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Showing posts with label Surfers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surfers. Show all posts
After the massive North Pacific swells starting rolling in in mid-December, one incredible air- drop photo at Mavericks caught everyone’s eye, prompting Surfline to ask who it was. Turns out, the “mysterious 18-year old Mavs charger” is none other than Venice’s very own Beck Adler.
Photo: Billy Watts

After the massive North Pacific swells starting rolling in in mid-December, one incredible air- drop photo at Mavericks caught everyone’s eye, prompting Surfline to ask who it was. Turns out, the “mysterious 18-year old Mavs charger” is none other than Venice’s very own Beck Adler.

Interview by Nicole Lynch

So tell us Beck Adler, who exactly are you?

Haha. Well I grew up surfing Venice. I’ve always lived nearby in Marina Del Rey, Playa, Mar Vista just because Venice is so expensive, but I grew up surfing the pier. The thing that really started my interest in surfing bigger waves was pulling into closeout barrels at the pier with Yves and Pat Bright.

Beck Surfing Venice, January 9, 2015. Photo: Gary Adler

When did you start competing?

My dad [Gary Adler] signed me up for my first contest at eight years old. It was a Hurley Rip My Shred Stick at Tower 26 Ocean Park and I ended up winning! It was a fun contest for the groms but it got me really psyched and then I did another contest the next day and I won that one too, the Ocean Park 26 surf contest. After that I just kept doing more and more and kept going. I was always really scared of big waves when I was younger. Then at like 10 or 12 years old I started surfing with Yves and Pat and Justin Marchan, and they were really pushing me and slowly got me more comfortable in bigger surf. It wasn’t big waves but for me it felt big! It started by just going on closeout waves and you’re going to get pounded, but it builds confidence. And Yves knew that, he knew that if I wanted to get comfortable in bigger surf this is what you have to do, he told me and I listened.

Any other tips or is a lot of it just pushing your fear boundaries?

Pretty much a lot of it was just the more you do, eventually you’re going to start making those barrels then those bigger waves aren’t going to feel as big. Prepare for the best and train for the worst basically.

Your first trip to Mavericks was at 16, so this will be your third season? How did that come about?

My first trip was a little weird. I had been looking at Mavericks for a while, I knew I wanted to surf there but I wanted to surf Todos Santos first, which is a big wave in Mexico, because I heard it’s a little bit mellower – it’s still gnarly! – but a lot of people get introduced into big waves through there. Then this perfect swell at Mavs popped up, no wind and not too big. I mean, there is no such thing as small Mavericks, it’s always big when it’s breaking, but this was smaller.

Photo: Fred Pompermayer

I pretty much put this trip together in like an hour and a half. I couldn’t drive yet I didn’t even have my driver’s license, I had my permit! So I asked my dad to take me and he was like, “hell no I gotta work bro.” So I called up Dooma [Damien Fahrenfort] and he was out of town, but he said if you get a ride up there pick up two boards from my house and take ‘em, he gave me two boards to use.

I called a couple different people looking for a ride, I called Justin Marchand. He has always been like an older brother to me, taking me surfing my whole life and looking out for me in the water. He told me to put a plan together and said let’s go. We took my dad’s car and drove six hours in the middle of the night to get there.

On the way I got a call from Will Skudin who is a professional big wave surfer, one of the best ever, we were both on the same team at the time. He said here’s what you’re going to do: show up in the parking lot at first light, you’re going to paddle out and come sit on the jet ski with me in the channel and we’re going to look at the waves. So that is exactly what I did.

Photo: Audrey Lambidakis

Then I paddled out and ended up catching a few waves, it was a perfect first session. Everything I could have wanted happened. I had one wipeout, which honestly you never want to fall but I wanted the full experience and falling is part of it. It was a great day.

So what exactly is a Mavs wipeout like?

A wipeout is so hard to explain, the water is so cold first of all, so when you hit it’s that instant freezing cold down your spine which immediately spikes your heartrate. If you get sucked over the falls and into the lip which has happened to me, you get a couple seconds of complete calm and you just wait for it, and then you just get hit by a truck. Your limbs are all over the place and there’s water in your brain. We have pull vests so your hand is on the cord ready to go. I pulled for the first time this winter off a big swell.

In the wipeout after the famous shot [the one on Surfline]?

Yep, that’s the one.

Yeah, I think everyone felt a little pain for you after watching that one. I definitely had a sore back for a few days after that one.

Do you wear a leash?

