Clean Conditions Deliver for Opening Day of ASP 4-Star Vans Pier Classic Clean Conditions Deliver for Opening Day of ASP 4-Star Vans Pier Classic
HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Wednesday, March 28, 2012) – The opening day of the ASP 4-Star Vans Pier Classic presented by Jack’s Surfboards and hydrated by Vitaminwater saw a melting pot of talent including veteran competitors, local standouts and international up-and-comers as they put on strong performances in clean two-to-four foot surf at Huntington Beach Pier while completing Rounds 1 and 2.
Asher Nolan (Jacksonville, FL), 33, a former standout on the international stage, dominated the lineup in his Round of 128 heat, unloading the day’s highest single-wave score of 8.50, out of 10, while accumulating the highest heat-total of a 15.67, out of 20.
“I’ve had a few results here over the last few years on and off,” Nolan said. “I just got out here on Monday and surfed and felt terrible. I put it together for my heat though. I don’t know, I switched my wetsuit, my boards and my fins right before my heat because nothing was going right. I think that helped. I’m just out here competing for fun, not stressing about making heats and it’s great to see some old friends I haven’t seen in awhile.”
Jason Harris (Huntington Beach, CA), 23, was another leader on the opening day of Vans Pier Classic competition. The local standout’s high-score came in the dying seconds of his heat, when he locked in to a steep lefthander and delivered a series of committed backhand bashes to vault from third to first to consolidate the win.
“I lost so many times last year in the last 30 seconds and I knew the rights were fat and if I stuck to the lefts I could force a couple of backside turns,” Harris said. “I’m just stoked. It’s never over until it’s over. It was good to have that Round 1 heat. I have a little bit of a seed, but to get my feet in the wax this morning and get a few waves was really good for my confidence. “
Harris, a Huntington Beach native, admitted that despite years of time in the local lineup, the wave can still be deceptive to figure out.
“This wave is so tricky that sometimes it feels like it doesn’t matter how much time you put in out here, you’ve got to find that little peak and hopefully get lucky,” Harris said.
Hiroto Arai (JPN), 17, an ASP World Junior Tour competitor, has been gaining priceless international experience over the last year while competing in additional ASP Pro Junior regional events. The young Japanese standout turned heads in the opening rounds of the men’s Vans Pier Classic competition with powerful turns to take out two strong heat wins.
“I’m so happy, the waves are really slow out there but I could get a couple and get a few scores,” Arai said. “I’m doing the Pro Juniors in Australia and America, but I only get points from the events in Japan, so I’m doing the Pro Junior here too for practice.”
Phillip Goold (Virginia Beach, VA), 20, started his Vans Pier Classic campaign in strong fashion, taking out two convincing heat wins while posting one of the day’s highest heat totals, 14.10 out of 20, to advance to Round 3.
I’m stoked, my first heat was the first heat of the whole contest so that was a little nerve wracking, but this heat was much more consistent with waves,” Goold said. “I just sat to the south of everybody and sat there by myself and picked off a couple of rights that I saw. They were running a bit more, not just offering one hit on the outside.”
Goold, who entered the Vans Pier Classic via the alternate list, was relieved to capitalize on the crucial points gained by advancing to Round 3 of the ASP 4-Star event.
“It feels good to get through those first two rounds,” Goold said. “I was eighth alternate last week and kept moving up and I was pretty psyched to get into the event and not have to wait on the beach. I’m using this event to ramp up for my year and hopefully I can get in to the 6-Star at my hometown in Virginia Beach later this year.”
Running in conjunction with the Vans Pier Classic is the ASP 4-Star Vans Pro Junior, which represents the third stop on the 2012 ASP North America Pro Junior Series. The Vans Pro Junior plays a vital role in regional surfers’ campaigns towards qualification for the ASP World Junior Tour.
