This board is weird. I would go as far as to call it ugly. But that’s just my opinion.
The Meyerhoffer Slip In certainly is interesting, no debate about that. But is it actually functional, or just something crazy to look at, like a concept car?
You can see it being surfed by some of the top pros here:
Thomas Meyerhoffer designed this board, and he has quite the background. 25 years of surfing, and 7 years of boardmaking (with lots of uncommon shapes). He has designed for Coca Cola, and worked with Steve Jobs back when the iPhone was being created.
If you know anything about shapers, you know that they don’t make a whole lot of money. They do it because they love their job. Just think of how much more money Meyerhoffer could be making, working for Apple or Coke. But instead he’s coming up with creative designs in the shaping bay. Pretty rad.
Single fin surfboards are often praised for their ability to hold speed in a straight line, often referenced as gliding or trimming. Because while the leading two fins in a thruster create speed when you pump the board, the toe angle on those leading two fins slows the board down as it moves in a straight line.
Additionally, even though quads generate excellent speed when pumped and gyrated, each additional fin that you add to the bottom of your surfboard creates a new location of drag, commonly thought to slow down straight line speed. Single fins are fast because there’s only one fin to create drag on the bottom of the board.
Much of the reason we’re not surfing single fins today is because when you take a single fin off of its straight line speed and try to turn it, you don’t feel the projection through the turn like you would when surfing a thruster.
Here’s another video of the Slip In. Is it just me, or are his turns a bit lackluster?
The most important thing in any single fin setup is where you place the fin in the box. The farther back you place your fin, the more stable your board will feel. A good rule is to start off with your fin in the center of the box, and then move it 1/4″ to 1/2″ increments. Moving it forward will give you more pivot, moving it back will give you more stability.
The tail of the Slip In is what we call a negative cut. The farther back you place your rear foot, the easier the board becomes to pivot and stall. This contrast of two very different planing surfaces means that you can really move around on the board to change the performance.
You can bet it paddles pretty easy, although you may feel a sinking sensation towards your feet because of the extremely narrow tail. So catching waves will feel different, because your board will be floating more horizontal, instead of pointing down the face of the wave.
The Slip In has a lot of V in the bottom of the tail, which is strange because you’ll usually find that much V in really wide boards.
You’ll probably find that this board feels faster in a straight line than your thruster does. It’s probably most fun in clean, lined up waves, that offer a clear path to a far distant shoulder.