When it comes to surfing on the east coast, having a proper small wave board is a must.
With the amount of quick moving and weak windswells that we experience up here in New England, we have to make the most of what we're dealt.
It's been flat for nearly a week. The forecast is showing a quick shot of windswell from a passing front, let's say a swell around 5 feet at 7 seconds. You start day dreaming of empty (ya right!) chest high surf in the morning. Naturally, as a wave starved New Englander, you pack your favorite shortboard in anticipation of said chest high walls. Next day you get down to the beach to find waist high mush burgers and a sea of longboards and foamies as far as the eye can see.
Welp... you're already here. Might as well try to get a couple.
Trouble getting into those "in between the set" waves, losing steam when you engage a turn, and flailing your arms in an attempt to generate speed are all symptoms of BTWBS (brought the wrong board syndrome). BTWBS can often lead to poor form and an awkward style.
If this sounds like something that you've experienced, than it's time for a Lunch Break.
This board has been in the Solid lineup for a long time. It's become a staple in our boardroom, and we think that warrants a proper examination.
The top 2/3s of the Lunchbreak have a fishy feel, with a performance twist thru the lower third.
Wide nose, full volume pushed forward.
This translates to easy paddling and plenty of width under your front foot. This forward width increases stability and lets you put your foot on the gas when you shift your weight forward.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of this board, especially when compared to other grovelers like the Firewire Twice Baked, is the tail shape and foil.
Rather than keeping the tail block wide and chunky like a fish or groveler, shaper Dan O'Hara brought the tail in to pulled in squash. Similar to what you would normally find on a performance shortboard.
Not too pulled in, but just right.
As with most boards in this wheelhouse, the Solid Lunchbreak has a relatively low entry rocker that enhances paddle power.
It's also pretty thin overall, especially in the tail, which keeps the board feeling sensitive and engaged when it's up on rail.
All of those features blend together into a great everyday small wave weapon.
Don't just take our word for it.
Our good friend Brian has been riding the Lunch Break for a little while now, so we caught up with him to get his feedback:
What were your initial thoughts on the Lunchbreak?
I checked out Solid’s east coast tour inventory listed online and saw they had a couple 5’1 lunchbreaks in the van. I couldn’t make it to Warmwinds when they were coming by, so I had Nick help me pick one out by text! The first time I took it out was in very weak thigh high summer waves. I was impressed by how easily it paddled, especially at 26 liters. The conditions didn’t really give me many opportunities for turns, but it was really easy to scratch into the smallest waves and glide through flat spots.
What do you like and dislike about the board?
I love the high performance squash tail. I feel like most grovelers put way too much volume in the tail, which lends to a lot of speed, but a lack of control. The lunchbreak likes to be surfed like a proper shortboard, in the pocket and generating your own speed - though you get some assistance from the flatter rocker and width to help with paddling and getting through softer sections on small days. Double concave makes it go rail to rail very quickly. Great for getting multiple turns in on smaller waves.
I feel like it doesn’t go as well in sloppy / windy conditions. Might just be the EPS that makes it feel bouncy/chattery.
What type of waves do you ride your Lunchbreak in?
Anything from thigh high mush to thumping head high. It absolutely loves waist to chest and bit punchy (but not super steep). There have been several occasions when the waves outperformed the forecast and I thought I would be undergunned but was impressed how it handled bigger surf in the head high range. Surfed it as a backup board in a sesh where I snapped my Solid Go2 in half, and got even better waves on the lunchbreak - and it was absolutely dumping that day!
I’ve surfed it exclusively as a quad. I haven’t played around with fins, just the FCS2 performers.
Anything else you might like to add.
The Lunchbreak definitely has been a bit of a magic board for me. It gets me in the water on those marginally shortboard-able days. There’s been countless days where I couldn’t believe I was having so much fun on smaller waves, where on a typical shortboard would be frustrating.
The Business End
The bottom contours are critical in surfboards with this much width.
To combat all of the added width, Dan included a pronounced double bottom concave that helps create lift and break up the water underneath the board, helping it go rail to rail quick n easy.
These contours paired with the pulled in squash will make it feel like you riding your traditional shortboard.
The Lunch Break comes stock as a 5 fin setup, so you can set it up a few different ways depending on the conditions.
Ride it as a quad to maximize speed and control when the waves are on the weak side.
Throw in the thruster when the waves have a bit more push, or you want to get the board to go a bit more vertical.
Want to loosen it up? Try riding at as a twin + 1!
To Wrap it Up
Let's be honest with ourselves here.
Living up in New England, the vast majority of the days we get in the water the waves are under chest high. Even those chest high days can sometimes feel gutless.
The Lunchbreak will hold its own against the longboards when the waves are knee to thigh high, and it can also be pushed into some slightly bigger surf, up to around head high or so.
The Lunch Break is a great option for the experienced level surfer that wants a board that will outperform others when the waves are gutless. We recommend that you ride it around 4-6 inches shorter than your performance shortboard, or about 2-3 liters more volume.
The Lunch Break can also be a great option for an entry level surfer looking for their first "shortboard", but still need a good amount of volume to help you with progression. In this case, don't be afraid to hop on a Lunch Break in one of the bigger sizes.
Solid Lunchbreak Dimensions
Solid's description of the Lunch Break:
"So the waves suck, you have nothing to do, your boss gave you an hour off, or you got off early, its hot, and you need to get in the water. This board is your new friend. Super full volume through the front 3/4 of the board allowing you to literally paddle into and plane through the mushiest of sections. The squared off squash tail allows for a maneuvering feeling similar to your favorite performance shortboard, but in the worst of waves. This board features a deep double concave throughout, allowing a rather wide board to transition quicker from rail to rail. Enjoy this board not only at lunch, but before and also after work.. At least until the waves get better"