Custom KitBig is Beautiful - Lenny's Moody's (Not-So-) Little Lovely
Beauty, as they say in the classics, is in the eye of the beholder and I for one have always believed that you can usually tell at first glance if a board will work for you.
Consequently I was immediately drawn to Lenny Moody latest creation - a real light-wind wave weapon - the first time I ever laid eyes on her.
At 240 by 68cm, and approximately 105-100 litres, she's certainly a "big girl" and according to the man himself a real purpose-built machine.
The last couple of seasons I haven?t really gotten out that much on my little 70lt waveboard so thought I'd try and join you blokes out there on a more regular basis by building myself something a bit bigger.
And the 34 year-old Surveyor says he spent a fair bit of time researching the pros and cons of what's currently available on the market before settling on the final design of #11.
I went with a really curvy outline, a double concave into vee bottom, and about 10mm of tail kick for early release, but also kept a fair bit of volume in the rails to help keep her stable at idle and thus able to slog out in marginal conditions.
Actually its width and stability also make it ideal as a beginner's board and Xandria (the lady wife) has had about three or four lessons on her and is making great progress despite the odd "moment" (laughs).
But with so many quality options to choose from I couldn't help but wonder why someone would bother building themselves a board from scratch?
I just prefer making my own boards as I know what I want and it's hard getting exactly what you want in a production board, as all too often they seem to me to be compromises.
Apparently this is the eleventh board Lenny's made for himself over the years and he says he couldn't ever imagine himself investing in a production board.
I've always been into tinkering with things to see what works and what doesn't work, and most importantly - why.
My designs have certainly come a long way over the years and the last two or three boards I've made have been really nice to sail.
In fact I'm still riding a board I built for myself around about eight years ago (and she's still going strong).
Fair enough, but surely there are downsides too?
Normally when I get halfway through a board I start to think, what the hell am I doing this for again, I should have learnt from the last one? (laughs).
But once you get to the end of it and can start to see the final product it's all worthwhile.
Well I for one am pretty bloody impressed with Lenny's handiwork and wondered if he'd ever consider doing a custom number for anyone else?
No way (laughs)! There's just too much labour involved in building a board to make it worthwhile.
I mean this one took me about six or so weeks to finish, as I was only able to work on her on the weekends, and I honestly don't think I could ever justify putting that much time and effort into a board for one of the boys.
So apart from labour, how much did it actually cost you to put this little lovely together?
It probably cost about $700 all up for the materials, with most of that going toward the Kevlar for the high-stress areas around the mast track and footstraps.
But I reckon you save around two-thirds of that total if you opted for a glass-only or timber veneer board.
On that note, what are the technical specs of #11?
She's double sandwich construction, with 6mm high density foam over a light EPS core, and has Carbon-Kevlar all over it.
Oh, and it's also got a hard foam deck with additional wood veneer reinforcements under the footstraps
Okay, well the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so how does she go?
She's a gem! I only had a 5.0m up today and got planning pretty quickly, though I reckon her best fit will be in the 5.5 to 5.8m range.
Well I for one can't wait to give her a run and at time of writing was fascinated to discover that Lenny was in the process of putting the finishing touches to a new 85lt twin fin.
Watch this space...