Free-friction devotee, 21, Byron Bay, AUS
“The fun of finless surfing lies somewhere in its balance between order and chaos,” says Ari Browne, Byron Bay’s experimental surf-craft wizard. Maybe you’ve seen his sections in art-house surf films like Ryan Lovelace’s Almost Cut My Hair or Jack Coleman’s Groove Move, where he can be found flying down the line like a skipping stone at a few perfect Australian points. If you haven’t, now is as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with his unhinged lines. But be prepared to question your entire approach to wave riding.
How did you start down the finless path in the first place?
About four years ago I jumped on a wood board with no fins for a few waves and loved it. After that session, I was so stoked with the feeling of finless surfing that a few of my mates and I made some finless boards of our own. I’ve been riding them all the time ever since.
Describe the feeling of finless surfing to those of us who’ve yet to embrace the free-fiction revolution.
Riding a finless board isn’t that dissimilar to riding a normal board, actually. At least most of the feelings—trim, glide, and the sense of speed—are very similar. The difference is that riding a finless board is way more dynamic. There’s a lot more left to chance. You really have to let the wave push you around. I love to ride a surf mat for the same feeling.
What kind of waves are you looking for when you’re surfing finless?
Any waist- to shoulder-high peeling wave on your frontside is ideal. You can ride finless boards on your backhand, but it’s definitely easier on your frontside. We have so many good waves for surfing finless around here in Byron, especially Lennox Head. You really need a wave that produces its own speed, because the boards I typically ride don’t generate much speed by themselves.
In terms of wave size, is there a limit to what a finless board can handle?
The bigger the wave, the better, in my opinion. It can get a little wild and a little out of hand when you get to ride finless boards in bigger waves, but that’s the reason you ride those boards in the first place. That’s part of the fun. And you can get barreled on them, for sure, but it’s much more complicated than on a board with fins. They have to be slipped into the tube, and you’ve got almost no control once you’re in there. But again, that’s the feeling you’re looking for anyway.
Does surfing finless change your approach to riding regular boards?
Absolutely, although I’m not sure that I’d even thought about it ’til just now. I ride boards with fins a lot of the time, and riding finless has definitely changed how I read waves and how I ride any board. Finless boards help you realize that the possibilities for creative lines are so much greater than you may have thought, which is good because it’s usually hard to keep me interested.
Supermodels prefer swallowtails
Luxury fashion accessories magnate Chanel has a new ad campaign built around Gisele Bündchen threading a tropical tube and…actually, just forget it. Words fail. Watch the video above. The part you’re interested in starts at the :20 second mark and runs to about 1:15. That barrelface, it rivals John John in terms of pure, blank-expression
Simon Anderson's thruster changed everything
Watching Anderson swoop around giant righthanders with the speed and control of a single-fin, but the rail-to-rail hot-doggery of a twin-fin opened the rest of surfing's eyes to what the thruster could do. It helped too that Anderson was a master shaper. He knew his thruster was a golden ticket.
Like way down south
If you aren’t on a trip somewhere surfing bathwater-warm rights, boy will you want to be after watching this clip. Metal Neck’s figurehead Andrew Doheny lends his unique boards and rail art to the most pleasant canvases. They even threw in some Frank Black guitar wizardry (ok, it’s the Pixies, but still, Frank Black) on
Week In Review
Random happenings in surf for the week of October 8th
Random happenings in surf for the week of October 8.
Shopping for private tropical islands has never been easier
Do you love to surf, but hate the crowds? Tired of scrimping and saving all year to spend a week at a tropical reef pass with 75 other office drones? What if I told you there was a better way? What if I told you there was a website that meant discovering your own little
There's no place like home, especially when home is firing
The Brothers Coffin, Yadin Nicol, a Timmy Curran sighting, Bobby Martinez getting barreled at a wave that doesn’t even look hollow, and Dane “I’m still here” Reynolds. This clip is chock-a-block full of the best of the greater Santa Barbara/Ventura area talent pool.
And looks good doing it
Garrett Parkes surfs kinda like Pat O’Connell. Or maybe he just looks a little like him. But that first turn, for a moment, you, think, “Pat?” Is that you? Then all of a sudden, it’s definitely not Pat O’Connell, ’cause O’Connell wasn’t really throwing his tail around in the air quite like young Mr. Parkes.
Week In Review
Random happenings in surf for the week of October 1st
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