OCEAN RODEO SURF SERIES 5’7 2015 TEST REVIEW
Ocean Rodeo have been producing pointy nosed surfboards for kiters for a few years now, their funboard the Duke is on its way, but for now, their straight-ahead performance shortboard Surf Series forms the dedicated waveriding tool part of their collection. Currently available at a ridiculous price in the EU, we tested it over a few chunky mid-winter sessions. TESTED RW
The template of the Surf Series speaks volumes (pun not intended) about the style of riding it is suited to. It’s basically a high performance shortboard shape that requires either the kite, wave, or rider to generate speed; you won’t find any of the bulbous lines and excess foam of current shapes here. The build is quite light, not as reinforced as some strapless trick boards, but beautifully finished with the bamboo veneer shining out at you beneath the deep gloss varnish. There are five fin boxes for thrusters or quad set ups and the EVA deck pad is only where you need it – we’d suggest waxing up towards the nose a tad.
As predicted, the little 5’7 Surf Series loves to be ridden on a decent wave. Sure it’s super smooth slicing through chop on the way out but it demands to be thrown into powerful hacks off the lip of critical waves. It can handle incredibly late re-entries and there were times when we were sure we’d stuff the nose in a sucky monster but it always rides out. The Surf Series is easy to control at high speeds, it doesn’t want to bounce you off and it sticks under foot during huge floaters and airs off the lip. It is happily brought to heel too when you want to stall for a rare barrel. This ability to harness great power from the wind and waves turns the 5’7 into a trustworthy rhino chaser when surf gets overhead. Where it doesn’t excel is in marginal wind conditions – it comes off the bottom OK but gets bogged down in top turns and generally behaves like a hungover version of itself. Flat water freestylers too should wait for the Duke, the 5’7 is too narrow a template to be an effective air-trickster machine.
You’ll know if you need a classic surfboard – they’re still the best shape there is for when things turn on – and the Surf Series is definitely that. If you want to learn to gbye, or huck flatwater strapless freestyle, the 5’7 Surf Series is probably not going to be your new best friend. But this is a surfboard, for ripping apart waves that would give you a good slap if you get it wrong. It’s also £350 and so probably a very sensible addition to the quiver of any rider that’s looking to step it up.