Fresh Off The Rack – Board Test with Nic Von Rupp

Released: July 2016

Series of Videos: 1 main Edit. 9 Board Edits

Running Time: Main Edit – 3 Min 33 Sec. Board Edits approx 2 Min.

Production Role: Film and Edit

Client: Surfdome / Magic Seaweed / Hurley

FRESH OFF THE RACK is a series of ‘Board Test’ videos featuring Portugal’s Nic Von Rupp. Filmed over 5 days in Portugal it was Nic’s job to test out 8 ‘Stock’ boards available on Surfdome’s website and one of his own shaper’s stock models and our job to capture it.

With erratic weather (mist, rain, sun, stong winds), a very small window for waves and lots of boards to get through, we had quite a challenge on our hands. However the result was a big success and more Fresh Off The Rack board tests are planned for 2017…

Magic Seaweed Description:

Testing boards in a non-subjective / scientific manner is impossible. So we didn’t try. What we did however is provide our pro surfer test pilot Nic von Rupp with 8 boards (plus one from his shaper) fresh off the rack, and asked him to ride them without any prior knowledge or information.

When it comes to buying a new board there’s a lot to consider. Size, shape, volume, tail and rocker all merge into a single form – a tried and tested combination of elements which a shaper hopes will suit your surfing. The under the arm test, a board synopsis and some sales patter can only take you so far. And just like reading the label on a bottle of fine wine, only road testing it will provide the real answers.

In setting up this surfboard test we were seeking an answer to that eternal pre-purchase question: how will these boards fare in real waves? And we’re not talking double overhead Teahupoo barrels, but rather the kind of waves we surf every day.

Following a few wrong turns (Google Maps and Portugal are not always friends) we turned-up at a jet-lagged Nic’s house and gatecrashed his lunch (which he insisted we share) and presented him with the boards. After the swearing had died down we managed to coax him onto a few sleds slightly out of his comfort zone.

The test fleet:
Christiaan Bradley – The Roman
Pyzel – Pyzalien
Fourth – Doofer ESE
Channel Islands – Sampler
Hayden Shapes – Hypto Krypto
Pukas / Mayhem – The Link
Maluku – Keeler
Semente – Gony

Just how would a pro cope on a board you can buy from your local shop today? It is an intriguing question. Full reviews down below – or you can hop over to our MSW Store page HERE for a detailed overview.



One of Leo Fioravanti’s go-to sleds this is a shortboard for nearly all conditions. It loves going vertical. This is one of his favourites from the test and stayed in Portugal with Nic.


Jon Pyzel happened to be shaping down in Portugal at the time of the test. This is his brainchild and is quite possibly one of the most fun hybrid models in the world.


The Doofer is anything you want it to be. And for Nic it was one of his biggest surprises. From mush to solid waves it is a versatile all-rounder.


Developed with Dane Reynolds to be that step-down board you ride a little shorter and wider in smaller or weaker surf while not sacrificing performance.


One of the best selling shortboards in the world. This is an accessible design with a broad operating range whilst retaining shortboard performance. Suitable for any level of ability from average to advanced.


Possibly the most popular surfboard of recent times. Remember Ando sliding down a Kandui bomb last year? Versatility is the name of the game here.


Described as “special board” by Matt Biolos and designed as a colab between Pukas and Lost Surfboards this is super fun and skatey, but high performance as well. Not a cruiser, or flat glider, but a board with some rocker and some concave, a board that a good surfer can throw around.
In stock soon. Check out more Pukas HERE


A contemporary fish. It delivers lots of down the line speed but the thinner rail shape allows the board to be jammed off the tail.


Nick Uricchio (of Semente surfboards) might look and sound like Harvey Keitel but he’s a true pro and has been shaping boards tuned for Portuguese power for decades. He was also charming enough to let us borrow Nic von Rupp for a few days riding all sorts of sleds. A real gent. Hop on over to his page HERE.

It might sound simple but it’s crucial to ride a surfboard which performs the task you ask of it. But first you must be honest with yourself about what you want your surfboard to achieve. Are you looking for a specialist board. Or an all-rounder? A board for weak waves or powerful surf? For example: more volume makes it easier to catch waves, but without clever design alchemy more foam can often hinder critical surfing. Rail and tail size and shape will define how well a board holds or releases in the wave face… etc. etc. The possible combinations of volume / template are endless.

Fortunately we aren’t in the dark ages of board design and many of the possible permutations have been tried and tested already. Generally the boards you can buy today are a combination of design elements which a shaper hopes will suit a particular kind of surfing.

Possessed of an instinctive knowledge of what makes a board tick and the technical skills to make it happen. There’s no better test pilot than our man here, Mr Von Rupp. But like everyone he has his preconceptions and even he was surprised by how some of the boards performed. The moral of the story? Throw away your preconceptions.

Thanks to Anthony Butler ( for the filming and editing. Gustavo Imigrante for the filming and Nic von Rupp for getting stuck in.