Company Line: Mini Mods are designed to be performance surf sups but are also a good choice for smaller paddlers looking for a light-weight recreational paddle board with ample stability. What makes the Mini Mod unique is that it is thinner than most boards on the market which allows the surfer to easily set the rail in bottom and top turns. The board sits lower in the water which allows for less “bobbing” from rail to rail. It has a wide tail which also adds to the stability. The Mini Mod was designed to excel in playful sized surf much like many of the popular alternative surfboards on the market today.
Tester: Norm Hann
Tester Height and Weight: 6 1″ 182 with wetsuit.
Test Board: Mini Mod
Nose: 19 1/2″
Thickness: 4 1/2″
Volume: 143 L
Fins Included: Quad + Center
Norm’s Low Down:
I first had a chance to demo some of the new Boardworks Surf products when I was down competing in the Rainbow Sandals Battle of the Paddle this past October. I first jumped on the 9 1″Mini Mod and had a chance to ride a couple of waves with it at Doheny. In a quick assessment, at 106 litres, I was looking for a bit more volume that would work for me in our Canadian surf waters . Although i could get on the wave fairly easily I like to have a little bit more volume in my board so I am not burning up a lot of energy in rougher conditions. The thing I noticed on those first few rides was how snappy the tail was. It felt fast and responsive, super easy to turn and although seemingly low in volume it paddled into waves easily. The MOD now had my attention. I only rode a couple of waves in clean conditions so i could not really give a good full report on the 9’1”. I also had a chance to try the new 9’11’ Sirena which is built off the mini mod design and really liked this board. Fun rides were had at Cardiff and Table Tops. I really liked the stability of the board and again, how playful the tail felt, i was super solid underfoot. Both the Mini Mods and Sirena’s have a wide stable tail but the thinness of the rails and tail really allows it to turn efficiently and perform well. For those who purchase the 9’11” Sirena and 10’4″ Sirena will really like this board in flat water conditions but will love it in the surf. The design has been so effective that a 9’11’ and 10’4″ Mini Mod has now been added to the line up.
Before leaving the Boardworks warehouse in Encinitas and heading north to Canada, i picked up a 9’6″ which i thought might be the ticket for me. I could not wait to get to Tofino to try this board out. I had two Paddle Canada surf courses i was running in Tofino. In total I had 11 days of full on testing in all conditions from small glassy waves to full on storm surf. The bottom line after those 11 days for me was, ” I love this board.” The board was so much fun and I really had a tough time letting other people try it as i did not want to miss any waves with this board. One of the great things about this board is the combination of its stability and on wave performance. For me, as mentioned earlier, I like having a little bit more stability than a little less stability. My “home” break is Tofino and most times the waves are not ideal and winter conditions can be challenging. I wanted a board that would perform on the wave yet be able to provide good stability in between sets while waiting in choppy, windy conditions. A board with a little more stability allows your forward stroke to be more efficient and will not tire you as quickly. I find that a lot of people purchase boards that do not have enough volume for them and they spend a lot of time unstable and unable to paddle efficiently and powerfully. I also wanted a board that if needed i could paddle from break to break. There are a number of beach breaks in the Tofino area and i enjoy leaving the crowds in search of my own wave. I surfed some decent swells at one of the beach breaks and enjoyed down the line speed with fun snappy turns. I have a long way to go and grow as a paddle surfer and this board has a whole lot of potential in it. I took the board on a bit of a tour from one break to another to take on some bigger swells, this short paddle can be very challenging with cross chop and strong currents but the 9’6″ handled it really well. I also had a chance to surf it at a faster peak and the stability allowed me to drive into the wave and make the fast bottom turn. I realized the with the increased speed on the wave came better performance as i moved to the back of the board and engaged the tail. When the tail is weighted this board really responds. I used a thruster(3 fin) set up but really want to try this board with a quad fin set up. I experimented with varying sizes of side fins and realized the stock fins that come with it perform well. I did break one of the side fins and replaced with a larger fin which seemed to slow the board down a little. I also tried the FCS H2 performance side fins and those seemed to be the ticket allowing good planning speed and great maneuverability.
I wanted others to try the board and gave it to a female friend of mine to surf who didn’t want to give the board back. She said it was the funnest board she has been on and flat out said she was going to buy one. I lent it to a number of other people in the course and throughout the week and the feedback was always the same, fun, stable, great performance with good speed. This board surprised a lot of people and i know the surfers enjoyed the stability of it.
I put the board through a pretty good beating over the 11 days and with the EPX construction the durability was excellent. I like the graphics with the orange and blue stripes providing easy recognition in the break. I am really looking forward to getting back in the surf to try the quad set up and experiment with different fin set ups.
Those riders, beginner, intermediate and advanced will love this great performing paddle surf board that looks and has outstanding stability. As the company line states, the board “excels in playful sized surf.” The female specific 9’11’ and 10’4″ Sirena will keep the ladies happy in the surf and on flat water but don’t be surprised if the fellas are stealing it for their own surf missions. Check out the full line up at Boardworks Surf Canada. Feel free to email with questions, thoughts, or more feedback. See you on the water.