Bede's Blog: Pre-Season Board Designs
GOLD COAST, Queensland/Australia - Ever since Simon Anderson’s breakthrough with the thruster, surfers on the pro tour have looked for any design edge they can get.
Board design is a constant evolution and if there’s any way for those of us on the ASP World Tour to improve our performance, we’ll go looking for it.
My break since Hawaii has revolved around my fitness regime and some board experimentation.
Kelly is a guy who, in the past 12 months, has shown the courage and innovation to experiment with design. More and more guys on the tour are doing the same.
I’m not going to be wheeling anything radical, but my long-time shaper at Mt. Woodgee, Wayne McKewen, and I have been playing around with our smaller wave equipment over the past month or so.
The catalyst was Dane Reynolds’ outstanding surfing at last year’s Hurley Pro at Trestles and in Europe.
Wayne and I are on both on the same wavelength and when I got back he said out loud what I was already thinking: “Did you see that board Dane was riding? We gotta take a look at that.”
Dane called the board design something like a “dumpster diver”. We like to call them “bullets”.
Wayne, myself and Woody (a cool guy who owns the shaping machine we use if I get pre-shapes) started working on a couple of our own designs similar to what Dane has been riding.
The concept works best for me in the 5’7" to 5’10" range and I’ve had some amazing boards off it!
I’ll still be taking on tour and using my normal handcrafted 6’2"s off Wayne, but if it’s around two or three foot, the ‘Bullets’ just go so good. I’ll definitely have a couple in my board bag on tour this year.
I had plenty of opportunity to test the boards over January on the Gold Coast.
It was a poor month of waves but with it being so small I’ve been able to work on the repertoire you need nowadays for anything under head high.
The Bullet has definitely helped me there. They just fly and are so good for airs.
The swell finally kicked up recently and we had some fun waves at Kirra the other day where I rode a 5’8" out there that just went insane.
I still think they work best in beachies around two or three foot but there are also possibilities there in slightly bigger surf too.
What I like about the Bullet design is that not only is it great for airs, it does really good carves too.
Surfing is just getting more and more radical every year, so riding these boards will help me with my airs and other new school stuff.
With the calendar ticking into February, we’ve moving into cyclone season here on the Gold Coast and there has been some good swell which is a positive sign ahead of the Quiky Pro.
I’ve had a solid training month through January. With no decent surf at all really for the whole of the month, other than testing the Bullet, I’ve been ripping into training with Gary “Kong” Elkerton.
I love how ‘Elko’ always pushes me to my limits. It’s comforting to know you have a really good fitness base at the start off the year to set yourself up for the whole tour.
From here, it’s just a matter of topping up that fitness base as necessary throughout the season.
With the opening event here at home just around the corner, I’m feeling good and itching to get that competition singlet on again.