Yesterday, I popped down to Maurice Cole’s to talk about the boards to take down to the MusicaSurfica event I mentioned in the blog the other day.
Perish the thought that I could actually get a wave while down there, no such luck, too much work, but I did get get a look in on some pretty razors edge surf craft, and a peek at some serious surf history.
Now Maurice is a very serious talker, and when he’s on a roll he’s hard to shut up, and why would you want to? The guy’s got more stories in him than Mark Twain, and everyone of them is worth bottling.
He showed me his board book, where every surfcraft he’s shaped for more than 20 years is recorded, with meticulous measurements, diagrams, and notations. I was going to show you the shot I took, but on closer observation it gave away some stuff that is probably a secret.
He let me in on why Tom Curren’s “Magic 6’9” worked so well, (again can’t say, but it was an eye opener), and showed me board by board, his design evolution of the past 30 odd years. He’s got his best boards over that entire time, in the shed, as references.
One, a black railed 6'9' epoxy he made in the mid 80's,I rode at Santosha in Capbreton(Hossegor) in 1985 and got one of the deepest tubes I ever made, so far back I couldn't see 'round the bend. Maurice had loaned it to me as my board wasn't cutting it.
Then he showed me the tow boards he and Ross Clarke-Jones have been developing. Radical, black, sleek, hugely concaved.... they were very intimidating bits of work, the boards Darth Vader might ride. He’s adamant they’re hitting speeds upward of 80mph on the biggest waves available down south (3xWaimea) and are working on neck protection, joint braces to prevent over flexion, all sorts of stuff.
The design direction he’s employing on the tow boards he’s carrying across to his normal boards. The speed and grip he’s getting in the tow boards translates into the shorties, and he says he’s doing away with half his quiver as the 6’2’ works in waves from 2’ to 8’+.
Most of the stuff is his to reveal when he sees fit, bit it is refreshing to see someone genuinely working on something different in the high performance area, and not the homogenous variations on a 6’ thruster.
They are thrusters, but such different thrusters, with some fascinating, relevant details gleaned from all of that history. Interestingly he’s not fully backing the quad thing, as he still has some issues about their ability to hold in that transition as you roll from rail to rail in a big off the top. (I’m talking him, not me).
We then had a yap about what we should do re the finless or “alternatively finned” event, and in a couple of weeks I should have something to share. He didn’t diss my idea either, so we’ll see what happens soon.
I’ll keep you posted.