We wear ultra thick leashes that don’t have Velcro. Two leash strings on every big wave board for Mavs, it’s double tied in and then the actual ankle strap is triple layers and there’s a pull pin, so if your leash is wrapped around a rock and you’re underwater, you pull the pin on the leash and it releases the ankle strap from the cord and your leash is off your ankle.

Because I saw that video of Twiggy’s wipeout [Grant “Twiggy” Baker] and his board just literally went up underneath the lip of that wave.

Yeah and he was right there with it! My board and I went in the lip on my wipeout too.

You don’t pull the pin on the leash every time. You only do that if you’re in rocks or your board is broken and there’s no need for it anymore anyway.

At Mavs if you fall on a wave and there’s a few behind it and the ski doesn’t have time to pick you up you’re gonna get pushed into the rocks. I’ve gotten pushed in there a couple of times. What happens is there’s a couple of gaps in the rocks where you’re either going to go through or bounce off them. I got bounced off one time and luckily there was a ski there, but if you pull the pin on your leash your board is either going into the rocks or through into the lagoon.

A lot of guys are super hesitant to pull the pin on their leashes at Mavs because it’s likely that their board will get broken if you do. Do you want your board to break, or you?

Photo: Ben Schutzer

What board are you riding out there?

9’3 or 9’8 Padillac – I have two but my 9’3 just snapped a couple weeks ago so I just ordered a new one. I’m pretty much only riding Pyzels.

How do you test a board like that?

We take them and paddle them just to feel them out, the pier to Breakwater and back just to feel them out paddling and maybe catch a couple waves on them. These shapers have it dialed, they know what to make for the wave so you just have to put your faith in them.

What’s is like working with Pyzel? How did that relationship come about?

It started at Rider Shack when I was working there, I met the Pyzel rep and they’ve been really good to me. They helped me out a lot, I text Jon and ask him what dims he thinks I should use. I get all my boards shaped down in Oceanside by DJ, they seem to be the best boards as far as I can tell.

Scotty Anderson was your first shaper, correct?

He is the man. Scott was my first-ever sponsor. I remember I walked into his warehouse with a dinged up board and he said, “Oh we’ll make you a new one.” I must have been 9 or 10 years old until I was about 16 I rode for him, a long time and he made me a lot of great boards.

As my surfing progressed it was a collaboration. We really played around with all different types of boards, epoxy, stringerless, you name it. Any questions I had he would answer them. I don’t think I would have progressed in surfing as much as I did without him for sure.

Who else has mentored you over the years?

My dad, both of my parents. They know what drives my passion in life, and they have been super helpful. My dad drove me around for 10 years surfing every morning, contests up and down the coast, he has been very supportive. My mom [Emma Adler] also made the lunches and was the backing of everything.

What’s it like being a kid from Venice and competing around Southern California?

I’m gonna be honest, it kinda sucked, I didn’t have anyone else from Venice going to events. There was a weird cliquey crew. Most come from wealthy backgrounds, I am from a different area and I’m the only one from Venice so it was definitely tougher. I’m not trying to make an excuse or anything but it would have been nice to have a buddy to go with. But now I’ve made a bunch of cool friends from it as well.

Venice Beach. Photo: SIX12 Media

Yeah I’ve heard Ricky Massie talk about how lonely it was for him on the QS being a Mexican kid from Venice.

I know it was hard for me I can’t imagine what that was like for him!

Who are some of your other sponsors?

I currently don’t have contracts so I’m living on nickels, trying to surf. But I’m talking to companies right now so it’s exciting. Buell has amazing wetsuits. Pyzel. Blenders Eyewear is a new sponsor and they’ve been helping me out giving me super nice glasses and snowboard goggles, Matunas all organic wax, super nice and sticky I love it. And obviously Rider Shack has been the most consistent and helpful sponsor my entire career. Jeff [Glass] has been nothing but good to me my whole young life, I can’t say enough good things about Rider Shack.

How has charging big waves impacted the rest of your surfing?

It’s weird, I think I’ve had more big wave sessions than small waves this winter. It has been the craziest year because Mavs has broken every day for 2.5-3 weeks which is unheard of! It has just been crazy. I have no desire to do anything but chase big waves right now.

This has been a huge year for you between chasing down massive barrels in Mexico, again this year at Mavericks, hanging with the big leagues in some of the heaviest conditions.

I told myself that I would be at Mavericks every single time it breaks this winter not knowing what I was getting myself in to! Obviously I wasn’t out there every time it broke or I’d be dead, just physically broken. But I’ve made 80-90% of the sessions.

What’s is like navigating the lineup? I mean, you’re out there with some of the biggest names in surf. That audio from Chumbo [Lucas “Chumbo” Chicana] was amazing.

