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The Magic Surfboard

Updated on January 11, 2011

The Magic Surfboard

I had the great pleasure of surfing with Tom many times. Plenty guys that call themselves surfboard sharpers are not that great of surfers. Of course this is my opinion. Certainly this is not the case with Mr Neilson. He is a world class surfer.

I have surfer with him in all sorts of conditions, well maybe I shouldn't say with him because we were competitors in ESA. Toms surfing speaks for itself. To me Tom shows a superior knowledge of the the art of surfing all around.

Not sure how many contests Tom has won then start to talk about how many guys are riding Toms surfboards that are totally blowing up! Ok I will tell you the story. I was getting my butt kicked in ESA. The guys that I surfed against had more experience and knowledge of the sport plain and simple.

The first year I competed I didn't do well at all against these Florida guys Tom being one of them.I was in my 40s then and Tom was absolutely killing it. He was surfing like many 20 year old guys were. He knew what surfboard to ride for any conditions.I also wanted to mention that Tom is a really cool mellow guy. He is very confident in his surfing abilities.

It takes alot to impress me. After you see Tom surf a few times and he smokes you in a few heats you will start to watch him closer. Tom turned out to be my secret weapon

He shaped me one of the best Fish Surfboards that I have ever had. Oh Yes! This surfboard was called a super flying floaty fish surfboard. I didn't have a name for it but the surfers at Sebastian Inlet did.

They called it the Magic Surfboard Why?

Because it improved my surfing ability so much so fast that they said the surfboard had to be magic. At first I was sort of confused because everyone else that surfs well is normally given the credit. Dam hes a good surfer not, Dam look at that guys surfboard it must be magic because he sure surfs like crap without it.

Totally true ! You have to have the correct surfboard to exemplify your style. if you maybe have certain weaknesses you can get a surfboard to help you with those issues.

If you are serious about surfing then you will want to eventually figure out the type of surfboard that best suits your needs. Find a surfboard sharper that creates surfboard shapes that improves your surfing.

Having custom made surfboards made from a person like Tom who lives and breaths surfing is in valuable. Did I mention that I started to be able to get air with the magic surfboard.

Toms surfboard shapes improved my surfing tremendously and I am certain if you ask him he will make you a magic surfboard also. Oh yeah ESA 2004 Grandmaster Division Champ The Magic Surfboard! ;-)

Surfing is Magic

My Magic Surfboard Formula

After surfing for over 30 years I finally figured out a formula for choosing a surfboard that will surf like I want to surf. You see anyone can have a magic surfboard just like I do as soon as you figure out a few basic things about your surfing.

When we look at formulas in math lets say they do not seem to be very fluid systems so to speak. But with surfing we need lots of fluidity because we are working with moving water ;-)

First off I have found that the height and weight of the surfer have alot to do with surfboard selection. When a Shaper recommends a shortboard shape and size to me, I normaly know right away tha trI want more flotation. So I either ad length, width or thickness to the surfboard.

You can do this by looking at the surfboards that they have at the surf shop on the rack. Heres an example When I had Tom Neilson shape my Fish Surfboard he knows quite well what my abilities are and he recommended that I have him make a surfboard that was pretty much standard size for a guy my weight.

But from experience I know that if I put a wet suit on I am gaining a few pounds so I like to accommodate for that also. I had him make me a surfboard that would have really been for a guy closer to 200 lbs. At the time I weighted around 140.

I do not wonder why this surfboard is magic, it has plenty of flotation, it can catch a ripple and a double over head wave almost where a longboard cat catch it. It glides over flat spots like magic.

Are you getting the picture? Its more in between a fish surfboard and a funboard because it is 6'7". Its fat and wide. I wasn't sure if I would be surfing on a fish surfboard here in Hawaii. I am surfing on a similar surfboard here in Hawaii this season and I am finding that I am having more fun surfing with my fish surfboard on smaller less crowded days.

So now you know my basic formula for choosing a magic surfboard. I choose a surfboard for a little larger person. On big days I am surfing on an old surfboard that Cino shaped in the 80s. Cino used to shape my HIC surfboards for me. I used to go to the HIC and buy the surfboards that the Ho brothers were prototyping.

I used the same idea there also, I would choose a slightly larger or fatter surfboard from HIC.

Knowing When to Surf

It use to amaze me when I would see a few 100 surfers in the water in Calif. No one catching waves?? One look at the surfing conditions should tell an experienced surfer if he or she can ride the waves they are looking at.

You have to know what sort of waves you can surf.


My friend and I would stand on the shore and both look at the same break he would see un surfable conditions and I would see surfable waves everywhere. Was I ever wrong Sure I was but most of the time I know from surfing so many years what type of surf I can surf on.

I have also thought on certain days that I might not be able to catch a wave but I normal can. Because fish surfboard shapes catch waves in all conditions I usually paddle out and catch waves and so will you!


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  • Surfingpilot profile image

    Surfingpilot 7 years ago

    I visit Tom's shop often from everything from boards to wax since I often surf at the breaks south of his shop. I've never owned a custom board but intend on getting one from him for my first. It's always a pleasure to chat it up with Tom.