Josh Martin breaks down his father Terry Martin's classic Hot Curl design
My dad began surfing by riding finless planks, but he found them impossible to surf and figured he could make his own board that would perform better. The first board he ever made was the Hot Curl, modeled after a finless design he’d seen called a “Hawaiian Board”. He surfed a spot in Point Loma called Terry’s Slide, which is known as Osprey Street now. It was not much of a surf spot at the time because there was a lot of kelp in the lineup at low tide, but with his finless Hot Curl, he could just glide over the kelp. They were originally made from solid wood, but he and I did build a polyurethane foam version a few years back.
Rob Machado and the search for the world’s most versatile surfboard
Rob may have refined the stub, but the truth is that surfers have been experimenting with stub-like designs for decades. In fact, the history of the stub is rich.
Firewire commits to all eco-boards, all the time
For years now, we’ve wondered when the surfboard industry would make a real push to embrace sustainably-made equipment. It looks like a substantial step has been taken.
Johnny Cabianca breaks down Gabriel Medina's magic Cloudbreak craft
Gabriel is growing up and because of that I needed to make many changes on this model, but it's still the same concept. Mostly just the volume and the foil changed, but I also changed the fin positions and fin angles for Fiji.
Meet the "Next Step" that Sally Fitz rode to the Fiji Pro win
Firewire's "Next Step", a step-up model to take you into bigger and better surf.
The most fun you can have with fins on
Lewis and Denslow didn't really expect to start a full-blown handplane business. They just had so much fun on their tiny pieces of surf craft, people noticed and wanted in too.
At SBT, surfboards embedded with microchips or stamped with QR codes connect surfers with shapers
Andrew Smith was in France when he first thought of implanting his surfboards with microchips. “It was about seven years ago,” he says. “I pulled into a gas station with all of my boards strapped to the roof of the truck. I filled up with gas, went in to pay, and when I came out the boards were gone. I thought to myself, ‘How many times has this happened to someone on a surf trip? And do those people ever see their boards again?’”
Ellis Ericson on adapting throwback designs for modern quivers
The odds are pretty slim that you’ve seen a Sunflower surfboard at your home break. That’s because Ellis Ericson doesn’t have a factory, a distribution deal, or even a regular shaping bay. “I’ve been trying to travel the way that a lot of surfers used to, where you shape a few boards wherever you can along the way to help fund your trip,” says Ellis. “Sometimes people hit me up looking for a board, and I just shape it when I get to their part of the world in whatever shaping bay I can use. It’s been fun. It gives me something to do when the waves are bad.”
Johnny Cabianca breaks down Gabriel Medina's winning Snapper stick
Gabriel has talent in many different conditions, but he's loved to fly since he was a kid. I try to work on making faster boards because I believe that more speed is the key to more expressive surfing and bigger airs. Most of the time a professional surfer tries one of my boards, their feedback is that the boards are really fast but a little hard to turn. But after a session or two, most surfers start to love the way they can move the boards and explore new lines. Gabriel basically uses three different models. The dFK (da Freak Kid), the GAME, and MEGA. All the contests he's won since 2009, and his best results up to now were with one of those models.
Jon Pyzel breaks down the board John John Florence is riding on this month’s cover
"In the past, guys would order boards specifically for each spot, but John John’s a freak. He has natural advantages that other surfers don’t. Also, surfing those spots in contests is way different than when a ton of dudes are out. Take Sunset for example, on an average day there are fifty dudes out on 9’6”s and above. When you take away all those dudes and it’s just a few guys in the lineup, it’s really easy to ride a smaller board." —Jon Pyzel