Overall Rating

Dark Arts Surfboard Review

Board and Dims:

Pyzel Phantom - ROUND 5'11" | 19 1/8" | 2 7/16" | 29.1L / 3 Fin | Futures

Ok, by now you've probably heard of Dark Arts but what you're really wondering is "are they worth the money?"

If you didn't already see the rating, the short answer is a resounding 'hell yes.'

At nearly 30% to 80% the cost of most surfboards, I'll assure you that the juice is worth the squeeze. I'll give my first hand review below but we should probably start with some background info for the uninitiated. Dark Arts boards have some interesting characteristics worth exploring, so I'll go into these a bit more below.

From $1,095 to $1,395

Get $100 off Dark Arts using my Link

Review of: Dark Arts (Pyzel Phantom)

Overall Rating
Board Attributes


















The fastest surfboard you will ever ride
Generates speed out of turns like an F1 car
The construction seems to be ageless
Doesn't pressure ding
Super lightweight


Expensive AF
The weight takes time to get used to
The EPS core and epoxy construction don't lend well to wind chop waves

My Dark Arts is a few months old. It still has no pressure dings and rides like it did at the time of purchase.

Dark Arts Surfboards Review

Note that for this review, I am providing a review of the Dark Arts construction as a whole, not a specific board or model.

That is important to note because of these key takeaways:

  • Dark Arts collaborates with other brands who use their technology. Currently, that list of brands are: Pyzel, Sharp Eye, AIPA, and Album
  • Dark Arts' founder also has a brand, JT

Dark Arts Construction

Dark Arts boards consist of an EPS core wrapped in fiberglass, layered with carbon fiber, that is glassed with epoxy resin (hot coat), and an additional epoxy resin (clear coat). They are vacuum-sealed as well for strength.

The carbon fiber explains a lot about the price point and explains their liveliness and spring. Carbon is known for being super strong while being lightweight and flexible, seemingly making it an excellent choice for surfboard construction.

From $1,095 to $1,395

Get $100 off Dark Arts Using my link

Surfer reviewer specs:

  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 165
  • Dimensions ridden: 5'11" | 19 1/8" | 2 7/16"
  • 29.1L
  • Fins: varies, but I usually ride the Jordy Futures


My Firsthand Dark Arts Review

Initial Takeaway

Admittedly, the construction took me a while to get used to. My friends who tried it (and surf a lot better than me) instantly surfed 2x faster and performed some of the best turns I'd ever seen them do.

It took me a bit longer to get used to my board, mostly because the weight was unlike anything else I'd ever surfed (~ 1/3 of the weight of a traditional poly board).


The board construction is super lively, meaning it paddles really well and the flex generates speed like a bat out of hell.

Seriously, when you see someone firsthand surfing amongst a crew of non-Dark Arts guys, you are left wondering where they get their edge from. The boards really are that fast.


One of the most important things to keep in mind when considering a Dark Arts is its durability. If you are going to spend $1,300 on a board, you can justify it knowing that it will likely last you 3 or more years. Compare this to the longevity of most other boards, which for me is generally 1 year.

Surfboard Weight

Like with most things in the sporting world, weight reduction is always a component of progression. This is where these boards really shine.

I will say, however, that the significant difference in weight took me some time to get used to.


Yes, what you have heard is true, these boards are expensive. If you can justify the cost, you'll be getting a superior product that lasts longer, helps you surf better, and is less prone to the typical wear and tear of traditional PU or epoxy surfboards.

Volume Considerations

For me, I usually go down a little in volume with epoxy boards. For example, I usually ride shortboards just shy of 30 liters but for this construction and its inherent buoyancy, I went down to 29.1 liters.

Who is this board recommended for?

If you can't already tell, I really love the Dark Arts board that I purchased. If you can fork out the extra cash, are looking for a performance edge anywhere you can get it, and like the idea of investing in a construction that will last 2 to 3 times longer than your typical board, it is worth considering.

Plus with my $100 discount link, you save a little coin.

On the other hand, if you don't care about the above or just can't justify spending over $1k for a surfboard, there are still great options out there for about $600 to $800.


Daniel Lofaso

Frequents FP & Sebastian Inlet's.