Maybe the biggest shift in surf consciousness of the last 10 years is the watering down of Hawaii as a major proving ground, for all surfers and surf design as a whole. There was a time when for anything new to be considered validated it had to be used and proven in Hawaii over a winter season or two. A hot new surfboard design wasnt anything until it was used successfully at Sunset beach and the Pipeline, in their large winter surf. Which basically limited the amount of new designs that were considered worthy by the surf media to not a whole lot. So any good fun small wave design would obviously not make the cut and could instantly be discredited by the media, as a faulty design.
It worked against us as well if you were from a small wave region it had you struggling on narrow tail rounded pins and the like and basically took all the fun out of small wave surfing. Which at its most basic requires a bit of area in the tail to keep you afloat and loosen things up.
These days in the anything goes surfboard market all that Hawaii stuff has been relegated to the side paddock, as basically nothing about any of these boards would work in serious juice. We are now celebrating the every man who has to put up with his local beach break and how he can extract a little joy for himself riding it. So any reference to performing in the Islands is irrelevant to the new ideal as long as it serves the purpose at the local beach break that is good enough.
The key is back with the designer and shaper who can look at his local waves and think to himself how can I get the most enjoyment out of the what I have rolling in down the street. This has opened us up to a plethora of designs over a short period of time, traditional logs, mini Simmons, twin fin fish, hull shapes, wide backed single fins and so forth. Many are designs that have been around before and a new generation is getting the chance to experience and experiment with them all without the thought police hanging over them saying yeah it works here but lets see how it goes in Hawaii.
This has liberated the white man to do as he pleases and given all the geeks and goofs a voice, knowing they don’t have to front up at the beach in Hawaii at the end of the year and paddle out in some huge god forsaken surf and spin around and take a set wave and rip it up as well as the local boys. You can make videos of yourself and your mates at the local beach post it on the net and that’s all that is required, you look cool, you look a little like me or how I want to look, I am going to do that to, and we can all forget that Hawaii even exists.
Who wants to get hassled by some big guy who rips, that is way out of the comfort zone. Better to stay home where you can do as you please no need to have the problems of trying to fit in showing humility or respect and only getting secondary waves.Who would want to have to deal with that, it would only make a man of me and I have no intention of growing up anytime soon, I may lose my all important youth appeal, then I am nothing they will hear their sponsor say. Bob MacTavish with type of design that may have hung around longer, if he didnt feel compelled to take it to Hawaii to ride where he was ridiculed, for riding such a shape. What is good to ride at Noosa Heads wont be the answer at Sunset Beach and vice versa.