Hypto Krypto for Prime Minister – they need your help!

I like to think of myself as being reasonably attached to the surfing barometer, actively educating myself on anything I expect to be big, or fashionable, or innovative or in demand. Not because I want to jump on a bandwagon, but because I like knowing things and being able to engage in conversation with most people on most things and have a genuine contribution to the conversation. My first experience with Hayden Cox, the magic man behind Haydenshapes is a perfect example of this.

I can still remember the first time I ever saw a Haydenshapes Surfboard. It was at North Narrabeen, and there was a young kid surfing and he was ripping. Now I’m not trying to imply that he was ripping because of the board, but it gave the board immediate credibility – more than enough for me to take notice and do a little research into the brand – who was HS?

My research led me to a young man of equal age, living in the same part of the world, shaping boards from Mona Vale. It was a Thursday afternoon, I was a walk off the street customer with no idea what board I wanted, or more importantly needed. Hayden greeted me immediately with a smile, and after I moved passed my jealously at his Hollywood charisma and looks, it became immediately clear was I was dealing with someone who had an undeniable desire to develop beyond a surfboard shaper and into a craftsman.

He told me firsthand about the young grommet who was prepared to sacrifice his high school holidays to work for free in a Mona Vale shaping bay to learn the craft, he told me about all his favourite local waves to surf, he told me about his Friday night at the local pub, in fact we talked about everything other than surfboards…but then something clicked. I picked up a board and asked a question about the rocker, and everything changed. Hayden was in the zone, he was in his element, he looked at the surfboard like it was Christmas morning. It was clear that board was destined for someone just like me, a guy who walked in without knowing what he wanted, and would in 2-4 weeks return and pick up exactly the board he needed. It was as if Hayden could actually see the first wave that board would ride, how the water would flow over it, how it would turn,  how it would hold in a pocket and how that customer would feel packing it back of the car after its first session.

I was sold, plus I had a brand new man crush. I bought my very first HS on the spot. I wish I got him to sign it.

Now the surfboard shaping world is a melting pot of ideas and opinions and new technologies and large personalities. And what I most respect about Hayden is that it has always been about the craft. You won’t read fiery Instagram updates, or opinionated magazines interviews. His boards do the talking, and right now the Hayden Shapes Musical is reaching fever pitch.. One board in particular, a design which Hayden himself may very well say best defines his success as a shaper to date is the Hypto Krypto. If you think you haven’t seen one of these boards around, I can almost guarantee you are mistaken. These boards are as we speak bringing stoke to people such as Craig Anderson and Creed McTaggart, they are bringing stoke to that local ripper you were sure was destined for bigger things, the weekend warriors you try to avoid and fathers, brothers, uncles, aunties and anyone who only gets to surf once a fortnight. My point is this board design has found a way to appeal to all of us. And if you somehow have avoided seeing one of these beautiful creatures, you most certainly would not have missed one of the million attempts from other shapers to replicate the design that first hit our shelves 6 years ago.

Now as a thanks to Hayden for bringing all this stoke, the least you can do is vote for the Hypto Krypto in “Surfboard of the Year” Competition hosted by the Surf & Boardsports Industry Association SBIA). Vote Here. We voted, and the reason we voted is because for a board design, untouched for 6 years to only be getting the level of acknowledgement it deserves now is a phenomenal achievement. What does that tell you? It tells us that after 6 years of shifts in popular boards design in the industry that this design has held its spot, is becoming generational while remaining current and fantastic and deserving of a spot in your quiver.

We were fortunate enough to have a chat with my man crush, and speak about all things Haydenshapes and Hypto Krypto. Have a read, then do the right thing and vote…go on…do it…get on the bandwagon.

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Dan from SurfStitch: So 2014 has started with a bang, loads of great media stories and some great surfing from your team riders – does 2014 have a special feeling about it  for you?

Hayden Cox: It sure has, I’m so grateful for the positive vibes right now. We have some exciting new models to launch globally this year, some cool collaborations that are in the pipeline, and just some fun days surfing will be in the mix too -­ already had one amazing trip to Mexico this year!

D: So on the media stories, it seems your business successes are now well recognised outside of the surf industry in Australian and globally, how has that satisfaction differed from a write up in a respected surf mag?