Its super interesting, you have your pro guys and they are going to go on the big ones. But then you have your local guys too and they are going to go on the fucking big ones too, they are the best guys at Mavs. You have to respect them, it’s their wave and they’re better than anyone. I know them all now, I paddle out and I’m saying hi. Everyone is rooting for each other, everyone wants their waves, but everyone is amped when you see people on it. You want one but to see your buddy on one too you’re amped! It’s a team effort, you have to be safe, everyone wants to come home.

There is definitely a hierarchy. The guys that have been surfing there for 20 years, they get whatever waves they want. You gotta find your place in the lineup.

After three years I guess you’re starting to chip your way up there too?

Yeah, I’m definitely sitting in a different spot than I was at the beginning of the winter.

What is next for you? Do you plan to compete in the QS again?

I’m headed to Todos Santos Island now with by buddy Jojo Whelan and then I’ll go back to Santa Cruz for another Mavs swell.

I definitely want to do the North American regional QS, I still love competing I still love shortboarding, that is never going away. But for right now with how the world is going I just want to surf these big waves. Once the QS resumes [post-COVID], I will surf go surf the QS. That is, if there’s NOT a Mavs swell. Big waves are currently taking priority.

I know you said your mom is supportive, but how is she handling this big wave decision?

My mom is hilarious, I called her after the wipeout and said, “Sorry I didn’t call you for a couple of days you were probably worried.” In a British accent she’s like, “I don’t worry about you babe.” I’ve just always been doing something dangerous, when I was little I was up in a tree or racing my skateboard off a ramp or something. For her, she’s not a surfer so I just kinda want to get her out into the lineup so she can see what it’s like, but she trusts me and I’m not going to go on a wave I’m going to die on. I mean, there’s always that potential.

My dad is a surfer so he gets it and he’s way more worried than my mom! That wave I fell on the big day, that air drop, my dad texted a bunch of people to make sure I was okay.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Yes, I want to say thanks. I definitely feel the love from the community. I’m super grateful, everyone from Venice has been supporting me so much and it really means a lot to feel that love from my hometown.

Beck with his dad, Gary, and brother, West.

We just found out this heart breaking news, legendary shaper Scott Anderson lost his battle with cancer today.

Mollusk Shaper Series video of Scott Anderson, from 9 years ago, by Trace Marshall

I really was in a very bad place, and surfing started as an escape, but turned into my salvation. I'm so super stoked on this video and I invite you to celebrate it by ordering a bottle of my hot sauce on Amazon Prime!

Venice's Glen Walsh, aka @glenice_venice the Paddle, Paddle Paddle Daily Venice Pier Surf Reporter, is one of the surfers featured in The LGBTQ+ Wave. A short film about the history of LGBTQ surfing. From Cori Schumacher to Matt Branson to Keala Kennelly to Tyler Wright, the history of LGBTQ surfing runs deeper than most surfers realize.

"Very proud and honored to be featured with so many awesome LGBTQ+ surfers," Glen says, "Especially my Boyz Robby Arroyo Smith and Jake Denike! Discussing our collective experiences in and out of the water!"

Check out Glen's clothing line at

One of the key figures in the early evolution of skateboarding from a wholesome, contest based "sport" into the freewheeling art form that it is today was Tony Alva.

Tony is now 63 years old, the oldest professional skateboarder in the world, is considered by many to be the godfather of modern day skateboarding. Alva’s brand of aggression and bravado in the 70’s set the stage for the way skateboarding would be forever defined.

Vans’ The Tony Alva Story chronicles T.A.’s humble beginnings on the streets of Santa Monica to his rise to superstardom as part of the legendary Z-Boys, his inevitable drug-induced implosion and his ultimate rise from the ashes to accept his rightful place as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations of skateboarders the world over.

The film premiere will be followed by a Q & A hosted by Christian Hosoi with special guests Tony Alva, directors Rick Charnoski & Coan "Buddy" Nichols, Peggy Oki, and Elijah Berle.

Written & Directed by Rick Charnoski & Coan "Buddy" Nichols/Six Stair Productions

Starring: Tony Alva, Jeff Grosso, Wynn Miller, Steve Olson, Shepard Fairy, Gus Van Sant, Josh Brolin, Jeff Ament, Glen E Friedman, Robert Trujillo, Brad Bowman, Pete Zehnder, Jeff Ho, Stacey Peralta, Elijah Berle and more.

Taro Watanabe makes a run to Mexico to get some waves during the pandemic.

