Flexlite – Shorty
Flexlite – Shorty. Smooth, fast and responsive surfing for optimum performance in every day waves. Using elements in design that engages more of the board in the water, helping to make it easier to perform to the best of your ability, no matter what your skill level, especially in less than perfect waves.
This is a board model we have been playing with for around 3 years. The starting point was trying to bridge the gap of drive and speed with easy rail to rail transitions. You could say it’s another move forward to the ultimate performer in every day waves. As board design dives deeper, we learn from past experiences and better understand exactly what we want from a board; to optimise our performance on the wave, and ultimately, have a fun surf. The Shorty’s main aim is to make you feel so comfortable and in tune with your board that you trust it to perform, especially in every day waves. Using more board engaged to the wave face with seamless rail to rail transitions, the Shorty keeps flow, drive and speed on lock, making it super easy to control at a wide range of speeds. This means that it works in a wide range of conditions. You don’t have to be the best surfer in the world to rip on this board.
Tech stuff and why we did it:
The outline of the Shorty features a fairly straight rail line through the back of the tail, leading towards some curve in front of the fins and a slight parallel, to a gradual long curve, all the way to the nose. The idea being that you have pivot with tonnes of forward speed with as much rail in the face of the wave as possible. This ensures hold and speed is at an optimum and you feel like that speed is easy to control given the reduced over rail length, compared to a ‘standard’ shortboard. And that leads us to, the sqwallow-tail (not a typo, this is a mixture between a squash and swallow tail), which gives you that stability and solid back foot feel of the squash, with a little extra hold due to the break in rail off the bottom from the swallow. That all combines to give you slightly more pivot and the ability to load your turns with more power off the top.
The rocker is relatively low through the tail, relatively high in the nose (considering the overall length) and follows a pretty continuous line throughout. This means you get a great balance between fitting in the curve of the wave and projecting out on to the wave face. The bottom contours feature a slight single through the nose, leading to a deeper single, which then splits in to a double as the bottom of the rocker engages under the front foot. This then channels the water though the fins and straight out the back of the tail into a accentuated spiral vee. The concaves give you lift, forward drive, and smooth rail-to rail-transitions. This bottom shape means you have control at higher speeds. “We are trying to optimise the hold you have whilst throwing the tail through turns, without the board feeling stiff,” explains Luke Hart, Fourth’s head shaper.
The deck line is full through the centre, dropping down to fairly pinched rails – the apex lifting the further up the rail line you go, adding to the smoothness you feel through turns. The fin placement on the Shorty is slightly different to other “standard” shortboard models. The centre fin is further back than Fourth’s other thruster models, with the front fins being ever so slightly more splayed. This balance gives you pivot and hold off the back foot, and fast turns on rail, without losing the bite of the fin when applying extra torque.
The Shorty is a versatile all-rounder that performs with speed and control in waves that are lacking substance, as well as in waves of consequence. It is a blast to surf for any surfer from intermediate and up, and will help you improve and feel like you are surfing better than you ever have, no matter what the conditions.
Who should ride this board?
Any capable surfer looking to perform in every day waves. This board was developed with great surfers on the team and average surfers from the factory. It would fit in your quiver where a shortboard may feel too sticky and twitchy and a fish feels a little skatey to really push through turns. The Shorty is your go-to performer for 90% of the waves you surf, every day.
The Flexlite – Shorty. Fourth’s new Flex-Lite construction has been added to the range. It is designed with more responsiveness, added flex recoil and increased control to bridge the gap between the float and durability of EPS, and traditional Polyester grind on rail and feel under foot.
The Flex-Lite construction ticks all the boxes from strength, flex, control, feel, weight and most importantly, versatility. When it comes to understanding flow, drive, control and speed, we looked at flex patterns and torque levels at different speeds. The aim was ensuring you can load up and release energy through turns using the curves of your surfboard that will keep your rails engaged with the face of the wave. We believe the versatility of this construction to be unrivalled in performance.
The core of the blank is super-fused EPS, which has two high density polyester flex controllers running through it. These act as integral dampeners when powering through turns, adding control, and taking away some of the natural float of an out-and-out EPS core board.The flex controllers are angled from tail to nose, at the same tow as the side fins. This loads the torque directly towards your fins through turns, meaning at lower speeds, your projection will carry you with effortless glide, and at higher speeds, you can load up and accelerate out.
The laminate of the board is essentially based on our ESE tech. S-Glass wraps on both sides of the blank with quad axial deck inlays to add compression, strength and kinetic flex which allows energy to be amassed and released.This delivers more acceleration and drive through turns and rail-to-rail transitions. Carbon overlays are also added to the flex controllers to maximize the memory of the curves. When you continuously torque your board through manoeuvers, this board will not just last a long time but it will also feel brand new for years and maintain its pop.
The Flex-Lite construction offers a board with excellent strength to weight ratios, flex recoil and performance characteristics that will push your surfing to a whole new level.