Tag Archives: hillbilly hull

design threads

Those who have actually followed my shapes over the years may have noticed that the models that emerged from my rather selfish desire to shape the perfect boards for myself, have not been stagnant. They have evolved, along with my sensibilities, abilities, and knowledge of surfing and board design.

Extreme ends of the spectrum.

To be fair, no two hand shaped surfboards are ever identical. Even machine shapes vary depending on the final hand sanding and tuning. Even the unsung heroes at the factories (laminators, gloss and hot coat guys, sanders, fin guys, polishers) help determine the final result, each in their own way. Another factor for me though, it is my inability to shape as accurately as more experienced hand shapers. I am not one to rely on exact measurements of every aspect of the board. What consistency I achieve is sole a product of my doing each step of the shaping process the same each time. It’s an intuitive method that turns out shapes like mine because that’s just how I do it, each and every time. Often the process and what I see in front of me takes over, and in an effort to keep everything flowing and harmonious, goals and final results necessarily shift. I feel that far from being a bad thing, this reality allows for the opportunity to feel differences and learn from them, adding to the growing library of cause and effect in my mind.

Here is an example of this process at work. I was able to pull a template off an extraordinary board that I had the good fortune to come across. For my first shape that I did for a friend from this template, I tried to match the original ‘70s shape, with as good of results as I could muster at the time. It worked very well indeed, and he still has it today, close to twenty years later. The second one, I made for myself, and I foiled out nose and tail a lot, carved deep bottom contours and really knifey rails. I surfed it to death. It was wide, but the fineness of the rails and foil made it extremely sensitive (which I like), while still planing nicely. I don’t want to say my surfing is tentative, but I am certainly no power surfer, so it suited me fairly well. The third one, again for a friend, I split the difference, and it ended up the best of the three, easy and fast. It had no element that stuck out as extreme (to me anyway), and it just worked nicely in a variety of conditions. Experiments like these are excellent learning opportunities, and I try to do them whenever I can afford to.

One of the great benefits of hand shaping, is the flexibility it allows. Adjustments can be made, board by board, to improve (hopefully) any design, and back up on things that may not work out as hoped.

All of this gets me back to the point of this article. My model designations must be looked upon as an indication of the general feel and utility that one can expect from any particular model. They may vary slightly from shape to shape, but they typically retain a particular feel and purpose.

So please keep in mind that if you have a board of mine from ten or twenty years ago and want to recreate it, I am happy to give it my best shot. I will be able to give you the same vibe, but it would be a very lucky day indeed that I could produce the exact same shape. If all of this sounds like me making excuses, that’s because I am. Whether it is a good excuse or not, I leave up to you.

New boards on the way!.

Great trip. Got a lot of tattooing in at Avalon Tattoo, almost finishing two ongoing projects and meeting some nice new folks.

The interview with Takashi and Junko from Blue Magazine in Japan went very well I think. They were very professional and nice folks. I’m looking forward to their interview in an upcoming issue. Unfortunately Blue is not published in English at this time so I’ll be hitting up one of my Japanese friends for translation.

I’ve got boards working up on the hill at Bing (formerly Channin) and at Michael Miller’s. Here’s the line up of new stock on the way:

6’2″ arctail quad downrailer: insane Mexican blanket resin top in fall colors, Fins 101 bamboo canard quads glassed on, resin leash loop.

6’7″ HPH Speedster: cool aqua/smoke stripe over tail, Geppy #1 keels, glass leash loop.

7’6″ hillbilly quad round tail: light olive tint bottom, Geppy/Frye quads glassed on, satin gloss finish.

9’7″ HPH: “beetlejuice” smoke/opaque white jailbreak stripes top and bottom, Geppy #2 keels glassed on, resin leash loop.

Thanks to Larry and Robert for their orders. They’ll be done soon fella’s

New Arrivals at Corduroy!

new boards at Corduroy

Safe and sound. Corduroy now has:

7’2 3/4″ Malibu style hull, volan, wet sanded gloss, single Bahne box. A real fun board to just stand in the middle and carve to your hearts content. A little more forgiving from the tail to boot.

7’11” hillbilly glider, 6×6(6), pond scum green bottom/clear top, Fins 101 bamboo glass on, gloss and polish. One of my fastest shapes. Get in early, and GO! The biggest waves I’ve ever surfed have been on mine, but I’ve had a blast gliding into them at knee high as well. A bit of a handful at the beach breaks unless you’re used to a longboard.

I’m Coming East!

I’ll be bringing these two boards, plus my personal 7’3″ hillbilly hull East next week.

The mango one is a 6’10” hillbilly hull. This board is a blend of Liddle style Malibu hull with a bonzerish, Frye style mid to tail contour. Step forward and drive it like a hull, but step back and feel the drive and projection of a bonzer.

The gray one is a 5’8″ HPH/speedster. Based on the Bob Simmons/Lindsay Lord hydrodynamic planing hull concept, but foiled out and dialed in for speed.

I’ll be showing these to the friendly folks at Cinnamon Rainbows and Corduroy over the weekend so if you’d like to get a closer look, contact me and I’ll let you know where and when.