By Jody W. Wood & Robin Prodanovich
Robin Prodanovich is a San Diego native and long time board shaper for South Coast Surf Shop. He’s an avid shortboarder and doesn’t even own a longboard. Summer time in Southern California can lend itself to plenty of long, hot, and nearly completely flat days.
So, what’s a shortboarder to do after checking the surf day after day and finding another meager set of knee to waist high waves rolling through a crowd of a hundred of our closest friends?
Rather than dragging out a log or an old school fish, Robin decided to take matters into his own hands. He began working on a design of his own that would allow shortboarders to surf those small days, without compromising performance.
The Prod Quad, now available exclusively at South Coast Surf Shops, is the result of his efforts. Here, Robin provides a little insight into how this model came about and what it’s good for:
- The Prod Quad is the pet project you’ve been working on for a while now. Tell us where the idea came about and how you’ve refined the shape. “The idea of the Prod came to me one morning when I arrived at the beach and saw knee high lackluster waves. I looked at the surf, then I looked at my standard high performance shortboard and decided that I really needed a board that would excel in these exact conditions. A board for groveling, hence, the Prod.”
- Quad-fin setups have become more and more popular over the last few years. What is it that you like about quads that sets them about apart from thrusters? “Since my prototype Prod was set up as a thruster or a quad, I was able to compare the two designs using the same board. Because there is no rear middle fin on the quad, there is no “rudder” feel that sometimes accompanies the 3-fin design. Also, due to no rear fin and utilizing a single well place concave, I can use slightly flatter and faster tail rocker giving the Prod more drive, planning and looseness.”
- Talk about the design and how it compares to standard short boards. “The Prod is designed to ride head high and smaller waves. To accomplish this, the outline shape has more fullness; nose, center and tail, combined with a single concave. As a result of this extra surface area, the board paddles into the waves extremely well, gets up on plane quickly and has lots of speed and maneuverability not usually associated with small boards in small waves.”
- Originally designed for surfing small waves, you’ve had success riding the Prod Quad in a little bigger surf. How did the board handle head high or bigger waves? Even though I designed the Prod for small surf, I have been amazed at how it performs in bigger surf. The outline shape has some straightness to it with a more centered wide point and if you combine this with a slightly larger set of rear fins, the board continues to work very well in surf over head high. My recent trip to Cardon Surf Resort allowed me to ride overhead surf, backside, for a solid week, on my 6’2″ Prod.”
- How does a surfer pick the right size Prod Quad? Due to the increased volume, the Prod should be surfed 2″-4″ shorter than your standard shortboard.”
- Talk about fin choice for this type board. What have you found works best for you? “Fin choices for the Prod can vary slightly by is critical for optimum enjoyment. For the Prod design 5’8″-6’0″, I use the FCS fin set with M-5 in the front and GX in the rear. Anything longer than 6’0″ would get the M-7 in the front and GX in the rear. For more of a skatey, down-the-line feel, I swap out the rear GX for a set of M-1000 for more bite.”
- How does it compare to other small wave boards, like a traditional fish, for example?” The Prod differs from other small wave boards such as the traditional fish in a couple of different ways. I’ve always felt the fish lacks versatility and not every surfer has the ability to adapt to the way a fish needs to be surfed. The Prod has the speed, stability and float of a fish but surfs more like a standard shortboard. A surfer can move from their standard thruster to the Prod without missing a beat.”
- Last thoughts, anything you’d like to add? “If you want a board that surfs a lot of different conditions well, consider a quad design and specifically, the Prod. The board will bring a lot of enjoyment to your everyday surf sessions.”
To get your hands on a Prod Quad demo board, visit South Coast Surf Shop in Ocean Beach or South Coast Windansea in Pacific Beach. To talk directly to Robin about a custom board, call South Coast Surf Shop at 619-223-4431.