Which boards are your favorites?
My buddy Phil Ward has just started shaping boards, after having collected boards for the past decades, and his collection is phenomenal. I asked him to shape me a short 5’2″ flat rockered single with 2 side bites, wanting to support my mates new hobby. He arrived from Oz for a visit, then was hanging with Rich Pavel, who has been his mentor. They were in the shaping bay, calling me, and explaining they were channeling Terry Martin, and were making me a twinzer. Inwardly, I was annoyed, not at all what I wanted. I received a freaky, over rockered, heavy double concave 5’4″, with a little too much hull at the front. The resin work was beautiful though, so I surfed it a lot, until its now a fave. I think that you can make any board surf pretty well with focus and application.
I have a beautiful 9’4″ Surf Thump longboard by Almond. I was helping Dave and Chad at Almond a little, and this was part of the payment. That board has finally got me on the nose and walking well, I dig that longboard feeling. I grew up shortboarding, so longboarding has been a skill I’ve only recently really started to acquire. They gave me the art and laps I requested too, so it feels super unique.
I have a 5’4″ Arctail Twin by Mandala. Manny and I had a lot of differences about what art could be applied to it, and yet ended up with a great little board to slip and slide on, and I dig the final art. I’m not into white boards, I always like color and artwork, and always design my own art to any custom boards.
I have a few vintage boards I really love too. Mainly under 6’0″. Mainly twinnies and singles, I grew up surfing too many performance boards and thrusters, so have a little aversion to them now. I enjoy the challenge of changing boards frequently and figuring out what I can and can’t do on them, and then pushing it a little more.
Where is you favorite place to surf here?
I love Rincon, the Channel Islands, and a few spots just South of County Line. Big Porto can be a blast when it holds. I just surfed a little secret spot past Rincon last weekend, so sick, a right point break, only myself and 2 of my buddies on it, whilst the point in the distance had maybe 40 peeps on it. It was breaking head high with some great sections, a blast.
Honestly, the average beach break out the front of my street (the south corner, or the corner as we call it), is a favourite place to me too. I get it most days, mainly a little bank to myself or with buddies, and its a really positive vibe with us all. I’m stoked to have a place that isn’t overrun, that feels like fun, and I can walk to. Its certainly not the best break, nor the most challenging, but I consider the fun factor huge to enjoying a surf, and I always have fun out there. I’m a constant frother about waves…
/ Interview + Photography by Matt Titone