BUGZ 9.6 Noserider
Dimensions: 9'6" (290cm), width: 22 2/5" (57cm), thick: 2 3/4" (7cm)
Details: Nose-width: 18 5/7" (47,5cm); Tail-width: 14 1/6" (36cm)
Shape: Longboard; Noserider; Pin Tail
Fins: Thruster (FCS)
Material: Epoxy with EPS Core
Price: from 299,- EUR
Testspot: Aglou Plage, Morocco
Testdate: 30.November 2011
Conditions: 2-3ft, 13 sec, glassy
I am not what you would call a classic Longboarder but once in a while I do appreciate an easy ride and some nose-walking :-) It's two years now that the Noserider from BUGZ adds value to our quiver, thus i'll give you a short review on this board and on BUGZ in general:
Name's program when it comes to the Noserider: The wide and thick nose and the general length of the board, although the smallest of BUGZ's Longboards, is an invitation for extensive marathon-nose-walking. But why did we choose this board in the first place? We wanted to have a Longboard in the quiver for those smaller days - a board which you take out occasionally when no other shape is worth the try. And as i mentioned before, we are no Longboard-afficionados, so we did not have nothing special in mind. Quite obviously, it was this very attractive price that drew us towards the BUGZ: 299,- EUR for an Epoxy-made 9'6" Longboard is what I call a bargain!
Paddling the Noserider is fun: The sweet spot is well defined and the board planes smoothly, although for the narrow shouldered surfer, the 22 2/5" width might be hindering. The smaller and already broken whitewater-waves are easily overcome thanks to the board's uplift - the bigger waves in the impact zone can get a bit tricky to get through as this much volume makes duck-diving impossible and turtle-rolls intricate. However, Longboards are paddled rather fast anyway, as the more in uplift decreases the friction under water - acordingly, long-time stop-overs in the impact zone are rare.
When it comes to catching waves, the board is a dream-come-true as long as the waves come along gently rolling. In the faster and more tubish waves it's hard to get the board around during bottom turning. Turning and trimming requires some physical endurance as running up and down the board is a must. Sections are easily overcome because the board generates a lot of speed. The board comes with a tri-fin setup, one large center-fin and two side-fins. Pull out the side-fins and put a larger center-fin on and you got a Single-Fin Longboard.
If you spend just 299,- EUR on a Longboard, for sure there got to be some downsides. Although the manufacturer's talking about ultra-strong tough-skin Epoxy construction with their slogan being: "tough, tougher, BUGZ" - after less than two years and no more than 20 times in the water i can tell you: these BUGZ boards have bugs! First I noticed on many of our Bugz boards small cracks which did not seem to go through the glassing. A couple of weeks later, the board turned very soft around these cracks and soon after the board cracked open there. Some of these boards haven't even been surfed in this time - the material simply got brittle and cracked.
Another major issue are the fins. BUGZ states that their fin-system is FCS-compatible but it's NOT! They use slightly different fin-boxes, so regular FCS-fins do not fit in there! Also you should not use your standard-FCS allen key (inbus) as Bugz uses screws one size bigger - i literally screwed up a screw...
Buy in haste, repent at leisure! Well, you cannot expect a lot for this price and what you get is still ok for occasional longboarding. It's a china-made board shaped for the holiday-longboarding experience, not the performance-oriented surfer. It's good if you want to try Longboarding. If you like it - you'll opt for a more decent surfboard in time - at least that's what we'r going to do (-:
If you go for the BUGZ, get yourself some Epoxy-rezin and hardener, microballons and fibreglass with it, be ready to spend some time with the board off water and you'll find yourself surfing the Noserider for years to come...
p.s.: don't get sick if your Stringer is not painted in the middle of the board - ours is about 12mm off the middle...
It is done: