DEEP Oceanboards 10'0" Rhinochaser // Review
25 March 2015
By: Andrew Cassidy
Location: Box Head
I was after a high performance board that would qualify for our local club's 10 foot plus division but it also needed to be stable enough to assist my wife's SUP surfing lessons, be able to take my dog SUPing, be able to be ridden in big outer bombie surf, be fun in tiny pointbreak waves, be nice and light to carry decent distances, be flat enough to plane well, have enough rocker to not nose dive, paddle fast for non-raceboard races, nose ride well, turn off the tail easily, look good, last a long time and not cost too much. Hmmm - might be a little hard to find something off the rack that will do all that. I did a little brainstorming with Simon from DEEP Oceanboards and we came up with the 10' Rhinochaser.
One word: Versatile
The board is 10'0" x 28" x 4" x 129L
It wasn't called the Rhinochaser to start with. We toyed with a couple of names first: the MalPop, the MalibuPop, the JumboPop, the SuperPop - all descending from the freakish gem of a board, the PaddlePop, from which this stretched version is founded. The fact that the Rhinochaser's maiden voyage was in eight foot river mouth bombs and the fact that it handled itself so well and the fact that it is a cool name, was cause enough to make the last minute appellation change.
She is a little bit different. She is a little bit crazy. She is a real head turner and definitely a discussion starter.
I surf Box Head only a couple of times a year. The weird thing is, I've now had three SUPs out there for their first surf. The new Rhinochaser was the third. Well, when there is an eight foot south swell smashing Sydney with winds from the eastern quadrant causing all kinds of havoc with the cleanliness of the open beaches - where else would you turn, especially with a freshly gripped 10 footer who was just screaming out for an adventure to some big, long walls.
Chappo and I had the boat in the water early, while it was still dark. An unpredicted light drizzle had set in and stung our faces as we exited the four knots zone and opened up the mighty Mercury. We weren't too deterred though as we were planning on getting wet anyway and thought it would maybe keep the number of punters down a bit. We were wrong. As we rounded Lion Island, we could see a smattering of dots, silhouetted against huge plumes of white water and spray with the glowing sunrise completing the picturesque scene. We weren't too keen on all those dots representing potential waves we wouldn't be catching but we were very excited about why there were so many there - it was pumping.
I hadn't finned up yet so while Chappo idled in the channel I did my best at slapping in my large Von Piros quad set and custom PC Surfboards rear stabilizer. Adrenalin induced shaking hands, very small screws, awkward tools and a heavily rocking boat don't bode well for a smooth and rapid equipment prep session but I soon had all five fins in their correct slots. I only swore twice.
I was off. Paddling the 400 meters from the boat safety zone to the take-off area was a pleasant change. I normally do that paddle on a sub eight foot board so the extra glide, stability and better tracking that the big 10 footer provided was extremely refreshing, plus I had an awesome view of the crew getting the waves of their lives as the corduroy lines of swell gun barrelled down the bank.
I stayed wide when I reached the top of the sandbank to suss out the scene but I didn't have much time for reconnaissance. A biiiig set was starting to darken the horizon. The crew on the peak started scrambling and so did I. The first one was feathering before anybody could get out far enough for it ... except me due to my wide head start. I paddled a slow arc endeavouring to change direction and at the same time, gain a bit of extra width to my backhand take-off position. I made it just in time and took a relatively late drop down the massive face as the rest of the crew were preparing their duck dives under the pitching lip.
The loooong mountainous left hand wall was stretched out in front of me. A 14 second period, deep water swell doesn't have a lot of refraction so the racetrack ahead of me was ruler edged and went for as far as the eye could see. It was time to get moving. I hadn't got too far back on my board yet but thought it might be OK to stay where I was for a bit, just while I got a feel for the board and saw what the wave was going to do. I applied pressure to my heels, slid into a gentle bottom turn and reached for the feathering lip. It wasn't long before another direction change was in order and I was again hurtling back down the face on a 45 degree angle after a smooth top turn. I was whizzing past the guys sitting on the inside as they were frantically paddling up the face of my wave. A few more speed pumps and I knew I'd be assured of making it across the next 100 metres or so.
It was time to turn.
I eased myself right up to the top of the wave, looked behind me to ensure I was far enough away from the whitewater, shuffled back on the board a little, crouched down low and drove into a grinding cutback. I held that position as I rounded out a good 180 degrees of the arc which must have had a 10 meter radius. That's the beauty of surfing such big waves - the time and the space you have to work with is just so much fun. I was now heading for the whitewater and wasn't quite ready to take that on with any kind of serious aggression so I exchanged my weight from my toes to my heels and started to swing the Rhinochaser back around.
