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Nick Vasicek all time Indo!

by Todd Ward on July 14, 2017

At his hometown on the Gold Coast Nick Vasicek is known for his backhand attack and tube riding skills, especially at waves like Snapper and Kirra when they’re on. That being said, he’s no stranger to a solid forehand tube either as seen above!

Boards of choice for Vassa in this clip are the Burnside and Magic Mix models which he rode at big Desert Point and in smaller playful Mentawais.

Music: “Eyeline” by Kut U Up
Footage courtesy @HappilyStoked
Edit by Bryce Frees

Gary McNeill’s Sustainable Surfboards

by Tommy Barrels on July 7, 2017

It makes sense that a Surfer and Environmental Activist like Dave Rastovich in a world of mass production would strive towards a more sustainable answer to meet his surfing needs. Gary McNeill and “Rasta” have worked closely for 10 years designing left of field high performance boards tailored to his skill and style. Now with the right resources the two have come up with seemingly the world’s most eco-friendly surfboard construction. The end result is a perfect balance between strength, flex and sustainability.

Tune in as Gary talks with Magic Seaweed with exclusive footage of Rasta surfing his Signature Twin Fin as one of the first flax board prototypes.

The Flax and Bio Resin construction is now available on all Gary McNeill Concepts across the Boardcave network.

Selecting the Right Tail Pad

by Ben Preston on June 20, 2017

Modom Grips

The amount of tail pads out on the market is crazy! And with more brands coming out daily, the options are endless. What’s funny however, is when we treat ourselves to a new board, we revert to the “yeah that will do..” attitude. In-fact there’s actually more to it. Each pad has its own purpose, and the intricate design of them aims to benefit your surfing

Unfortunately with tail pads we don’t have the liberty like fins to change them regularly. So we’ve compiled some insights on what to look for when buying a new grip.

The Four Essential Components to Tail Pads

Kick – The degrees in the kick range from a mellow 20 degrees right up to vertical. The steeper the kick the more secure your foot is to blow out the back of waves. If its performance surfing you like, a kick between 45 degrees to vertical is the perfect all rounder. If it’s a pad you need for a fish/retro board, a mellow flat tail pad is your answer for down the line surfing.

Arch – Arch design alone is incredibly broad. However it all comes down to the size of your foot and how much movement you like to have. If you’ve got smaller feet, the need for a pad with a small to minimal arch would be best. Although if you’ve got a bigfoot, then look for something with a longer, higher arch that nearly runs the length of the tail pad.


Pieces – From one piece to five piece, they’re designed to effectively be usable on most boards. One piece pads aren’t as common nowadays as they were a good 10+ years ago however they have made a comeback recently for their durability. For a while the two piece pads were seen as the weird uncle to the three pieces. Typically featuring no arch and a mellow kick, these pads are great if you’re throwing something down on the rear of your fish. 3 pieces are the most common grips, allowing for an even spread of grip and versatility for all board models. Five pieces are effectively the three piece grip but with two tabs that sit above the main area of the tail pad adding extra grip in bigger swell.

Traction – The grooves themselves are more often than not shaped like diamonds, some feature multi layered grooves, others a single layer groove. Circular designed traction is also starting to make an appearance amongst some manufactures. However, the basic rule of thumb is the rougher the grooves, the greater the traction. This provides maximum resistance against slipping and extra grip, but will still allow you to move your foot about when needed. A single layer groove generally is a straightforward design that allows both grip and movement. A multi layered groove looks like a diamond with another diamond on top. These are the grippiest of the grippy. Once your foots down it isn’t moving anytime soon. And if it does, it’s against its own free will..

So What’s The Best Tail Pad For Me?

Julian Wilson Cloud Break

More often than not it’s personal preference of what works best for you. However, consider the board you’re applying it to as the basis for your decision. From there;

  • How many pieces do I need?
  • Does the kick have a high enough support or do I need something with less kick?
  • Consider the arch and how your foot would relate to it
  • What kind of waves are you looking to use your new board in?
  • Do I need something with ultimate traction? or something that lets me shift around freely

Once you’ve answered these problems apply the pad and your good to go. Just remember you don’t want to be playing around with them too much or you’ll lose your sticky adhesive. The unfortunate thing is once its down, leave it.

To find out if you’re riding the right board, CLICK HERE

Crusty Classics ~ Shelter

by Ben Preston on June 8, 2017

Ever watched a movie and have been so inspired to venture out into the wild, Shelter effectively does just that. The production house behind Shelter, The Moonshine Conspiracy formed around 1998 and collectively produced 6 films in total. All movies had a very melancholy feel which took a grassroots approach to surfing, enlightening a different perspective. Everything from filming on 16mm film, which really suits surf films due to the dull colours and soft appearance it achieves. To the base cast in their movies which mostly consisted of Kelly, Rob, The Malloys, Taylor Knox and Shane Dorian. And then adding complementing surfers to the roster of each movie produced.

