The Perfect Wavestorm
“Wavestorm!” Some young executive exclaimed with passion after days of mulling over what to call their plastic and foam surf contraption. “People will hear that name; they’ll see the graphic on the shrink wrap and INSTANTLY know this is not a mere toy.”
It’s funny that after nearly five years on the market, Wavestorms have reached an odd level of ubiquity. Much maligned until very recently because it immediately pegged you as a beginner – a kook, a barney.
“Beat it, BARNO!”
They’re widely recognized no matter what your take is, and now with Jamie O’Brien charging Wavestorms at Pipe, they’re almost, dare I say, hip. We first started noticing them being surfed by beginners at Tola and Cowells. Then my spectrum was broadened when I saw some local chargers like Luke Silberman, Tyler Port-Gaarn and crew hurling themselves in double-up death pits at 26 on a high tide. Damn, it looked fun. Craig Waltz, not a Wavestorm rider but a true pioneer of Doyle charging, routinely remarks at how freakin’ fun it is to grab a rail, point the nose and wait for the lip to encapsulate you. Then, beatings. Repeat.
There’s a little underground ‘Doyle’ movement going on right now – I almost feel ashamed making note of it fearing the scorn of those who are making it happen, but hey, I’m there too. I’ve seen older guys making late drops at sewers on an overhead day. I’ve seen younger hipster types skimming a finless WS on a sandy wedge in a secret location. Hell, one guy was KILLING it on a Wavestorm at 38th sandbar on a real big day – floaters and cutbacks and barrels, OH MY! But then you see scores of beginners who are just paddling out over the seagrass, sandstone, or sandbars for the first few times.
It’s an interesting moment in Surfing evolution. Retro fish’s to hybrid single fins, rhinochasers being ridden on an 8 foot day…and then you have a foam board – a Doyle – a Wavestorm as the most widely used model out in the water right now. The price point is too low for people to say no. And why the hell not? Just as long as you’re buying boards made by local shapers and supporting the market, what’s an extra $100 to blast out the random shore break days. The key word there is “extra” and not “instead.” Wavestorms do not lend themselves to stylized turns and progressive surfing.
The Wavestorm begs for a good pig-dogging. So if you’re a beginner, no one’s mad at that, because it’s supposed to be that way. And if you like to drop into silly overhead closeout bombs at the harbor beach whilst pig-dogging on a Costco special…no one’s mad at that. If you’re trunking it at the beaches on a small summer day and you’re just leaning into a few, ain’t no one mad at that either.
And if you ARE mad at that, well, you’re WAY “cooler” than I am.