Ride this board if...
you want an all-round high-performance shortboard that has smooth, easy rail-to-rail turns, and you can push as hard as you like.
Under the hood...
It has a entry rocker that runs back way past the centre to allow easier vertical surfing. Low rounder rails for easy carving. Single concave all the way through the board for that drive and speeds. Outline is adjusted in the tail to help with pop and release. It is a new model that is completely different to my other performance models. Been a big favourite with team riders. maintaining control in larger conditions.
The Clearwater PU was the archetypal all-round shortboard. Defined by a smooth, conservative outline and an interesting vee-single-vee bottom contour, the board rode with minimal hitches or idiosyncrasies. In many ways it was comparable to my typical shortboard. It was reliable in an array of conditions with a special proclivity for quality surf. I found that the board rolled over onto rail easily which made for smooth transitional surfing and an effortless ability to carve and swoop. Notwithstanding, its ability in the pocket was equally as sound. The board also featured Shapers Australia’s ‘Exotek PU’ construction: a technology that balances both strength and lightness. Anecdotally, this technology made for a much lighter PU than I am typically used to. After multiple uses the deck seemed to hold up well too. For me, this board is the ultimate surf trip sled. It’s reliable all-round and responds well to being pushed hard in quality waves. Get your hands on one of these if you’ve got a surf trip in mind or even for the better days around home when a standard, shorter, fatter board doesn’t quite cut it.
Clearwater’s EPS is a great example of what a performance epoxy is all about. The board’s shape features the same unembellished theme as the PU, a gentle outline and a pulled in square tail. But the construction is a light epoxy/carbon combination called ‘Exo Tek’ that boasts speed and flair. Initially I rode the board in a tricky shorebreak. The crossed-up waves and backwash wonk made for a tough time, but the sprightliness of the board was a serious help in traversing flat spots and negotiating peculiar sections. When I got to give it a go in some better waves it was equally as impressive. The performance shape of the board meant that it could handle speed and still hold in on rail even in surf that would normally demand a standard shortboard. The EPS construction also helped to maintain the integrity of the deck, which after multiple sessions held up remarkably well. Unlike most epoxies, this board offers itself to a broad range of conditions, making it a safe choice for anyone wanting the benefits of EPS without forfeiting the ability to perform in quality surf.
PU VS EPS
It was hard to make an outright pick between the two Clearwaters. I found that each board favoured different conditions. Smaller, less powerful surf made the EPS feel far superior, yet more forceful waves elicited the true demeanour of the PU. Ideally you would have both but if I were limited to just one, I would have to choose the EPS for its competency in average, day to day Gold Coast conditions. That being said, if I lived in an area that was more exposed to swell, the PU would be my go-to board.