Board Review - 5'11 Neal Purchase Jr. Duo
At first glance the two "Duo" single fins look like a lot of fin for a short board and I myself was initially very skeptical about the set up thinking it would be really stiff and heavy on the tail.
5"11 x 21 x 2 1/4 Flat deck round tail
Picked this board up on a trip earlier in the year whilst I was on the Gold Coast at Lame Board shop in Currumbin. I had previously tried out my mates 5"6 Duo squash at a punchy beak break at home and really liked it. This 5"11 has a dual stringer and fairly wide elliptical outline with flat deck and round tail. I weigh 178 pounds (81kg) and am 6ft tall. There is no literage on any of NPJ's boards but the board felt perfect for my weight and height.
My first surf was at Currumbin Alley with a 3-4 Swell running off the point. My first impression was that it paddled extremely well due to the flat deck (hidden volume) and low rocker combined with wide outline. It definitely didn't feel like a 2 1/4 thick board and paddled more like 2 1/2 although not "boaty" like some other alternative or retro boards. The long point waves at The Alley were perfect for getting a feel for the shape through drawn out cutbacks and bottom turns. Surprisingly, the "Duo" fins didn't feel stiff or "Tracky" at all and offered a tonne of drive into and out of turns.
No matter how hard I pushed through my turns, the fins provided plenty of hold and speed whilst still feeling very manoeuvrable. Getting into waves early was also possible which was definitely a bonus in the crowded conditions.
After a few more sessions at Currumbin, I packed the board and took it with me to Hawaii where I was heading to meet up with the family. There was a south swell running and over the course of two weeks surfed multiple sessions at Ala Moana and Diamond Head in a variety of conditions.
Another welcome surprise was the board's ability to pivot off the bottom and snap off the top. You can also see this in NPJs video footage of him riding his Duo's at Uluwatu in Bali. Riding it on my backhand also felt really "drivey" and familiar which often isn't the case for me with twin fins. Generating speed was also really easy with plenty of drive through pumps on both my backhand and forehand.
Having ridden the board now for over 6 months- I have to say its become a staple in my quiver for most conditions even with waves in the overhead range. The shape is definitely easy to surf for your average surfer and fun for the more advanced surfer who want to push the outline. I haven't played around much with the positioning of the fins in the fin boxes and always kept them in the middle of the boxes where they felt just fine.
In very steep hollow punch beach breaks I'd probably opt to ride something with a touch more rocker and narrower outline but for points and fun reef breaks its my go to board.
All in all a cool, super fun and easy to surf board which can be customised in a multitude of lengths, outlines and tail shapes.
We have a few in the shop and online at the moment so feel free to drop by and check them out.