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An unsponsored review on an affordable Bali Surfboard made by Luke Studer.
If you come to Bali, you’ll notice all those boards in the water with a big S on it. Of course, there are so many other boards like Al Merrick, Chilli, Lost and all the other well-known brands. But I’d say still more local boards than in other surf regions. And the brand you probably see the most is Studer Surfboards.
Luke Studer sells somewhere between 600-800 boards per year and almost all of them in Bali! You find them in Canggu, Uluwatu or in many shops all over the island. Or even better, you go to his shop, where you have to choose from a couple of hundred stock boards!
You find all his models online, and usually they have them in most sizes and with different fin system ready in the shop for you to buy.
Luke Studer is probably not the most innovative guy if it comes to shapes. But if you’re looking for something fancy, you just have to check the hipster shops in Canggu. There you’ll find your retro twinny, or what ever you want.
But if you’re looking for a proven shape that works, welcome to my Studer Surfboard review.
As far as I know, all of Studer’s boards are replicas of famous models by other brands. Or at least much inspired and comparable with them. So if you’re looking for a Hypto Krypto, it might be called “Egg”, or the Go Fish from Rob Machado is here the “Dogtooth Tuna”.
In perfect Indo waves, every board is working well. The most radical high-performance board could be ideal on many days. But I was looking for an all-rounder to have fun with, in less than perfect conditions.
My theory is, if the board works good in bad conditions, it should be no problem to surf it in flawless waves.
Because of that, I though I rather buy a step down board, and my chosen weapon was the “Fusion”.
The Fusion is pretty much “the Flyer” by Al Merrick, which is not on the market anymore. The idea behind the board is by now a very common one and is applied to a variety of different shapes by different brands.
A lot of volume under your chest, and not much rocker to make it a user friendly board that is fast and works well in waves that are not quite powerful.
Here is my verdict to the Studer Surfboard review:
# 1 Shape
I absolutely love the shape of this board, and it works great for me. Not only in less than perfect waves, but I had some awesome days with it in incredible waves too!
I’ve been looking at a few different models, but this was the one that felt right under my arm. That might be a bit old school, but I still like to hold the board under my arm to get an idea about it. And if this feels right, the chances for it to feel right in the water are already pretty good.
Luke sais about this board:
The fusion is a step down model, designed for when the waves aren’t quit powerful enough for your normal board. The combination of extra volume, a lower faster entry rockers and straighten tail rocker, equals speed. I added a hip into the outline, which helps keep a wide area between the feet and a pivot point for quick turns. Rails are a bit fuller. The bottom features a single to double concave.
# 2 Quality
You can buy many of his boards in PU or in Epoxy. I bought it as a classic PU with Futures Finns.
Studer Surfboards have a reputation for breaking easily! I don’t know if this is because almost everyone surfs them in Bali’s barrels and not in friendly European beachbreaks? But funny enough, during my first session with it, I had a crash with someone else’s board in the water, and it was creased across the middle! How ever, I didn’t bother fixing it, and kept surfing the board like that. And it lasted! So many people who saw it, told me: “It will break with your next wipe out!” But it didn’t.
I’ve been surfing this board a lot, and in all kinds of conditions, and it lasted so much longer than I expected. At some point, it cracked even on the rails, and I had to have it fixed. The guy (in Morocco) did an incredibly terrible job, but I still surf the board, I still like it a lot, and it still lasts! The crease from the first session was just bad luck. Other than that, it has some pressure dings and holes as every PU board has, that goes through so many airports, ferries, crowded line ups, rocks and hotel room walls…
So I would say, at least from the only experience I have with Studer Surfboards:
The quality is much better than its reputation.
The only negative experience are the fins. Make sure to check the fin boxes and screws in the shop before you buy it. And if you buy their fins, be extra careful, they often don’t fit!
# 3 Feeling
The board feels the way a PU board has to feel. Nothing fancy, nothing special. But this is why I bought it. I just wanted a great high performance shortboard, that still works if the waves are not as awesome as on a good day in Indo. As I haven’t surfed other models of Studer Surfboards, I can’t talk about the feeling of them in general. But from my experience, I can say, this board feels how it looks like. And if you know what you want, and have enough experience to pick your board out of a huge stack of boards, you might be just as satisfied as I am.
# 4 Price
The price is hard to beat and crazy cheap compare to board prices from bigger brands and in other parts of the world. And around 350$ for a quality surfboard with a shape that works is definitely something, right?!
# 5 Team
Kind of unusual for a Bali Surfboard brand, but Luke Studer Surfboards have a team. And with riders such as the Hawaiian Mikala Jones and Indonesian wunderkind Rio Waida, he has definitely some talent showcasing his boards. But have a look for yourself.
Of course, there are some other local shapers in Bali that are happy if you buy a board from them, and support them. And I definitely love to do it (read more about this here). But if you fly into Bali and want to go and get a good quality surfboard for a great price and hustle free, Luke Studer could be your first address.
On top of this, the staff working at the Studer Surfboard Shop is not only entertainingly funny, but they are also very helpful and it feels like they know what they’re talking about. And that’s another big plus.
Studer Surfboard Review, Pro’s and Con’s
°Good value for price
°Good staff working there
°Great selection of models and sizes
° Cheap and good tail pads
°Not as personal as a custom board
°Check the fin boxes (and fins), they sometimes don’t fit perfectly
°The quality is not as good as a branded Australian board, such as DHD, JS, Hayden…
Let us know about your experience in the comments, and help to make it a more accurate Studer Surfboard review. What’s your model, how does it feel and how durable is it?
Thanks for sharing…
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you mentioned “As far as I know, all of Studer’s boards are replicas of famous models by other brands. ” so the sub-fusion and Pill models would be a equivalent to or similar to which Channel Island or HadenShapes board? I am not familiar with Lukes boards but i am familiar with CI and Hayden boards
I can’t tell you from what model they are replicated. I only know that Luke Studer’s Fusion in CI’s Flyer, because i love this board, and had two. With the other models, it comes down to guessing, or talking to the guys at the shop.
I bought this exact model second hand recently in newquay cornwall! Very happy with it so far though not surfed it in massive waves.
I did notice the flatter shape with a small rocker when i first bought it. My last board had a much bigger rocker but maybe it was too sensitive sometimes. This flatter rocker might lead to less wipes outs and more control im thinking.
It came with something called gas fins but i find no trace of this brand. any ideas