H: Editorial pieces whether being within the surf industry or outside are always exciting! It is fun doing pieces outside of the surf industry, because you reach the wider audience, many of whom don’t normally have much knowledge about surfboards and and the business as such. The surboard business is pretty fickle and behind every shaper, there is generally a pretty interesting story attached.

D: Has the business side of things taken you out of the shaping bay much? What’s the split of your time between the office and the bay these days?

H: It has yes, but shaping is still my favourite thing to do… I now run the business with my fiance Danielle, who has a strong background in marketing and branding, but also helps steer the business side of things too. I have only every really worked for myself, so that has really helped develop and grow internally as well as externally. I spend about 25% of my time in the shaping bay, 25% of my time in manufacturing and the rest across the rest of the business.

D: Has it been difficult to look to other shapers for inspiration when the direction you have taken has been so unique? Have there been any shapers that have most influenced the way you see the art of shaping?

H: I am always looking at board design and other shapers. I love what they all do, and definitely get excited about many different boards. I do however get a lot of inspiration from outside of the industry. This comes from just keeping my eyes open to design and innovation when you come across it, or working with engineers, designers and suppliers on various projects.

D: For me growing up as a kid Channel Islands was the only “brand” that I felt crossed country borders and appealed to every surfer. I always looked at them on a rack  and said to myself – imagine if Al actually shaped this himself. And I was thinking, your brand is up there now – everyone knows and respects your craft, so it begs the question; how many boards are you personally shaping these days, and can your average punter get their hands on an original?

H: I personally shape all my team boards, some customers boards and boards for friends and family. My goals as a surfboard designer and manufacturer is to deliver a board of the same quality whether I have personally built the board or not – not just shaping the board, but laminating and sanding it too. I work very closely with my three manufacturing plants to all have the same tools and procedures and methods to build the boards. The replication process and the quality control of this process is key, and I spend a lot of time in setting this process up. We also ship the same set of materials around the world to each manufacturing plant so every customer gets the same board regardless of where it is built. I personally ride a lot of boards that I don’t shape, laminate or sand, and enjoy riding them as much as I would with one of my own creations.

D: So lets get to the point, the Hypto Krypto, it seems to be the board that has gained the most market penetration and social awareness for you. Do you feel it is the design that best represents your quest as a shaper?

H: The Hypto Krypto is a very versatile shape for a large range of surfers ability and needs. You can ride the Hypto Krypto in your local beach breaks, to some of the most amazing point breaks in the world. This versatility has lead this model to gain the most penetration in the market. My quest as a shaper is do design performance surfboards with innovation and quality, for surfers who want to have fun riding waves to the best of their ability.

D: 6 years on from its first launch, has the design changed much since then?

H: Not at all. It hasn’t changed from day dot.

D: Is it safe to say that Craig Ando has been your best Hypto advocate? What is it about his surfing that has made his such a perfect canvas to work with?

H: It has been amazing to watch Craig Anderson do his thing on the Hypto Krypto. He inspires all of us to ride waves with grace, style and performance and the Hypto Krypto allows Ando to approach a wave surfing how he naturally wants to surf. I feel that this model allows most surfers to find that sweet spot easily and just ride a wave without thinking.

D: We see him jump between the futureflex and the PU Hypto – can you easily explain to a punter when he should go one or the other?

H: Ando only rides the Hypto Krypto in FutureFlex. The PU boards that you are seeing him ride are other models, and that is built in our PE technology, which is Polyurethene Core with Epoxy Laminate.

D: Congratulations from everyone at SurfStitch Hayden as we hear the Hypto Krypto, 6 years after creation has been nominated for Surfboard of the year – how does that feel? Is it extra special that it’s happened 6 years after production started, meaning the design is almost reaching that “timeless” status?

H: Thank you! It is great to have so much support from everyone out there from retailers like SurfStitch to customers riding the boards out there every day. It is kinda ironic that a board model that was designed 6 years ago is now reaching it’s potential in the market place.

D: If there was any surfer in the world you could work with on board design outside of your current team, who would it be and why?

H: Kelly :) I bet he would know so much about how a board is designed and how that feels under his feet. That awareness and knowledge is so valuable to improving design.

D: So what’s next for you? Did you think we will ever get to see you back in Australia full time?

H: Of course! I love living over here in LA at this point. It is motivating, exciting and challenging all at the same time. Home though is always home, and the northern beaches as well as the rest of Australia is something special. I will definitely be back at some point, but for now we will be back and forth a lot.