The 2012 Vans Pier Classic and Vans Pro Junior presented Jack’s Surfboards and hydrated by Vitaminwater will run from March 28 through April 1, 2012. For LIVE HD webcast log on to www.vans.com/pierclassic.
Surfline, official forecasters for the 2012 Vans Pier Classic, are calling for the current WNW swell to fill in further with small SSW swell in the background. Surf for tomorrow is expected to be in the 3-6’ range, with occasional larger sets.
For additional ASP information go to www.aspworldtour.com or www.aspnorthamerica.org
Vans Pier Classic Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Phillip Goold (HAW) 14.10, Blake Jones (USA) 9.87, Freddie Meadows (SWE) 7.80, Makai MmcNamara (HAW) 5.77
Heat 2: Tayler Brothers (USA) 9.50, Rikiya Kitada (JPN) 8.80, Dane Bird (AUS) 5.93, Dillon Perillo (USA) 3.63
Heat 3: Izuki Tanaka (JPN) 13.60, Tim Curran (USA) 12.27, Cody Thompson (USA) 11.33, Kilian Garland (USA) 10.40
Heat 4: Jeremy Johnston (USA) 12.27, Fisher Heverly (USA) 9.70, P.J. Raia (USA) 7.33, Davey Brand (ZAF) 6.97
Heat 5: Hiroto Arai (JPN) 13.23, Dege O’Connell (HAW) 10.14, Evan Thompson (USA) 6.99, Cheyne Willis (HAW) 3.20
Heat 6: Koa Smith (HAW) 11.17, Travis Southworth (MEX) 10.10, Eric McHenry (USA) 6.57, Liam McNamara (HAW) 5.90
Heat 7: Jason Harris (USA) 14.60, Hunter Lysaught (USA) 14.10, Kaito Ohashi (JPN) 11.70, Ethan Egiguren (EUK) 9.13
Heat 8: Robert Patterson (HAW) 11.27, Derek Peters (USA) 10.74, Arashi Kato (JPN) 8.23, Matt Myers (USA) 6.24
Heat 9: Aaron Cormican (USA) 11.10, Miguel Tudela (PER) 11.10, Parker Coffin (USA) 5.77, Keala Naihe (HAW) 1.49
Heat 10: Asher Nolan (USA) 15.67, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 12.37, Chris Tucker (HAW) 8.91, Diego Naranjo (CRI) 7.27
Heat 11: Caue Wood (BRA) 11.00, Marcelo Rodriguez (ARG) 9.67, Keetin Devine (USA) 8.83, J.D. Lewis (USA) 6.87
Heat 12: Kalani David (HAW) 11.60, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 10.36, Keto Burns (USA) 9.60, Eli Olson (USA) 7.10
Heat 13: Anthony Petruso (USA) 14.06, Michael Powell (USA) 13.00, Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 9.50, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 9.34
Heat 14: Chase Wilson (USA) 10.27, Oliver Kurtz (USA) 10.00, Charlie Carroll (HAW) 9.04, Jensen Callaway (USA) 8.57
Heat 15: Colin Moran (USA) 12.43, Alex Smith (HAW) 10.10, Daniel Karren (AUS) 7.94, Dylan Kowalski (USA) 5.30
Heat 16: Bobby Morris (USA) 12.00, Jonah Morgan (HAW) 8.73, Jun Shiba (JPN) 6.67, Johnny Norris (USA) 5.63
Vans Pier Classic Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Phillip Goold (USA) 9.70, Tayler Brothers (USA), 8.54, Mark Dawson (USA) 8.44, Dane Zaun (USA) 5.17
Heat 2: Cody Thompson (USA) 9.33, P.J. Raia (USA) 8.00, Rob Kelly (USA) 7.60, Eala Stewart (HAW) 2.74
Heat 3: Hiroto Arai (JPN) 13.67, Travis Southworth (MEX) 8.13, Taishi Kawabata (JPN) 5.27, Ezra Sitt (HAW) 5.34
Heat 4: Jason Harris (USA) 11.16, Matt Myers (USA) 10.86, Dean Randazzo (USA) 10.17, Lucas Santamaria (ARG) 6.50
Heat 5: Aaron Cormican (USA) 9.33, Diego Naranjo (CRI) 9.13, Tayuki Wakita (JPN) 8.63, Yosuki Dodama (JPN) 3.83
Heat 6: J.D. Lewis (USA) 9.43, Eli Olson (HAW) 8.16, Levi Gonzales (HAW) 7.60, Diego Salgado (PAN) 4.24
