What Noel Says! - Video Reviews

Here you can find all of the Video Reviews that our good friend Noel Salas has released. Noel is the definitive source for unbiased reviews in the surf world and we are proud to be working with him here at Surfboard Empire.

If you are interested in looking at any of the boards reviewed, you can either get in touch with one of our amazing surf stores, or click the link next to the video to purchase the board online.

Pyzel - Mini Ghost

In this review Noel takes the Pyzel Mini Ghost in both squash and round tails for test drive in the Waco pool and in pumping waves at lowers.

Lost - SubDriver 2.0

In this episode Noel and Nate Yeomans put the Subdriver 2 through its paces in both PU and Lightspeed construction.

Slater Designs/Aipa - Flat Earth

In this surfboard review I put Slater Designs new "Flat Earth" through the paces.

I highly recommend the Flat Earth for Intermediate - Pro level surfers in 2-6' surf. I suggest sizing up roughly 2-3L more compared to your favorite Daily Driver.

My height: 5'9"
Weight: 160 lb or 72.57 kg

Stock Boards:
5'5" x 19 1/4 x 2 3/8 (25.9L)
5'6" x 19 3/8 x 2 7/16 (27.1L)
5'7" x 19 1/2 x 2 1/2 (28.4L)

Firewire - Dominator 2

In this episode I put the "Dominator II" by Firewire Surfboards through the paces.

Surfboard Dimensions: Stock 5'4" x 19 3/8 x 2 1/4 (25.9L) My Height 5'9" and weight 160 lb or 72.57 kg

Channel Islands - Fishbeard

In this episode I put the new Fishbeard twin fin by CI through the paces.

The model is a blend of the Neck Beard 2 from the middle to the nose of the board and the back third is a twin fin fish design. The Fishbeard offers excellent performance in tight transitions like a high-performance shortboard (HPSB) due to its sleek outline in the nose area. I pushed this Twin Fin like a HPSB every chance I got, and it did NOT disappoint.

The Fishbeard carries excellent down the line speed, great rail to rail transitions, and flow.

I highly recommend the Fishbeard for Intermediate - Pro Level surfers in 1-6' Surf. Beyond the 6' wave range still needs to be tested as I think this model would be epic in 6-8' point breaks.

This model performs best ridden longer and narrower compared to your typical Twin Fin Fish.

If you loved your NB2 then go roughly the same size.

My height: 5'9" My Weight: 160 lb or 72.5 kg

LSD - Noa Deane Pro Model

In this episode I review the "Noa" Deane Pro model by Luke Short Designs. Luke makes me two PU/Poly boards. Enjoy!!!!

Board Dimensions: Stock 5'8" x 18 3/4 x 2 5/16 (25.8L)

Custom 5'6" x 19 x 2 5/16 (25.6L)

My Height: 5'9" My Weight: 160 lb or 72.57 kg

Sharpeye Storms

In this episode I put the "Storms" by SharpEye Surfboards through the paces. Enjoy!!

Board Dimensions
5'8" x 18.75 x 2.38 (25.8L)
5'6" x 18.87 x 2.36 (25L)

My Height: 5'9"
My Weight: 160 lb or 72.57 kg

Cabianca Medina

In this episode I put "The Medina" model through the paces. I ordered two boards and they both went Mental.

Board DIMS:
Stock Round Tail: 5'8" x 18 3/4 x 2 3/16 (25.3L)
Custom: 5'6" x 19 x 2 5/16 (26L)

My Height: 5'9"
My Weight: 160 lb or 72.57 kg


Sharpeye Maguro

SharpEye Surfboards sends two "Maguro" twin fins down for review. Surfboard Dimensions: 5'0" x 19.5 x 2.45 (26.6L) EPS/Epoxy 5'2" x 19.5 x 2.4 (26.6L)

PU/Poly Twin Fins I recommend for this board:

Futures Fins: Machado Keels 

FCS II: Modern Keels


JS Monsta Box 2020

In this episode I put the JS Monsta Box 2020 through the paces. The folks at JS Send me two Stock Boards Review. Swallow Tail (HYFI Tech) 5'8" x 18 3/4 x 2 1/4 (25.6L) Squash Tail (HYFI Tech) 5'8" x 18 3/4 x 2 1/4 (25.6L) My height 5'9" My Weight: 160 lb or 72.57 kg


FCS II: Kolohe Andino Tri Fins

Futures: AM 2 Tech Flex Thruster

JS Bullseye

In this episode I put Occy’s new model called the “Bullseye” by JS Surfboards through the paces in 1-6’ surf.

As the waves got smaller (chest high and below) I began testing different fin setups to give it the speed I expect from a small wave performance board. After multiple days of board testing in 1-2’ surf I found that riding the Bullseye as Quad or Twin + Trailer offered the most speed and release in chest high and under surf.

After a week or so of testing the PU/Poly I asked JS for the same stock board in their Hyfi construction to get a little more speed and pop in smaller waves. The EPS Hyfi construction felt more alive under foot and it offered the projection I was hoping for in the smaller surf.

I highly recommend the Bullseye for intermediate – pro level surfers as a Daily Driver. This model performs best in 3-6’ surf. If you’re looking for the Bullseye to be your go-to board in 1-5’ surf, then I recommend it in the Hyfi construction as a Quad.

JS Black Barron

In this episode I put the JS “Black Baron” Twin Fin through the paces in 1-4’ surf. The 5’3” at 25 liters was extremely responsive and surfed like the performance Twin Fin that I was hoping for.

I noticed the board having more get up and go speed from the take off and quicker from turn to turn. The nose was free from bogging due to it being 1”shorter with less volume. This board is a GREAT paddler and has good glide so don’t let the lower liters scare you off to buying it bigger and getting less performance.

The Black Baron is a Favorite of mine for 2019 and I highly recommend it for intermediate – pro level surfers.

Lost Driver 2.0

In this episode I put the Driver 2.0 through the paces in 2-6'+ Surf.

After testing a stock 5'9" Round tail and a Custom 5'7" Squash tail the Driver 2.0 is the fastest and most user friendly HPSB I have ridden in 2-6'+ surf.

Both boards are excellent and I prefer the Squash Tail due to surfing Southern CA, 1-4' surf most of the time.

Surfboard DIMS: Stock 5'9" x 18.63 x 2.32 (25.90L) Custom 5'7" x 18.75 x 2.34 (25.45L)

Lost Hydra

In this episode I put the Lost "Hydra" through the paces. I get two stock boards... one 5'0" at (25L), and the other board is 5'1" at (26L). Both boards go good at the point breaks, but I like the 5'0" best as it went better at the beach breaks as well. The Hydra is quick and nimble in tight little pockets and paddles great. I also like how fast it is in mushy waves…… yes, I surfed it in some mushy beach break. I liked the Hydra best as a Quad and after thorough testing with the S-Wing fins they went excellent too. This little board is very versatile, and you can run a bunch of different fin set ups. The Hydra is a true Groveler and it is a FAVORITE of mine for 2020. I highly recommend it for Beginner - Pro Level Surfers in 1-3' surf.

Lost Swordfish

The Swordfish is a Kolohe Andino model inspired from the Lost RNF Retro. After riding the Swordfish, I noticed some similarities from the RNF Retro -- most noticeably is down-the-line speed and excellent traction through big carves. A couple visible changes from the RNF Retro and the Swordfish are the extra length and pointed nose on the Swordfish. These two major changes enhance performance surfing as the added rail line in length enables you to drive through turns, and the narrow nose keeps the first third of the board free from bogging through turns at high speeds.

After thorough testing, I found the Swordfish to be very fast, loose, and extremely maneuverable with its sleek performance outline compared to most other fish-type boards I’ve tried.

I am calling the Swordfish a daily driver, and I highly recommend it for intermediate to pro-level surfers in 2-6’ surf. If you’re looking for a fish that’s fast with a performance vibe, then you’ll love the Swordfish.