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Channel Islands shows you Dane & Kelly’s quivers for the Quik Pro

All imagery and info is courtesy of the Channel Islands Blog.

Dane Reynolds’ boards.

Left to right

  1. 6’1 x 18 5/8 x 2 7/16 DFR
  2. 6’1 x 18 5/8 x 2 7/16 DFR
  3. 5’8 x 19 1/2 x 2 1/2 #4
  4. 5’9 x 19 1/4 x 2 1/2 #4
  5. 5’8 x 19 1/4 x 2 7/16 Weirdo Ripper

Kelly Slaters’ boards.

Left to right

  1. 5’9 x 18 1/4 x 2 1/4 EPS Fred Rubble
  2. 5’9 x 18 1/4 x 2 1/4 DFR
  3. 5’9 x 18 1/4 x 2 1/4 EPS F.R.
  4. 5’8 x 18 5/8 x 2 1/4 EPS Fred Rubble
  5. 5’6 x 18 7/8 x 2 5/16 EPS #4 Prototype

Channel Islands are giving away a free tail pad with every board in the month of March. Shop CI Surfboards here and check out some of the tail pads on offer.

1. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad – Army. 2. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad – Black. 3. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad 2 Piece – Orange. 4. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad – White.

1. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad 2 Piece – Maroon. 2. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad 2 Piece – Royal. 3. Channel Islands Conner Coffin Pad – Red Black Grey. 4. Channel Islands Dane Reynolds Tail Pad – Warm Grey.

Channel Islands Limited Edition Dane Reynolds Recycled Tail Pad

This bad boy is a Channel Islands best-seller, being made entirely from post production recycled materials, meaning that you’re doing the environment a favour, plus that each design is completely unique! It’s 2 piece template tail pad with maximum grip for cutting edge turns, and has original artwork by Dane Reynolds.

Watch the boys surf Day 1 of the Quik Pro live today here.

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A New Wave For Misfit.

When we heard that the board brand for those who exist a little left of center, Misfit, had done a re-brand, that here at SurfStitch we would be receiving their updated board models as well as a shiny new logo, we wanted to find out what inspired the guys to rethink and renew after 8 years building a successful brand.

We enlisted the help of our Surf Writer Jack Jeffres, who insists he only rides Misfit boards, to come up with some questions for the man behind the brand, Chris Chong, to help us understand exactly who and what inspires the brand and their relaunch.

Tell us a bit about yourself, Misfit?  Where are you from?  Who are the brains behind the operation?

Misfit was founded on the beaches in 2002 by Dave Howell, and his little factory was based out of Brooky until we teamed up back in 2009 when we moved to our current location at Narrabeen. Dave and I had been buddies for years and we’d always spoken of doing something together with the boards one day, and well that day came 3 years ago. I’d worked in surfing since my teens and at that time I was managing the sales dept at Insight, the time felt right to move on so we took on the lease here, co-launched our retail arm the sugarmill with another old buddy and colleague of mine at Insight Stuart Bates and the rest is history. Dave obviously oversees all our production, shaping, model development and I look after our sales, creative, marketing and general operations.

What inspired the new branding?  Where did you get inspiration from, for this reinvention?

Any good business has to evolve and constantly adapt to survive and profit, for us the old logo had reflected the first era of misfit but we’d out grown it and after I and others had come into the business with Dave we needed an icon that reflected who we were now and into the future. We went with a logo that is simplified and minimalistic that allowed us to showcase our personality through our product, sprays, marketing and advocates as opposed to our brand icon itself. We felt the new logo was strong, bold, relevant and it would age well.


Why, would you say, is Misfit different?

I mainly believe we’re different because we are going against the grain of traditional surfboard manufacturing. From Dave’s, mine and our other colleagues skill sets and experiences we approached the brand as that, “a brand”, as opposed to one guy that shapes boards. We wanted to come to market with the same energy and professionalism in sales, service, marketing, branding and design as apparel brands have but also a completely new company culture and aesthetic to traditional manufacturers. We believe that we not only approach everything we do strategically and professionally, but also, and maybe more importantly creatively and free from what people would expect or what people have done in the past.

And, there is a charitable part of your organisation, isn’t there?  Misfit Aid?