Heat 7: Alejandro Moreda (PRI) 10.86, Jensen Callaway (USA) 7.70, Kaisa Kawamura (JPN) 6.34, Michael Bailey (USA) 3.53
Heat 8: Colin Moran (USA) 9.23, Bobby Morris (USA) 8.80, Willie Safreed (USA) 7.84, Morgan Faulkner (HAW) 2.60
The Mel family has a deep history in the surfing industry starting with John Mel Sr., owner of Freeline Surf Shop on 41st ave in Santa Cruz. He paved the way for his son Peter Mel who is no stranger to the surfing world. Read more
COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Monday, January 2, 2012) – 2011 has come and gone, delivering nothing short of one of the most exciting and talked about seasons the tour has ever witnessed. We saw bombing conditions at Teahupo’o and Pipeline, rippable surf in New York and San Francisco, and landmark swells at Bells and Supertubos. We saw the ascension of Kelly Slater (USA), 39, to the annals of sport history with an unprecedented 11th ASP World Title. We saw the announcement of a new guard of challengers including Owen Wright (AUS), 21, Michel Bourez (PYF), 26, Josh Kerr (AUS), 27, Julian Wilson (AUS), 23, and Alejo Muniz (BRA), 21. We saw the continued adaptation and high-performance of perennial threats such as Joel Parkinson (AUS), 30, Taj Burrow (AUS), 33, Adriano de Souza (BRA), 24, and Jordy Smith (ZAF), 23. We saw the preternatural performances of rotation kids Gabriel Medina (BRA), 18, Miguel Pupo (BRA), 20, and John John Florence (HAW), 19. 2012 is now upon us and 2012 is a question mark. Will we see the end of the Slater era? Will the world’s greatest surfer continue to outperform the next generation of talent? And if not, who will challenge for the throne? What follows is a breakdown of the 2011 ASP World Title Top 10…Watch the Throne…
KELLY SLATER (USA): 39 years old. 48 elite tour victories. 11 ASP World Titles. Robert Kelly Slater has been surfing’s “next best thing” for the past two decades. He is considered one the most dominant figures in all of sport…and he’s exhibited no sign of slowing down. Boasting incredible fitness and an ability to adapt to the ever-evolving performance level on the ASP World Tour, Slater is as dangerous as he has ever been in his career. However, the motivation to contest an entire season may be lacking as the iconic Floridian looks to transition to the next phase of his life. A guaranteed appearance at the season opener on the Gold Coast will see the great one don a singlet once again and his result at the Quiksilver Pro will likely set Slater’s pace for the season. Question is, when (IF) Kelly walks away, who will be next to ascend the throne?
JOEL PARKINSON (AUS): With 11 seasons amongst the world’s best under his belt, 30-year-old Joel Parkinson has finished Runner-Up four years (’02, ’04, ’09, ’11). The concept of being within grasp of the ASP World Title four times in one’s career is near unfathomable and would break most mortals. Fortunately for the surfing world, the man with arguably the greatest rail game in the world is not “most mortals”. Parkinson is hungry, fit and surfing at the height of his powers. If he can stay injury free in 2012, we may very well see what so many have waited to see for so long…a Parkinson atop the year-end ratings.
