F-Rocket

The F-Rocket is a new concept for us in big-wave guns. When we realized that our ambassador Kohl Christensen could surf Pipeline effectively on his 5’10″ Fark, and was having a blast on such a small board, we asked, “How far can we go with this wide/flat concept in serious surf?” So we stretched the Fark and made it a round pin and Kohl got some of the most unbelievable waves we’d ever seen! He was able to ride the 7’6″ in surf that he would usually be riding his 9- or 10- foot board in.

Because it’s wide and flat you can look back to the days of early entry when you could make a bottom turn and backdoor the peak.

The quad gives control and speed and the ability to take a highline. It’ll turn off the tail and perform much better in everyday surf than your regular mini-gun. If you are heading to where the waves are pumping and can only take one board this is the one you should consider.



    Glassing: triple 4 oz. warp glass deck, double 4 oz. warp bottom
    Fin setups available:Quad, Quad/Thruster
    Lengths: 6’6, 7’0, 7’6”, 7’10


Materials

MATERIALS

When we decided to make surfboards in 1996, we wanted stronger boards with no decrease in performance. “Causing no unnecessary harm” has always been a business goal of ours, so these boards also had to minimize the use of toxic and nonrenewable materials. We were committed to not building “pop-out” boards, because to do so destroys the relationship between surfer and shaper, and because pop-outs keep board design from progressing. We weren’t out to revolutionize the surf industry; just break a few materials and process paradigms.

We’ve spent years studying and testing materials. Thousands of test panels have been stressed, compressed, crushed and snapped. At first the panels broke in series – one component would break and then another, until the entire panel would fail. After a few months we got all the components to break at once, but at a very high load. We started to get excited; we had doubled the panel’s strength through a synergy of materials with no increase in weight. The search for the best combination of materials is never ending, and we continue to evolve our construction methods as new materials become available.

The Foam
Since 1999 we’ve used extruded polystyrene, which is similar to the foam used in beverage and fast-food containers (Styrofoam®). This foam contains no VOCs (volatile organic compounds), a source of air pollution. Extruded means the material is forced through a small opening, like toothpaste is extruded from a tube. This gives the foam directional properties similar to wood or a honeycomb. As such, the foam has a constant density throughout.

The most common complaint about epoxy boards in the past is that they didn’t flex. However, we’ve found that they can be engineered to flex as much or as little as you want them to, depending on how you glass them. Our stock boards tend to provide a happy medium of weight-to-durability, so the average surfer will be able to keep his favorite board for a long time. A lighter weight board might flex more, but will be less durable. For those surfers who can really tell the difference, we make more flexible boards that are still tougher than the industry standard.

The higher compression strength of extruded foam means a stronger core to resist the downward force of the outer shell under a load. Lighter than average foam allows us to put more layers of fiberglass in the outer shell. This increases strength and resistance to breaking and buckling. We’ve built a state-of-the-art glassing facility, and worked carefully with materials manufacturers, to ensure the best craftsmanship and perfect resin-to-glass ratio for max strength and minimal waste. The entire process is done in Ventura, CA, and complies with the strict environmental laws of the USA.

Stringers
The stringer is the backbone of a board; a board without a stringer is like a body without a spine. You can add stiffness by making the skin or shell stronger (as is done with sailboards) but then you lose flex and the board feels dead. Too much flex, especially on a longboard, and the board feels slow and mushy. A board with the proper ability to flex should have a certain timbre that feels alive. All the components of a surfboard have to work together for proper rigidity, flex and strength.

Stringers contribute to a board’s strength by creating an I-beam within the foam/cloth/resin composite. In our stock boards, we use renewable woods with a high strength-to-weight ratio. This allows us to use laminated stringers that are stronger than single-ply, especially in the critical areas of the nose rocker. Because each size and style of surfboard has different strength and flex requirements, we use different stringer arrangements. A laminated stringer 1/8” to 3/8” wide is standard; the specifics vary depending on the board.