Absolutely, we refer to it as our companies “heartbeat”. It had been a dream of ours for years to create a company with an outward focus that partnered with the surf industry, and we didn’t really know how that would work or look until we partnered with an amazing guy, Jeff Ryan who had come from a long background in aid and development, as well as construction and business. So, Jeff now spearheads Misfit Aid and all the work we are doing here and around the globe through disaster relief, housing, to aquaponics, micro finance and business mentoring to community development initiatives.

How did you get into shaping?  Was your first board a success?

Dave started back over 10 years ago by just jumping in the bay with legend WA shaper Col Adhams and learning the fundamentals, before not too long Davy picked up the tools and took to boards himself and thankfully it came fairly naturally. Together they then hand shaped thousands of boards for a bunch of Australian and international labels including HIC and Lost before Davy started Misfit back in 2002. And no I wouldn’t say the first board was a massive success, you got to shape a few before they come real good, like anything you have to earn your stripes, but again thankfully Davy was pretty natural and Col was a damn good person to learn off.

The waves over on the Northern Beaches aren’t always incredible.  Do you shape boards mainly for the city waves you guys slay, or all types of waves?

Nah, we try to shape boards for all wave types and surfers, it’s one of the reasons we have so many models. It’s hard to find a single board that will work in all conditions, we have a new model the truffle shuffle that comes close, but we try to encourage or help surfers to articulate where they are planning to surf a board and how, and then find the model that best suits them and cater accordingly.

Who are the surfers that you draw inspiration from?

We’re obviously inspired by the guys that we put our name to; Otis Carey, Steds, George Hendo, Jack Irvin but we love and are always inspired by enigmatic characters that not only shred but had that counter culture and creative spirit; like Ozzie, Archy, Dora, the Fletchers, Occy, Gerlach, Potts, Purcho, Curren to Greenough and even Slats from a board design and innovation perspective but the new era of surfers are really blowing our minds at the moment in terms of manoeuvres and approach to waves; Chippa, John John, Kolohe, Dane, Ando. American Magic Mule.

Any shapers that you think are doing great things?

There is a lot of shapers that we admire and that we think are doing great things; a bunch of them are right here on the beaches from chilli to Hayden shapes to Vampirate, then to the pioneers and benchmark brands like Channel Islands, Mayham, Takoro, Eric Arakawa and Brewer. There is also some longboard guys that we like their aesthetic; Chris Christenson, Gato Heroi, Jeff McCallum and Tudor’s brand Koobox to local guys like Vouch, Thomas Bexon and Mctavish.

Tell us about your boards?  Would it be alright if you gave us a rundown of some of your models?

Our whole design focus is based around progressive surfing, meaning we like to develop shapes for the constantly evolving face of surfing. We have specialist air models – the Thruster Space Dolphin, Otis’s Dingo Bandito, to hybrid shapes like the flair and fang that allow surfers to be in more critical and power generating parts of the wave, to the weird and wonderful like the Sk8ey and Sinister Kid that may look a bit odd compared to traditional shortboard outlines but are just so radical to surf. On top of this is also our love for colour, artwork and sprays, and well there aint no real rules there, except that we like most boards to leave here with some colour, it makes them individual and unique.Hendo Thruster Space Dolphin.

What is your favourite model(s)?  If you were to race up the coast chasing a swell, which boards would you take?

I’d have a Thruster Space Dolphin to try nail some airs (more likely to nail myself), a round tail Magic Mule for some turns and flow, a Sinister Kid for the smaller days and a truffle shuffle for everything else.

What is your dream session?  No need to name places, but give us a      rundown of the waves you would be riding?

Oooh, it would have to be either a hollow A-frame beachie in France or even the northcoast of Aus, or a rifling right hand point break in Mex somewhere.

Who are the surfers that represent your brand?

Otis Carey, Luke Stedman, Chris Salisbury, George Henderson, Jack Irvin, Josh Sleep, Tyler Atkins, Cloudy Rhodes, Gareth Budge, Mitch Vanderveer, Cam Stynes, Dallas Peterson, Harry Musgrove, Robbie France and a few more on top of that.

Nobody Living Squash Tail.

Check out the Misfit website for updates on their brand here.

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DANE REYNOLDS’ DFR Model.

