The Lib Tech Extension Ramp is at this moment my favorite surfboard and it could be yours. Before I tell you why it is my favorite surfboard, and how you might come to feel the same, I would like to provide you with:
- My background.
- The different boards I owned and have ridden.
- What makes this board special.
- Lib Tech History
How It Began
I learned to surf in my early 40s and took lessons from a surf school that was based out of Haleiwa on the North Shore of the Island of Oahu. The instructor I learned from was a Brazilian Gentleman who not only taught me how to surf but also taught me about surf etiquette.
He took me to this surf break known as Chun’s Reef, which is about 3 miles from Haleiwa. I had paid for a 2 hour lesson. Back then I used to lift weight 5 times a week and run 6 miles 4 – 5 times a week, I was in shape, how hard could surfing and paddling be?
Luckily for me, I stood up on my first wave but also wiped out and landed on sharp reef, my first of many surfing related scars. After 15 minutes of surfing and paddling I was exhausted but hung in there for 1 hour. That day, I was hooked on surfing, the thrill of catching and riding a wave was very special.
I purchased my first surfboard from this instructor, it was a brand new 10’2” NSP longboard. NSP makes epoxy surfboard that are called pop-outs, because they made are in a mode, mass produced, and popped-out of those modes, thus the term pop-out.
I believe in the 10 plus years I’ve been surfing I have purchased between 15 – 20 new surfboards. Don’t be like me, and, first of all, believe all the hype about what this or that surfboard can do and, secondly, go ahead and purchase the board. Surfboard design can make a difference in your surfing but the surfer is ultimately the difference between a beginner and pro.
Remember a professional surfer is an athlete with natural skills and talents the Average Joe, you and I, doesn’t possess. A professional surfer could surf an ironing board and rip on it.
I started with that 10’2’ NSP longboard, and after purchasing several South Point Epoxy surfboards, was convinced into trying and later purchasing a stand-up paddle board. My first stand-up paddle board was a 10’6” Infinity stand-up paddle board.
The board was beautiful and I had a day, when I swear, I must have caught close to a hundred waves in a 5 hour surf session. I was hooked with stand-up paddling and also started buying longer and thicker surfboards, this decision was made, because I wanted to catch more and more waves.
At one point I was surfing a 11 foot Surftech Mickey Munoz, being 5’8” and 180 pounds, I was able to catch a lot of waves on this beast but the drawback is that these boards are not really made for performance surfing, they are cruisers.
I was loving stand-up paddling, because I was a better surfer on a stand-up paddle board than I was on a regular surfboard plus I could catch more waves. I purchased a 9’4” C4 Waterman stand-up paddle board, which was designed with performance in mind.
I really became a wave hog and would catch or try to catch every wave that came my way. Other surfers started getting frustrated and angry and I finally realized what a jerk I was being and gave up stand-up paddling for good.
I wanted to surf like the longboard surfers I admired, surfers like: Bonga Perkins, Colin McPhillips and Taylor Jensen. I started purchasing high performance longboards, my first, high performance longboard was a 9’ Pearson Arrow. With this board I was able to perform my first hit the lip, I was hooked on this type of board.
I ordered a custom Stewart CMP (previously known as a Colin McPhillips) and started regularly hitting the lip. My best riding experience with this board was when I hit the lip twice on the same wave. A high performance longboard is a thinner and lighter board, they are not designed with durability in mind.
Enter Proctor surfboards, which can be made with durability in mind, so I ordered a custom Proctor longboard. This was a great longboard that lived up to the durability claim. Proctor then started making board with a carbon Kevlar wrap that claimed to make the board stronger, so I ordered a custom longboard with this feature. It was a beautiful, terrific board and lived up to all my expectations.
I live in an apartment complex, and bringing down a 9’ foot surfboard in an elevator can be a problem. So, one day I decided to purchase a 6’8” big guy shortboard. I had a blast on this board and thus my love affair with shorter boards began. Shortboards are easier to maneuver and they are much easier to carry in an elevator.
I once again I got caught up in the hype and started purchasing this shortboard and that shortboard. I sold all my longboards and stand-up paddle boards. In the end, I was using a 5’7” Surftech Channel Islands Average Joe. Even on a high performance longboard I was catching a lot of waves, but on this 5’7” shortboard I was barely catching waves.
I really started losing my love for surfing because I wasn’t surfing, I was sitting on my board waiting for the right wave. I had purchased a board that was too small for me and without enough volume.
Lib Tech Extension Ramp
I was checking out my favorite surf shop’s website and came across the Lib Tech Extension Ramp, it was a longer board (6’6”) and had more volume than the board I was currently riding. The board maker also made claims that the board was very durable, which would mean it would probably last longer. Contrary to what my surfboard buying history might suggest, I like a surfboard that is durable, because I don’t want to replace my boards on a regular basis.
I purchased this board and instantly my wave count tripled. Because the board is:
- Has more volume.
- Is wider.
- Has a wider, rounded nose.
I was able to catch and get into waves much easier. The board also has tapered rails so it does not get hung up in waves when making hard turns. The board is also 6’6”, so bringing it up and down the elevator is very easy.
It has five fin slots, so you can ride it as a thruster, quad or use all five fins slots. Another great thing is the board comes with all five fins, so you won’t have to purchase fins.
I found this board very easy to duck dive and it is short enough that you can still kick, to help you get into waves. I’ve surfed this board about 30 times and it has some minor pressure dings on the deck. I’ve also occasionally and accidently bumped a wall or two and the board has no dings from those encounters.
I credit this board with bringing back my love for surfing. I have found the perfect board for me and possibly you. If you find yourself more sitting and waiting for waves then actually catching waves this board could be for you. It has the wave catching abilities similar to a longboard but the maneuverability of a shortboard.
Who Are They
Lib Tech is an American company which has been in business for over 25 years, they started off as a snowboard maker but has since branch into different arenas. Their surfboards are handcrafted in the USA and made using environmentally friendly materials and process. This is what the manufacturer is stating:
- 100% closed cell foam won’t absorb water… won’t rot.
- More durable: Lasts longer, less dings, less boards in landfills.
- Recycled foam core: 25%-40% recycled content in blank.
- Blank scraps all recycled.
- Elimination of hazardous resin systems.
- Non ozone depleting blowing agent.
- Basalt fiber: no additives, no boron.
- No solvents except water.
- No paint brushes.
- No sandpaper, no tape.
As my history indicates, I’ve owned and surfed a lot of surfboards. I made the mistake of believing the hyperbole and bought surfboards based on this. At one point, I owned a board that was too small for me and I wasn’t catching waves and my love for surfing diminished.
Enter the Lib Tech Extension Ramp, instantly my wave count tripled and that love for surfing, once again, blossomed. If you feel as I did, the Lib Tech Extension Ramp could be the board for you.
Thanks for dropping in and if you have any comments or questions, please post-it in the comments section of this page.