Fiberglass
A surfboard will buckle or break first on the side that’s hit (compression side). The industry-standard shortboard – with two layers of 4-oz. E cloth on the deck and one layer on the bottom – is only as strong as its weakest side. It will easily snap if hit by the lip. For reliable strength, a board needs more than one layer of glass on the bottom.

Both the type and weight of fiberglass cloth used affect a board’s strength. Warp glass has heavier fibers woven in one direction of the cloth. When oriented along the length of the board, it adds stiffness and strength, eliminating the need for a heavier, balanced-weave cloth. Two layers of 4-oz. warp is the minimum amount of fiberglass you’ll find on any one side of our boards.

Epoxy Resin
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, epoxy boards gained a bad reputation because often the wrong formulation of resin was used, and there was an unbalanced marriage of the various components. Most of these epoxy boards were also built without stringers. Resin technology has progressed since then, and the epoxies today are far superior.

There are thousands of different formulations of epoxy resin, depending on the intended use. The resin we use is blended to balance tensile strength, flex, hardness, impact strength and nontoxicity. It is about 2.5 times stronger than polyester resin and 300% tougher. This is important for ding resistance and durability over time.

Some epoxy laminators use polyester resin for the hot coat to save labor and material costs. But the two dissimilar materials often bond poorly, meaning the polyester hot coat will eventually chip off of the epoxy-laminated glass underneath. To prevent this, our boards are 100% epoxy for maximum strength and durability.

We use a UV inhibitor in our epoxy, which can give the board a slight purple tint when viewed indoors in certain lighting conditions. But outdoors the board remains an eye-blinding white. This is not to say they will never yellow, as any board left in the sun over time will see the effects of UV exposure.

Fins
We offer removable fin systems on all our boards. The strength, versatility, interchangeability and performance are vastly superior to glass-ons. Most of our boards can be built as a thruster, twin fin, quad or 5-fin on demand. If we don’t feel it is an appropriate marriage of fin set-up and shape, we will advise you on alternatives.

We offer both quad and 5-fin options on many of our boards. The 5-fin is sort of a mix between a single fin and a thruster. (Glide AND drive.) Usually better suited to front-footed surfers, the 5-fin combines a V-bottom with deep hourglass-shaped double concaves within the fin area. This helps to efficiently organize the flow of water through the tail and has other advantages as well. Fin drag is reduced, resulting in easier paddling and faster trim speed at the take-off. It is quick and lively rail-to-rail, and has great projection and flow through turns. The 5-fin can be a little stiff at slow speeds, but has a faster top end and more drive than a thruster.

The quad fin is a mix between a twin-fin and a thruster. Imagine cutting the center fin of a thruster in half and putting it out on the rails behind the lead fins so they can provide drive and hold, instead of just dragging in the center. Since the trailers are farther forward, the board becomes looser as well. A quad will generally surf faster than a thruster and won’t lose as much speed in turns. Quads are usually best for back-footed surfers, but many folks can adapt to them.


Warranty

SURFBOARD WARRANTY

Fletcher Chouinard Designs® surfboards are of superior quality, and are tried and proven shapes. You can be confident that your FCD surfboard will be strong and well constructed. If it isn’t, we may repair it, replace it, or refund your money, whichever we decide once we see your board. However, we can’t be responsible for boards that are abused, like being left in a hot car, dropped, road damaged, stored in the blazing sun or thrashed on the rocks or pier pilings. Furthermore, we can’t be responsible for problems resulting from normal wear and tear – those dings, dents and delaminations from unrepaired cracks are inevitable. We also cannot tell you your board won't break: All boards break under the right conditions.

If you have a problem with your board, tell us what is wrong and we’ll figure out how it should be handled. It may be a repair, it may be a replacement, it may be a refund, or it may be your responsibility.

We pride ourselves on our workmanship and stand behind our boards. However, taking care of your board is ultimately your responsibility and we’re not responsible for the problems below:

• Damage when using a dark board bag.
• Damage from the freeway, in an airplane or in transport.
• Repairs done by an unauthorized repair shop.
• Fin losses in or out of the water.
• Broken/buckled boards will be repaired (not replaced).
• Lost, stolen or intentionally damaged boards.
• Natural discoloration when exposed to sunlight.
• Damage or loss to a third party.
• Any body injury caused by surfboards.
• Damage from commercial, rental, demo and instructional programs.
• Boards with unrepaired dings or holes stored in damp conditions.


