Rob Machado is a bonafide style master. Hair flowing, knees doing all the right things, arms hanging just so. His surfboards look like an extension of his body when he surfs, don’t they?
Well, all that style comes with an intimate knowledge of what tiny little tweaks to a plank of foam will do on a wave. What a few degrees of rake will do to a fin, what a bit of concave will do for how a surfboard moves, or what an extra bit of length in a rail will do for a turn. Machado knows it all like a book he’s read a million times.
Surfing, though, isn’t something where a person can say, “well, I’ve mastered that. Time to hang up the surfboard.” One can always find something new. A new shape, a new way of surfing — just like the search for the perfect wave is never-ending, there’s always something around the next headland when it comes to board design.
Machado’s current phase appears to lean towards boards with a little more length. They’re not boards you’re going to see on the WSL tour, but they’re probably boards that the average Joe would have a whole lot of fun on. Here, Machado breaks down his current model, the all new Helium Sunday, in Rob Machado’s surfboard R&D garage.
“We’re basically always experimenting,” he says. “New foams, resins, PU, poly, EPS… just however we can build boards as fast as possible. Just get them in the water, test them, build them. We’re always trying to use eco-resin. You know, just getting stuff done. This is just a playground of experimentation.”