Hatched out of the retro-sensible minds of Emmett Malloy, the Malloy Brothers and Jack Johnson. Shelter was produced in 2001. The concept was a throwback and somewhat of a homage to Morning Of The Earth, and they definitely achieved it by basing the crew in a house in farmland Byron Bay. The approach to basically banish any form of competitive or commercial components of surfing from the house, and soak up what surfing is all about. Surfing, shaping boards, making music, hanging out all out of a house that sets a humbling melody tone throughout the whole movie. Whats even cooler is watching the boards they’re riding, how different they have changed to what we know and ride today. Even filming the movie has a different feel which really isolates the distinct separation of yesteryear and modern surfing films. Overall the movie instills some sort of drive to want to get a group of buddies together, find a beach shack and hold up in it for a few weeks, surfing, hanging out and just creating good times.

The one thing that these style of films did really well, was cross over different disciplines of surfing from Shortboards, Logs and retro’s which goes to show that as long as your a surfer, it doesn’t matter what you ride. Having fun and doing it in style is the most important part of being a surfer. Some interesting stories pop up through the movie, which may open your eyes to some things you may not be aware of. Remember this is now 16 years old and all the surfers featured in it include the likes of Rob, Taylor Knox, Joel Tudor, Mick Fanning, Dingo, Jack Johnson, The Malloys, Slater, Conan Hayes, Nathan Webster, Nat Young (OG Nat Young), Brad Gerlach, Donavon F. and Shane Dorian. All of whom are still incredibly relevant in modern surfing today. Sit back and enjoy this classic, you’ll be humbled by how good it is.

Wax On Wax Off

by Ben Preston on June 6, 2017

surf wax

It’s a good feeling waxing up a new board. It’s just one of the best feelings we get as surfers, and honestly between getting new boards, barrels, perfect waves and no crowds, waxing up that new board sits amongst them. But still it’s an interesting science how wax on a board works. Sure you have all the pretty colours each block of wax comes packaged in, however it’s how the stuff works is what makes it interesting. Top coats, bottom coats, dream cream etc, they all have a purpose. Hey, all the bro’s at your local surf shop will tell you this and that about the stuff, which is perfectly fine. They’re surrounded by it everyday.. and so too are we. Which is why we thought we’d pass on some basic words of wisdom, to get a little more clued up on the right stuff for your next trip. From soft,hard and firm to sticky and stable, here’s our guide to making sure you have the right wax for your next surf or tropical island boat trip.

Soft and Sticky

Sticky wax, more or less, applies primarily to colder conditions. The softer the wax and stickier it is, the better in the cold it works. It does have its pro’s and cons so its purpose is still worthy. Whilst it’s stickier and easier to apply to your board, don’t be surprised if the pressure points where your chest lies or front foot is planted rub the wax away or feels squishy. It’s ok if it does this because hey your a nut job surfing really cold water. Good on you good sir for braving the frigid temperatures and being the definition of committed surfer. Some old guys I’ve seen in the car park at snapper like to use cold water waxes to firmly plant their hoof to their board and not be flung off when committing to that bomb out on the shoulder.

Firm and Hard

Firm and hard waxes, are a lot more stable and better suited for most conditions if the maximum wetsuit thickness you use is a 3/2mm. Again this type of wax has its pros and cons too. Harder waxes are going to be less sticky, which is needed as the water temperatures soften the wax slightly, helping to bond your foot and the board better. Otherwise you’ll do a barry crocker on that turn and slide off the back. Harder waxes are also somewhat more difficult to apply at first on a fresh board. But once that work out is over, it’s smooth sailing here out. The one good thing is that harder waxes generally stay in place and wont rub off or move around as easily as soft waxes. Just don’t use hard waxes in cold water conditions as it will flake off. And all that time you spent applying the perfect criss-cross pattern will be all but gone.

Single Coat vs Double Coat

Honestly this one is as comparable to coriander as it gets. You either like it or don’t, and by that I mean some crew like a single coat, others like a double coat. A single coat refers to using just one formula of wax repeatedly until it gives you the stickiness and stability you desire. If it suits you, why fix it if it’s not broken right? Double coat refers to a combination of wax formulas to achieve the adequate stickiness you want. A harder basecoat lasts over time, providing a surface that can bond and hold to the topcoat which makes it harder to rub away on those pressure points. Once that’s all good and kosher, apply your topcoat wax. Your top coat should be much softer than your basecoat which can be any formula of wax softer than what you’ve used on the base. There’s no golden rule to what works best, it comes down to personal preference. So what’s the best for me?