OWEN WRIGHT (AUS):In 2011, 21-year-old Owen Wright announced his intentions to the world when he made the Finals in back-to-back-to-back events against Slater, taking him out in New York and narrowly losing at Teahupo’o and Trestles. That said, Wright has well and truly proven himself capable of taking out events in any and all conditions. One of the most well-rounded surfers on the planet, the progressive goofy-footer will be licking his chops at the addition of Tavarua to this season’s schedule and the rest of the ASP Top 34 will have to collectively lift their games if they’re to keep up with the kid from Culburra in 2012.
TAJ BURROW (AUS): Burrow was once quoted as rhetorically pondering his affection with the ASP World Tour as “how do you get off this ride?”. And “ride” may very well sum up the 33-year-old’s 13-year tenure challenging for the title. Burrow is one of those rare individuals who has been considered an ASP World Title threat since his rookie year, but the ageless natural-footer from West Oz has only gotten as close as Runner-Up twice (’99, ’07). From the start of 2011, the remainder of the Top 34 fixed their gaze on Burrow as he was “surfing better than he ever has” (to quote virtually every surfer on tour). While Taj continued to amaze surf fans around the world last year, he didn’t reach the podium until the ASP Prime event at Haleiwa. These days, to win the title, consistency isn’t always enough. One needs podium finishes at the elite level to break the spirits of his/her fellow challengers. Taj is more than capable of this and we may just see it in 2012.
ADRIANO DE SOUZA (BRA): In a word: “passion”. De Souza has single-handedly changed the way the world views Brazilian surfing while clearing the path for the next generation of South American talent. Adept at airs, turns and barrels, the former ASP World Junior Champion is entering into his sixth consecutive year amongst the world’s elite (at only 24 years young too). De Souza has the drive and ability to be an ASP World Champion. The challenge for him over the coming years will be maintaining his dominance as the talent level continues to soar.
MICHEL BOUREZ (PYF): Ever since ‘The Spartan’ rampaged through the qualifying series in 2008, the world has been expecting big things from the powerful Tahitian. After finding his feet throughout his rookie and sophomore years, Michel Bourez was a picture of consistency in 2011, finishing Equal 9th in the first five events of the season. After a midyear slump, Bourez punctuated the remainder of the year with back-to-back Quarterfinal finishes in Europe and an Equal 3rd at Pipeline. Owner of one of the most powerful turns in the business, Michel is especially lethal at the reef passes (oh hello Tavarua!). Bourez has finished 21st, 11th and now 6th in his tenure amongst the world’s elite and if he can get off to a speedier start in 2012, we may see the Spartan challenge for the throne.
JORDY SMITH (ZAF): There are not too many surfers out there that can blow past the world’s best surfers at only 80%, but Durban’s Jordy Smith is one of these surfers. The big South African was once again in the title hunt throughout the first half of the season, but a mid-season injury in Tahiti derailed his campaign as he had to sit out at New York and Lowers (two events we would have liked to see him at). Throughout his four-year tenure amongst the ASP Top 34, Smith has shown the world many faces: progressive rookie, disinterested party boy and now a legitimate ASP World Title contender. His fitness level has never been higher and his talent is undeniable. We’ll have to wait and see what face Jordy turns up with in 2012.
JOSH KERR (AUS): From fly boy to…well…fly boy. Australian Josh Kerr has long been considered one of the best aerialists in the world, but his tube sense and big wave bravado have long been overshadowed by his above-the-lip prowess. Until now of course. Kerrzy proved himself at the 2011 heavy water spots and his rail game has improved significantly since he first took a shot at the ASP World Title back in 2007. Now well inside the ASP Top 10, Kerr will have to deal with the expectation of his fans and the judges while figuring out where he goes from here. Is the headline “Josh Kerr Claims 2012 ASP World Title” outside the scope of reality? We’ll have to wait and see.
