Behind the Brand: Of the all the brands in the surfboard business today, few, if any, can match the cultural impact of Hawaii's T&C label. Throughout its 37-year history as a surfboard company, its yin and yang logo has remained a fixture in the public eye, which is a testament to how the company has succeeded at staying on the forefront of performance and design technology. T&C's team history reads like a veritable who's who of surfing and shaping legends, with names like Larry Bertlemann, Dane Kealoha, Buffalo and Brian Keaulana, Matt Archbold, Sunny Garcia, Andy and Bruce Irons, Makua Rothman, Fred Pattachia, Jamie O'Brien, and Roy Powers representing just a handful of their countless team riders. Of the legendary shapers, try Craig Sugihara, Larry Bertlemann, Barry Kanaiaupuni, Glenn Minami, Ed Angulo, Dennis Pang, Donald Takayama, Ben Aipa, Jeff Johnston, and Cino Magallenes.
About his Most Popular Models: Pang says most of his team riders are zeroing in on the importance of flex—more specifically, when and how much. "They know now how much of a factor it is, and now we can control it with the materials and various types of construction," he says. "Most of our top guys are riding our new G-Flex model. It has graphite-infused flex working in combination with EPS foam and epoxy."
Taking the Pulse: "It's good seeing individuality in the water and in design. I like seeing people riding what not only looks good, but more importantly, what feels good to them. And with more and more manufacturers no longer afraid to experiment with different materials, in the long run, the consumer is the one who will benefit. We will end up producing a better and stronger product."Shop Talk
How do you identify the gap between a customer's wants and true needs? "That is probably the hardest thing to decipher. Everyone wants to be like Kelly Slater, but most of us will never be. Not everyone can ride what the pros are riding. When in doubt, a little more foam never hurts."
What three models should your customers not be without this year? "The first one would be our B-3 Bullet model. It is a fun-board shape primarily made for beginners or as a step down board from a longboard. There are far too many beginners not to have this board in the line. Second would be our S-1 model, which is the staple for most of our pro riders in smaller waves. It is also one of our most requested models for the majority of our custom orders. Third would be our W-2 model. It is the go-to board made for solid Hawaiian waves. Roy Powers won on a 6'8" W-2 in maxing Haleiwa surf at the Reef Hawaiian Pro last year."
What's the most important characteristic to consider when purchasing equipment? "Consistency is the most important. Knowing how every model works in every kind of wave conditions is of the utmost importance."