FCD headquarters (not retail locations) has the discretion to either repair or replace a defective FCD surfboard that meets our policy, which we update from time to time. Please download the following form for making a warranty claim.

Download Surfboard Warranty

WARRANTY DISCLAIMER
WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE SURFBOARD YOU PURCHASE WILL MEET YOUR PERSONAL EXPECTATIONS, REQUIREMENTS OR SUSTAINABILITY. WE EXCLUDE AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL EXPRESS AND IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. OUR LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY DAMAGE SHOULD BE LIMITED TO DIRECT DAMAGES AND SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT YOU ORIGINALLY PAID FOR THE SURFBOARD.

Care & Feeding

CARE AND FEEDING OF AN FCD SURFBOARD

Epoxy/extruded polystyrene boards need the same care and attention you would give any other board. The sun and heat damage all surfboards. To protect your board, keep it in a reflective board bag (don’t use a board sock, it makes the board hotter than using nothing). If it’s too hot in your car for a dog, it’s too hot for your board. Bottom line: Keep your board protected from exposure to sun and heat.

Extruded polystyrene will absorb 73% less water than normal surfboard foam. This makes minor dings less of an immediate problem, but they should still be repaired as soon as possible to maintain structural integrity. A board with a major ding should be removed from the water and fixed immediately, just as you would any type of surfboard.

Any board will pressure ding, particularly shortboards with super-light glassing. We try to anticipate high-impact areas and beef them up with extra glass, but sometimes gravity wins.

Exposure to heat and sunlight degrades all surfboards over time and must be avoided. We use a resin that has a UV inhibitor and UV stabilizers, however it still yellows if left in the sun.

Fixing Dings


A local glass shop can do repairs, just remind them to use epoxy resin. Do not attempt to repair the board with polyester resin; the styrene in the resin will dissolve the extruded polystyrene foam. Epoxy ding-repair kits are available from shops that carry our boards. Cleanup can be done with alcohol. It does not require acetone.

Before you attempt a major ding repair, make sure the foam is absolutely dry. Do your repair in temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. When you mix your resin and hardener, don’t try to eyeball the amounts. You must be exact; use an accurate measuring device. A stir stick with depth notches on it works well. Adding more hardener will not make the resin go off sooner; in fact, it may not harden at all.

A second coat of resin should be applied before the first coat is completely hardened for maximum bond. If more than 24 hours pass before you apply a second coat, sand the area, then clean it with alcohol before applying the next layer of resin.

Quick repairs are best done with stickers, waterproof tape or epoxy glue (including 5-minute epoxy, epoxy sticks and epoxy Solarez®). These glues will turn yellow or brown, so you should eventually do a proper repair with epoxy resin.

Solarez is a registered trademark of Wahoo International.


Overview

FCD HISTORY

Behind the Great Pacific Iron Works store near Ventura Point is the small tin shed where Yvon Chouinard set up his blacksmith shop in 1966. The shed once housed Bob Cooper’s Australian Surf Shop and Morey-Pope’s shaping room. The location was ideal for everyone’s passion: surf and build the finest mountaineering gear in the winter, climb and sell the gear in the summer. Chouinard Equipment Company went on to redesign and improve virtually every tool used in mountaineering, from carabiners to crampons. In 1973, the company branched out to make outdoor clothing under the Patagonia® label.

Almost 25 years later and after 4 years of shaping traditional polyurethane blanks, Fletcher, Yvon’s son, started Point Blanks to build better surfboards in a shack next door to the original Iron Works. Like father like son: Fletcher and Point Blanks proceeded to lay-up and destroy hundreds of fiberglass/ foam panels until they found a better, stronger and lighter way to build boards. And, with a group of freethinking surfers and shapers, designed higher-performance boards using the new technology. From there, our surfboard business has grown, exploring new fiberglass composite technologies and expanding our circle of shapers and test riders. We’ve also got a new name, Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD). But we always come back to our desire to build a better surfboard.


