Blindside...who would have ever thought that I’d be riding a Blindside? I’m not saying they make bad boards, but in the past, I had never ridden one that was aggressive enough for my liking. That was up until now! The 2004 Blindside Blade 138. A board designed by Greg Nelson, this is the board that I believe will take me to the next level.
I rode the 138, which has a 16” waist. The boasts a 2 – 1” aluminum long based fins on each end. The Opposed Fin Angle, along w/ the curved flow channel and the turned down rail help in railing down the deepest edge hold on the cut and through the wake. That makes for a fast board. The landings are super soft, thanks to the Landing Zone Beam that runs from one end of the board to the other.
The rocker is unique. It has a modest 2.6”, 3-stage rocker, without a flat-spot in the middle, in which a flat-spot is partly to blame for slowing down a board. I said “modest” because in this day and age of the sport, that is relatively small. But, don’t be mistaken. This board is explosive off the wake. The board shoots you straight up!
I’ve always been a fan of Nelson designs, and when I heard he designed this board, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. When I got it, I was totally stoked! I couldn’t wait to ride it. So much so, I drove 4.5 hours on a Sunday morning to ride. (You all know how tough it is to find a pull in Southern California)
I thought this board would be similar to the Nelson. It is in the way that it bucks you, and it has super soft landings. But, its differences are very distinguishable. It’s fast. And when I mean “fast,” it really hauls! But, it’s not hard to control. The fins really do their job in holding the edge. I thought it would be grippy, but I was wrong…it was loose when I wanted to break it free.
The pop off the wake was amazing. It’s a bucking type of pop…straight up, straight down. Compared to the Nelson, I’d say it’s more abrupt. The pop will seem overwhelming to the beginner rider, but for those looking to take their riding bigger, this board will take you there.
The landings are super soft. I’ve cased the wake a few times off double-ups, and none of them hurt one bit. The beam really helps to soften up the landings.
For me, this is the board that will help me progress to the next level. It is fast, holds its edge, huge abrupt pop, and super soft landings. Everything I want in a board!