JULIAN WILSON (AUS): Some people are given a lot in this world. Some people have to work for everything they get. The Sunshine Coast’s Julian Wilson is someone who can fall into both categories. Oozing with natural ability, it was Wilson’s work ethic and determination that saw the young natural-footer rebound after a slow start to the season to bag an ASP Prime win in Portugal and then post a Quarterfinal finish at Jeffreys Bay before blitzing the back half of the season. His efforts garnered him the ASP Rookie of the Year title and his charging at the season-ending Billabong Pipe Masters has been burned into the memories of the world’s best surfers. Wilson makes no apologies about his motivation at the top of the sport: he’s here for the ASP World Title. 2012 may be the year we see something special.
ALEJO MUNIZ (BRA): The second rookie to crack the Top 10 on the ASP World Title rankings and the man no one saw coming. Of course, anyone who had spent some water time with Muniz prior to the 2011 season would attest to the fact that the young Brazilian is the complete package. Solid fundamentals with the ability flare his fins at will, the thing that sets Alejo apart from other newcomers is his ability to put up big results in a variety of conditions. Muniz made the Quarterfinals at Snapper Rocks, Jeffreys Bay and Hossegor and the Semifinals at New York and San Francisco. The one thing that plagued Alejo’s rookie season was inconsistency: for every Quarters and Semis finish, he would suffer a Round 2 or 3 loss. The kid’s smart and well aware of this and we expect a marked improvement in 2012, but he is a challenger for the throne?
This list obviously fails to mention the remainder of the ASP Top 34, but they should not be discounted. As Slater said, “At this level, any of these guys can win any heat,” and when that’s the case, the 2012 ASP World Title is truly up for grabs. With the deactivation of the midyear rotation for 2012, the current ASP Top 34 will compete for the entirety of the season, starting with the season-opening Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast from February 25 – March 7, 2012. Watch the throne…
2012 ASP WORLD TITLE SCHEDULE:
- Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (February 25 – March 7, 2012)
- Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (April 3 – 14, 2012)
- Billabong Rio Pro (May 9 – 20, 2012)
- Volcom Fiji Pro (June 3 – 15, 2012)
- Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay (July 11 – 21, 2012)
- Billabong Pro Tahiti (August 16 – 27, 2012)
- Hurley Pro at Trestles (September 16 – 22, 2012)
- Quiksilver Pro France (September 28 – October 8, 2012)
- Rip Curl Pro Portugal (October 10 – 21, 2012)
- O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz (November 2 – 12, 2012)
- Billabong Pipe Masters (December 8 – 20, 2012)
For more information, log onto ASPWorldTour.com
SANTA CRUZ, California/USA (Thursday, December 22, 2011) – The O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz has been confirmed as an elite ASP World Title event for 2012. The world’s best surfers will journey to Northern California next November for the 10th of 11 stops on next season’s ASP World Title Series.
“We’re very happy to confirm the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz as an ASP World Title event in 2012,” Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, said. “Santa Cruz offers a variety of world-class waves for our surfers to perform on and we’re hopeful that conditions will deliver for the world’s best to do battle in.”
The O’Neill Cold Water Classic has a long-standing history of competition, previously as an ASP World Title event (before the two-tier system) and then as an ASP Star and ASP Prime event. Next year’s status as a returning elite ASP World Title event coincides with the 60th anniversary of the O’Neill family’s contribution to surfing.
“We are excited to see a World Tour level event return to Santa Cruz as part of O’Neill’s 60 Year anniversary,” Pat O’Neill, President & CEO of O’Neill Wetsuits, said. “Santa Cruz, with its rich surf history and tradition, is the perfect venue for this pivotal event. Mainland surfing started in Santa Cruz, Jack O’Neill developed many pioneering surf inventions here and it’s been home to the O’Neill brand for over half a century. Santa Cruz has always been regarded as a true surf community and was named the number one surf town in the U.S. by Surfer magazine. With a World Tour event in 2012 and the possibility of the World Champion being crowned, we expect to see an exciting chapter in surfing history written right in our front yard.”