PERFORMANCE

We originally set out to make a more durable surfboard with less environmental impact. We’ve achieved that. In doing so, we were also able to gain a whole new level of performance. Our careful combination of superior materials – especially the use of our stronger, lighter and more buoyant foam – lets us make thinner and stronger boards that perform better. Because our foam doesn’t crush and powder under continual flexing, we can build flex into boards that won’t “go dead” after a couple of weeks of hard surfing.


SHAPING

We do not make “pop-out” or molded boards. All our boards are hand-shaped by expert shapers. Our standard shapes are roughed out on a C&C machine first, and then hand-shaped.

Over the years we have come up with standard shapes that work well for specific surf conditions and styles of riding. These shapes constantly evolve as we work to perfect them.

We still offer custom boards at our discretion. Customers can fill out a custom board request form at our Ocean stores. Regular Patagonia stores can take custom orders if there is a trained sales associate on hand to walk the customer through the process, or the customer can contact us directly. We can do airbrushes and resin tints (light colors only), but we are not responsible for damage due to heat absorption from the sun. We no longer sell raw materials to the public.

Please email sales@fcdsurfboards.com for more information on custom shapes.


Reviews

  1. 0 out of 5

    :

    could you pleae provide dims for a 7’0 and 7’2′ F-Rocket
    Tks

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Pablo-

      The 7’0 is 19-3/8 x 2-7/8. There is no stock 7’2 model so I don’t have those dimensions readily available. I can tell you that the 7’6 is 19-5/8 x 3, so you can get an idea of about where the 7’2 would land.

      Hope that helps!

      Best regards,

      FCD

  2. 0 out of 5

    :

    thanks, what about the 6’10” kmrp? which of these 2 boards is more user friendly
    ?

    • 0 out of 5

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      Pablo-

      It depends on what you are trying to surf but the F-rocket has more volume and will paddle easier so you will get in earlier and because of that you can ride bigger waves than you think than say a KMRP of the same size.

      Best,

      FCD

  3. 0 out of 5

    :

    Have you guys experimented with this as a bonzer 5-fin?

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Matt-

      Not yet…but it’s a good idea!

      FCD

  4. 0 out of 5

    :

    Which board has more volume, the 6’10″ Huevo Ranchero or the 7′ F-Rocket? Thanks, Ken

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Ken-

      The 7′ F-rocket has 40.29 liters of volume, the 6’10 Huevo has 40.94 liters of volume.

      Hope this helps, they’re pretty close!

      FCD

  5. 0 out of 5

    :

    The 7′ F-rocket has 40.29 liters of volume, the 6’10 Huevo has 40.94 liters of volume. Which one paddles best? Thanks, Ken

    • 0 out of 5

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      Ken-

      I think I can help you better if you tell me what you want to surf i.e. the types of waves, how big etc. The fin setups are very different (the Huevo is a 2 +1, the F-rocket is a quad) and they will have different types of drive depending on the intended end use. Huevos are usually an alternative for longboarders that want to step down and have something with less swing weight, but still trim on the face. The f-rocket can be surfed more forward in big hollow waves (think Kohl at cloudbreak) but can also be surfed high performance and more off the tail. Paddle wise they both have the same volume but the types of waves will also effect how they paddle.

      Hope this makes sense,

      FCD

  6. 0 out of 5

    :

    I’m looking for a board that will handle steep and hollow beach break. Here in NJ there those days after a storm when it gets serious(at least for me) and my 6’10″ HR is not the best board for the conditions. I like boards with more volume, I had a KMRP but it was too light at 6’10″. Thanks.

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Ken-

      Yeah, the Huevo is not the board for those days, but it’s probably the best board for all the other days (I grew up in Jersey). For the epic hurricane and winter time swells when it’s breaking top to bottom I think you’ll be better suited with the F-rocket.

      Hope this helps!