Pyzel Pyzalien 2

In this episode Noel put the “Pyzalien 2” through the paces in 1-6’+ surf. He started out testing the board at the BSR Surf Resort in Waco, TX and the more he rode this model the more it became a favourite.

The Pyzalien 2 is a favourite of Noel's for the Daily Driver category and is truly a 1 board quiver for surfers looking for a board that excels in 1-7’ surf. Noel highly recommends the Pyzalien 2 for intermediate – pro level surfers.


Lost Rad Ripper

The Rad Ripper is a great paddler and has great down the line speed due to its low rocker design. The outline has that 80’s retro vibe to it with a flat deck, beak nose, and wide tail. The somewhat aggressive tail rocker allows for good traction off the bottom for performance surfing in the pocket.

After two weeks of testing in perfect point break surf Noel struggled to surf the Rad Ripper smoothly as a Thruster. Switching to a quad set up really increased flow from rail to rail and I started to gel with the Rad Ripper. The more he surfed it the better it felt and at the end of two weeks he was sorry for the review to be over.

Noel recommends the Rad Ripper as a one board quiver for intermediate to pro level surfers for 1-5’ surf. He liked this model best as a Quad.

Lost Puddle Jumper HP

From Noel - "In this review I get two Puddle Jumper HP surfboards from Lost to test. Both boards are stock 5’3” x 19.63 x 2.35 Litres of volume 26.75. The waves we got for testing were ideal for this model in the 1-3’ range.

One board is your typical polyurethane foam with polyester resin, and the other construction is something brand new Lost will be releasing this summer called C4. The C4 construction is still a bit of a secret and I don’t know all that goes into this new technology but it felt really good. Great flex and feel with increased speed in every turn. I also noticed less pressure dents on the deck of the C4 board compared to the PU and Lost’s other popular construction they call Carbon Wrap.

I was very impressed with this little High Performance groveler in the pocket and it’s down the line speed. This Lost Puddle Jumper HP is a favourite of mine for 2018 in the 1-3’ wave range.."

Lost/MR Cali Twin

In this episode Noel put the Lost/MR "CA Twin" through its paces in 1-5' surf. He started this review in 1-3' surf and the following day went to BSR Surf Resort in Waco, TX. The Cali Twin went well in the pool and in the ocean.

Noel was stoked on the down the line speed, projection through maneuvers, and flow from rail to rail. Noel tested this model in two different constructions.... both boards are stock 5'4" x 19.5 x 2.28 Liters 26. One board in PU/Polyester resin and the other is EPS/Epoxy resin and they both felt good. He preferred the PU/Poly in the ocean as it carried a little more drive through turns due to a little extra weight.

Noel highly recommends the Cali Twin for Intermediate to Pro Level surfers in 1-5' surf.

Pyzel Astro Pop

From Noel - "In this episode I put the Pyzel “Astro Pop” through the paces in 1-4’ surf. We started testing this model in Waco, TX at BSR Surf Resort and it did NOT disappoint.

The two custom boards I ordered worked insane in the pool and ocean. The Astro Pop is very fast and offers excellent performance in tight transitions. I found it to be very user friendly and it excelled in 1-4’ surf. This performance fish felt good as a Quad, Twin Fin + Trailer, and it went great as a Thruster in the ocean too.

This is the most versatile board I have ridden to date that shreds in all three different fin set ups. I highly recommend the Astro Pop for beginner to expert level surfers that want to excel in small waves. "

Slater Designs Gamma

In this episode Noel reviews the Slater Designs “Gamma” in a new technology by Firewire called Helium.
He got his hands on two different versions. The first was a 5’6”, 25.5 litre model designed as a daily driver in the 3-6’ surf. The other was a 5’10” 26.5 litre version for a little bigger surf as a High Performance board in the 5-8’+ surf.
Both boards felt great in the 3-6’ surf but since we only got waves in that wave range the 5’6” board looked the best in the footage but the 5’10” felt good too.