An ASP event for over three decades now, the O’Neill Coldwater Classic has been championed by California standouts such as Tom Curren and Bobby Martinez from Santa Barbara, Kieran Horn, Adam Replogle and Nat Young from Santa Cruz, Richie Collins from Newport Beach and San Clemente’s Nathan Yeomans.
Illustrating the global impact of the event, the winners’ dais has also hosted international standouts Martin Potter (GBR), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Toby Martin (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and most recently Miguel Pupo (BRA). When the ASP Top 34 hit Santa Cruz next November, you can expect another worthy name to be added to such a historic list.
“Joining the other great events on the ASP World Tour makes celebrating O’Neill’s 60th anniversary in 2012 even more exciting,” Toby Bost, CEO of O’Neill Clothing USA, said. “With such a prestigious event, coupled with the amazing group of past winners and new crop of incredible talent on the Tour, there will definitely be a lot of anticipation and energy heading into Santa Cruz next year.”
The world’s best surfers will contest the O’Neill Cold Water Classic Santa Cruz from November 2 – 12, 2012
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Kieren Perrow wins Billabong Pipe Masters and John John Florence Overall Winner of the 2011 Vans Triple Crown
BANZAI PIPELINE Read more
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii Read more
BANZAI PIPELINE, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 5, 2011) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2011 ASP World Title Series, will commence its waiting period this Thursday, December 8, 2011 and a solid West Northwest swell is expected to see competition get underway in the opening days of the window.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, clinched a historic 11th ASP World Title at the previous event in San Francisco and the focus for this Billabong Pipe Masters will be the Vans Triple Crown Title (an ASP Specialty Series) and the requalification campaigns of the world’s best surfers.
John John Florence (HAW), 18, newcomer to the elite ASP Top 34 after the September rotation, is currently leading the hunt for the 2011 Vans Triple Crown Title after an impressive win at Sunset last week.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 30, and defending Billabong Pipe Masters champion Jeremy Flores (FRA), 23, have withdrawn from competition due to injury and have been replaced by first alternates C.J. Hobgood (USA), 32, and Adam Melling (AUS), 26, respectively.
Due to the expanded competition at Pipeline, the ASP has awarded two wildcard spots to surfers next in line on the ASP World Rankings, Kolohe Andino (USA), 17, and Willian Cardoso (BRA). Both surfers will receive ASP World Rankings points for their campaigns at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS PRESS CONFERENCE:
Who: Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Gabriel Medina, Jeremy Flores, John John Florence, Bruce Irons
When: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 – 11am sharp
Where: Surfer Bar, Turtle Bay Resort
The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons will run from December 8 – 20, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE via http://
For additional information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
VANS TRIPLE CROWN TOP 3 (Heading into Billabong Pipe Masters):
1. John John Florence (HAW) 9,780 pts
2. Adam Melling (AUS) 9,650 pts
3. Michel Bourez (PYF) 8,480 pts
ASP WORLD TITLE TOP 5 (Heading into Billabong Pipe Masters):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 63,350 pts
2. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 48,600 pts
3. Owen Wright (AUS) 47,900 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 43,700 pts
5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 42,200 pts
SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, December 2, 2011) Read more
Santa Cruz local Kirk Mcginty of L41 surfboards has created a niche for himself and as a result the L41 logo is starting to litter the waters of Santa Cruz with some rad alternative shapes due to Kirk’s creativity. Sit down, relax, and read up on the birth and the future of L41 Surfboards.
Warning: Reading this article will make you want to call L41 Surfboards and order a board. Perfect timing… Christmas present to yourself!
NCS: How and when did you start shaping surfboards?
