The Rhino Chaser. The Elephant Gun. The Big Gun.
The name themselves for this type of surfboard evoke a sense of gravity and weight. Which is fitting for what this type of board is designed for – surfing huge, consequential waves.
What is a Big Wave Gun Surfboard?
A big wave gun – or rhino chaser – is made for paddle surfing big waves.
Guns are typically designed in the 6’ to 10’ range – depending on the size of waves that will be surfed.
They feature narrow noses and tails with some extra thickness that maintain stability and speed down the face and inside the pocket of gigantic waves.
Design tweaks like rocker and rail shape may vary depending on the big wave that a particular gun is being designed for.
A gun is a necessity for expert surfers paddling into big, fast waves. That’s what they’re designed for and not much else.
History of the Gun
The Gun surfboard expanded the surfing world when it was introduced. Using a Wave Arcade appropriate analogy, it was like unlocking a whole new set of race courses in the Cruis’n World video game.
George Downing is credited with introducing the big wave surfboard in the 1950s on the North Shore. His original Hot Curl, a finless, long and thick displacement hull-type board opened up a whole new size of wave that could be surfed and really helped to change surfing forever.