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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-16-2006, 8:24 AM Reply   
Gary at XBC let us demo their new Grom board. It's 4'5" and 20.25" wide. They have done away with the more complicated bottom on this board, it's flat, with seriously hard rails. The board came as a twinzer using Futures 3.25 SB's.

If I had to describe ths board in a word it would be FUN. All caps, too. :-) I am 180 pounds, which would put be beyond the recommended weight range on this board, but I found it to be very responsive, even though I was overweighting it.

The board was fast. Down the line it was as fast as any board I've been on. Faster than my Walker Project F-18, as fast as the Inland Yellow Loogey (although the Yellow can handle faster boat speeds). The rail to rail responsiveness was fantastic. For intermediate to advanced riders it will allow you to slaysh easily and HARDER than most anything else on the market. The fin placement being forward of that associated with a skimboard, gives you that responsiveness.

I was able to spin it with ease, but had difficulty with burying the nose. James could toss surface 3's without problem, so I'm attributing my difficulty to weight and old age :-) Although I think maybe an extra 1/2 of nose rocker wouldn't hurt anything.

What I found more interesting was that I was able to hang 5, tuck in nicely to the wake and lipslide with no problem. I was expecting the TOO small board for my weight to not ride well and was pleasantly surprized.

James wasn't able to get much air on this demo board. Not because of design, but because of the placement of the kick pad. He prefers to have it closer to the tail, so his stance was such that he couldn't push off the tail as he likes.

For lighter riders - like kids, we found that swapping the 3.25 fins out for 3.5 inch SB's increased the stability just enough to make it suitable for less experienced youngsters.

If you are an adult and looking for a better surfstyle board, this board should be at the top of your list.

This first picture is me tucked in and dragging and hand to slow the board down, other hand on the deck.
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-16-2006, 8:26 AM Reply   
A quick lipslide. It's pretty obvious here that I am too heavy for the board, but still it was great fun. Maybe a 4'8" or 4'9" Gary? :-)
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-16-2006, 8:29 AM Reply   
Not a great picture, but I was able to slide forward enough on the board to hang 5. I was concerned that the nose rocker wasn't going to be enough to allow me to do this, but the board has a fairly full nose and I could pull it off.
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-16-2006, 8:31 AM Reply   
As I mentioned earlier, the kick pad wasn't in an optimal location for James to get air, but this isn't bad either. For folks with a preference, I'd just ask Gary to allow you to attach the traction yourself.
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Old    Jeff Walker (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-16-2006, 8:33 AM Reply   
Last picture. Normally associated with skimboarding, James pulling a Fire Hydrant. :-) This board has a unique combination of stability and looseness.
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