That all depends on where your surfing. If it’s colder places like Tassie then more than likely a double coat will be the best thing for you or a single layer of gold dream cream. For the warm water dwellers a single coat is pretty much bang on. For those “freezing cold” winter days on the Gold Coast, a top coat from the bronze cream should work for the charger you are. If your travelling or the temps are starting to change soon, you could possibly apply a tough basecoat for the warmer conditions that you’ll encounter but soft enough for the cooler waters.

Finally we have to have an honourable mention of the soap layer. This one goes out to all those in desperate times when you’ve run out of wax. Surprisingly, a layer of soap bonds incredibly well with a top coat of wax and it makes for a smooth and stable grip. Perfect for those bigger days when you don’t want to get caught out of place, or need the grip on those critical and steep take offs. Honestly if you believe that, go try it. Just not a big day. Now if your on a road trip with the boys and someone passes out early, yeah why not, lets see how much fun can be had and soap up his board. Just don’t tell them.

3 Perfect Travel Combos

by Ben Preston on May 31, 2017


The age old dilemma.. What do I take for my next trip to indo/pacific island/some tropical reef pass? Your kind of left with a question in the back of your mind question if its going to be too big or too small. We all imagine the conditions to be as perfect as the waves out of The September Sessions but the reality is three quarters of us would all stay on land/boat once it peaks over 6ft across the razor sharp reef and sink tins. Funny thing is, all of us would tell everyone at home we got perfect 8ft such n’such reef with no one out. So as they say, there’s always three sides to a story, yours, theirs and the truth. But don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a good story right.

So when it comes time to pick those gems of water sleds, you really have a set image in your mind that this board will be perfect for this trip. Wrong! First question you really should ask yourself is will I use that board at home when I’m not sinking bintangs with the boys? If you answered yes, it’s time to pick it up. If you answered no, move on. Simple. The second question you should ask yourself has two parts, and should be something along the lines of “what’s my baggage allowance?” and “how many boards should I take?” Thats easy, 1, check your airline’s baggage policy and 2.. Yes, literally two boards. If you bust up your boards you can always pick up another one over there or ride your buddy’s, provided you dont bust that one either.

Now you’ve answered these trivial questions of life, time to narrow it down. One board you should take should be focused towards small waves or a fun style of board for the days when you just want to bash around on a beachie or small average days. Yes you do get them so be prepared. Your other board should be an all round performance or a step up that will handle bigger and better quality waves, specifically a more finely tuned craft to score the huge cavern you’ve been dreaming of. If your lucky to take a third you can opt for it to be either a step up, a backup performance board or a retro board for the hell of it.

You see, we are a good bunch of humans at Boardcave who like to help you dudes and dudette’s out. And we debated long and hard on which boards compliment each other for the perfect quiver combo and came up with these to help you make your next board purchase for your trip easier.

Stacked boards

1. The Hypto and Vapor

This combo really suits the surfer who’s style is laid back, cruisy and just flatout horizontal when they are on wave. What we mean is, they make small boards and trimming look cool. The Hypto Krypto by Hayden Shapes can surprisingly hold its own in the big stuff and work well for you in the small average conditions. Its flat profile allows you to commit to some gnarly take offs and make them while still maintaining the control and speed you want in a board, effectively it can act as a backup board too.

The Vapors by SUPERbrand Surfboards is similar to the Hypto in that, it is a high volumed shortboard, but more designed as your trusty go to option. However it’s performance characteristics make it the easy surfing fish style model for surfers who don’t ride fish, but still want a performance style board.

2. DX1 and the Sure Thing

This combo is definitely your vertical/performance minded surfer who really wants fast down the line perfomance, responsive manoeuverabilty and stability. The Sure Thing by Pyzel Surfboards is a well balanced performance and fun board, perfect to take with you on your next trip for those soft, average days your bound to get while abroad. What’s nice about this shape is the forward volume and the hip in the rear creates a stable feeling across flatter sections without losing speed, plenty of control and when you need to get going, the help of the little channels between the fins really propells the board to another level. Especially for a small wave board!

The DX1 JF by DHD surfboards is a more refined and slightly beefed out to the original DX1. This is one board your really need to take and see it shine in the hollow waves its built for. A single concave running the length of the board really helps the board lift and fly. At the end of the day it is a performance board you want with you on your next trip but be warned, this model although it can look forgiving is an advanced board and not for your everyday average waves. Get it into some fast and hollow waves, you’ll be grinning ear to ear that you have this board under your feet.

