mctavish : streaks
and slugs, 1970
STREAKS AND SLUGS
by Bob McTavish
Surfing these days revolves around speed.
are designed to go extra fast, while still retaining excellent
with low rails do it by having a drawn streamlined plan shape
and pure flat planing area all the way to the rails.
when running flat up on a wall.
boards with round rails and wide tails don't necessarily put
you out of the picture. Their speed potential is locked in,
and you are the key.
They can be
banked higher, and if they are finned and foiled correctly,
they really take off while sitting up on their edge.
This is due to
the centrifugal force gained from the arc pressing you into
the board and greatly increasing the board's momentum.
So, if you
place your turns well, you can get your slug really flying. A
string of full bottom arcs, and your speed increases in every
turn. By this time, you're just flying over the water and your
board is just a ball of spray as you kiss off each turn.
And it feels so good!
You can really
feel surfing, feel the force and speed.
It's like a
jet plane - you don't know you're even moving at 500 mph
...unless you go into a bank!
The ways to
get more punch from the board are many.
board needs to be in tune.
The wider the
tail, the bigger the fin and the softer the rails, the more
fin you can use.
And tune the
flex in your fin if you're behind this kind of surfing.
A good glass
fin of 25 layers with 2-3 inches of spring in the top will
deliver maximum drive.
It must be
firmly anchored on, glassed on preferably, to deliver all the
Next, you pick
up the rhythm of a thrust turn.
Go into the
turn crouching some and expand in the turn, pressing your
whole weight into it while fully banked, and you'll take off.
Up on top
there's no need to pull the nose back down, as a wide board
will run along the face banked on the other rail.
carving all the way.
It'll also run
way out on the shoulder if you wish, and the wide tail will
not sink as you cut back out there for the roundhouse turn
back in on the curl.
cutback, also, the crouch and extend thing can be used to
expand, try throwing your arms up over your head for a little
It's a whole
rhythm that can be worked on if you've got a wide-tailed fin
It's sort of
like riding a skateboard on flat ground.
You push it
hard through turns, crouching and expanding, pumping it
riding a skateboard, you'll find yourself getting power from
the wave where it seems impossible, like right out wide on a
On either kind of board - the narrow streak or the wider,
rounder fin driver - backside turn seems to be more powerful.
I guess it's
because your heels can handle more weight than your toes.
that's worth a try in backside turns - lead your turn through
with your left arm.
I mean put it
through the turn ahead of you.
You can throw
it back, ease it around, or just point with it, what ever
suits you and the situation.
It puts the
power through your back foot, which makes the turn much more
It's a form of
rotation, I guess.
leaves you set up beautifully for a turn back or turn down off
the wall, or an explosion off under the lip, because all you
have to do is throw your left arm back the other way and
reverse all this stuff if you're a goofie.
Each kind of
board has its advantages - the streaks streak and sashay and
slice inside of big tubes, but they dud out completely in
roundhouse maneuvers and distant cutbacks, except maybe when
they're super streaking (which I guess ain't that rare).
on for those big Island tubes and walls; that's where they
The fin drivers seem to go extra fine in Australia's largely
broken conditions- a quick little tube
followed by a
gooshie part, followed by another tube, and in the majority of
are extra strong in short surf that allows cutbacks and also
in rough, lumpy conditions, so they suit many East Coast
surfers right to the core.
But they're so
slow in big drops that sometimes you don't make it along the
bottom under all that soup, unless you're Nat.
Someday soon someone is going to incorporate the features of
each in the one unit.
board needs to be flexible to provide the right curves at the
that's a wing.
And we'll all
be seagulls cruising. .. arcing. ..soaring. ..wheeling. ..
into a big bottom turn that strains every muscle and the whole
frame, and carve up into the flow again, pick up the thin
stream of power and play on it, all day in the sunshine.
Volume 11 Number 2 May 1970.
Annual End of the World Issue
Tips : Number Forty Five
by Bob McTavish .
photograph, image right:
Russell falls victim to spatial
this Pupukea pocket.
Other articles in
this issue include:
Big Mac and Power Dude for Morey-Pope, 1970.
A short Slug and a long
Fat Albert by Surfboard's
Australia, San Diego, March 1970.
similar template to McTavish's Big Mac.
Johnny Fain's Formula for
Noll, March 1970.
article, photographs of George surfing at night and from The
Innermost Limits of Pure Fun.
Unencumbered Flight: Knee-boards, Spoons & Paipos.
Adam: Merv Lason and his Wave ski, 6 pages
the Silent World: Jacques Cousteau: .,4pages
Greg Noll S/b
with Fain Formula 2?,Hansen S/b with Lopez, Hobie S/b with
Micky Munoz, Bing S/b Maui Foil.
(2007-2019) : Bob McTavish: Streaks and Slugs, 1970.