BUYING A STEP UP
It’s that time of year here in Bali where we get consistent solid swell coming all the way from South Africa, across the Indian Ocean, hitting West Oz and then arriving in Indonesia.
The peak season for surfing in Bali is from June-August when non-stop swells arrive in Indonesia. Some of the highlight spots are Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Sanur and Nusa Dua. These are the spots where surfers would take their dusty step ups off their rack to charge the mountains of the ocean.
Surfing bigger waves is a totally different ball game. Apart from your fitness level and physique and experience, equipment is key to riding these types of waves with confidence.
Above - A classic shot of a solid swell hitting the Bukit in Bali. Waves like this require a step up board.
So, what exactly is a Step Up Surfboard? Basically, it is a board that is at least 4-6 inches longer than your normal shortboard. The reason being is so that you have that extra length and volume to get onto bigger waves early enough before the lip throws you over. Whilst it is true that volume plays an important factor in choosing surfboards, when you are surfing bigger waves, extra length would help you with extra stability as you are gunning down the wave face with plenty of speed.
The width is relatively narrow, normally less than 20 inches wide, which helps for extra speed. When it comes to bigger waves, width would only slow you down due to the amount of surface area on the board that creates drag and could potentially put you in a dangerous situation.
Generally, a step up board would have a narrower outline and a pin tail, with hidden volume under the chest for paddle power. The rails would have a pinched rail for extra bite and sensitivity on the waves and they would normally have 5-fin configuration options to be ridden either as thrusters or quads.
There’s no exact formula with the dimensions that you need as it all depends on the kind of wave you want to surf. For instance, if you want to surf a heavier Indo surf break like the classic Uluwatu or Nusa Dua, where there’s a lot of water on the wave and plenty of water movement, then going 10inches longer or more than your normal shortboard would be beneficial.
On the other hand, surfing waves like Padang Padang or Bingin where the waves are hollow and not much water density in the wave, you would get away with surfing a step up that is just around 2-4inches longer.
Above - Team Rider Corox tackling a beast.
Currently our best seller step up boards are the SX3 and the Pro SX5 in our range.