design forum

The Slip-In

A new twist on the time-honored single-fin

| posted on September 26, 2013

A cross between a tadpole and an electric toothbrush. Surely no one has uttered those words when describing the shape of a surfboard, and some might argue, never should. But that’s how you might describe the latest design from Swedish-born California transplant Thomas Meyerhoffer. An award-winning designer with clients like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Puma, Meyerhoffer released his first surfboard design, the Meyerhoffer Longboard, in 2009. With its wide nose, pulled-in mid-section, wide hips, and narrow tail, it was a radical departure from the traditional longboard. The board took home a slew of prestigious awards, including the 2010 Gold International Design Excellence Award, the highest honor for industrial design.

Meanwhile, the surf world reacted with bemused curiosity. Surfers are a notoriously skeptical bunch. Until an “alternative craft” is seen underfoot Dane Reynolds or the like, it’s almost met with a slight pity, if not outright disgust. Most often, it’s sideline judgment, based purely on a discomfort with the unknown. Many who’ve dismissed Meyerhoffer’s shapes have done so purely on principle. Most who have ridden them, however, have raved about them, touting their ability to turn, gain speed, and noseride exceptionally. At the very least, they’ve been appreciated for allowing the rider to experience waves in a new way.

Since the release of his signature longboard, Meyerhoffer has designed a quiver of unconventional craft, most recently, the Slip-In, an unorthodox single-fin ranging from 5’11″ to 7’6″. According to Meyerhoffer, this newest incarnation “mixes trim style longboard elements with shortboard performance, allowing you to draw classic lines, stall in the barrel, or turn on a dime.” And this time around, it’s the surf world that’s handing out awards. In 2012, the Slip-In took home the Best Concept Surfboard Award at the Boardroom Surfboard Expo.

But despite its acclaim, it’s likely you’ve never heard of the thing, and have never come across one in your local lineup or surf shop. And there’s a reason for that. “We had been flying underneath the radar until we knew we had something that really worked,” says Meyerhoffer. “I have worked to advance [the shape] millimeter by millimeter, and I think now we have something really concrete. We’re always trying to push the boundaries, and my boards are for the surfer who does the same.”

One such surfer happened to be Josh Mulcoy, who was recently privy to a Slip-In test session on the right pointbreaks of Mainland Mexico. Generally accustomed to standard thrusters, Mulcoy was surprised by how quickly he took to the unusual craft.

“You can put it on a rail and spring out of a turn,” describes Mulcoy. “And you move up on it and it goes so fast. The flow on it goes from turn to turn without losing speed, where my other boards don’t really do that so much. But it’s crazy to me how well it holds a rail, and if you get behind a section, all you do is move your front foot up and the board just takes off on its own. I’ve ridden a ton of single-fins and that board rides like no other. It has all the good qualities of a single-fin, but at the same time, you can turn it on a dime. It has the best of both worlds: the thruster feel and the speed, but you can get on a rail like you do on a single-fin.”

Mulcoy admits, however, that rather than a replacement for his go-to board, the Slip-In would more likely serve as an add-on to his existing quiver, an option for mixing things up. Surfers have long been enamored with experimentation, with the perpetual quest for a new experience. So while Meyerhoffer may not be the next Merrick, he’s certainly found a way to scratch that particular itch.

“Who knows where it will go,” says Mulcoy. “I walked into Stretch’s factory a while back and saw one of those Fletcher four-fins and I laughed. And now look, the whole world is riding those things, even at World Tour events. Now, you walk down the beach with this board and people trip out on it, but where will it be 10 years from now?”

It’s quite possible that Meyerhoffer’s unique perspective is another step in the single-fin’s evolution—or perhaps it’s just a rogue, bowling-pin-shaped detour in our endless search for something new.

  • wyatt

    I can see why people are so pumped on this board. I mean, any new design that allows you to do tentative half-turns on perfect, empty rights should be a mandatory quiver addition.

    • Randy

      You nailed it Wyatt. Just look at how reluctant Josh is to drive through turns on it. It looks like he doesn’t trust having his weight anywhere but over the board. Its funny how the article tries to pin the problem on surfers being resistant to change. I’m not so sure the evidence for that stands. Look how fast real improvements were taken up: fish for mushy waves a decade ago, quads setups, new wider – stubbier templates, and now all these crazy groveler things. Innovation has to come from somewhere and riding experimental stuff is part of that, but we shouldn’t pretend these things are ripe for adoption when they clearly are not.

