What is your favorite small wave board in the …Lost summer 2012 line-up?
The V2-Rocket. It’s not an extreme small wave-specific board by any means-the Bottom Feeder and Plank series are more “glide on anything” boards-but the V2 is my favorite current board for true high performance small wave surfing without goin’ to an almost cheater-type board like I mentioned before (Bottom Feeder and Plank).
Would you say, then, that the V2 Rocket is one of your favorites to shape as well?
No, The Mini Driver and Rock Up are my favorites to shape because they have such clean and unfettered curves-no wings, bumps, hips, or fancy tails. I can finish one off in about 15 minutes. They surf the same way: really clean and pure lines-no hiccups or surprises.
Custom EPS was a serious buzzword in the years following 2005. What are your thoughts on the evolution of EPS foam, and what sort of demand is there for this style of board construction?
There is a certain custom order client base, of course. I also always have a couple in my quiver, as do most of my friends. Retailers have pretty much settled in with Firewire as the “alternative” construction of choice. It’s a great product and a good value that is very retail friendly in the fact that the boards don’t age (fade, yellow, damage easily) on the shop floor. It (EPS/EPOXY in its various forms) definitely has a place. Most all of Kolohe’s wins in his amateur and Pro Jr. career came on epoxy boards.
What other shapers are inspiring you these days?
Over the years there have been so many… In order: The early days were Xanadu, Timmy Patterson (probably most of all), Rick Rock, McElroy, and Randy Sleigh. Then the first “Glass Slipper” Al Merrick that I ever saw blew my mind. Not long after, Christian Fletcher showed up with a quiver of Nevs that were the most refined things any of us in San Clemente had EVER seen. Greg Webber is mind-boggling when he is on—he’s the perfect surfboard designer and really is the most gifted, sick, demented motherf-ker of all-time. I bought my first shaping machine, the DSD, from Brazil and the designer of that machine, Luciano Leao, inspired me to the fullest. Seeing hard numbers attributed to my curves and learning to design in cad was Edisonian. Leao’s unknown ghostshaper at the time, Johnny Cabianca, taught me the ropes on the DSD program and is unquestionably the most underrated shaper on Planet Earth. Just for proof, he (Cabianca) is Gabriel Medina’s shaper these days. In the early 2000s, the Coolie shapers led the charge. DHD and JS freaked me out, and, along with Chilli, forced me to really step up my game. When I signed MR to MFR (his collaboration board with …Lost in the USA), I got a lot more than just hanging out with a legend-his design and craftsmanship combined with his surfing ability will never be matched. I rode nothin’ but vee bottoms for about two years after I started working with Mark. Finally, Lee Stacey is my little buddy, and he showed me the ropes with designing on the AKU shaper program.
In no small ways, the fish defined the 90s and the quad the 00s. So what will define the 10s?
How about high performance shortboards that work for the everyday surfer-not just the pros or young fit kids?