you’re looking for a lively refined shorty (add extra width for less powerful waves).
Black Cat in PU is constructed from a standard weight Burford PU blank with team light glassing to enhance flex and performance. Black Cat Injection Technology is constructed from an Aero Blank “PLUS” density to be as close to the density of a standard PU blank as possible. This helps eliminate chatter and the corky feel of a standard epoxy blank. Innegra reinforcing tape controls flex. A continuous length of reinforcing material is injected through the core of the board to increase drive, torque or pop in the tail region. The deck is also reinforced with our original flex to weight system to suit a surfers requirements.
By simply looking at the PU DMS Black Cat it was apparent that it craved quality surf. Defined by its low rails, enhanced tail rocker and hip to rounded square tail shape, the board was a refined high-performance shortboard. The first few sessions I had on it were, however, in underwhelming surf. The board still functioned pretty well, handling mediocre sections with aplomb, and submitting to my every command on the face. However, given its in-built predilection for juicy surf, I felt that it hadn’t quite hit its straps in the commonplace shore breaks that were on offer. Later in the test, some hefty beach break conditions inveigled me to give the board another spin. Suffice to say, the session confirmed my theory. The Black Cat took to the more powerful surf immediately, handling vast amounts of speed with a cool indifference but still turning on a dime in critical sections. I was equally impressed with its ability to hold in on late drops and its stability underfoot. I would strongly recommend this board to anyone looking for a shortboard capable of functioning in both small and solid conditions. It’s the perfect option for a one board quiver or a surf trip blade.
Daniel MacDonald is a man of science when it comes to shaping. From the carbon wrap to his most recent creation ‘Injection Technology’, Dan is constantly tinkering with innovative board designs. The EPS Black Cat he submitted for the board test featured the cutting edge of his patented technologies. The board utilised ‘Injection Technology’ (a construction essentially injecting reinforcing carbon through the board instead of wrapping it around the rail) and was cut from an ‘Aero Blank Plus’ (the more dense version of the Aero Blank, another of Dan’s creations designed to combine the lightness and strength of an epoxy with the sturdy feeling of a PU). Having personally ridden the carbon wrap (albeit many moons ago) I was eager to try out this new technology. From the first wave, it was evident that the carbon injections through the tail stabilised the chattery feeling generally common to EPS boards. This combined with the density of the ‘Aeroblank Plus’ gave the board a PU-esque feeling without compromising the liveliness of the EPS materials. I rode the board in some punchy shore breaks, and it responded surprisingly well to being pushed in the lip and on rail. Moreover, it still surfed with the same vigour of a normal EPS in feeble surf. All in all, the board was uniquely versatile across an array of conditions. It was ideal for wave-starved summer seasons but could also hold its own when the waves turned on.
For the vast majority of conditions, I would adamantly choose the EPS over the PU. Its added zip and off the mark speed, courtesy of the EPS construction, made it far quicker in transition and easier to surf in weak waves. This combined with both the ‘Injection Technology’ and the ‘Aeroblank Plus’ give the board a fast yet secure feeling that belittled the abilities of the PU in most conditions. However, in waves three to four-foot and up, the PU came into its own and handled the speed a bit better than the EPS. Yet, if I had to choose between the two, I would still take the EPS, simply for the fact that it performs best in the conditions most common to where I live on the Gold Coast.