Dan Mann’s Baked Potato was one of the top-selling Firewire surfboards over the past decade and has become a classic addition to the quiver for anyone who wants to grovel with confidence. Now he has released the Twice Baked, which is an updated version of the Baked Potato. Recently, Dan chatted a bit about the difference between the Twice Baked and the Baked Potato, and how to choose the right Twice Baked size for your surfing.
One of the main differences between this board and original Baked Potato is the tail. The Baked Potato has a diamond tail, whereas the Twice Baked has a big, chopped-off, flat tail that allows for more release through turns. This makes the board flickier and more responsive through maneuvers. Dan also added a bit of vee through the tail to help maintain control in the flatter, flickier tail.
The Twice Baked is also a bit more svelte than the Baked Potato—not as chunky and clunky. The rails have also been thinned out a bit, and there is a bit more rocker in the nose, which adds an extra level of performance. In general, it is simply more performance-oriented without sacrificing the paddle speed and skatey momentum through flat sections that the Baked Potato is known for. It maintains the grovel ability of the Baked Potato, but provides a little more control and performance through turns.
Generally speaking, you want to ride a Twice Baked that is two liters more than your regular shortboard. Dan likes a bit more length in his rail line, so he will sometimes ride the 5'5", even though the 5'3" is appropriate for his volume. But because the updated shape is quite maneuverable, a few extra liters don’t matter, so you can feel free to experiment and see what works for you.
The Twice Baked uses the classic Timbertek construction, maintaining the popular aesthetic of the Baked Potato. Another reason for this construction is the life and strength it gives to the board. Dan likes to do what he calls a “ping” test, where he grabs the board by a fin and on the rail, right where you duck dive, and then whacks the bottom of the board with his hand. The resonance of the ping will tell you how much flex and life there is left in the board. The Timbertek construction maintains that life longer, and gives the Twice Baked hold and drive to help it connect turns. Flex matters in boards, but independent of the flex there is also the under-the-foot feeling to consider—the squish or rigidness of the board, which is produced by the type of skin used in construction. The Timbertek provides that firm feel, which provides for a more sensitive board. Plus, with an EPS core, paulownia skin, and epoxy bio-resin, it is a stronger, more responsive, longer-lasting board—just what you want in your daily groveler.