South Bay Board Co. 7′ Ruccus Beginner Surfboard Review
If you’re a total newbie to surfing, or a novice perhaps who is still trying to find your feet, working out which board might best suit you is no doubt high on your priority list. Striking a balance between your skill level, a boards characteristics and performance, affordability, durability and build quality, what sort of waves you plan on tackling and so on, will all play a part in determining what might make the most sense.
Some board manufacturers have their own ‘Which Board is Right for Me‘ type calculators which can of course be quite useful albeit typically limited to their own range of products. The reputable manufacturers will also have quality entry level boards that are well suited for the less experienced or novice surfers.
One such surfboard is South Bay Board Co.’s 7′ Ruccus Premium Soft Top which is an ideal choice for children or lighter weight teenagers and adults who are still building on their skills. Below we have captured some of the boards key characteristics and summarised why this might be a logical first choice for you.
Length: 7′ (213 cm)
Width: 22″ (56 cm)
Thickness/Depth: 2.85″ (7 cm)
Suitability: Beginner to intermediate
Volume: 49 litres
User Weight: 180 lbs (81.6 kg)
Fin: Tri-Fin Thruster FCS Fin System
Leash: 7′ Straight Ankle
Located in the South Bay of Los Angeles, California, South Bay Board Co. is a family owned and operated board, beach brands and accessories company.
SBBC origins initially focused on custom beginner surfboards and inflatable paddle boards and until this day pride themselves on materials quality, custom design and the delivery of unrivaled unique high-value products. With products that are influenced by nature and the ocean as well as a strong community following, South Bay Board Co. have grown into one of the premier surfboard, SUP and beach brands in the world.
Operating out of 2 large separate warehouse locations – HQ in Los Angeles, CA to service the West Coast and Greensboro, NC to service the East Coast, their boards and beach products are sold in most major global online marketplaces including USA, Canada, Mexico, UAE, Brazil, and other.
At a Glance
☑️ Superior build quality by virtue of materials and multi-layered design
☑️ Tapered rails for better overall performance and rail-to-rail transitions
☑️ Custom wax-free fingerprint textured IPXE foam deck to maximise grip and stability
☑️ Unique embedded carry handle
☑️ Heat-release valve to reduce / release heat from core
☑️ Rubber tail and nose for added protection and durability
☑️ Widened centre board for easier pop-ups and overall stability
☑️ Pulled in squash tail for more agile manoeuvrability
☑️ Lightweight EPS closed-cell foam core
☑️ Rubber tail bumper for safe vertical storage
When it comes to matching you and your board, size does matter, particularly if you want to get the most out of it. Whilst long boards for instance offer greater stability and buoyancy, they are heavier and substantially more cumbersome making them less appealing and more challenging for smaller and younger riders.
By contrast, a 7′ surfboard strikes a nice balance between weight, performance, stability and manoeuvrability making them ideal for smaller, younger or less experienced surfers. 7′ boards will typically have a weight carrying capacity of +/- 200 lbs which means they are still big enough for smaller adults to ride while at the same time not being too bulky for youngsters or slighter framed surfers. By all means, 7 footers can still be enjoyed by surfers of all experience levels. Capacity considered however, they are simply a better fit for less experienced younger and smaller surfers who are still finding their way in the surf.
Availble in 4 fresh colours, the Ruccus has been influenced by the funboard designs in terms of width and stability making it well suited for newbie surfers. Its specs, dimensions and design features provide a well balanced ride without being outrageous or too challenging to handle. The board tracks and manoeuvres well through the water and is best suited in small to mid-sized waves.
Construction – at its core, the board is made from an EPS closed cell form that is molded into shape. Running the full length of the board are two wooden stringers which are accompanied by a thick centre board fibreglass rod. Enveloping this inner core are top and bottom layers of bamboo for added durability, strength and rigidity. Overlaying the bamboo are a further two 6oz resin layers on both the top and bottom of the board. These resin layers are what adheres the underside plastic layers and top side foam layers together.
For added strength and to better absorb impacts, the underside of the board features a diamond-weave plastic netting. This netting is actually sandwiched between two other layers of plastic which help absorb and disperse any impact to help maintain the boards structural integrity.
The tapered side rails of the board are hand wrapped with final cleanup sanding and glassing all being done by experienced board shapers.
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External Board Features
Top Deck – unique to South Bay Boards is the finger print textured foam top deck which is featured on a number of boards within both their surfboard and paddle board range. As a soft top board it is more friendly under foot but a great feature of the finger print textured design is that it is 100% wax free. A genuine bonus in that you will still get similar grip when compared to a traditional surfboard but with less fuss and maintenance all while preserving the boards aesthetic appeal.
Rubber Bumper – the tapered tail on the board has a beefy rubber bumper which helps prevent chips and damage when in use. It’s also handy for vertical storage meaning that the tail of the board will not get damaged which could otherwise cause ripples in the outer skin and foam as well as potential water entry.
SBBC Logo – unlike many other boards that have screen printed board logos that will perish and rub off over time, the non-slip rubber die cut South Bay Board Co. logo is durable as well as being subtle in design.
Fins – the 2020 board now features FCS compliant fin boxes which allows for greater configurability should you wish to change out the included fins. The 3 equal sized fins known as a thruster configuration allow for multi-purpose surfing in different wave conditions. The centre fins main purpose is for straight line tracking while the two side fins support turns and manoeuvrability. As beginner surfers become more competent, the FCS fin box will allow for different configurations so as to better suit a particular surfing style or wave conditions.
Carry Handle – a nice little feature on the Ruccus is the embedded carry handle which makes the board easier to carry particularly for children.
Heat Release Valve – positioned just in front of the logo is a small heat release valve. By virtue of their laminated surface, soft top boards are prone to heat damage and delamination (bubbling of the outer skin) and as the name implies, this release valve reduces the heat to help preserve your boards integrity.
Performance / Suitability
The Ruccus has been one of SBBC’s more prolific beginner surfboards and is now in its sixth generation so a definite crowd favourite. This is not just any old soft top board mind you. While its design is influenced by funboards, it still takes on the characteristics of a traditional epoxy surfboard with tapered rails, rockers and concaves so it will definitely put you into some nice waves.
Custom designed with less experienced and smaller surfers in mind, the board has a wider centre chest area which makes for easier paddling and a more stable area to pop up on to your feet. The generous centre board rail further aids stability with the rails then tapering towards the nose and tail allowing it to cut into the face of the wave making for more responsive transitions and turns.
The Ruccus also features entry level friendly nose and tail rockers (upward turn). The forward rocker is not too dramatic although it will comfortably aid paddling and help keep the nose of the board out of the water to reduce drag or nose diving. The mild tail rocker helps the board with clean releases on turns and nicely aids manoeuvrability as you step back and bite into the wave.
On the bottom deck of the board there is a double concave which is scooped out from the nose to the tail. These scoops essentially allow the water to channel along the underside of the board through to the fins to optimise speed and manoeuvrability.
CHECK AVAILABILITY / BUY NOW
Packed with everything you could want in a beginner friendly entry level board, the Ruccus comfortably sets itself apart from many of the other soft tops on the market. Built with the structural integrity needed to handle the demands of less experienced paddlers, and designed to optimise performance, the Ruccus definitley represents genuine value for money for those that are still honing their craft.
Another game changer when it comes to South By Board Co. is their well reputed after sales service. All too often do manufactures simply drop the ball post sale but if you jump online you’ll see quite a few independently verified customer reviews which is alway a nice plus given that companies do live and die on their reputations.
As always we hope you found this review of benefit and welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.