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Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Cole Surfboards Trunk Model $550

By Jake Howard
ESPN.com

Cole Surfboards' Trunk Model, a perfect fit for an average day in the water.

Short and fat is the new beautiful, or at least for those marginal days when you're itching to get in the water but the surf is maybe just a little too pathetic to put up with. Enter Cole Surfboards' Trunk Model, aka the Black Diamond 5.

A thick, stubby gremlin of a surfboard, the Trunk Model has all the width and girth to make even the smallest surf fun. "It catches just about anything," tells shop manager John Robertson. "You look at them and wonder how you could ride something that short, but the mistake people always make is ordering them too long."

After about a dozen sessions on a 5'6" Trunk Model I concur, even a shin-high ripple is rippable. With a nice wide tail, and a 21-inch wide point, it planes into waves like a dream, and once up and going seems to be able to find speed in even the tiniest of pockets.

WHAT IT IS: The Trunk Model is based around a flat, very low entry rocker, and a deep "bonzer" style concave that runs full length from the nose, through the fins, and out the tail. The board then finishes off with a moderate amount of tail rocker. And depending on how you like your flow, it performs well with any number of fin configurations. It goes well as both a thruster and a quad, and for those creative types you may try two big side fins with a small trailer, or even a five-fin bonzer set-up.

"I tried the bonzer set-up the other day just messing around and the board went so good," says Robertson. "I didn't really expect it to work that good, but was able to keep the arcs really tight. But really the board goes well with any combination of fins. It's just a very versatile board."

WHY IT RULES: There's something about a custom made board that's really gratifying, and at Cole Surfboards all boards are hand shaped. That means the board's built specificially for you, taking not just your height and weight into the equation, but also what kind of boards you've been riding previously, where you'll be surfing, and all those other nuances that go into making a magic board work.

But as far as the Trunk Model goes, it's remarkably handy to have a small board that fits in the trunk or backseat of your car. Quick in-and-out sessions are a breeze, and because the Trunk Model has the ability to make the most out of very little bump, even an onshore after work session is a lot of fun.

"I make boards that I think I'd have fun riding," says Cole Simler, for whom the surfboard label is named. "That's why I got into shaping in the first place and that's still what motivates me. I like knowing that people are out there having fun on my boards."

WHERE TO FIND IT: You're probably not going to be finding many boards in your local surf shop racks, most of Cole's business is custom orders, so hit up his website or give him a call at 949.940.9044 and he'd be happy to whittle you a Trunk Model ... or anything else you might be dreaming of.