I had been passively looking for a new longboard which would give me a little more performance than my current foam Wavestorm board, when my friend notified me of a sale going on at a local surfshop. I was able to convince my very beautiful wife that we should go check it out... "just to look". I wanted something a little longer than my 8" foam board, but I didn't want to go too big as I felt it would be difficult to manage on the closeout surf at El Porto and I'm a relatively light guy to begin with. That's when I came across the 8'8" Johnny Rice. A friend told me that beyond all the stats of the length, materials, etc... you can really tell a lot about a board just by holding it... and he was right. As soon as I picked up the board, I could feel that it just "fit". A few hundred bucks lighter and I was on the way home with my new baby.
As soon as I got home, I started doing some online research on the board I had just purchased -- I couldn't find any reviews, but I came across this marketing material:
8'8" ELITE WAHINE - Designed primarily for small to medium sized surf, with narrower volume and slightly softer planeshape curves. The Elite Wahine offers a lighter and more responsive shape for the female charger. The idea is to maintain the quality of a classic longboard yet profit from the maneuverability of modern design.
Wait... "female charger'? Did I just buy a "chick board"? After a few more consultations with friends and a gutcheck to my manhood, I decided to keep the board. It was definitely the right decision. The first day out, I had the board dialed in. Within two weeks, I'd already had some of the best rides of my life. The board has a very prominent curve up through the nose (the "rocker"?) which makes the board paddle a bit slower than I would have expected given the 8' 8" length. However, this makes it much easier to drop into a steeper wave without as much concern that you'll plow the nose straight down into the sand and go pearl diving. For the El Porto waves, this is a great fit. I was able to take a few steep drops and then very easily turn up and ride down the line. Although the board is a little slower to paddle, it quickly picks up speed while riding down the line. The light materials and stiff construction make it very easy to pump the nose to pick up a little more speed and get out in front of the next break. The board also came with a HUGE fin which makes the board feel incredible stable while still providing enough control to carve your way down the line.
Don't let the flowers fool you -- this is an incredibly fun board.. especially for a pretty little thing like me.
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About the reviewer
I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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