Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fins Free & Flying

Mark Thomson. Photo by Hilton Dawes.

Classic, the best surf photo I've seen in a donkey's age, and the craft is a surfmat. Mark Thomson charging hard, and given the man's commitment to serious down-the-line speed, this is some g-force in action. Tommo knows his way around a surf vehicle too, he builds and rides incredible high tech carbon fibre boards with the same level of intensity he puts into the mat riding, as the photo below shows.

I'm not sure if I'm seeing more surfmat stuff on the internet because more people are riding them, or if more people are riding them because they're on the internet more. Either way it's a grand thing- proning it with handplane, paipo or mat is obviously the way to a more fulfilled and enjoyable surfing life given how fast people who are willing to try such devices become obsessed. You can see the positive effects of mats at 23 Breaths and more of Mark Thomson's magic at Krypt. Slide on.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Go Speedracer!

I know I just posted a bunch of Jeff Beck's boards and raved about them, but then he did this for a guy in Japan. Definitely a picture/1000 words situation but I will tell you it's 5'6", handmilled redwood skin, redwood tail blocks and redwood/balsa fins. Outrageously stunning.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

This is the Jeff Ho board.

The shape you can get should you want a pretty awesome all-rounder from a Los Angeles legend. This one belongs to Paul, and he likes it:

"the Jeff Ho Sarlo model is a yes. I've ridden it four days in a row now. I freaked on all that foam, but Jeff compensates for it by using an extended hard edge and particular concaves. It gets in early and holds in big bu bombs. I put Simon Future Fins in it and they seem right. It snaps off the top and throws good spray for a quad. I did outrun a couple BIG waves, falling on my butt. I was surprised, though, by the board's functionality in overhead so cal surf."

Paul has a quiver most people reading this would froth over- Pavel, Seebold, Mackie and so on, so he definitely knows his way around a good board. If you want one of Jeff's board's yourself, just email info @ and we'll set you up. Feeling very enthused by surfboards today as I managed a trip to small but very fun waves near to Rincon. Wonderful way to spend a summer's day believe me.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Some more photos from Mick Mackie- the lucky bastard, it's 2 foot and crumbly here. No wonder he surfs as well as he does and shapes the boards he does. He should be getting some sort of kickback from the Australian Board of Tourism for his work because these shots make me want to buy an airline ticket.

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Surfboards (Mackie this time)

Mackie S-deck stubbie, volan deck patch and 2+1 setup with one of Mick's hand foiled flexfins for the box. Very ,very nice indeed. The fish is the EPS sidecut that's here and for sale at $800. 6', high performance shape with some float. A board than can honestly be described as 'epic'.

An Addenda- If you'd like one of those custom stubs they run $875 with fins etc. Sweet indeed.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Some surfboards built by another Jeff, Mr. Beck of HB this time. I've made quite a few visits to his workspace (Jeff very kindly has assumed the role of ding repair guy for me which is great because he's brilliant at it and probably good for him as it's steady work given how often I knock chunks out of boards) and I'm always blown away by what he's quietly doing there. He builds with compsand construction, the board is shaped from EPS and then a skin of wood is vacuum bagged onto the shape (usually cedar and poplar it seems) and Jeff shapes down the rails and nose & tail blocks. The result is an absolutely beautiful looking board (the work on the tails is pretty stunning), but it's also a really functional ride. I had a loaner twin fin for a while and completely fell in love with the feel. The board had the float and general feel of an EPS board, but the skin obviously makes it a bit heavier which in our often wind hacked waves makes things much nicer. What really hooked me was the feel of the board underfoot- solid like a PU/PE board but with a sort of twangy stiffness it that makes sense- like hard racing shocks on a car, it gave when it needed to give. Totally sold me on the construction, and Jeff's shapes are great. As nice as these stubs are, the modern twin shape is the business. He's here if you want to check his stuff out, and it's well worth doing so. These guys who are actually building interesting boards rather than just finish shaping what a machine pops out are a small gang, but it's them who will drive the progress of surf design forward.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Shirts For Summer

Yeah, it's summer. It's getting hot and the waves are tiny. You can however look mighty suave at any barbeques, beach days or what have you with a new t-shirt. The range above is the Hydrospiral, the Mackie and the Casper (ladies sizes only sorry). There's the full selection here although size and colour options are getting limited. Price is $25, shipping included to make it simple. Email the usual address- info @ and we'll set you up.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Highly Efficient Jeff Ho

The Jeff Ho/Zephyr Designs mission is shaping up to be utterly simple and even quite fun. Jeff is really happy to be doing some boards, and they are getting finished quickly and nicely. For those who missed it, this is the deal- Dogtown Legend Jeff Ho, not a man who is easy to track down and order a board from, is building a run of his current favourite shape for those who want one. It's the design that Jeff has worked on over the last few years with input from Allen Sarlo and a core of the Venice crew. Things being as old school as they are with Jeff, I don't have a photo of the shape. It's not either of the above- there you have Jeff's Beachbreak fish shape (I surfed one of those literally into pieces, totally fun board and I credit it and Derek Hynd in 'Litmus' with triggering my fish obsession which is still going strong today) and some of Jeff's work in the current 'Art In The Streets' show at the Geffen Contemporary in lovely downtown LA. (Photo stolen from surfsister- thanks!)I will have photos of what he's actually building in the next few days however, as Tall Paul's board is done and getting picked up any time now. Best of all, these things are at non-collectors prices- $850 or thereabouts. Yes, I'm frothing over what is to most of you probably just some local underground guy from my adopted surf spot, but seriously- this guy makes boards that are aesthetically, historically and functionally brilliant. I'm honored to be doing the point man work for Jeff. Email if you're interested.