OK we’re cheating. FoamieCrew is supposed to be a place all about FOAM surfboards. But since Decathlon is becoming such a big player on the surfboard market we decided to put up a little review of their hard top range as well. And not just any hard tops… but the new Olaian longboard series 2019! Fresh out of the factory!
Olaian launched a line of good looking longboards. The three new 2019 models look really sharp and we couldn’t wait to dive into the specs. Are the Olaian longboards like ‘real’ longboards? What is the difference between the Decathlon longboards and Torq or NSP longboards? The new Olaian 9′ is based on the old Tribord 9′, a well-priced longboard with a two+one fin option. Besides the new 9′, Decathlon introduces a high-end 9′ performance longboard with a round tail and a two+one fin setup. The third new model is the Olaian 9’4 single fin – the tallest longboard developed by Decathlon till date. The redesign under the Olaian brand has done well for the looks of the longboards!
We did not have the chance to test the boards so all we do here is tell you what we think about the Olaian longboards from a first glance.
Tribord or Olaian?
Right now Decathlon still offers both Tribord and Olaian surf boards, but we expect that Tribord will be phased out and Olaian will be the sole dedicated surf brand.
Decathlon launched Olaian as a new brand identity dedicated to wave surfing specifically. The Olaian slogan “Wave it easy” tells us what we can expect from the products that will come out the next years: Foam and hard boards that help to make surfing easy.
Perhaps you’re looking into buying a Decathlong longboard, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this page. However…think before you buy! For some people (like myself) it turned out that I made a wrong decision. I thought I needed a longboard for small waves but it turned out that I had so much more fun on a soft top, as you can read in my struggles here.
Olaians’ research and development center is in Hendaye, close to Biarritz and Hossegor. That’s where the prototypes are shaped and tested before being mass manufactured overseas.
These are the first longboard hard tops under the Olaian brand name. Sure, Decathlon sold longboards before, but that was under the Tribord lable. The next few years all things surf will be labeled under Olaian.
The ‘old’ Decathlon longboard, the 9′ of the 500 series, was likely a succes because it formed the blueprint for the new 9′. The shape, fins and details are practically the same. The Olaian longboard just got a design update.
Just like the old Tribord longboard, the new Olaian 9′ comes with two side fins and and a white 6 inch center fin. In the picture here the Olaian 9’0 appears to be wider than it’s predecessor, but in terms of specs nothing has changed. Both are 6,9 kg in weight, have a volume of 65 liters. The dimensions remain 9′ x 22″ 2/3 x 2″ 7/8 (in inches) and 274 x 57,4 x 7,3 (in centimeters). When you compare these dimensions and volumes to, let’s say, a Torq 9’0 you will see that the Olaian is a bit more nimble. The Torq 9’0 has 72 liter.
The new Olaian longboards
Decathlon offers three new hard top Olaian longboards:
- The 9′ longboard
- The 9′ performance longboard
- The 9’4 longboard
The 9′ and the 9′ performance longboards come with what Decathlon calls ‘2+1’ fins. This means two FCS compatible side fins and a large longboard center fin. The center fin is double the size and fits in a different fin slot than the usual surfboard fins. The longboard center fin slot allows you to adjust the big fin a few centimeters to the front or the back of the board. The 9’4 is a single fin – just one big fin slot in the center of the board.
The Olaian 9′ longboard
What does Decathlon say? “Our team developed this longboard for advanced and intermediate surfers that want a versatile surfboard to use in waves up to 2 meter. This longboard is accessible and versatile and works up to 2 meter. Medium rocker and light double concave channel streams of water. The shape makes it easy for the surfer to paddle out. ”
Probably this is the best option for allround longboarders and surfers that want one longer board in their quiver for the small wave days. Check availability and prices here.
The Olaian 9′ perf 900 longboard
What does Decathlon say? “Our team developed this longboard for advanced surfers that want a maneuverable surfboard for any kind of wave. This board is more difficult when paddling out. The Olaian 9′ perf 900 is inspired by a shape of Jean Pierre Stark (Anglet, France). It surfs like a shortboard: even in powerful waves you can make maneuvers with the 9′ perf.”
To say that a board is maneuverable is one thing, but to say a 9’0 (almost 3 meter!) longboard surfs like a shortboard is clear nonsense. What do you think?
The blue Olaian 9′ perf 900 is different from the green 9′. The performance longboard has more rocker, which makes it better in steep and hollow waves. The Olaian 9′ 900 is also less wide which is an advantage for experienced surfers, but makes the board less stable in smaller waves. Check availability and prices here.
The Olaian 9’4 longboard
What does Decathlon say? “Our team developed this hard top surfboard for the longboarder that can ride small waves with ease. This longboard has a quick take-off and experienced surfers will be able to noseride this board. This longboard has a specific noserider shape, designed in Hendaye by J. Smith. (Jordy, is that you?) Ideal to do quick take-offs on small waves, very maneuverable for the advanced surfer. Including center fin and two FCS side fins.”
Again, very confused by this description. So Decathlon says on their website that the 9’4 noserider comes with a center fin and two FCS side fins. But where to put these side fins because on the picture the 9’4 clearly has one fin slot. Weird… Check availability and prices here.
All in all, we think that Decathlon is making a very strategic move to develop some higher end, good looking longboards. The longboard trend is far from over and the Olaian longboards will likely appeal to the intermediate longboard surfers and advanced surfers that can’t or won’t pay €1000 for a hand-shaped noserider. We can’t wait to test these boards and will put up more reviews when we do.