3. Sweet spot and wave warrior

Going to G-Land? These two boards will be the ones you’ll want to be wielding ready for those infamous days that will have you held up in folklore with your mates This combo is for the big fella’s, the chargers amongst us who don’t hold back and just go from broke no matter what! The Wave Warrior by DMS Shapes uses a single concave and low rocker make it optimum for getting in early and naturally generating planing speed from the low entry rocker. As its name states, its performance positioning and responsive natures make it perfect for top to bottom surfing. Just imagine those long, steep fast walls of G-Land and how this would fly down the line reacting to every twitch you desire to go up and down the face.

Ahh how’s the Sweet Spot on this! Made by DHD this model complements any single one of the boards mentioned within this article. Why? For one it’s double layered glassing construction means it’s reinforced to take those heavy hits and reinforced around the plugs ensures it will be in one piece even if you commit to something way out of your depth and take a beating. The other good thing about it is the forward volume incorporated in the outline, making paddling a breeze and the double concave makes controlling the speed that the board generates easy. A perfect travel companion or even for home when the waves are pumping!

Got my boards

To make sure you’ve got the right sized board, have a read of our article on board volume to ensure you have the right craft for your next mission and your packing your boards correctly.

Crusty Classics ~ The Blueprint

by Ben Preston on May 24, 2017

A little throwback Thursday going on today. Shane Dorian is known today mostly due to the size of his gonads and his reputation as a charging nutcase by committing to some seriously big paddle in waves at Jaws, and terrifyingly open barrels at pipe year in year out. However, what most are unaware of is his prowess and style on smaller waves. For over a decade Shane spent each year on the CT, clocking up a bag of impressive results you’d expect from a surfer as smooth as he is. But in 2004, Shane departed the tour to chase 2 projects, one was Taylor Steele’s Campaign 2 – the other being his own biopic. The Blueprint documents Shane’s career and gives a pretty interesting insight into his way of thinking in the XXL conditions modern surfers have grown to know. Highlights of this movie not only include a rad soundtrack that really suits his surfing, but more notably 3 critical sections.

The Opener – if you want to see someone as committed to and effortlessly surf pipe and backdoor this is a perfect example. This part kicks off around 3:30min mark and really paints a good picture of what the movie direction will take you through.

Andy & Shane at Cloudbreak – Shane speaks very highly of the late and great Andy Irons, describing his power and style on his backhand as a style that shines the most in really perfect waves, especially lefts – of course Andy got the best wave in the section. More importantly this part is still incredibly relevant today and it’s a good 12 years old! Fast-forward to 7min to get this section into gear.

Shane’s Mind – at 29:30min, Taj paints a pretty accurate picture of what Shane Dorian is today – a maniac. The footage that follows and what he says about committing to waves of consequence hold true to his ability. However it’s how he describes the feeling of going over the falls and taking a beating is what is eerily sinister. Most people wouldn’t say taking a beating is part of the fun, yet for Shane it’s what keeps him in check to charge harder and take a different line to everyone else in the line up.

It’s a long movie and not one you can get away with on an extended toilet break. This one deserves your full attention and a couple of beers. By the end of the movie you’ll count Shane Dorian as one of your favourite surfers to date, Enjoy!

Simon Anderson ~ Thruster Invention

by Todd Ward on May 4, 2017

Step inside the mind (and factory) of Simon Anderson, creator of the thruster fin setup, which has evidently become the standard of surfboard design. The thruster fin setup has been thoroughly tried and tested and remains the favourite fin configuration for a lot of surfers. It offers more release than a quad fin setup but provides more control than a twin fin setup (and arguably more drive). Grab a beer and open your ears to Simon’s theory on board design and see what makes him tick!

View the full range of Simon Anderson board models right HERE.
Order a custom or leave an enquiry to see what’s available in stock.

Brett Barley on the Siamese Twin

by Todd Ward on May 4, 2017

Brett Barley documents his first ride on the brand new Siamese Twin Fin by SUPERbrand Surfboards.

Get an inside look at this brand new model as Brett takes on the waves of North Carolina and puts the Siamese Twin through it’s paces to see what this board is really capable of.

Put this board on your Christmas in July wish list!

Kai Hing & Lee Wilson

by Todd Ward on April 26, 2017

Kai Hing & Lee Wilson threading the needle in Bali. 3.10 till the end will have you mesmerised and your eye balls glued to the screen. It’s just a taste of what’s to come from these 2 in the long awaited Metal Neck 3.

Lee Wilson’s riding a range of sleds from Chilli Surfboards and Kai’s back foot’s locked in with his signature Creatures tailpad.

Footage by Matt Tromberg & Shane Fletcher