As Channel Islands will tell you, “DFR” doesn’t stand for Dane’s Fred Rubble. It stands for Dane Freaking Reynolds. It’s no secret that everything Dane touches turns to gold (signature models included). Wasn’t too many kids who, for a time, weren’t riding either a Dumpster Diver or a very similar mould. Then came the chop-tailed Neckbeard and, more recently (and more outlandishly), the Sperm Whale. But Dane’s newest surfboard is a little closer to his first board (the Proton), in that it’s an all-round shortboard.

“Slightly wider forward with just the right amount of flip in the tail,” says Channel Islands. “Which makes for a fast and forgiving board that handles the biggest of airs to the hardest of carves. The bottom is predominately single concave and features an aggressive flip in exit rail rocker. With a single concave and a full rail, Dane chooses to ride his at his own height.” Which, if you’re interested, is 6’0″ x 19″ x 2 3/8″.

The DFR blossoms in knee-high to overhead waves, especially when ridden by an intermediate or expert surfer.

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SHOW AND TELL WITH CRAIG ANDERSON.

Craig Anderson is one of the most relaxed-looking surfers around. But his bag of tricks is hardly relaxed. In fact, it’s the opposite. In DC Shoes’ latest Show and Tell clip, which features the goofy-footer from Newcastle, we get a glimpse into what Craig’s been up to lately.

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International Surfing Day.

Grab your quiver and celebrate…tomorrow marks the eighth annual International Surfing Day. From paddle-outs to beach clean-ups, surf movie nights to mangrove restorations, surfers across the world will be coming together on June 20th 2012 to both celebrate the sport of surfing, and to give something back to the oceans, waves and beaches that give us all so much.

Check out this sick ISD trailer featuring Makua Rothman, Nathan Fletcher, Dane Reynolds and more…

Stay tuned…tomorrow from 10am to 5pm we’ll be giving away prizes every hour on the SurfStitch Facebook Fan Page (click here).

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Here & Now. A Day In The Life Of Surfing.

Shot entirely in one day Here & Now is the latest project by Taylor Steele and Nathan Myers. A great new concept that follows 25 pro surfers, including Kelly Slater, Dave Rastovich, Stephanie Gilmore, around the world in just 24 hours. The quickest turnaround ever, filmmakers were directed to go out to shoot footage and capture the life of a surfer on a nominated day. From the Jungles of Java to the subways of New York City Here & Now has it all…

HERE & NOW Official Trailer from INNERSECTION on Vimeo.

Click here to read Surfing Life’s interview with Nathan Myers and learn a little bit more about the project.

Film premieres on International Surfing Day – June 20th. DVD available from SurfStitch.com early next month.

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San Sebastian Surf Film Festival.

We are one phase past daffodils and the French sun is beaming nicely on the quickly growing European SurfStitch team. Along with the beach, waves, wine and endless supply of dinner parties – summer marks the beginning of Europe’s famous festival season.

The first for us was the ‘San Sebastian Surf Film Festival’. Just a short 40 minute drive south from our European headquarters, a few lucky peeps from SurfStitch were lucky enough to attend the world premiere of ‘Intentio’, an amazing independent surf film directed by our good friend Loïc Wirth.

After the movie we chilled out, and lived the San Sebastian dream – tapas, sangria, the beach and good music. All in the amazing setting of one of Spain’s most beautiful beach city’s.

Check out the Images below and the trailer to Intentio here.

The famous surf cinematographer Jack McCoy!

The man himself, Loïc Wirth.

Spanish Life….

 

Intentio – Trailer from Loic Wirth on Vimeo.

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Kelly Slater Takes Out The Volcom Fiji Pro.

Kelly Slater has claimed his 49th elite tour victory this weekend, taking out the Volcom Fiji Pro over Gabriel Medina in massive four-to-six foot surf at Cloudbreak.

Event No. 4 of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Volcom Fiji Pro finished in an exhilarating fashion, with Slater scoring an 8.33 and a 9.83 in the opening half of the bout to take the win.

The runner-up finish for Medina takes the young goofy-footer from 29th to 13th on the elite ASP World Championship Tour ratings.

Check out the highlights here.

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Volcom Fiji Pro Is On!

After two lay days, the Volcom Fiji Pro is back on this morning with the world’s best taking on massive eight-to-ten foot (2.5 – 3 metre) plus surf at the famed, oceanic lefthander of Cloudbreak. The swell that was predicted five days ago has arrived and with it some of the heaviest waves ever seen on the pro tour!

Watch the Volcom Fiji Pro live here.

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