__________ Is the New Black

Tracking the latest trends in surfing

| posted on June 29, 2011

Punker Pat gets weird with his hull in firing Mexican barrels. Photo: Burkard

When us normal folk spend our hard-earned cash on airfare and baggage fees, we like to be sure that those heavily taxed coffin bags we drag along are filled with “sure things,” i.e., sticks that have proven themselves in the type of surf that we will be chasing. So why are pro surfers choosing to bring along one weird craft, and riding them on the best day of the trip? Are they rubbing it in our faces that they get good waves all the time and don’t mind “wasting” an epic session with some flea-market pile? Have they grown tired of this whole “performance” thing? Whatever the reasons, Punker Pat is riding hulls in perfect Mexico, Dane Reynolds is getting shacked on a 15-year-old fish, and the entire Rusty team is boosting on single-fins in Bali, which means riding weird boards on the best day of the trip is the new black.

Craig Anderson is not known for his ability to shred on an alaia—but he can. Nor is he known for his ability to glide through heaving Indonesian barrels on a single-fin—but he did. “I was in the Mentawais and we went out at Greenbush in the morning and I decided to ride this single-fin that my shaper made me that I hadn’t really surfed that much,” says Craig. “There were a couple of solid ones and I got one really epic wave on it. I was psyched because it was kind of sketchy on the drop and I pulled up into it and got pretty barreled, and the thing just went faster and I weaved through it and somehow popped out the end.”

We were talking about what makes a wave memorable, and besides the ride at Greenbush, Craig didn’t exactly have a glowing treasure trove of memories in regards to waves. “I travel around so much and see so many different places and surf so many different waves that it’s almost like it all kind of feels the same in a way,” he said. As crazy as it may sound, getting perfect surf and tearing it to pieces on boards finely tuned to your every specification can get repetitive. It can get old. Turn stale.

The solution? Mixing it up. Riding what you aren’t accustomed to in waves that you are is a sure way to get a new sensation. And it doesn’t have to just apply to the pros. Boards that you aren’t used to may work in the waves that you take them out in, or they might not. Either way there is a learning curve. A challenge. Trying something new is good for the soul, and if it’s difficult, it will remind you of when you first started surfing, which is always a good thing.

Dane Reynolds holds his line in Indo thanks to a 15-year-old twin-fin. Photo: Kenworthy

Dane Reynolds: Whatever people say that he is, that's what he's not. Photo: Kenworthy

  • transparency

    ___________ = (marketing ploy #2,398)

  • Tim C

    I am loving the fact that weird and wonderful boards are being ridden all over the place. For years the double concave thruster in plain white was all people rode, which led to a bit of a a formulaic, surfing by numbers era. Dave Rastovich, Joel Tudor and Rob Machado and a few others were the first to break away from conventional boards, and I for one am very grateful to them!

    These days people at all levels of ability are prepared to give almost anything a go. This is not only great fun to watch, but in my opinion has put a lot of the fun back into surfing, both at a global and at a local level.

    I have a heap of old boards and my plan is to take them all out, I might not be able to surf them as well as the afore mentioned, or the guys above, but it’ll be fun, fun fun!

  • hugo

    heaving thick old stale positive rides, good luck fitting it into the taxi, bottom turn burns

  • jojo

    transparency, to which marketing ploy do you refer? an effort on the part of the surfer editorial staff to boost craigslist sales of old yellow bonzers? a push to sell rusty single fins that aren’t even available to the general public? i appreciate anti-industry sentiments as much as the next guy– except when they’re just paranoid nonsense.

  • beach bleach

    single trim ripper things, it aint the arrow its the indian, surfing is just a thing, if people dont like this thing, then dont surf, make everyones life easier, haggard attitudes are cut

  • MattyP

    5’5 x 19 x 1/4 Lets all ride fishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    loving it! whats the point in designing new surfboards when you dont rock your old ones now and then:) this is awesome! stokeddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!

  • stinkbug

    Board sales are probably in the crapper. Send a couple pros out on single fins (these guys could ride a lunch tray down the face of a wave) and start a new craze.
    What ever makes money I guess…

  • stoked guy

    this article is spot on. when your getting in the same routine everyday then you have to mix it up. thats why so many guys ride wierd craft now. when i get pissed off after annoying shortboard sessions, i ride my log and that always gets me stoked again

  • dgbjpn

    Fuck! Unreal! Now I can add a single fin to my quiver of twins and fishes that all do the exact same thing as my thruster. Fuck, thanks so much surf industry! You guys are the best. I feel so complete.

  • average surfer

    dig single fin surfing but not when it’s just a lame version of what they do on trio fins

  • jeff samuelson

    4 is better than 3, 2 is better than 1 and 4 except when it’s big then 4 is best , 3 is just too easy , 1 is slightly bettere than 3. 2 and 4 are best

  • surfer
  • fabian

    looks like people r finally clicking onto what rasta tapped into years ago

  • transparency

    ______________ = 2011 California trend #67 and marketing ploy # 2,398
    (guess when you have all the $$$ and live on golf courses–> then you can “mix it up” because mommy and daddy fund your “new black” lifestyle)

  • Junior Wills

    I’m pretty sure I can surf terribly on any fin configuration.

  • Alex the Swede

    OK, Rusty does some very nice surfboards. But trying to get marketing points by putting single fins on more or less ordinary plan shapes?… The boards surely works, and that it feels different to surf a truster is not hard to understand. But the article is trying hard to relate to Hull surfboards. That is something totally different. It is an other world of surfing. Making a film with ordinary short board “up and down, and then some aerials” surfing is so wrong. – Keep it real!

    May the stoke be with you all!

  • Bubu

    Bubu sez :

    Did you ever think of the amount of pollution for which Rusty is responsible, making all these surfboards that rarely last beyond 4 years? They just muck up the planet, and most not built to last any time at all.