Pyzel Shadow Review

The Shadow by Pyzel is arguably one of the most popular high performance shortboards in the world amongst intermediate to advanced surfers alike. Here at Boardriders Echo Beach we sell many Shadow boards to surfers visiting Bali and the feedback is always great. Here’s what we have to say about the features of the board and how it applies to surfing in Bali….


Background of the Shadow

 The Shadow was born after the success of the Ghost model which Jon Pyzel created closely alongside John John Florence. The verdict of the Ghost was that John John absolutely loved it, however when the waves got smaller, around head high and under, the Ghost tended to stick and not go so well. And so the Shadow was developed. John John basically wanted the same powerful and high performance feel of the Ghost but for smaller waves. A main fundamental feature of a surfboard is the outline rocker, and so Jon decided to keep the main rocker as close to the Ghost as possible to keep a similar feel. To improve for smaller waves, he added more concave between the feet position on the bottom of the board, which creates a speed spot between the feet, offering more glide and speed. The nose of the board is pulled in more with some added nose rocker in the last 18inches of the board, which doesn’t affect the overall rocker, but instead makes the nose fit better into the tight curve of smaller punchy waves. This means you are less likely to bog the nose through turns and carry out your turns with precision and confidence. The tail of the board has a slight tail lift for increased pivot for turns, and the tail was also made wider so that there is more surface area to push hard off of in weaker conditions that require more effort for manoeuvres. Lastly there is also some added volume to the board in comparison to the Ghost, which makes is easier to surf in smaller conditions where volume aids with paddle power.


Best Conditions

 The Shadow was made for waves anywhere up to head high and a half. This does depend on how powerful the waves are in your area, but this is the general guidance to go off of.


Is the Shadow a good option for surfing in Bali?

 This very much depends on your level and where you plan to surf. For intermediates and advanced surfers looking for an everyday board that they can surf in a wide variety of waves in Bali, we would highly recommend it. This board will go great in the punchy breaks at Echo Beach, Canggu, such as Sandbar and Rivermouth. In the Bukit this board could be a great option for Uluwatu when it is fun sized around head high and a few foot bigger. Also breaks like Keramas and Balian would also be good spots to surf the Shadow. We do not recommend this board for very small and weak conditions, and is simply not designed for it. On the flip side we also do not recommend the Shadow for big heavy barrels as a longer pin or round tail board would be more suited.


Who can ride the Shadow?

 The Shadow is a fantastic high performance board that advanced surfers will love, however due to its attributes of more volume and ease of turning, this board is also well suited to progressing intermediates. The Shadow really focuses on getting as much high performance out of your surfing in head high surf, and so you are likely to really enjoy this model if high performance is what you’re looking for. We do not recommend this board for beginners.


What size should you ride?

This can vary due to personal preference however we would recommend to ride the Shadow around your exact height or an inch over.


Shop the Shadow here.


pyzel shadow review bali 

Here is a video of Jon Pyzel and John John Florence discussing the Ghost and Shadow:


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