Overall Rating

Pyzel Phantom (Dark Arts construction)

Board and Dims:

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

I was attracted to the Pyzel Phantom board for a number of reasons, but primarily because of the reputation of shaper Jon Pyzel and due to the fact that this board was marketed as their "daily driver" sort of shortboard for more everyday conditions.

I opted for the Dark Arts construction, a collaborative effort between Pyzel (and other shapers) and Dark Arts, which utilizes carbon fiber in their construction for boards that are super durable, springy, and fast.

Below is my review after about six months of using this board around Florida.

From $1,095 to $1,395

Get $100 off Dark Arts using my Link

Review of: Pyzel Phantom (in Dark Arts construction)

Overall Rating
Board Attributes


















Excels in fun to good waves 2-6'
Surprisingly good for paddling
Great rocker and outline for speed generation
Lighting fast out of turns


The rounded pin doesn't lend itself well to everyday conditions
Dark Arts construction is expensive (both worth it)

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

Phantom in Dark Arts Construction Surfboard Review

Below is some information on the Dark Arts construction as a whole, related to the Phantom reviewed here, but also any Dark Arts board you buy.

  • 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 Pyzel Phantom Review

Initial Takeaway

I was slightly injured when I first rode this board in small, but fun waves at a local beach break. It is a little bit more bladey than what I normally ride and I sort of forced it into waves that it really wasn't meant for.

I didn't love the lightness of the board at first, but once I got it into more powerful waves in the 3-5' range, it really made me a believer.


The Phantom has a high performance shortboard rocker, but with a touch more width in the nose and tail.

This creates a fuller outline that hides a bit of the volume and is surprisingly agile in slower sections or where you think you might need to work harder to generate speed.

Surfboard Weight

Because of the Dark Arts construction this board was a good third lighter than what I'm used to. But once you get used to that you begin to harness all the speed it creates and enjoy it's liveliness.


Most Phantom boards can be purchased in the $700 range. But Dark Arts construction, for this board specifically, is not most boards. The price tag is a shocker for most at around $1,400, but considering this board will likely last 3-4 years (or more), it is worth it if you can justify the cost.

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?

I recommend the Pyzel Phantom for anyone who is looking for an all-around shortboard to ride more often than not. It is fun when the waves are decent and also when the waves are overhead and pumping.

That said, it is not a groveler and is probably not a good choice as your main stick on a trip to Indo (but can likely go in your quiver)

Also, if you opt for the Dark Arts construction like I did, expect to look at it more like an investment in your progression and with the idea that the board will likely last years (with my $100 discount link, you save a little coin).

So if you're surfing shortboards regularly and you need a reliable, proven shape from a reputable brand, definitely consider the Phantom.


Daniel Lofaso

Frequents FP & Sebastian Inlet's.