🍒 Cherry Picker 🍒
Ben Skinner is one of the world’s best performance longboarders, and a master shaper as well. But lately he has had to step outside of his comfort zone and focus more on traditional logging.
Over the past year, the Longboard World Tour (under the guidance of Devon Howard) transitioned away from performance surfing and more toward traditional surfing, emphasizing single fin logs, extended noserides, and powerful, traditional turns. Ben loves logging as much as the next guy, and is an excellent noserider, but over the years had specifically focused on performance longboarding because that’s what was required in world tour events. Now with the focus returning to traditional surfing, he started tinkering with a single fin log, which he ultimately took with him to New York for the world tour event last year.
After that event, Ben realized that this was the perfect time for him to really focus on developing a great traditional longboard—both for himself as a surfer and for his customers as a shaper. He took the board from New York and started refining it, going through three or four different versions before finally settling on the shape that would become the Cherry Picker.
We recently started stocking the Cherry Picker at Hawaiian South Shore, and it is pretty much impossible to keep the racks. The surfboards are going out the door as fast as we can order them, which is pretty cool, because they are very different and unique looking surfboards. As Ben says, they are almost futuristic and alien looking, even though they are traditional boards!
Ben’s goal was to create a board that had maximum lift on the nose for noseriding, but could still be turned from the tail. To do this, he went with a traditional wide flip-tail, which acts sort of like a spoiler on a car, causing down force on the tail and effectively causing the nose to lift when you are perched on it noseriding. This allows the board to slow down in the pocket, keeping you in the sweet spot for extended noserides.
The compromise here is that wide, flip tails are typically not super maneuverable. But Ben has addressed this by tweaking the concave on the deck of the surfboard and also using a unique approach to the rocker in the deck. Instead of focusing on concave up near the nose, as in many noseriders, the Cherry Picker runs rocker through the middle of the surfboard. This is due to the fact that the flip tail causes the nose to lift, so the part of the surfboard that needs concave to plane is the center of the board that is still in contact with the water during lift. He also put concave through the tail, back under the single fin, which is quite unique in a traditional longboard. This allows for roll in the rails without making the surfboard too thick, so that it is still maneuverable when surfed from the tail. Meanwhile, the roll in the rails caused by the deck rocker and the concave in the tail creates more suction and lift, further facilitating noseriding.
The result is a traditional longboard that noserides incredibly well, but does so without sacrificing the ability to do big, drawn-out turns off the tail. Ben then tweaked the board further by building it in Thunderbolt Silver, which adds refined flex that takes both noseriding and turning to yet another level!
While the Cherry Picker Surfboard might look quite a bit different than a lot of other traditional logs, it does exactly what it’s intended to do—walks that fine line between being able to noseride while still being maneuverable. We will be adding a demo Cherry Picker to our quiver here at Hawaiian South Shore, and are convinced that if you try it, you’ll send up finding that it works incredible! I’m excited to take one out for a spin, and look forward to getting your feedback as well!