We never like to brag but when one of the best surfers in the world gives his un-biased opinion (Julian isn’t committed to one shaper. He rides what he believes works best.) that a …Lost surfboard model is the best, we’ll take it. Check the story below from STABMAG.COM
THE 7 BEST SURFBOARD MODELS IN THE WORLD
According to Julian Wilson…
Pro surfers are brand ambassadors. They’re paid to spruik a particular product or service. Any feedback reads as some kinda press release.
Enter Julian Wilson. A free thinker. Rather than being encumbered by one shaper or brand, we figure he’s sacrificing $100k a year from a potential board sponsor to ride what he pleases. It makes sense. If you’re going for a world title, why wouldn’t you ride what you deem is the finest and most suitable board on the planet. Julian works most with three guys throughout the year (Mayhem, Channel Islands and JS), and these guys make up his must-have board model list. What this list represents is a complete lack of commercial bias toward what the best board models in the world are right now, from someone who has done plenty of sampling. Insider talk on tour is that Julian is a surfer without a weak point. That makes this list even more important. When it comes to performance and hardware, Julian is one of the more articulate surfers in the world.
“The last time I had a surfboard sponsor was Luke Short (LSD), four years ago,” says Julian. “The conversations with people trying to lock me down don’t really happen. I only really work with three guys throughout the year and I’m kinda at a point where they all respect each other and understand where I’m coming from. As long as they wanna make me the best boards that they can, then it’s always gonna work for me.”
You might’ve noticed last year that Julian, a lover of Mayhems, didn’t ride a Biolos shape at Lowers, the domain of Mayhem. Says Jules, “It was a big decision f’sure, but I think what happened this year was I gave Matt too much information on what I thought I needed to be riding, and ended up having this batch of boards that weren’t as good as what they have been, because I had too much input. Whereas past years, like the first year I was on tour and I made the semis at Lowers, he just made a board that he thought would work out there and obviously that worked really well.” (More on that at board number six).
“For me, these are definitely the seven best board models in the world. They’re the best board models I’ve found. It’s hard to rate them because they all have their own conditions. For me, looking ahead for the year, I know that between these models I’ll be on the best equipment at each location.”
Oh, and, just so you can get your head around this better, Julian weighs 80kg and stands 6’0″ tall.
7. Channel Islands Fred Rubble
6. The JS Lowdown
5. Channel Islands Proton
4. The …Lost Driver (Ridden 6’0″x 18.63″x 2.25)
The Driver is Julian’s spade of choice when he’s required to pull on a jersey but the waves aren’t so great. Jules rides the Driver a shade shorter than he would the F1-Stub. Mostly ’cause it’s a little flatter, and a little wider under the front foot, which makes it a real good butter knife: “It’s easier to get over dead sections and link mushy waves together on the Driver,” says Jules. “I’ve found they work really good backside, too.” Wait, different boards for different directions? Yowser! Jules then drops some knowledge on us that is so oh, contrary to that other jive about riding the Driver in bad waves: “The footage I put together from an Indo boat trip two years ago at Macaronis, that was a Driver (*yes, you remember that footage). It was four, five foot and clean, and the Driver was only just holding in off the bottom, but then you could get pretty fruity off the lip with it, as long as you could get to the lip. But I think any bigger than that and it wouldn’t have really worked. It was kinda just on the edge of skipping out on the bottom. When you lose that half inch, you have a little more control all over, more control when you throw the fins, you can just take charge of the board a bit more.”
3. The JS Forget Me Not
2. The JS Monsta
1. The …Lost F1-Stub (Ridden 6’0.5″x 18.63″x 2.30)
Here’s the creme. The money maker. The board that Jules has had more results on than any other. The board he’s ridden more of in the past three years than any other. “I loved it as soon as I first started riding it,” says Jules of the F1 Stub. The two Mayhem models that most pros order are the Driver and the F1 Stub, and while the Driver, as we’ve learned, is for less-than-perfect waves, the F1 Stub is the apple in Jules’ eye when it comes to good waves. And it’s also been Jules’ competitive bullet. “I rode an F1 Stub at Snapper last year, I rode it at Bells, I rode it at J-Bay the first year I was on tour and made the quarters. And Lowers the first year when I made the semis. I’ve accumulated more F1 Stubs than anything else over the last three years. It’s drivey but works well in the pocket. With the F1 Stub you wanna draw everything out a bit more ’cause the waves are really good and a bit more board doesn’t hurt when the waves are good. The Stub works really well in any waves that are clean and rippable. The good ones I’ve had, they just do whatever I want, which is the ultimate goal with a board: Feeling like you can put it wherever you want and being comfortable doing airs.”
Here’s a word from Matt Biolos on shaping for Jules:
“The board he started with was the F1-Stub. He got most his big results in his qualifying season on one. I have the board still. It was 6’1″x 18.56x 2.25. We continued to make The F1 Stub in similar forms over our relationship. I think most of them ended up around 6’0.5″ 18.63″ 2.30″.
“He used the F1 Stubs at places like WT event venues, Snapper, Lowers and powerful waves with walls. He rode an F1 Stub from the quarters, the semis and into the final of his maiden WT event win, in Portugal (2012). In the semis, he really put on a show. It broke after his first scoring wave in the final, then he grabbed a back-up JS off the beach, got his second score and won the event. He also won the Burleigh Breaka Pro on an F1 Stub.
“The Drivers, he tended to use in junky or shorter waves. Waves where he needed a bit more lift. The Drivers were usually 6’0 18.63x 2.25, with fuller rails than the F1s.
“He won the 2012 US Open on a 5’11x 18.63x 2.25 Driver. That one was a bit shorter, with a stubby nose. I have it as well. We haven’t been working as closely the last six to eight months, but he recently called and asked for more boards.
“He knows I am always here if he needs me.”