Bernard Lambotte: The Degree 33 Custom Surfboard Experience

August 30, 2017


Bernard has been a team rider for Degree 33 Surfboards since Luc and Holly were selling boards out of their single bedroom apartment in the late 2000's. Through the years, he's been vital in guiding our performance end of the quiver, specifically, the shortboard and groveler models.

Before Bernard was able to apply his own design concepts to his first D33 model, he was assigned to our first sub-6 foot groveler, The Bean. While the bean is still on offer, even having had a strong resurgence this year, we wanted to offer up a clean palate to the guy that's put more Degree 33 surfboards through the ringer than anyone.

Given free reign, Bernard came straight out of the gates with a huge throwback concept dating back to the Steve Lis Era and the fish movement. He brought out the precurser to the Lis fish with a Challenger knee board dating back to the early 70s.

The first edition of the Belgian Bullet (Bernard holds dual US and Belgian citizenships) was a total backyard project, shaped to perfection, then glassed in the raw, resin tiger striping and free hand pinlining. Bernard chewed through this one in less than a year, leaving an innocent keel fin and Futures fin box at the bottom of the La Jolla submarine canyon with one fatal man-turn too many.

Back in the bay with Bill, Bernard had our master craftsman refine the dimensions a little further, adding some extra foam for the year-round, daily driver appeal.

This time around he went for versatility on the whole, wanting to push this board in everything San Diego has to offer, paddling it out in well-overhead surf at San Diego's premier break, Black's, then again at knee high in North County's summer mush. He had Bill change the bottom contour and fin setup completely, utilizing a 5-fin convertible approach along with the classic single to vee concave that's given the Codfather retro performance fish so much speed and drive.

The result is one model, the Belgian Bullet, with a Jekyll and Hyde split personality complex just like the mastermind behind it's creation. Goofy and jovial on land, he's a furrowed brow, man on a mission in the water. Whether he's working on his skate park style run, or spraying buckets of water out the back and setting up for a monster punt, Both versions are agile and versatile!

The original concept, a deep single channel running between twin Future keel fins, offers up a graceful, blisteringly fast and calculated approach. The twin fin enthusiast will grin ear to ear, drawing out long arcing slingshot turns and suicide highlines along "unmakeable" sections.

The single to vee concave with the 5-fin setup caters to the vertical, in the pocket approach. Go with the quad for a skatey, fishy feel and get the fins free and drifty through the lip. Or, switch over to a thruster to pounce off the bottom turn into vertical snaps, running down the line for that filthy punt off the end section.

While we're still building a home for the Belgian Bullet on our website, it's right here at your fingertips via phone call or email. We've already received a few custom orders and our customers have been nothing short of stoked out of their mind on the Belgian Bullet.

Here are some dimension recommendations that have been dialed in:

5'11 x 20 3/4 x 2 3/4 = 38 Liters (Rider: 6'2 210lb intermediate)

5'8 x 20 1/2 x 2 5/8 = 35 Liters (Rider: 6'0 185lb intermediate/adv)

5'6 x 20 1/2 x 2 1/2 = 32 Liters (Rider: 5'11 180lb advanced)

Geared for intermediate and advanced surfers, size your Belgian Bullet the same length, a 1/2 inch narrower, and the same or 1/8 inch thicker than your Codfather. The volume will play out just shy or equal to your sized Codfather.

Again, being the perfect groveler, we've stayed curious with this model, pushing it in overhead steeps and scratching into knee high dribblers. Bernard has narrowed down the ultimate sweet spot, the most versatile surf conditions. 3-5 occ. 6ft chest to head high with occasional overhead sets with glassy texture and rampy sections.  In all cases, this board has been extremely versatile and an absolute blast in everything we've thrown at it! ... (See below for evidence...)


Place your custom order here:

Shop Phone: 858 693 3692

Shop Email: surf@degree33.com


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