Tomo Hydroshort

The Hydroshort is a great Daily Driver for 3-6’ surf. Noel caught a few 2’ waves on it and reported that it went well but the 2’ surf had a bit of push to it. He doesn’t recommend the Hydroshort as a groveler in 1-2’ mushy surf. After putting the Hydroshort through its paces in multiple wave sizes and conditions Noel liked it best as a Thruster with Medium fins and he highly recommend this board for Intermediate to Advanced surfers.



Channel Islands Neckbeard 2

from Noel- "The Neck Beard 2 goes really well in 1-6’ surf and it exceeded my expectations for performance surfing. From the very first session in 2-4’ surf there was a special connection with this model. It has incredible speed, good flow, and it enabled me to be more progressive in my surfing.

At times it felt magical… like I could do no wrong, manoeuvres that I would normally fall I was making. I was having so much fun in the 1-4’ surf that I didn’t want to get off of it. The waves jumped to 4-7’ and I continued to push the limits looking to find this boards ceiling and it continued to impress me. With this being said the Neck Beard 2 is the first board in my opinion that deserves to be called a “One Board Quiver.”

I highly recommend this board for 1-6’ surf for intermediate to pro level surfers. If this board is not on your radar…. it should be!!

Channel Islands OG Flyer

From Noel- "This classic design from 20 years ago is still relevant to todays surfing. The original design is still intact, they just modernised it by making it a little shorter but still keeping the original design. By doing this a classic has come back strong with the ability to perform in everyday conditions ranging from 2-6' surf.

We got great waves and weather for this review and I got to test the OG Flyer in suggested wave sizes and the board delivered the goods. It felt solid under my feet and in both EPS and PU. Both boards went good in both small waves and I was confident in my turns when the waves turned on up to 6'.

I say the OG Flyer is a great daily driver for the surfer who wants a versatile board to ride in waves ranging from 2-6'. This board has it all.... speed, agility, control, and it's spicy in good surf or in the less than average days!"

Pyzel Ghost

From Noel- "This board is very user friendly for a HPSB and I noticed that it paddles very well, along with generous sized sweet spots that make it very forgiving to ride.

One of the easiest performance boards I have ever ridden. It does not demand your feet to be in the perfect spots on the deck of the board to do good turns, and generate speed. I rode this board with the John John Florence signature Futures Fins as a Thruster set up in the hollow lefts we got to surf and then I switched to a Quad set up for a little more speed at the point breaks.

All in all this is a great HPSB to have in my Quiver and I am sure it can handle any size surf I want to push myself to ride."


Lost Driver Pro-formance

From Noel- "This surfboard review is on the Lost "Driver" surfboard. The Driver was originally launched in 2010-2011 and became a favorite amongst Lost team riders and surfers around the world. The main purpose for the release of the Driver in 2017 was to give the surf community the opportunity to purchase a board off the rack in surf shops with the same glass lay up as the Lost Pro team riders. With this option the boards are lighter, more responsive, and better flex.

I will say that the Driver is one of new favorites for 2017 and I recommend this board for surfers in the intermediate to advanced skill levels. This board is user friendly, very fast and responsive, and it has great flow too."


Lost RNF Retro

From Noel - "The Retro Fish is very versatile and goes GOOD in 1-4’ surf with multiple fin configurations. The PU construction gives it that classic retro fish vibe feeling solid on big carves and down the line speed.

Nate and I also talk about Lost’s new construction called C4 that has an EPS foam core with a thin layer of Cork covering the entire deck. This layer of cork acts as a dampener to reduce chatter, and strengthen the deck to extend the life of the board. The C4 construction has a livelier feel due to its EPS foam core. Nate and I both agree that it gives the Retro Fish a more performance feel compared to the PU adding a bit of flare or X Factor in every turn.

The Lost Retro Fish is a really fun board and I highly recommend it for surfers that range from beginners to the advanced levels."