Author Topic: A 9'8 Jimmy Lewis Destroyer as a performance longboard - It works  (Read 480 times)

Dusk Patrol

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 853
  • PNW
    • View Profile
    • Email
There’s been some good reviews/discussion of the Destroyer in its “appropriate’ size… how it surfs small…  (MilSurf, LBsup, Lopezwill, BigZ )

But I’ve always been on the lookout for a bigger high performance board, and I’ve found it in the 9’8 Destroyer (9’3x31.3@160).

I’m 190 lbs (58 yrs) at total intermediate level. So when I say I like a cruisy board to carve longer turns, it’s true, but also a function of my abilities : )  But this board… it fixes my perceived issues with past boards.  My New Deal – domed deck more than I like, and less stable than I like in choppy conditions.  The Destoyer – its deck is slightly domed, but not enough to be bothersome after a few hours. And with my feet inboard a bit, it’s even less noticeable.  But yet it results in nice narrowish rails. Even at 160 liters, the rails are mostly in the water. I can turn it from basically anywhere on the board.

It’s super capable:  With its tanker shape and size it catches pretty much anything that you think could be caught. Rail related, I had a shoulder high wave where I found myself floating on top… looking down, wondering how the hell this is going to work out… after a couple of seconds with me still up there, and I decided I’d drop and turn at the same time, and it worked.  The rail bit in and it took off.  The takeaway there is that the board is better than I am, so great for the ego.     

Rocker wise, the front is at a sweet spot where it either avoids or forgives pearling. I’ve happily watched the nose come up out of the water several times when I would have been toast in the past.  I also had a Stun Gun 10’2x32.5 @160. That was a nice board but appropriate for bigger waves than I surf.  That also had enough rocker that a few paddle strokes, when turning and catching a wave, would turn the board too far. The Destroyer in contrast allows me to stay on track and get up to speed without that overturning. The narrow rails also allow me to dig the paddle side rail in a bit to counter steer the board against the paddle’s effect if that makes sense.   I don’t feel like its pushing water when I paddle. Nor does it feel super glide-y. It's fast enough.     

Stability wise it’s easy. In chop it’s a little iffy, but you never fall. I think the little bit of instability is just because of the lack of battleship rails.  Volume wise, it doesn’t feel corky to me. I had a World Wide 9’9x33@171. That board felt corky, and it had volume out in wide rails. Plus I spend most of my time on 14’ flat water boards with 6” rails so maybe it’s just the contrast. 

It came with a 6” center fin and side bites, I’ve been using an 8” center that I like. Haven’t tried the smaller yet.

Paddle - Separately - I moved from a Werner 89” blade Rip Stick to a 79” blade Rip Stick.  I prefer the smaller blade. It is also has the narrow circumference shaft. That is also fine, but that shaft has a smaller handle accompanying it, which I suppose I can get used to, but it just feels like my hand overwhelms the handle. I should have gotten the standard circumference.   

Anyway… super stoked with the board. Because of where I live, sometimes months pass between surf sessions. So progress isn’t as fast if I could surf all the time. Maybe my needs will change as I get better, but I’m cool with this for the foreseeable future.       
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 02:45:39 PM by Dusk Patrol »
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4


  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 529
    • View Profile
Re: A 9'8 Jimmy Lewis Destroyer as a performance longboard - It works
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2020, 03:44:20 PM »

Stoked the Destroyer 9'8" is working out for you.  I really like the slightly drawn out shape of the 9'8".


  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: A 9'8 Jimmy Lewis Destroyer as a performance longboard - It works
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 10:06:53 PM »
Very interesting observations. I have only tried Destroyer 8’5 and to not repeat myself I love it. I cannot comment on larger Destroyers and how they work as HP longboards.

However, it looks like we have a similar quiver. My other board is Infinity New Deal 10x29.  I find these two boards to be a very versatile setup.  New Deal is also an amazing board and a true HP longboard. It works in a wide range of conditions but I love it in smaller fatter waves. It makes knee high waves fun. When it gets over waist high I do prefer my Destroyer as I am a longboard “hack” and don’t have skills to surf New Deal to its full potential.

If I ever get down to about 230  pounds (never ending quest :)), I am thinking about Destroyer 10x29x125l. I think 8’5 an 10’ Destroyers would be a dream quiver for 210-240 pounds riders.

« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 10:10:13 PM by BigZ »