      FCD

      • 0 out of 5

        :

        Ken-

        Another idea may be to look at a 6’10 Octo, it has 38.86 liters of volume and an outline more suited for hollow beachbreak while remaining full enough to maximize paddling ease. Check it out or give us a call at the shop and we’ll talk you through it.

        Best,

        FCD

  7. 0 out of 5

    :

    Just to clarify, my HR has adequate volume but I do not think it’s the best type of board for the hollow conditions.

  8. 0 out of 5

    :

    Hi FCD – what are the dimensions and volumes of the 6’6 and 6’6 F rocket? Also what conditions you recommend this board versus the KMRP?

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Jeff-
      Sorry for the delayed response, I was on vacation. The 6’6 F-rocket is 19-1/4 x 2-3/4 and has a volume of 36.81 liters. The 6’6 Huevo is 20-7/16 x 2-1/2, and has 37.13 liters. The 6’6 KMRP is 19-1/8 x 2-7/16 and has a volume of 31.12 liters. The F-rocket has almost as much volume as the Huevo but surfs more high performance, the KMRP has the least volume and is capable of the most high performance surfing but is more dependent on personal paddle strength to get into the same waves as a same sized F-rocket or Huevo.
      In a nutshell, you can paddle into the biggest waves you want to ride earlier on the F-rocket and the Huevo but you will be able to surf more performance oriented on the F-rocket. You won’t be able to paddle into the same size waves and get in as early on the KMRP as the F-rocket because of volume, but you will be taking off deeper, later and in a more critical spot on the wave. So, depending on what you want to do this is how it breaks down.

      Hope this helps!

      FCD

  9. 0 out of 5

    :

    (sorry – meant to write 6’6 and 6’8)

  10. 0 out of 5

    :

    I was wondering what the difference in nose and tail widths was between a 6’6 f-rocket and a 6’6 Huevo. Could you still ride the f-rocket in everyday conditions similar to the Huevo? (Side note) I’ve been riding the same quad fish of yours for more than 7 yrs…best board I’ve ever owned! Thanks FCD crew..keep on rockin

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Tom-

      We don’t publish any dimensions besides the basics online, if you give the shop a call they can give you exact measurements. You can definitely ride them both on every day conditions, but when it get to the best days of the year, if you are surfing more hollow top to bottom waves…then you will want the F-rocket.

      Sorry I’m not more help!

      FCD

  11. 0 out of 5

    :

    Hi. I got a 5 fin 6’8 Huevo that’s my daily driver and really enjoying it.

    I’m lucky enough to be going on my first surf trip to FIji later this year and I want to know if you would recommend an F-rocket for me or one of your other boards like the dm3 or quad fin FCD fish or something else? I’m taking my Huevo for sure but I feel like I need to bring another board just in case.

    I’m a middle aged 190lb weekend warrior type who likes small to medium sized waves usually.

    thanks!!!

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      JC-

      Yeah man for sure the F-rocket, you will get more waves on that than the DM3 or Fish for sure. Plus if you are coming off a Huevo you will transition way better as the paddle-ability between the two are more similar than not. You’ll be stoked man!!

      Have a great trip!

      FCD

  12. 0 out of 5

    :

    FCD,
    My wife and I own an Octo, Quark, DM3 and KMRP. I have been considering a 6’6″ F-Rocket and am wondering what the bottom contour(s) are – single concave?
    Thanks and cheers!
    Justin

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Justin-

      Thanks for the support! The F-rocket has a bottom that is single to vee with double conclaves in the tail. Hope this helps! It’s a speed machine, Deepwater 7 will be out in a week, check out how fats Kohl goes at Cloudbreak on that board!

      FCD

  13. 0 out of 5

    :

    Hey there, I’m after a board for bigger waves and originally liked the ollk on the KMRP but think that the F Rocket is the board I’ve been looking for….. Do you have any plans to ship some to Europe?
    Cheers,
    Tom

    • 0 out of 5

      :

      Tom-

      We could where are you? Down The Line in the UK stocks board as well as our San Sebastian Surf shop. We could probably work something out through one of them.

      FCD

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