Surfing the Future With Kelly Slater’s Cymatic
No one has had a greater influence on surfing than Kelly Slater, and that includes not only how we look at competition and high-performance surfing, but also how we look at the modern surfboard. Kelly’s ultra-rockered potato chips of the 1990s set off an entire generation of copycats (not surfing’s best look, as those boards required Slater-like ability to surf properly). Then, around the turn of the century Slater took things in an entirely new direction with shorter, wider flatter boards—and again, we all took note and followed.
Most recently, Slater has invested in Firewire and started his own line of boards in collaboration with renowned shapers like Daniel “Tomo” Thomson. The first two models in the line, the Sci-Fi and the Omni, have become ubiquitous in lineups around the world, with the Sci-Fi even turning some heads in world tour heats. But Slater’s latest board designed with Tomo has even more people talking, especially after an edit that Slater dropped a few months back of him ripping the bag out of well overhead waves on what looks like a 5'5".
The Cymatic blends the best elements of the Sci-Fi and the Omni, but also has entirely new elements that thrive on their own merits. One of these is an increase in rocker throughout the board, and especially in the tail. This added kick allows control in larger waves, and also provides a platform from which to maneuver. Increased rocker makes a board agile and able to turn on a tight radius, and the first edit of Slater shredding his Cymatic demonstrated exactly that.
Another thing that is interesting about the Cymatic is that it is definitely not intended as a groveler—more as a short, wide board that excels in real waves—but despite that fact, it actually does grovel really well! Because the Cymatic holds volume and rail throughout, it is able to accelerate in small waves as well, and take advantage of that reduced length when it comes time to turn your speed into maneuvers.
Cymatics are intended to be sized approximately the same as the Omni, although it has been found that going a touch shorter in hollow waves can result in increased speed and control in the barrel (likely due to the narrower tail design).
Whatever type of waves you are regularly surfing, the Cymatic brings a proven, high-tech flavor that is good enough for the 11-time world champ. And if it’s good enough for Slater, it’s definitely good enough for us!