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review skindog ova mid length surfboard thunderbolt red

REVIEW: Skindog Ova Mid Length Surfboard

Looking for an epic all round mid length surfboard to add to your quiver? Well here’s my full review of the Skindog Ova in Thunderbolt Red

If you’re on the hunt for an epic mid length surfboard that you can paddle out in almost anything with, then the Skindog Ova in Thunderbolt technology may be exactly what you’re looking for!

I’ve spent the last few months testing out this egg inspired mid length and have been super surprised at how well its handled everything I’ve thrown at it!

So if you’re considering adding it to your quiver, here’s my full Skindog Ova review…


REVIEW: Skindog Ova Mid Length Surfboard

Who’s It Aimed At?

From everything I researched about the Skindog Ova it was essentially aimed at those looking to step up in size from a shortboard, or those looking to step down in size from a longboard.

skindog ova mid length surfboard review firewire thunderboltHaving ridden it in everything from small mushy waves, to reeling point breaks I can say that this mid length surfboard is going to appeal to a huge variety of surfers for a huge number of reasons.

For lower end surfers (I’d say higher end beginners and upwards) it’s going to give you heaps of paddle power and waves count, is pretty forgiving but will still allow you to progress and not outgrow the board quickly (if at all!)

For intermediate surfers and upwards, the sheer versatility in wave sizes and type you can ride, along with the customisation of the fin setups means you can have a single board in the car to cover most occasions.

For longboarders looking to drop in size it packs in all the style and trim you’re used too, but in a smaller package and with more performance.

And for shortboards looking for something a little longer, that can still handle size, punch and be able to throw it around, the Ova ticks all those boxes too.

So yeah, the Ova is going to be a great option for pretty much anyone!




Boards Breakdown and Dimensions

Currently in Thunderbolt tech the Skindog Ova midlength surfboard comes in 3 sizes:

  • 7’0 x 22 x 2 7/8 (47L)
  • 7’6 x 22 1/4 x 3 (53L)
  • 8’0 22 3/4 x 3 1/8 (60L)

For me, I grabbed the 7’0, and for a couple of reasons.

The first was I wanted a good all round mid length surfboard for travelling with, and 7’0 seems to be a good sweet spot for getting in on planes. 

Secondly I was looking for something that I could throw around a bit more if the waves allowed too, and the dims on the 7’6 were slightly on the chunky side.

For you reference I’m 185cm and 82kg.

If you’re a lower level surfer though the 7’6 and 8’0 options would be a really fun entry into mid length surfing as well, allowing you to progress and still keep your wave count high. They’re also solid options for bigger, heavier surfers too.

If you’re UK based, you can also order PU version direct from the Skindog Surfboards factory in Newquay, which then open up options from 6’4 upwards.

When it comes to the breakdown of the board it’s got all the key ingredients for a fun and forgiving stick that’ll hoover up waves; flatter rocker profile, soft 50/50 rails, wide point forward of centre and generous volume under the chest.

Combine this with a hull entry and sharper rail line through the tail and you’ve got some great manoeuvrability in there too! 

An egg based design, with a few tweaks to make it even more fun!




Thunderbolt Construction

The Ova mid length comes in Thunderbolt Red construction.

For most day to day surfer the Thunderbolt Red is a solid option – offering the mid ground between the slightly heavier, more traditional feeling of the Thunderbolt Silver and pro-level performer feel and weight of the Thunderbolt Black.

You can learn more about Thunderbolt Construction here

And if you’re ordering direct from Skindog surfboards in the UK, you can also get one in standard PU build as well.




Fin Setup

There’s a whole heap of variety when it comes to fin setup in the Ova mid length surfboard longboard – with it’s 5 fin setup.

This means you have the option of single fin, quad fin or 2+1 setup depending on your personal preference and surfing conditions.

For me I’ve teamed it up with the Skindog 7″ and Skindog Sydebites which were designed alongside the Ova. When you first chuck them into the board (especially the 7’0 model) look like way too much fin, especially with the size of the sidebites, but any second thoughts I was having about buying these soon disappeared though straight after my first wave, it felt great underfoot!

Lots of speed and high line trim (very longboard-esque in feel) but the amount of pivot and drive off the bottom and into turns feel amazing.

In fact I love the feel of it so much I haven’t even bothered trying it out as a quad yet – but apparently it’s a great option in bigger, hollower waves and offers plenty of speed and control.

…I’ll update this review when I get around to testing that option out!




Ideal Wave Conditions

When it comes to ideal wave conditions for the Ova, this midlength surfboard can handle a huge range and so far I’ve surfed it from small and mushy to head high and clean, from punchy beachies and reeling points.

And the Ova takes it all in its stride.

Enough volume and paddle power the easily hoover up even the fattest of waves but enough performance that when it’s bigger, faster or hollower it still feels great.

On slower days you’ll enjoy the crusiey mid length feel of the board, but when it jacks up a bit you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the speed and liveliness of it.

So if you’re looking for a really all round board that you can chuck in the car no matter what, or for a surf trip that will cover all bases, the Ova is a solid contender.




What’s It Like To Surf?

When it comes to surfing the Ova I wasn’t really sure what to expect. That hull entry and overall outline isn’t your usually blend of curves on a mid length and its promise of ticking a lot of boxes could’ve easily made it too much of a compromise to really fit nicely into a quiver.

I needn’t have worried, I was hooked from my first wave!

One thing I quickly learned about the Ova was that I shouldn’t be afraid to push it – whether that was wave size, a driving bottom turn or hitting an end section, it took everything in its stride and I was incredible surprised at how manoeuvrable it was, especially with that fin setup.

It trims and highlines in a very longboard-eque style, but put it on rail and it flicks around beautifully.

I’ve no doubt this is in part to the fact it was designed by 11 time European longboard champion Ben Skinner, so the ability to cruise and surf it from the middle as well is well and truly in its DNA!

It’s also an incredibly fast board too and made short work of getting around sections, or speeding off the mark on punchy beach breaks.

All these traits make surfing a long reeling point, like Lennox Head, super fun on the Ova and I’ve had a couple of stand out sessions there recently that really solidified what this board has to offer.

An absolute joy to surf and a board that definitely suits my style of surfing for sure.




Final Verdict & Pricing

The Ova was a board that I had little in the way of preconceptions when I bought it and I had no idea as to what to expect from it.

I was pretty stoked after my first sessions and was frothing on how fun this board was to ride and what it was capable in a huge variety of conditions.

I also think it’s going to be a really fun choice for a variety of surfers too – of all abilities. Go shorter if you want more performance, or longer if you want a bit more glide, or are at the lower end of the experience level.

Pricing (like much of the Thunderbolt range) is going to be the big decider for many people with this one though. Coming in at AU$1,200 / £1,170 / US$1,120 it’s certainly a premium priced board – but given the fun factor and it’s versatility I’d say if you have the money, you’ll certainly not regret grabbing one.

Alternatively if you’re UK based, you can nab one from £650 in PU construction direct from Skindog – which certainly makes it an easier decision!

The only downside with the Thunderbolt options are the fact that the colour options and finish on them does make them look pretty cheap, which is a shame considering the price tag.

It’s a very vanity based judgement but I know a lot of people would probably not grab one out of the rack, simply based on the look of the board. If you can get past that though, it’s a great board!

My overall verdict though is it’ll be a welcome addition to most quivers and is a really versatile mid length surfboard for those looking for a board which will cover a huge variety of waves and swell sizes. It’ll certainly be making it into my update mid length guide!

Have you ridden the Skindog Ova?

What’s your feedback on it?




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