Super fun high performance soft board that doesn’t feel as clunky as you might expect from its 48L!
Catch Surf Skipper 6’0
Reviewed by: Terry
Dimensions: 6’0″ x 21.5″ x 3.0″ (48L)
Fins: Quad fins (standard Catch Surf fins)
What we like: Heaps of volume but doesn’t feel like it – really agile and responsive. It reminded me why I started surfing in the first place!
What we don’t: It’s expensive! The soft deck can damage quite easily if you aren’t careful.
What does Catch Surf Say:
“With mega-Odysea float everyone has come to love, the Skipper infuses a sleek fish shape for down-the-line-speed and drawing out perfect, stylish turns. Now equipped with our hi-performance fin system for added drive in steeper waves and even more speed in the tube. The Skipper is your first mate for fun!”
I think they’re right, this board has been great and definitely heaps of fun! I’ve found a lot to like, with only a few complaints which I’ll go into further below in my Catch Surf Skipper review.
- The Catch Surf Skipper has a nice flat rocker suited for smaller waves
- Even though it is 3 inches thick, the rails are rolled nicely and seem to work well for the board
- The thing I like is that the board has clearly been designed by a surfboard shaper, as all the dimensions, rocker and rails work well together.
- Quad fins work really well (even though I’m typically not the biggest quad fan)
- The fins are not just cheap plastic either, they are well manufactured with a stiff base but a nice flexible tip and this fin size matches the size of the board nicely.
What do you like about it?
It boasts a lot of volume for easy paddling and catching waves, but it seems to hide the volume well and still feels agile and responsive. It doesn’t feel chunky or thick while riding it. I normally am not a fan of quad fin set ups, but for some reason it works really well on this board.
It has been great for both me and for my 5 year old son. The high volume of this board has been great for pushing my son into small waves, and offers him great stability for picking up waves easily.
First thing I said after riding this board was that it reminds me why I started surfing in the first place!
What don’t you like about it?
Firstly, I don’t like the shelf price. For anyone who wants to buy one as an alternative board to ride on small days, you have to shell out a few clams for these boards. I would like to see it around the $350 (AUSTRALIAN DOLLARS) mark at the maximum, instead of being around the $500. I have heard whispers that the mark up on these boards is ridiculous!
I also found there was a bit difference in riding a normal PU fibreglass surfboard and then switching to this. For me, it does take a session or two to get used to riding it. Even though it feels nice and stiff when inspecting it on land, it does flex a little more than a fibreglass board (for obvious reasons) and for me this takes a bit of getting used to.
I did notice that the material on the deck of the board seems to damage a little too easy for my liking. Riding the board on shore breaks means it gets thrown into the sand a lot… and my local beach has a lot of shells, small rocks and gravel in the shore break, so I noticed that the deck material seems to get a fair working.
I was also dropped in on by another surfer and received a nice little fin slice from the other board on the right hand rail about 1/3 the way down from the nose, but fixed it straight away to the manufacturers specifications.
In some places, I have noticed the glue that holds some of the seams together at the bottom or the rail is starting to come apart slightly on the tail. But in saying that, I have had this board for just over a year already so I guess you can expect that over time.
Experience in the Surf
I have ridden mostly waist to chest height waves on this board, although I have ridden it a few times for head high waves and it still seems to work in these conditions.
The board paddles well and you can get onto waves nice and early with more ease than my normal shortboard, but I do notice that it flexes a little under my feet and can take a little getting used to, but it’s certainly worth giving it a go. Once you get used to it, it is a super fun board and will certainly have you smiling.
It is also perfect for my son who is 5 years old. I have been pushing him into small waves for a few months now and he is loving it. it gives him a lot of stability while trying to get to his feet.
I think once he starts paddling around himself, this board would be too big for him to manage due to the volume and float. The 5’6 Skipper or even one of the Beater boards would be better for him once he gets to that stage.
What kind of waves is the board suited to?
I have really enjoyed this in waist to chest high waves, and when the tide goes high and the waves become fat, I can still manage to have a lot of fun while other surfers are struggling.
It works well when the waves get a little more hollow on the low tide too, as you can get in nice and early. It’s a little harder to get the rail set in the face of the wave, but once you get used to you will be getting more than your fair share of waves.
What kind of surfer is this board best for?
This board would suit a beginner as their primary or only surfboard. It will have you surfing competently a lot quicker than a fibreglass board and the sheer volume of the board will have you catching more waves than anybody else in the line up. But it also suits a intermediate or experienced surfer as a secondary or alternative to your regular board as it will give you a grin from ear to ear.
It is a great addition for anyone who is a Dad, as you can use it yourself, but doubles as a great board for the groms as well… so you don’t have to buy multiple boards.
Does it compare to any other boards (soft tops or regular) that you have ridden?
This is actually the first softboard I have ridden, so I can’t compare it to any others. I have been riding fibreglass surfboards for 15 years, so this is why it took me a bit of getting used to. It wasn’t bad, but I could feel it flex a little under my feet, and took me a few sessions to get used to it.
Once I got used to it, I was all smiles! Initially it worked well in small fat waves, but when I took it out in hollow surf, it still seemed to work well, but took me a few waves to get used to setting the rail in the face of the wave. I bought this purely on the brand name and their reputation. I know there is a lot of other good brands out there, but Catch Surf certainly has a great reputation so far.
Any other Comments?
I know they only offer the Skipper in 5’6, 6’0 and 6’6….. but for me personally, I would love to see a 5’8 or even 5’10 in the range. This would be perfect, as I only chose the 6’0 as the 5’6 is too short for me.
Also, as I mentioned above, it would be great to see the shelf price come down a little.
Wrapping it up….
For the Catch Surf Odysea Skipper 6’0 quad fin, I would give this a 8 out of 10.
The fact that it is dual purpose (I can ride it and my son can ride it) is a win just by itself. For me this made it worth the purchase and paying the big bucks for it.
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