Smooth Operator

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  smitty 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #50455

    Anybody into mid-lengths? I haven’t been for the most part but some of them intrigue me. How about the “Smooth Operator”?

    #50459

    BarryCuda
    Grom

    Interesting–that Smooth Operator is just like my G&S Magic. Shapers are now returning to mid-length boards making it sound as if it was “their idea”. hahaha…nope–it wasn’t. I have been surfing 3 boards just like that for the last 20 years. Seems to be a nice board. I might even get one…..

    #50461

    Interesting–that Smooth Operator is just like my G&S Magic. Shapers are now returning to mid-length boards making it sound as if it was “their idea”. hahaha…nope–it wasn’t. I have been surfing 3 boards just like that for the last 20 years. Seems to be a nice board. I might even get one…..

    I thought you may like this one. I wasn’t sure how similar it was to your other boards but it looks fun and it’s a nice shape. I won’t be getting one right now but I may consider one in the future, or something similar.

    #50466

    Ive actually gone short and wider. Loving high volume short boards

    #50467

    Ive actually gone short and wider. Loving high volume short boards

    Yeah I like those too, I want a lot of different boards.

    #50468

    LBCrew
    Grom

    Not into midlengths, but I see their value. If I was gonna build one… and I’ve thought a lot about it recently… It would be super thin and flexy, but super springy. In other words, I’d want to thin it out to keep it from being over-volumed, and I’d want it to flex in the pocket and through hard turns at speed. But I want it to spring back quickly. I have some ideas on how to make that happen, using a composite sandwich of eps, sheet pvc foam, and a flat, horizontal stringer instead of traditional vertical stringer… either wood or just an engineered strip of carbon fiber. Definitely single concave bottom with some vee out the back.

    • Last modifed 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    #50471

    Not into midlengths, but I see their value. If I was gonna build one… and I’ve thought a lot about it recently… It would be super thin and flexy, but super springy. In other words, I’d want to thin it out to keep it from being over-volumed, and I’d want it to flex in the pocket and through hard turns at speed. But I want it to spring back quickly. I have some ideas on how to make that happen, using a composite sandwich of eps, sheet pvc foam, and a flat, horizontal stringer instead of traditional vertical stringer… either wood or just an engineered strip of carbon fiber. Definitely single concave bottom with some vee out the back.

    I would ride that board if you built it! Sounds dreamy.

    • Last modifed 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    #50473

    Yankee
    Grom

    I like that Biolos makes several mentions regarding paddling speed of the board. Because what good is a board if it’s hindering you catching waves. I have zero credentials with board building, and some of you guys are obviously very skilled at it, know your shiite, et. al.

    I’ve been on a few ‘name brand’ boarts that were boggy. The boarts weren’t waterlogged. They just didn’t move very fast when power paddling for waves. Frustrating to say the least. Surprising, too.

    So, yah, encouraging to see Biolos emphasize the planing ability of the Smoove Operator. Thx for posting that vid, DP

    • Last modifed 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    #50480

    BassMon
    Grom

    Not into midlengths, but I see their value. If I was gonna build one… and I’ve thought a lot about it recently… It would be super thin and flexy, but super springy. In other words, I’d want to thin it out to keep it from being over-volumed, and I’d want it to flex in the pocket and through hard turns at speed. But I want it to spring back quickly. I have some ideas on how to make that happen, using a composite sandwich of eps, sheet pvc foam, and a flat, horizontal stringer instead of traditional vertical stringer… either wood or just an engineered strip of carbon fiber. Definitely single concave bottom with some vee out the back.

     

    I had a board very similar to what you describe. Maybe not as springy as you mention but it was THIIIIIN. For a 7’8 it was damn low in volume. Thing was sick. I gave it to a buddy (I’ll get to that) and he loves it. It was fun in small stuff but on any long period swell it was hands down the most “ergonomic” board. If that makes sense. Fast, responsive, although low volume for a 7’8…. its still a 7’8 so paddling was a dream come true.

     

    As great as the board is, i had to give it away. Mid lengths just don’t jive with me. It’s like a red headed step child. Awkward if you will. Not long enough to get into that LB vibe. Well i guess you can. But at that point just ride a LB. Not short enough to get that SB feel. Literally just stuck somewhere in the middle (duh), and i always felt if i want responsive and maneuvers just go full SB. If i want more glide and cross stepping and all that go full LB.

     

    Sucks because they are sweet. And logically make perfect sense. Really thinking about making a mid length that’s not really a mid length. Get the benefits of a mid length but have it shorter so i don’t feel so strange on it. My longest SB is a 6’6 so I’m thinking that size. Maybe 6’4. At 145 that should have plenty of volume ti get the benefits. Don’t know. Im rambling at this point. My bad.

    #50500

    Ride report for the Smooth Operator.

    #50503

    oipaul
    Grom

    I happen to like midlengths, the smooth operator looks intriguing. One of the most versatile boards I have owned was a 7’0″ funshape. I like them when conditions are suspect and your not sure if a short or longboard is going to do what you want. They can plane through flat sections better than a shorty, get you into waves earlier and back in the lineup faster than a shorty and perform better than a longboard usually. I especially like them when lots of paddling is involved. You pay for that with loss of duckdiving ability and some performance aspects.

    #50519

    kidrock
    Grom

    They’re called “funshapes” for a reason.

    Skip Frye still is the master of the funshape, which is the progenitor of the G&S Magic.