      • Da Moose

        You can see he’s fighting the board,and those were the shots shown…

    • Markook

      you guys should try the board before you dis it. It really surfs incredibly well and who needs to get on a rail when you are getting perfect Mexican cover-ups. Instead of dissing on the video or board from the internet, just hit the beach and relax!

  • Kevin Patrick

    not into it

  • k_ Sado

    could be possible. your brain opening never end.

    • geronimo

      please shut up and enjoy surf essence :Q________

      • Your Nemesis

        How many times do you say that a day? Smoke another one Geronimo

      • tubed

        shut up and enjoy your big mac

      • Geronimo is a troll for Surfer

        geronimo…telling some to shut up on a thread makes you the donkey of all donkeys. Obviously your a troll who had something to do with this board or the horrible video. Admit this hipster beiber board sucks and was a disgrace to this perfect wave.

      • k_ Sado

        geronimo, are you,,,,,

  • http://shawnnolan.com Shawn Nolan Jr.

    Don’t really care for the board, but that waves looks insane!

    • jeffrey razura 

      I concur!

  • Duffy

    When are video makers going to realize that an entire video in slow motion sucks. Especially when trying to show us how a board works.

    • bob

      totally agree, that video didn’t show us anything.

    • geronimo

      shut up and enjoy the essence of surfing

  • Christiaan Otter Bailey

    I’m always stoked on new tech and who’s moving forward (kinda requisite given my situation) however I will say that Mulck’s is a amazing rider and that often times has more to do with it, than the board… I once saw Kelly (Slater) get barreled surfing a coffee table, does’nt necessarily mean i’m looking to add one to my quiver! =P

  • Markook

    For the critics, try the board, then judge. As Josh said, when he looked at it, he was sure it would not work, then he rode it and found out different. I love this board and it also has renewed my stoke. Totally different feeling in surfing and faster than most anything else I have ridden. Smooth speed on a single fin is an epic feeling. If it ain’t for you, then all good, but those that have tried are totally turned on to it.

  • Paquimania

    Never mind the board, where is that spot and why is he the only one out??

  • Your Nemesis

    Board showed no improvement to performance. In fact, it lagged in the turns and looked lethargic overall. Back to the drawing board.

  • dickwad

    we could really see his speed in the slow motion…..

  • Jeff Mcpherson

    I’ll believe it when Slater rides one in a contest….until then , not a chance…..lol

  • John Maze

    provide the right wave and one can ride most anything that resembles a surfboard…it’s all about the wave

  • Gordon Rankin

    I’d like to see the same guy, same wave, surfing a more conventional board for a good comparison..

  • PAtrico

    HAHA what on earth is wrong with you internet dorks commenting on whether or not the video/article is good for surfing blahblahblahblahablha. That was a really cool video and holy crap man, what kind of wave is that. Dream wave in my opinion. Looks like Mulcoy’s cove but a lot warmer, longer and less crowded.

  • jeffrey razura 

    Amazing point-break and surfer, but the board and the slow-motion make this video kinda lame. I heard somebody say “shut-up and enjoy the essence of surfing” well for me & a lot of others I know, the essence of surfing involves going fast. I’m sure it would be fun to ride, but I can see why most would be reluctant to embrace it.

  • Markook

    Classic Surfer, Tons of negative stuff here. I posted something positive about
    the board and you do not put it up! What’s up with that?

  • mickomanic

    Road a SUPER NORMAL model this weekend in waist to chest high low tide close outs. Or what appeared to be close outs. I made sections I would normally get stuck behind on my thruster or quad. The board rail grabbed tight in the pocket, kept me off the bottom of the wave and in the power source. By far the fastest most responsive board I have ever ridden. I am 6’2″ and 200 lbs. The board I rode was a 5’8″. I did not expect these results, it caught everything! This is not a board I would ride on an overhead day or most likely on a point brake where I would want to draw longer lines. But for small grovely or fast close out conditions I will be adding one to my quiver.

  • andy

    I love the way it bogs through the bottom turn and then slides on the top turn, all the holding power of a twin fin with the drive of a boogie board, what an amazing combination…P.T. Barnum said it best, “there’s a sucker born every minute”.

  • joe

    unwatchable. board looks like sh_t.

  • Dogdikpink

    The essence of surfing is freedom. The essence of freedom is speed, power, flow and control. Mulcoy is a very talented surfer and yet this board provides him with none of the elements needed for freedom and creativity. It clearly limits the lines he is able to draw. Back to the drawing board.

  • ;iug

    gay board

  • Dani

    Really ??? That board sucks I could surf those perfect waves better in a door