I’m in love with soft top surfboards. I started surfing them in the 90’s with an old, heavy waterlogged Doyle and spent most of my teens and early 20’s running a surf camp on INT soft tops (see below) and spending more time on the softies than hard boards.
Lately, I’ve been recovering from some surgeries and mostly surfing a Wavestorm up in San Francisco. It’s a surprisingly good Ocean Beach board. No joke. Paddles fast, you can hunt down waves and get in them super early.
Last month, I surfed with my cousin down at Pleasure Point. As we were suiting up, I noticed he had installed an obnoxiously pink single fin to his Wavestorm. I gave it a whirl in solid 6 to 10 foot Pleasure. I honestly couldn’t feel much of a difference because the waves were so good, but I was intrigued.
I looked around online and found “The Perfect Storm” single fin which promised to “Turbocharge your Foamie.” I ordered one off Amazon and about 2 days later (thanks Prime) a small cardboard box showed up at my doorstep.
Installation is super easy, and you can actually do it on the beach because all the tools, including a pink screwdriver are included. You basically punch an extra hole through the “deck pad” of the Wavestorm and screw it in. There are plugs for the two side fins so they don’t take on water.
My first real session was in 2 to 3′ playful and glassy Ocean Beach. As I was paddling out, I saw a little wedgey peak on offer so I swung and went. I faded the take off and did a quick shimmy to the front half of the board. I crouched low and the board stayed in the pocket for a good 4 seconds! It was an effortless trim. Usually, with a thruster set up, it’s a chore to set a really good line and hold it in the critical part of the wave.
I caught a couple more waves. My best one was a backside where I was fairly deep but it was a solid little chest high runner. I set a line, and again just stuck to the wave. I felt like I could really push off my bottom turns as well. I’ve surfed with the single fin for about 2 weeks now and really don’t think I will go back to the thruster set up.
The highlight of the whole experience was this week at Ocean Beach. It was a dreamy day. About head high with crossed up low tide barrels. I pull in one, in full trim and going fast. I pull out and no other than pro surfer Ace Buchan is “Yewing” as I pull out. Stoked.
Downsides? Honestly, the pinkness of the fin screams kook. But you don’t really paddle out on a Wavestorm trying to be serious anyway, so it sort of works. I could see it being a good gift for a younger Wavestormer who wants their board to stick out from the rest, even if they don’t have the skills to really notice the performance. Another downside is that the size of the fin makes it hard to ride the board all the way to shore without possibly breaking it off on the sand/reef/etc.
Purists will say these Chinese made boards have no soul. They are killing the industry. I get it. I’m not saying for everyone grab wavestorms, tell your local shaper to suck it and join the soft top revolution, but it is a nice addition to your quiver for when the waves are too small, too big or you just want to pack closeouts and not worry about shrapnel from a 6′ piece of fiber glass.
In conclusion, the Perfect Storm single fin is an insanely fun addition to an already fun board. Would recommend to anyone. See you out there.