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I truly enjoy hand shaping surfboards. When I was little I always assumed that ‘things’ were created by the people who’s names were on them – the ‘things’ that were really special to us. The art that I was surrounded with, the go-karts my brother and I hurt ourselves in; All came from the hands of people I knew, and the community that I was surrounded by. What that did for me, I believe, was create my own bottom line – show me the basics of what I believed needed to be real in order to put my name on something that I was offering to the world.
This is the board that Ryan is more connected and the base of is work doing all those years. It legitimately is a board like no other from the thickest part of the board, in every direction the foil refines all the way out to the edges creating a very well defined point just behind the center of the board that provides an unmatched feeling over any other mid-length in the world. Surfed from the tail with a narrow stance, the v.Bowls has a ball-bearing effect that rolls effortlessly from rail to rail, and front to back allowing you to sink the thin rails into the face and lock into the trim. This is not a design for everyone in the world, but those who are looking to simplify and expand their feel and approach on a wave, while keeping the ability to put some serious weight into the tail and get that super positive, crisp projection.
Originally the ThickLizzy was an experimental mid-length for Trevor Gordon. We wanted to make something that made good speed on flat waves, and could be surfed tight in the pocket like the v.Bowls. What they didn’t expect was the incredible projection off such a big board, so after a year or so of playing with the first version he started exploring the design and eventually making smaller versions. The Lizzy has a long, low rockerline and has a bottom shape that I consider somewhat of a Santa Barbara specialty – the tri-plane bottom is used in a lot of my designs to allow a wider board to switch onto rail much cleaner and quicker than it’s actual size. What it gives the Lizzy is a much more active, positive response on rail; You can cruise to your heart’s content, or crank it off the bottom and crack the lip with a lot more aggression than any other mid-length boards.
RabbitsFoot sizing seems to be most magical between 5’6 and 5’10 – They are built with EPS foam and Epoxy, so for their size they float better than an average board. The better the wave the more the rail has to grip and the better they perform – push your RabbitsFoot into the limits of your surfing and it’ll give it right back to you. Some of the sections and barrels the guys are making on these lately are incredible. They’ve been made into the 7′ range for those looking for a simpler friction-free ride, but the smaller range is whats been dialed in.
For longtime the timeless winged-pin singlefin. An oldschool template with a more modern foil to the rails and tail, the ToobShooter uses a modern bottom shape to loosen it rail to rail as compared to ‘oldschool’ singlefins. The nose has a slight vee, that transitions quickly into a double concave, to a spiral vee out the tail that lifts the rail line, helping the board sit tighter into the pocket and slip deeper into the tube. A slight dome under your back foot keeps it loose and sensitive off the back foot, but understand that this board is best for nice pockety waves when you’re seeking the tube.
This model started as a more ‘surfable’ alternative to the ToobShooter. Shaped for people going on surf trips where they didnt want shortboards, but their average alternative boards (fishes and mid-lengths) we’re going to be a bit too much to handle (think from Maldives, Indonesia and shifty to average beachbreaks). It features a more modern foil than the ToobShooter, a nice and relaxed rocker that is continuous through the tail, allowing it much better versatility in all kinds of waves, and more turnability than it’s point-and-shoot counterpart. The Burner, I would be consider the best all-around surfboard. Usually set up as a 2+1 or quad, it works great as a bonzer, singlefin and even, surprisingly, a twin keel, depending on your preference.
The longer, straighter toe-side rail gives tons of skate and speed down the line; the rounder, softer, more curvaceous heel side is designed to harness all that speed and transfer it into powerful, controlled cutbacks while allowing plenty of snap off the lip. These features seem to be rather well-used across the spectrum of asymmetrical designs, the difference in the SooperSnake is the continuous concave from nose to tail; I run a single concave from nose to tail, with varying depths along the length of the board to flatten the entry rocker and centerline rocker giving the board insane paddle power and a whole lot of ability in good to great waves.
The slight acceleration in the outline that gives the Sidecut Fish its name essentially reduces the width of the board between your feet, allowing it to get onto rail much faster than a classic outline Keel Fish – They tend to be more effortless, and cleaner rail to rail, with a more intuitive ride.
A classic amongst classics… The Twin Keel Fish has sparked a generation of curiosity and is an extremely fun and comlpex surfboard to shape. Ride ’em small as you can! Stretched out fishes are great fun and I’m happy to shape them, but in keeping true to the classic design, Ryan likes to shape these about as small as he can while staying within the comfort zone of the particular surfer. from 4’10” to about 5’8″ is the most original size range, but customs up and well over 6′ are common for those looking for a dependable cruiser with plenty of life on rail.