The Gudauskas brothers have been on the grind of the WQS for a few years now and have as good a handle as anybody on what boards to ride for what conditions. So, what will they be bringing down to wreak havoc with at this year’s U.S. Open? Here’s a little peek into how they’ve been fine tuning boards this year, and what sort of shred sleds they’ll be blowing up on this summer.
Weight: 162 lbs.
Shortboard dimensions: 6’1” x 18 3/8” 2 5/16”
WQS Rating at press time: 1
“For most of the waves out on the WQS I like having a bit more foam underneath me, with full, boxy rails and a really hard edge on the tail. It works good for extra speed through transitions. For good waves, I’ll ride thinner rails for slicing and dicing.”
Weight: 170 lbs.
Shortboard dimensions: 6’1” x 18 1/2” x 2 3/8”
WQS Rating at press time: 40
“Especially for California, I really like my rails to be full and soft, it’s nice and forgiving.
What have you guys been working on this year with your boards?
Pat: I’ve been focusing on getting good Flyers, which are great for groveling and doing the WQS, because a lot of the contests are in small waves. Specifically on those boards, we’re working on getting good hips on them, and tail concaves. It can make a big difference, between a board that feels skatey to one that’s fast and carvey. And those feel like a shortboard, even though I might only be riding a knee-high wave.
Tanner: I’ve been riding mostly Flyers as well. Although in this photo I was trying out a lot of different boards during a trip, you can see all the different tails in there. But for California, when it’s small and mushy, I love a little thicker board with a swallowtail. I like how those tails pivot, so that’s for sure one of the boards I’ll be bringing down to Huntington for the comp.
Pat, you’re currently in the top spot on the WQS. What’s your traveling set like, and did you change it at all going into this season?
I have my normal three-board traveling quiver for the WQS. The Flyer, which is what I’ve been riding a lot this year out there, because if the surf is slow the board goes super fast, which is rad. It’s turns like a shortboard, but as soon you pump it takes off. I’ll probably ride that at Huntington. I also travel with an MBM model, which is a 6’1” shortboard and works great. And then depending on how the surf is, I might also ride an M4 swallowtail. It’s loose, drivey, and fits in the pocket well. The other option would be the Proton, Dane Reynolds’ model.
Before, I was riding a lot of MBMs on the WQS and they work insane, but I’ve been riding them now more in good waves. When you look at the ’QS the thing that gets people through heats is speed and connecting maneuvers. So I’ve been focusing on going fast and riding boards that let you do airs, like the Flyer, because you also get scored bigger now for explosive maneuvers.
The retro trend is still alive, but many people are preferring to make small adjustments to their shortboards instead of going crazy with a 23” wide fish. The benefit of the shortboard tune-up is that, if done right, it’ll glide across flat sections like a fish, yet will turn much better.
On their Flyers, the bros will typically go two to three inches shorter than their normal shortboards, as well as 1/4” thicker. Those are good general adjustments for getting a small-wave shortboard, but talk with your shaper or a knowledgeable surf-shop employee about any other design differences they recommend, like bottom contour, rail shape, etc.