all you can think about is your last, more comfortable pair. However, when you get the new ones good and broken in, you're stoked when you see what they can do, and you'll never imagine going back.
Recently, I moved into a 1978 Toyota RV, and drove it out to the Oregon Coast to live out here for the summer. After years of being in school year round, I decided it was time to celebrate my graduation, and do nothing but play for several months. After I started surfing in Costa Rica last year, I decided I liked it so much that I wanted to spend my whole summer surfing out in Oregon. Though it's a whole different beast up in Oregon and Washington (wetsuits, booties and gloves as opposed to a bikini), I am stoked to spend the summer learning the coast and the waves. Since I knew that I would be spending a solid few months surfing, I figured that I had a really cool opportunity to do some great product testing for surfboards, a new realm for Gear.com. Though we've had articles featuring surfing product (like the GoPro Surf Hero Camera, or the Patagonia Rash Guard), we've yet to feature a full surfboard review. 9:Fish Surfboards For the summer, I'll be working with 9:Fish Surfboards, a company based out of southern California that specializes in making Fish surfboards (in fact, they make only fishes!), and bringing my thoughts on their boards to our readers. Keeps your eyes out for a detailed history of 9:Fish as a company in the next few weeks, and watch for my full reviews of boards later on this summer. Also, definitely check out the 9:Fish website to learn more about this great company. Today, I'm off to Portland today to pick up my first board, the 9:Fish Seared Ahi. Maybe I'll score some sushi while I'm there, just to get even more stoked on my Seared Ahi? See the entire 9:Fish lineup at www.9fishsurf.com Check out some of the Surfboards here on Gear.com...Read more...