Tracks 2018 annual

Tracks is Australia's leading surfing magazine. For over 40 years Tracks has tapped into the minds of cheeky grommets and grizzled gurus alike, and remains the voice of hardcore surfing in Australia today. Every month it takes you to the most exotic surfing locations, fills you in on what's happening on the pro-circuit as well as at your local beaches. Tracks is the surfer's bible.

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7 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
tracks 2018 ride guide

Each year the Tracks Ride Guide sets out to deliver honest and informed insights into a range of crafts that reflect the current state of surfboard evolution. The key elements in this quest are good surfers who can also articulate clearly on board performance, cutting edge boards (including modernised retro shapes) and a setting that offers quality waves and diverse testing conditions. This year, the Tracks team opted for a return to Indonesia. Three natural footers – Jackson Baker, Sheldon Simkus, and Chris Friend – tested 17 of the finest crafts from some of the best board builders across the country. This year’s assembly of boards reflected the diversity of the modern quiver and included classic Indo tube shooters, performance all-rounders and a handful of twinnies. If you were planning to test…

2 min.
the surfers

1. Sheldon Simkus Age: 21 Resides: Snapper Rocks Sheldon’s approach to surfing (and life) is best likened to his second favourite pastime: golf. He takes his time in teeing up sections, he’s considered in his manoeuvre selection, and he draws clean, fast, and exciting lines. Sheldon’s been taking off behind the rock at Snapper for years; evidenced through his comfort in sitting far behind the peak at the famous Telo’s right barrel, Ranga’s. More recently, he’s emerged as a modern half-WQS up-and-comer, half-surf trip gypsy, who is more than comfortable with lengthy stints in Indo. At the conclusion of our trip, as Jackson and Chris were ready to retreat to the comforts of Australia, Sheldon made a last-minute decision to head north-west to Nias, to continue a pursuit of the late-season Indo…

2 min.

Shaper’s Comments Overall a high performance surfboard. Derived from my original high performance CB1 model and tuned to Leo Fioravanti’s surfing style. Suits powerful rail surfing and tricks in most types of waves, but excels in good surf. Ample drive and hold. For good surfers with average to very high ability. First Impressions The name of this board says everything; “The One”. I immediately loved this board, and could have adopted it as a single board quiver. When you put it under your arm, you get the sense that it’s the only board you’d ever need: would be the ultimate small wave board, mid-size board, and something you’d be happy to ride in barrelling 4-6 foot Hossegor, where Christiaan Bradley shapes. It’s a bread-and-butter all rounder shorty, as good as they come: semi…

2 min.

Shaper’s Comments The Squirter has 4 concaves running nose to tail all built into one big concave with a small release vee out the pod. There is a lot of bight going on, which could prove in time to be an alternative to tail channels… perhaps. One other point of difference is that this is a PU blank glassed with epoxy resin and a 4x4x4 Diagonal glass, both adding extra flex and lateral strength. Surprisingly light for a PU core as well. First Impressions This board wins “most intriguing award of the trip”. I’ve been a fan of Murray Bourton’s boards for well over a decade, having ordered a handful over the years, so was excited to pick up his latest experiment, the Squirter. The standard elements of the board itself felt amazing:…

2 min.

Shaper’s Comments This board is designed for good waves – 2 to 6 feet – it has a fuller rocker to allow tighter performance surfing and a single concave for the drive speed. It loves powerful rail surfing and has hold when you need it and can be surfed loose and tight. First Impressions This board was spot-on for my normal performance board volume, dimensions, and weight. It was a sparky-feeling 5’10, performance outline with a swallow tail, feeling like the sort of board I’d takewith me on the WQS, or ride on an average afternoon at Merewether. It had a slightly flatter curve, meaning I’d get enough speed in fatter, smaller conditions, yet a touch of tail lift indicated it’d work in up to 4-5 foot. With a name like the Accelerator,…

2 min.

Shaper’s Comments A free flowing and smooth surfing twin fin option for quality waves. The rocker is low for down the line speed and the single flyer provides a release point for off the top. The rounded pin tail engages more rail to give a smooth transition from rail to rail and hold through turns. This board can be ridden in a variety of conditions from small fun days right through to critical hollow surf in the six feet range. First Impressions It’s a very interesting board: a short stumpy nose, rounded pin with some small hips near the tail, and twin fin boxes placed close to the tail. It’s more refined for a twinny: lower rails and slightly thinner, meaning it doesn’t feel like it’d float high above the water like other…