How is the performance of this Decathlon soft board? We put the Olaian 900 foam 5’4 to the test.
– A bouncy, skatey shore break freak machine – not for newbies
The Olaian 900 5’4 foam surf board is a mini simmons or beater performance foamie. I see it as a statement by Decathlon saying: see, we cater to the high performance surfer as well! It follows a trend in surfing, that of the ultra short foam boards for shore breaks and wedgy waves. Almost all foam surfboard makers have one such model in their product range. It’s very manouvrable – almost too much so! The 900 foam board is designed by Hendaye-based shaper Jeremy Smith and is manufactured in Taiwan.
Volume (l): 44
Weight (kg) : 3,8
Dimensions (inches) :5’4″ X 22″ 1/2 X 3″ 1/4
Dimensions (cm): 164 x 58,2 x 8,2
44 liters is quite a lot of volume for a ultra small board. The Olaian team really managed to stack a lot of foam in a tiny board. For comparison, the 6′ (that is 20 cm longer, has only 2 liters more).
The board looks really slick. The bottom sheet is dimpled, like a golf ball. This is supposed to make the board get less traction in the water. The black top deck looks sharp and has two advantages:
- it’s really easy to spot in the lineup. The majority of surfers still has white boards. Your buddies (or your photographer!) can spot you easily…
- the wax coat doesn’t get stale. On white and colored boards the white wax will get brownish, because of your wetsuit rubbing it or the sand sticking on it.
Our experience surfing the Olaian 900 5’4 twin fin
We put the Olaian 5’4 mini foamie to the test. We’ve surfed the mini softie in different types of conditions, we can say that it’s an interesting board for advanced surfers. I usually ride boards bigger than 5’8. With this board I noticed that the take-off is truly different. The kick of the waves comes a millisecond later. You really have to learn to paddle a bit longer and do the pop up later than you normally would. The first day on the 5’4 I paddled for a nice steep wave and thought I couldn’t catch it. I stopped paddling, only to realize that I could have caught the wave if I had waited a second longer! The push of the wave just arrives later than you’d expect.
Once you’re on the board it turns so quickly. It’s easy to generate speed and it performs well in different types of waves. In bigger waves the board gets a little shaky, though. Maybe this is because of the high-tech dimples? For waves under 1,5 meter the board is incredibly fun – especially if you know that it’s only €170! Great little travel board.
We haven’t tried this yet, but we’ve heard that the board is really fun to surf finless.
The board isn’t in stock at all Decathlons (it wasn’t here in the Netherlands) so we ordered it online. It was delivered at my house really quick. It really felt like a present when the delivery guy handed me the cardboard box. For prices and availability you can check here www.decathlon.com/olaian54. Oh and the shop has a really good aftersales support – which I liked.
Olaian 6’0 negative experiences
We’ve heard from multiple owners that the tailpad of the Olaian 900 5’4 comes off after a while. Sure, you can glue it back on, but it’s something that Olaian needs to pay attention to.
Also we’ve noticed that the board is really slippery the first few sessions. You need to wax the board properly, almost the whole top surface.
But, all in all, it’s a great extension on your quiver at an incredibly attractive price.