There is a movement in surfing and it's Quads.

Quads have been around since Glen Winton and Bruce McKee invented them in 1982.
Since then there was resurgence 5 or 6 years ago with William Stretch Riedel working with Nathan Fletcher to repopularise quad boards.
They did a great job stimulating surfers to think about their equipment beyond the bounds of high performance Thrusters in small surf and also waves of consequence.
Quads have been working well on big boards for mega spots like Waimea, Mavericks, Cloud Break and recently paddling in at Jaws in Maui.
But maybe the quads have been on the wane lately in smaller surf.
Enter Kelly Slater.
Kelly has singlehandedly repopularised the Quad in small surf but not as you would think.
Kelly's claim has been that quads perform better in the barrel. He has been on about this for 2 or so years and performances during the Pipe Masters at last years contest on a fishy looking quad did not help the cause. But this year Kelly is on more normal looking good wave quad boards.
Kelly's 5'9 quad option round tail board
Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson have done testing in Barrels at the Gold Coast, Kirra etc, in the early part of this year and come up with the same conclusion as KS, that quads are good or unbelievable in the barrel.
At the recent Quik Pro in Hossegor I noticed a lot of guys in and around the event had a round tail performance quad board in their quiver that they were preferring to surf at La Graviere in the epic hollow beach break waves.
It also seems like Kelly, although he has been going backwards and forwards from quad to Thruster, that lately he is tending to surf the quad in everything including recently at the Hurley Pro Trestles, a definite performance type wave.
Parko surfed his quad at La Graviere and also chose to surf it in every heat in Portugal.

I think what is happening right now is that surfing a board in epic conditions, ie barrelling kegs, gives you confidence and an affinity with that board. These guys are surfing pretty epic surf consistently enjoying the quad and it's not surprising they are going back to them and surfing quads in more diverse and normal conditions.

So very interesting, we will see where it goes.
My man at Hossegor - Shyama Buttonshaw - ready to test his 5'10 quad option roundtail
I am working on numerous quad option boards and my range will reflect this in the coming months.
Will be introducing a performance quad option round tail Thruster, as well as at least 3 small wave quad option models that we are testing at the moment.


Travels - Shaping

at Mike Baron's, Oceanside
Was in the US, California specifically, shaping at Oceanside in Mike Baron's factory as we say, shop as they say in America.
Now I'm in France, Hossegor Soorts, Soorts is a light industrial area 2 kilometres inland from the main surfing beaches of Capbreton and Hossegor.

With the new age pre shaping machines and accompanying software it is possible to do boards globally with confidence of maintaining the integrity of your designs and shapes.

This means when I'm in the country I can shape your board but if I'm not I have my finish shaper ready and trained up to do a similar job for me. If you think that Al Merrick, Jason Stevenson, Matt Biolos etc shapes every board for their respective labels you are wrong. I'm the same but to keep the boards true globally a certain amount of travel and keeping it real is required.

In the US I was able to shape 40 boards and go over the Simon Boards model range being cut on the AKU machine across the street from Mike's shop.

The Oceanside machine is cutting consistently and true.

Spudster 6'4 x 20 ½ x 2 ¾ - California small wave board
I have made 2 boards for myself (see photos) for California a 6'4 x 20 ½ x 2 ¾ thick, 2 thickness at the Stringer in the Concave, Nose 14 ½, Tail 15 ¼, with 4 15/16 Nose Rocker and 2 9/16 Tail Rocker.
This board will be called a Spudster, apologies to any other brand using this model name.

The concave is deep single to vee at the tail in the last 4 inches. The Spudster has a wide nose and normal area plan shape tail.

The nose area helps in my recovery from hamstring reattachment surgery with catching waves. It is a nice platform for me to jump to my feet on the take-off and get going without too much shuffling around to get the feet in the right spot.

The nose entry rocker is substantial at 4 15/16 which I don't mind even though the board is essentially for small waves, this will help in the turning arc keeping it tight and tend to not catch at high speed.
This board will still have good speed in flat small waves, how much I'm not sure just yet. Surfed it at Malibu in tiny 1 footers and struggled a little there.

The 2nd board is a Bottled Lightning 6'6 x 21 ½ x 2 13/16 Roundtail, single concave to vee, Nose Width at 13 1/16 and Tail at 15 . Nose Rocker at 5" and Tail Rocker at 2 ", this is pretty moderate smooth rocker overall.

At 6'6 the BL begins to resemble a normal board plan shape wise, the nose does not appear wide and at 21 ½" width overall again it will help in wave catching. The width also gives the board a lot of curve in the plan shape which will help the board through turns and feel loose. Just a little concern when the board picks up speed that extra width may get in the way.
The rails on both boards are normal Simon rails that is low soft.

Not a bad quiver for California, had some good waves in the Blacks La Jolla region at 2 to 4 feet or head high.
The boards felt good and my surfing buddies liked the feel of both boards.

France Quiver - 3 weeks later.
In France I have the BL 6'6 board from California and have been reunited with my favourite magic 6'10 x 20 wide by 2 13/16  Rounded Pin semi gun or step up board.I like to ride the 6'10 in anything from 5 feet to 8 feet or head high to double over head plus a bit.

France quiver - 6'6 BL and 6'10 magic DSC Vee
Nose width is 11 7/8  and Tail width at 14 ½, nose rocker at 5 ¾, tail rocker 2 11/16. The nose area is reasonable for a step up but looks balanced to the overall 20" width and tail area.

The concave is slight single to vee in the back half of the board, a slight double concave flows from the single through the vee stopping at area in front of the back fin. This bottom combination produces a board with a good foundation strong smooth bottom turn that holds thru the arc without stuttering, skipping or twitching and will turn out long or go vertical at will.

The rail in the 6'10 has a touch more volume but is maybe a touch lower than normal.

Shaping Bay - Euroglass, Soorts Hossegor

In the Planning Stage -
Fusion 6'5 x 20 ¾ x 2 ¾ RSQ, this is getting back to a more of a normal type of board for me.

Surfed waves at Hossegor beach breaks at 2 to 3 foot , really clean nice little right handers and felt I could benefit from something more streamlined and  frisky.
NNB - The 6'10 at work