Hawaiian Laser Zap

Brandon from Hawaii sent me these pics of his 5'10 triple flyer (triple!!) swallow tail 'Cheyne' model Mc Coy Laser Zap. Its in fantastic condition for a board from 1982. The board was originally designed to be ridden with a Star fin or winged keel designed by Ben Lexan and Cheyne Horan. I discussed the design of the board and the fin with Cheyne earlier this year. He explained to me that the winged tips on fin are designed to compensate for the surface area of the fin that is lost when the board is tipped on its side during a turn. Which makes complete sense, as this would give a lot of additional forward drive . The wide tail area of the board and 'no nose' design is meant to skim across the water like, and I quote Cheyne here, "when you squeeze a watermelon seed between your fingers", which is completeley mad makes no sense at all. I love the design of these Geoff McCoy shaped boards and have two of my own but I find them completely impossible to ride. But without Cheyne's , Geoff's and Ben's commitment to experimentation and innovation we wouldn't have the boards we have today.


  1. I used to ride my McCoy Lazor Zap back in the early early to mid 80's. I had the big McCoy designed banana fin and also the winged Keel. The board was really fast down the line and carved ok when you had you feet exactly in the sweet spot. It was better in small gutless waves like it was designed for. It could pivot on a dime. Most surfers at the time were riding twins and tri-fins were getting popular. Other surfers in the line up who were not knowledgeable about the Lazor Zap were surprised to know that I was riding a single fin. One guy told me he thought I was on a twin fin because I was turning so fast. Good fun design but not good for everyone.

  2. Does the watermelon seed analogy really not make sense to you? It's sort of a cliche to describe a certain kind of feeling- Greenough says it. "Squirt" is another. Pinch a slimy watermelon seed and see what happens: it shoots out from between your fingers... I see that as how a buoyant board feels on a hard turn where you really feel your weight thrust the board forward. Ya? Coefficiency. One finger is your weight, the other is the wave and your board is the seed.