A surfer’s dilemma – what to do about quiver dither?

image of quiver dither by Samina Khan

At 5.15am the other morning, I found myself checking surf forecasts, unpacking and repacking surfboards and generally dithering about which board to take on a weekend surf trip – a classic attack of quiver dither.

Many surfers own more than one board and are therefore susceptible to quiver dither. If you surf for a few years, you may collect a few more and if a loved one buys you a board fora birthday present, then it’s difficult to sell it. Before long you have acquired a quiver.

Let the dither begin.

Without an eyeball surfcheck and living more than walking distance from the beach, you’re gambling which board to take. Of course, you could take more than one board with you, but that somehow goes against usual surfing ethos.

I reckon the key determinants of which board to take are:

– size of wave

– size of crowd

– your perception of how good a surfer you are, compared to your actual ability.

Now I only got a maths O level (GCSE to our younger readers), but I reckon there must be a mathematical equation that can help you choose. So here’s an easy 5 step plan

1. First of all, grade your boards in terms of their volume or length, from 1 (for the one with least volume) up to 3 (if you have 3 boards), 4 (if you have 4 boards) etc. This doesn’t work as well for big wave guns, but I reckon you know when you’ve got to blow the dust off them.

2. Then work out how big the surf will be and give it a number where big surf is 1 and the smallest surf is equal to the number of your biggest volume board.

3. Next, estimate how big the crowd will be and give it a number so 1 is if you are riding solo or with a few mates and a big pack has the number of your biggest volume board.

4. Add these 2 numbers up and divide them by 2.

5. Then, you have to be honest and judge whether you are a better surfer than you think (give yourself a pat on the back and a score of -1), as good as you think (a score of 0) or worse than you think (a score of 1). Add that number to the number you got in step 4 and choose the board nearest that number. Bingo – that’s the board to pack.

I’ve made an Excel spreadsheet to help you, but can’t post it here. Please contact Wavedreamer for more information.

Of course there are 2 more eco-friendly solutions:

1. Reduce your quiver to a couple of boards (the one board quiver – a holy grail of surfers living in small flats, doesn’t exist)

3. Rotate your board choice, so they all get used. This could result in you choosing the wrong board for the wrong conditions, but you’ll probably end up a better surfer overall.

I’ve written about a surfer’s dilemma before and have already thought of a few more so they’ll keep on coming.



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