The Hellcat v3 is another step up in the evolution of the popular Hellcat series of boards. Undergoing a redesign for 2023, the Hellcat v3 has had its side wings removed and tapered the tail in to improve its handling and performance on the water. This board is good in all conditions so no matter where you’re skimming, you know the Hellcat v3 will perform like you would expect so there’s no surprises while you’re on the water. We also decided to tone down the core’s thickness from ¾” to ⅝” for better speed and control. We found that due to the wider outline of the board, the thinner core just works better. But don’t take our word for it because we chatted with our shaper extraordinaire Steve Boomhower on why he tweaked the Hellcat the way he did. Check it out below and pick yourself up a Hellcat v3 HERE!
Zap: What are some of the differences between the Hellcat v2 and the fresh, new Hellcat v3?
Boomhower: The main differences between the two versions will be in the bottom half of the outline and tail design. The Hellcat v2 had wings added in the outline and a pulled in diamond style tail. For the Hellcat v3, I revisited the original design (v1) which had a big, wide squash tail and straighter rail line. The original idea for the Hellcat was to have a wider outlined skateboard style skimboard for smaller waves and liners. It was a good board and a lot of people really liked it. It was something a little different because there really wasn't another skimboard out there like it. But I've been wanting to revisit it and make some improvements to it while retaining the original idea. So that's what I did! For the Hellcat v3, I took the v1 template and then pulled the outline in towards the tail starting around the center mark of the board. I saw that the line path I chose significantly narrowed the tail block and made for more of a surfboard style squash tail. So now the board is more nimble and responsive than the original design which really helps in bigger waves and you still maintain some of that "skatey" feel too which is super fun! Especially in smaller waves and down the line! Also with this design you'll really feel the extra push you get from the wave when you're wrapping or bouncing/turning off white water/reforms style waves. Overall, I am really happy with how it turned out and I think it is a great board for someone looking to try something a little different!
Zap: What kind of skimmer would benefit from these changes?
Boomhower: Well I'd say any skimmer really could enjoy this board but more so maybe skimmers who live in an area where their waves are primarily reform style waves, smaller waves that break further out where they need a little extra surface area in the tail to help propel them down the line and such.
Zap: Did you use any other board shapes from the line-up to draw inspiration for the Hellcat v3? Are there any other boards that are similar?
Boomhower: See question #1 honestly. Going back to the original Hellcat gave me some fresh inspiration to take the Hellcat v3 to the next level.
Zap: Why did you decide to take down the core from ¾” to ⅝” thickness?
Boomhower: With the board being wider in design, I felt that the ¾” thickness was overkill and not necessary. It made the board seem too bulky and most riders won't need the extra thickness. The ⅝” core allows the board to be more sensitive and responsive for the rider. And after riding both thicknesses myself in this design, it was clear the ⅝” was the better option.
Zap: Are there any plans for a v4 at the moment?
Boomhower: At the moment no…but I do enjoy cooking up something new so we will see!