    Interesting to see what multiple fins can do for these particular shapes. I bet a single fin with some side bite fins could add a little spice.

    #50524

    BarryCuda
    Grom

    Ive actually gone short and wider. Loving high volume short boards

     

    They are so yesterday. Mid-lengths are on the come-back. Sales of shortboards have hit a wall, so shapers have to eat, so back to what I have been using last gazillion years. Around my neck of the woods/ocean, they are perfect for waves here. Shortboarders just sit in water–we call them “floaters”……or shark bait….

    #50525

    BarryCuda
    Grom

    They’re called “funshapes” for a reason. Skip Frye still is the master of the funshape, which is the progenitor of the G&S Magic. Interesting to see what multiple fins can do for these particular shapes. I bet a single fin with some side bite fins could add a little spice.

     

    The G&S Magic has been, is, and probably will be, my all time favorite board. Rides like a shortie, catches waves very easily, easy to transport , and is a babe magnet (cannot forget that!!) Speaking of which….where is fl.surfdog?? In absentia??

     

    BTW, as an edit, my Magic G&S has a 2+1 fin set up, which I requested for this custom made board (made by Chris Darby). I have owned this board now for 15 years. I use the side fins and a 6″ center fin–works fantastic. Large fin is not advisable for my board– 7’8″. Great in large surf here in New England. I will order one more board in my life–may be another Magic. I like the Smooth Operator but I do NOT trust Bielos as a shaper–I have seen many of his boards and the glass job is often horribly done, and very weak. I am fussy about the glass job!!

    • Last modifed 2 months, 3 weeks ago
    #50643

    They’re called “funshapes” for a reason. Skip Frye still is the master of the funshape, which is the progenitor of the G&S Magic. Interesting to see what multiple fins can do for these particular shapes. I bet a single fin with some side bite fins could add a little spice.

    The G&S Magic has been, is, and probably will be, my all time favorite board. Rides like a shortie, catches waves very easily, easy to transport , and is a babe magnet (cannot forget that!!) Speaking of which….where is fl.surfdog?? In absentia?? BTW, as an edit, my Magic G&S has a 2+1 fin set up, which I requested for this custom made board (made by Chris Darby). I have owned this board now for 15 years. I use the side fins and a 6″ center fin–works fantastic. Large fin is not advisable for my board– 7’8″. Great in large surf here in New England. I will order one more board in my life–may be another Magic. I like the Smooth Operator but I do NOT trust Bielos as a shaper–I have seen many of his boards and the glass job is often horribly done, and very weak. I am fussy about the glass job!!I think you can request a ticker glass schedule if the glassing is your concern. My understanding is they go with a light glassing on their mass produced boards but if you make a special request for a ticker glass schedule they’ll do it. At least that’s what I have heard.

    #50665

    BassMon
    Grom

    I was going to suggest the same thing about the ticker glass schedule. Although i will say things aren’t like they were in days past. I bought a stock lost board. Only big name brand board i ever bought, for the same reason Barry mentioned. Im not a pro and thought the glass jobs were weak. Needs to be ticker. But this thing is holding up really well. It’s only a year old but no dings or dents yet. Granted i havnt been surfing a ton and i switch up what i ride. So it’s not like it’s been through the ringer.

    #50666

    I was going to suggest the same thing about the ticker glass schedule. Although i will say things aren’t like they were in days past. I bought a stock lost board. Only big name brand board i ever bought, for the same reason Barry mentioned. Im not a pro and thought the glass jobs were weak. Needs to be ticker. But this thing is holding up really well. It’s only a year old but no dings or dents yet. Granted i havnt been surfing a ton and i switch up what i ride. So it’s not like it’s been through the ringer.

    Only concern is making the board too stiff.

    #50669

    Chavez
    Grom

    I’ve almost been riding mid-lengths exclusively since Summer. I’m not sure why. Age maybe? I rode a 6’8 WRV even during the run of swell we had the past two months. Like Oipaul said, you give up some performance (speed mainly) but I’m still able to duck dive it pretty seamlessly. I’ve developed some arthritis in my shoulders and wrists so the extra “umphf” it give me paddling helps. I haven’t really been in conditions where I felt under-gunned or felt that it was too much board.

    I’m now in full on hunting mode (turkey and archery deer seasons in PA) so I won’t be getting much water time until the holidays so I may start switching around again as the rubber starts to increase. We’ll see….

    #50672

    Here’s a question for the shapers. Are all mid-lengths fun shapes? And are all fun shapes mid-lengths? Are they different things sometimes?

    #50675

    LBCrew
    Grom

    All funshapes are midlengths, but not all midlengths are funshapes.

    A good example is what used to be called the “Hybrid” design… basically a high performance midlength, with modern bottom contours, rails and rocker. That’s what the Smooth Operator seems like to me. A funshape is usually a simple design… maybe flat to vee bottom… relaxed rocker… generally wider, especially in the nose… and usually higher volume all around.

    Then there are eggs, or double enders, that refers to the outline, but not so much other aspects of the design, although many have some kind of displacement feature. Then they start to become “hull” designs. All of the above tend to be in the midlength range, but not funshapes.

    Regarding stiffness… you can start to experiment with stringers to loosen things up… different materials, like carbon fiber, fiberglass, HD foam, etc. Other design elements can make a flexier board too… like flat decks and bottoms, thinner foils in the nose and tail, and pinched vs. full rails. Channels and concaves stiffen the design, as do domed decks.

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