Few boards can match the Shinn Waterbird for light wind fun, with rounded ABS rails, twin-tip functionality and a full-coverage 3-D deck-pad. The twin-tip outline and rocker not only increase the 'trick-ability' of the board, but also make it radically easier to use. Ninety centimetres of flat rocker and a 51cm width ensures planing levels on par with conventional skimboards, however, the increased radius of the outline into the tips allows the board to carve effortlessly and cruise with exceptional stability in a straight line. Planing early like a conventional skim but with the 'trick-ability' of a wake-skate, no progressive rider can afford to be without one.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Shinn is super-flat but has a very round outline. That flat rocker gets it going really early and it's also super skatey. We tried it with and without fins (most regular twin-tip fins will fit to it). Fin-less it's obviously more skatey, but is still rideable and will stay upwind. It'll spin forever, the only limit being your balance and the rounded rails don't catch if you land side on. The 2.5cm fins provide just enough grip to make sense providing the Waterbird with more traction and stability for riding when it's less than buttery-flat or when landing back on the board after trying a trick. Interestingly with your regular twin-tip fins the board works pretty well when the wind gets up and the chop is a bit heavier. Skimboards like this are really just an extra toy for most people and take some time to get used to. That's how it starts off for many anyway, but then they get bitten by the skim bug! The Waterboard has a good, grippy pad that covers the whole deck, so it's comfortable in bare feet but the bumpers seem to be placed too close to the tips of the board to have any use other than for gripping with your hands when you're trying to catch it. Riding around on it and completing a transition/turn to go back the other way is a challenge to begin with. As the Waterbird is so short your weight transfer becomes so important and with each change of direction you can feel yourself adapting and really starting to pay attention to what your legs are doing and the effect your feet are having on the board. As you get better this board is only going to grow with you. The potential of it is huge; it's really light so you can throw it around and it's tough enough to handle being washed up the beach regularly.
This isn't a board to have as your only board, but in this sport the more options you have the better to make the most of every second down the beach. Give it time and you'll be able to see so much progression in your riding on this that will then convert back to your twin-tip, not only because it's such a fun little shape, but because you'll be riding in conditions you'd otherwise be dreaming about riding in.
Light weight throw-around nature but also stability to cope with a bit of chop.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
Just a little bit of shape in the bottom would probably make it a bit better to get a carve in.
SIZE: 120 x 51cm
Shinn Waterbird (2011)
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