Holiday Gift Guide: Staff Picks with James Newman

  • 04.16.2021

Residing in Santa Barbara, CA, James Newman has been riding CI boards for years. At 6’2 and 175lbs, he is a stand out surfer at local breaks and has been a knowledgable sales associate at our flagship store since 2015. Check out his top recommendations for the holiday season.


Custom 5’11 x 19 1/4 x 2 7/16 29L. In my opinion, the Fever is the best shortboard around, I love everything about it. The versatility this board has is amazing, especially in EPS SPINE-TEK it works in such a variety of wave types and sizes. The added flex and response of the SPINE-TEK along with the slightly more paralleled outline really give the board a unique feel. You can really feel the sweet spot right as you get up and the board just does what you want when you want it to. It a solid choice for anyone wanting to fill a gap in their quiver between a groveler and a step up.


Custom 5’9 x 19 x 2 7/16 29.6L. For day to day waves, a Rocket Wide is the go-to for me. I have made a couple of alterations to elongate the stock dimensions. I love how the changes made it more of a high-performance shortboard-like groveler. It shows that tailoring a board to your needs is the best thing someone can do, plus it’s also fun being creative and keeps surfing interesting and exciting.


Flat vs arch is 100% personal preference depending on how you want your back foot to be placed on the tail. For me, I like arched pads because the arch in my foot locks into the pad better and feels like I have more control. More specifically, I prefer the Lined Up Arch Pad because of how thin this pad is, its a comfortable feel under your back foot almost like there isn’t anything between your foot and the board.


The 6ft Comp is definitely the way to go for waves under a couple of feet overheadpretty much day to day conditions in CA. The leash I’ve had for a while is the Dane Comp Leash and it has lasted me a long time without any issues.


MUST HAVE FOR SURE! From day trips to long-distance travel, it is a must for me. There is so much room from the dry bag in the back to the built-in organizer pack in the front, it fits everything you would need or want. I try to be more organized when it comes to traveling but realistically everything seems to be chaos by the first day in. The Essential Surf Pack makes it easy to have everything readily accessible and can serve as a visual checklist to make sure you have everything you need. I love it.

Check out the Holiday Collection for more gift ideas.

  • 04.16.2021