KM: I made my first board in 1996 while working at an industrial design firm in Sunnyvale, CA. My degree is in product design and I’m a CAD designer by trade. I’ve always been interested in forms, surfaces, clean curves, etc.. That combined with my surfing background made designing a surfboard inevitable. My first board was made using hi-end software and was cut on a 500K CNC milling machine. This was before anybody was using machines to produce surfboards. I had it glassed at Full Metal Jacket by Don Hicks and Vince Collier and it worked great! I followed up with a few more and eventually got curious about hand shaping. After a handful of bad attempts and some coaching by a good friend and pro shaper I was able to make something that worked. I’d hand shaped a few dozen boards when I met Marlin Clegg at Cybershapes. He ran the first cutting center in Santa Cruz and spoke my language in terms of CAD/CAM and its role in surfboard manufacturing. I quickly realized that I could get much better results by using a mouse and a milling machine than I could with a planer. Eventually, KKL, AKU Shaper and Shape 3D came along and it got much easier to deliver files to cutters in return for next to perfect pre-cut shapes.
What is the name of your surfboard brand?
KM: L41 Surfboards, short for “Lower 41st Avenue” — one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in Santa Cruz and home to some of my favorite waves . It started out as a sort of inside plug to my friends, then as it grew I liked the idea of capturing some of the energy of the area and translating it through my brand.
NCS: What is your favorite aspect of shaping?
KM: Hands down the greatest thing is handing off a custom shape to a stoked customer. Second is to be creating something functional with the tools I have and receiving positive feedback from the people who ride it. There’s also the therapeutic aspect and hands-on creative value to getting in the shaping room with some good music and dialing in a foam sculpture.
NCS: How about your least favorite?
KM: Tough question. Probably the learning curve involved in designing good boards. It’s taken years and endless tweaks to get to where I am now. As soon as I think I’ve got a winner, a subtle change to rocker, fin placement, thickness flow, etc. can make it better. This can be frustrating but then I have to remind myself that there’s a natural evolution to everything. This constant learning and change is vital to the design process.
NCS: Is there a certain shape you sell more of?
KM: I do a fair share of performance shortboards but have to say alternative shapes are my niche. Anything short, wide and flat and any variety of non-standard quads are a staple. I also do a lot of performance SUP designs, long boards, eggs – anything really.
NCS: Do a lot of your customers come in knowing what dimensions they want already or do they tell you their skill level and type of waves they surf and then let you run with it?
KM: I’d say half of my custom orders are from people with a particular design in mind. With the advent of model names (i.e., dumpster diver, rocket, flyer, etc.) it’s gotten much easier to interpret a customer’s wants. Of course there are also customers who don’t know exactly what board to order. Using my skill set and experience it can be fun and challenging to determine what would be best for them. I also get orders from folks who have an idea that maybe goes beyond what is considered “normal”. These are the projects I like best. An example would be a high performance SUP based on the Mini-Simmons platform.
NCS: Where is your local surf spot?
KM: The Hook. However it really depends on the time of year and wave conditions. I basically surf anywhere between Rockview and Trees with occasional jaunts down to the beaches and Moss Landing.
NCS: What do enjoy most about living Santa Cruz?
KM: The best thing is the consistency and quality of the waves here. Every day is surfable given the right equipment. I also love how accessible the ocean is and the geography.
NCS: Where would you like to see yourself five years from now?
KM: Retired and living in Costa Rica would be nice but probably not realistic. I hope to be happy, secure in my job and still crankin’ out good boards for people!
NCS: Who are your influences?
KM: If I had to pick any particular people in the industry whose craft or skill I especially respect and appreciate I’d say Gerry Lopez, John Carper and Rich Pavel. But being self-taught and a naturally creative person I never really aspired to be like anyone else or make something “as good” as or better than another guys.
NCS: What would you say to the individuals that are just are thinking about shaping or just started?
KM: There’s no better feeling than riding a board that you made yourself. No matter how crappy you may think it looks it’ll always be magic.
NCS: Is there anyone that you would like to thank?
KM: I’d like to thank Mark Brown and the crew at Paradise Fiberglass for years of amazing glassing. Also David Vernor for sharing his tips, tricks and industry contacts with me.