Wayaba Speedster – Maldives candidates part 2Martijn Ronday
As I start writing about the Wayaba Speedster as part 2 of the Maldives candidates, reality sinks in when I receive a notification that my flight leaves tomorrow. But as wel all know by now, there is no flight, no Maldives, no brotherly love on a surf boat, at least not this year. Luckily, we are still allowed to go for daily exercise, including surfing, where I live and there’s a new swell incoming. This morning still looked a bit wobbly, but that gives me the perfect opportunity to tell you about the prettiest surfboard in my quiver.
Custom made to perfection
Tommy ‘Wayaba’ Janssen shaped his first board almost 20 years ago. Over the years he shaped numerous of surfboards for stoked surfers, including himself. Wayaba surfboards are all completely hand shaped using premium quality blanks from Australia. Tommy shapes with great attention to detail. You can tell a lot of thought and experience is put in each and every design. As a surfer, Tommy understands your needs and translates this into his shapes. Although, most of his creations over the years have been custom surfboards, he has now created two signature models; The Mindseye and The Speedster.
When I had to retire my Hypto Krypto, I asked Tommy to shape me a Wayaba Speedster. Over a coffee (or two, possibly even three) we discussed the dimensions, volume, glassing and fin boxes for my future board. I gave him carte blanche on the design and a couple of weeks later I received a message the board was ready.
The first time on my Wayaba Speedster
I am so super stoked with how the board turned out. It looks so sick and I almost feel guilty for surfing it, instead of putting it up on a wall as a piece of art. But there was a nice little swell and so I got her ready and went out. The waves were disorganised with quite a bit of chop on the face and not very powerful. Nobody else was out, because it just didn’t look that inviting. I however, was keen to put my new surfboard to the test. As a replacement for my Hypto I hoped to get a board I could surf in a variety of conditions, but also had a bit more performance in the tail and I got what I asked for.
Within the first half hour my stoke level went through the roof. I don’t think I ever owned a shortboard that catches waves so easily. Afterwards, I told Tommy he might as well have called it the “2-Stoke”, because that’s how quickly I was able to catch the waves. I really liked how the volume of the board was spread throughout the board, but mainly under my chest. It allowed me, like I said, to catch the waves easy and early. Compared to my Hypto though, I felt like this board was cutting more through the water and this gave me more control through turns in these conditions. At the same time, because of the diamond tail, the board had more release, which made it quick in transitioning through turns and made it fun!
The real test
The real test came a few days later when a buddy and I went out for a sunset session during a building swell. When we got out the tide was going out and we knew the waves would get more hollow throughout the session. What we didn’t anticipate, was just how quickly the swell rose. Before we knew it, the session went from fun to sketchy and I could have done with my 6’10 Chopper.
I was a bit uncomfortable out there, but these are often also the most rewarding sessions in my experience. As I said, the waves did get hollow, but it stayed wind still and super clean. The Wayaba Speedster stepped it up big time and I caught waves with ease. Even at greater speeds the board remained to stay stable and I could turn with confidence. I was glad I was on my 6’1 so I could duck dive deep on the big clean up sets. In the end it was one of the most fun sessions of the year. The Speedster played a big role in that.
The Wayaba Speedster is definitely coming to the Maldives with me. On a surf trip like this, or any surf trip, you want a board with a big range. Something that will go in pretty much everything and for me the Speedster is just that board. I can have fun in (weaker) small waves and comfortably surf it to the head high or just overhead range. Loose when you want it to be loose and stable and fast in the longer more critical stuff. I expect the Speedster to be my everyday board in the Maldives. The board I will surf most of the time with the Chopper on either side of the range.
Now I just need a board for those days where I want to put everything on the line and hunt barrels. A board with just one specific purpose. Even though, I unexpectedly, and maybe prematurely, caught my first barrel during an everyday session, I still dream of getting tOObed in the Maldives.
Better than my Hypto ?!
And is it better than my Hypto? That’s a really tough one, because my love for the Hypto goes deep. But I do believe the Speedster, for me, is the better board. I wanted a board with a lot of the strong points of the Hypto and more performance. I got just that!