Board: Zeal Surf Easy Glider
Dimensions: 9.6′ X 30 X 3.9
Shaper: Jon Cole
When Ian from Zeal Surf dropped this board off, as always the 1st thing I did was to pick up the board and test the weight – I liked it – it was somewhere between being light to medium weight for a board this size. It was sturdy yet elegant, you could sense this is a well rounded board designed for fun……..
I couldn’t wait to go try it out but as luck with have it the 1st couple of days were windy with no swell whatsoever. So I had to wait and wait… After about 4 days there was a bit of a window where the wind just backed off enough for me to take the Easy Glider out for a quick paddle.
Just to give you an idea of the conditions that day — choppy, no swell and cold would be an understatement — it was miserable. To be honest once I got to the beach I was in 2 minds whether or not to go out, but in the end my curiosity got the better of me — I wanted to try this board.
So I suited up, grabbed the board and paddle and off I went. Once on the water I paddled on my knees just to get a feel for the board balance underneath me and then stood up cautiously, it was choppy — but I need not to have worried, the board was stable and true to its name it glided easily through and over the chop. You have to understand that stability is a relative concept but to me this was stable and I’m no Kai Lenny by far. Very chuffed with life I paddled around the bay for awhile whilst testing the maneuverability and responsiveness of the board as best I could. Once again I was suitably impressed, it felt like once I got to know this board I could really have loads of fun with it.
On my way in to the beach, I thought I would try and catch one of the half foot ankle slapper shore breaks in just for fun. I wasn’t really expecting to ride anything in these conditions but to my utter amazement I actually managed to ride this tiny little shore break without having to paddle furiously — as things go I then had to try again, cause I couldn’t believe it was that easy — and needless to say, I rode about 5 or so of these tiny bumps before they closed out on the beach.
Back on shore I was super amped to try this board in anything that slightly resembles a wave in decent conditions. Luckily the wind turned over the next 3 days or so and I would get my chance to surf the Easy Glider in about 2–3ft waves. Once again the conditions weren’t ideal but beggars can’t be choosers and I was out there big time.
If you are a beginner / intermediate SUP Surfer looking to up your wave count in a session with minimal effort then this is the board to do it with. It might not be the fastest board in a straight line or the most manoeuvrable carver on a wave but in terms of just catching a wave, doing a lazy turn or 2 and then riding it forever, this is the one. Longboard style rules here.
On one or two waves I was on it so early that I could hardly believe it and it took so little paddling effort. To me that is one of the most important things of a good SUP board, I mustn’t struggle with it. If you choose the right size board for your weight and ability then it should be easy and fun — on that front the Easy Glider delivers big time.
The 3rd session I had with this board was in similar conditions as the 2nd time, and now that I was getting comfortable on it I could push it a bit more. The only real issue I had (if you can call it that) was that the standing space for your centre of gravity needed to be very precise, you could feel it immediately if you were off centre. However, once you get an understanding of where your feet need to be this board is a dream.
I think the Easy Glider is a good all-round SUP for someone who wants versatility in a board. You can do some cruising when the mood takes you or you can go surfing — even if the waves aren’t pumping and conditions are not that great.
This is definitely a board to consider if you are looking for an Easy Glide. I loved it.