As I came out of the swooping bottom turn, I spied a crumbling lip of white water threatening to cut me off from the rest of my ride. It was sitting there at the top of the wave, antagonizing me, so beautifully ugly and just asking to be toyed with. I knew what had to be done - test out the big girl and see how she floats. It was a big wave and a fall from a floater at that height could result in all kinds of nasty - but there was a big crew watching on and I felt I needed to prove to them that I deserved this set and was making the most of it. I angled the Rhinochaser at the fluffy white wave eyebrow and made myself as weightless as I could as I hopped up on top of foam and began my gravity free glide across it. The speed the Rhinochaser generated from that last bottom turn was a godsend as I horizontally traversed the top of the wave with ease, maintaining most of that speed and eventually reaching the clean green face on the other side.
By now, I was dropping back down the face and flying. Like really flying. The wave, which was massive to start with, seemed to be growing as it rifled down the bank and I was again presented with a huge wall to work with. I could sense things were going to get interesting. I had no time to paint more big arcs on that beautiful face. I started pumping the 10 footer. The lip started feathering up ahead. I found the perfect trim line that would let me maintain maximum speed. I froze in that speed stance and waited for the game to play out. Would I make the section? It was a 50/50 bet. I could hear the rumble of white water in the barrel behind me. It was getting louder. It was getting closer. The face was getting steeper. The lip was starting to pitch. I got down low and prepared to pull in to the barrel of my life. I freaked out, straightened out, dug a rail, got launched over the front of my board, head-butted the concrete-like water at the bottom and then got mowed down by the biggest wave I'd ever ridden out at the Box. You hear stories of people getting rag-dolled by big waves - that was me, a rag doll in a washing machine. Aaaaagh.
You can imagine my relief (and amazement) that when I eventually surfaced, neither my paddle nor my brand new board had snapped. I did, however, lose my cap ... and my dignity. I then had the pleasure of copping the next six waves of that set on the head.
By now I'd been washed half way up the river and had a lot of work to do to get back to the take-off zone. I climbed aboard and was soon glad I was on a paddling gem like the Rhinochaser - great stability and excellent glide were my friends as I stormed across the turbulence towards the next broken wave. I stepped back to lift the nose just as the two foot high wall of whitewater reached me. The 10 footer popped up smoothly over the top of the wave and with a decent step forward to push the nose back down, the wave flowed under the board and out the back with Teflon-like resistance. A quick couple of strokes later and I was on my way towards the next whitewater hurdle, hardly getting my feet wet. If you are after a board that is easy to paddle in the surf and pop over waves - the Rhinochaser is for you.
Numerous other waves challenged the versatility of the Rhinochaser that day, 29 in fact. The best one being 412 metres long with a 32.6 km/h top speed. They were all big, most of them were very fast and they were all left handers, on my backhand. Suffice to say - I had an absolute ball and was super impressed with the new board's performance in all facets of big wave surfing.
I needed to go right and try her out in some smaller waves. Luckily the swell had dropped enough the next day so we could run the final event of the 10 foot plus SPSC series at Palm Beach. We awoke to a clean swell, light offshore winds and good banks - with right handers on offer! A little pre-comp warm up surf had me finally going right on some super fun waist to chest high waves. The big Rhinochaser excelled in these conditions too. Big flowing cutbacks, critical re-entries, smooth floaters, tightish snaps and even the odd cross step to the nose and cheeky cheater five. Yep she goes unreal in the small stuff too. She snagged a first and a second in her two heats of the round robin format - not bad for a two day old board.
I think the design gamble has paid off. Expect to see me on this board a lot ... in all types of conditions.
The Rhinochaser - bringing back the fun.
- Easy, early entry into bomb sets
- Great planing speed and glide
- Carves beautifully on giant faces
- Fantastic for paddling out in washing machine conditions
- Floats over turbulent foam nicely
- Very comfortable on and between waves
- So light and easy to throw around for its size
- Great fun for both beginners and the very experienced
- Great for nose riding
- Super strong construction
- Super stable
- Paddles soooo well
- Works unreal in small or massive waves.
- Reduces your small SUP performance through lack of wanting to get back on a smaller board.
Biiiiig Double Concave
Off the Bottom