A new video uploaded of Laird Hamilton from the Hurricane Marie swell.

Athletes, coaches, and long time friends Ryan Schafer and Tully Chapman discuss a broad range of health and fitness related topics on their Bourbon And Balance Podcast

This week they interview Solo Scott from Venice Beach, California. Solo tells us his story about growing up in California, skateboarding and surfing, and eventually touring the world as a professional surfer. Listen to the podcast in the player below:

Originally posted by Ross Furukawa on the Santa Monica Daily Press

Local entrepreneur, extreme sportsman and original Dogtown local Mike Vaughan passed away suddenly on June 18th. He was 48 years old.

A third generation Santa Monican, Mike attended Grant Elementary, John Adams Middle School and Santa Monica High School. Many locals knew the Vaughan family, they owned DSJ Printers on Pico Blvd for many years.

Mike started his printing career at DSJ, then launched his own printing company, Positive Existence Printing. Mike built Positive Existence to become an industry leader, printing movie posters, point of purchase displays and many of the billboards you see throughout Los Angeles.

Mike served on the boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs council and the Santa Monica YMCA.

In 2005, Mike started Pro Sup Shop with his then-partner Nikki Von Reisen, Ross Furukawa and his father, Mike Vaughan Sr. Through insight, hard work and a long term vision, Pro Sup Shop became the largest Santa Up Paddle board business in LA County, operating at Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey.

Mike touched the lives of many through Pro Sup Shop. He introduced thousands of people to his love of the ocean through this accessible water sport, and was always generous with his time, resources and skills with anyone who showed interest.

He was instrumental in facilitating and building Stand Up Paddleboarding as a team building, social activity, and found it a great way to network with everyone on the water.

Mike played a huge role in starting the Santa Monica Pier Paddle and Ocean Festival, one of the largest water sports events on the West Coast.

A true waterman, Mike competed on a national level in Stand Up Paddleboard racing, eventually cracking the top 5 in his class. He would jump off his board to try to catch sharks with his bare hands. He paddled from San Pedro to Catalina, ran a marathon, then paddled back. He competed in the San Diego Bay to Bay 20 mile race in 10 ft swells during a winter storm. He never quit.

Mike was always the first to go out and the last to come in. He was always the guy who caught the biggest wave, surfed closest to the rock, and got stuffed in the deepest tube.

Most of all, he had a passion for sharing his love of sports and this infected everyone around him.

Mike Vaughan is survived by his wife Jennifer, son Cole, father Mike Vaughn Sr, mother Linda, brother Matt and sisters Diana, Christine and many nieces and nephews.

Join Bobby Hundreds on Venice Beach in Los Angeles as he starts his day with a ritualistic solo surf session. Amongst all the noise and distractions, his morning routine gives him pause for thought and a moment to catch his breath in preparation for the day ahead; remaining driven by what lays out of view, beyond the horizon.

Video and text by David Malana


The death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many more is absolutely unacceptable, and I can't sit idle or away anymore. Protests are continuing to make real change, and I am all for it (please stay healthy y'all!) I am 100% down with it as long as it lasts, but when it dies down, I am hoping everyone involved, including myself, can find ways to take the motivation and community we find in it and move it into our daily lives, that uncomfortable place where we all need to have it to be able to shift the paradigm. Policy changing is important too, this is not to downplay any of it... but the personal life change I think is where we as individuals can really dispel the lies created to keep us divided. So, as we plan to try and incorporate that kind of change into our daily lives, here is mine.

I want there to be more equity in the water. One thing noticeable in the paddle outs that I have been going to is that most people there are white. That's great that people are showing up, but it's also a really good indicator of the demographic of surfing. Surfing is something I think could really help a lot of people... it's really helped me, and there are so many barriers that BIPOC have to break through to make it happen. So I am hoping to help remedy that by offering FREE surf lessons and surf media to any BIPOC interested in learning. I also call on all my surfers out there to do the same, and help me close this gap between people and the ocean.

This video of a brave man that I met while surfing. He was teaching himself in really tough conditions and he was able to learn as fast as anyone I had ever met. Now, he is my friend, Winston, and I am happy to introduce you all to him.

ps. It's also Prince's Birthday that I made this in commemoration of, which is why I have the song lyrics and font that I do. He would have never guessed, but maybe he always knew that it would be in Minneapolis that the revolution would start.

In light of recent event in Santa Monica, Heal the Bay Knowledge Drop- Nick Gabaldon Day has moved to Thursday

Honor Nick Gabaldón Day and Nick's legacy as LA's early surfer of color!

Join Heal the Bay's Ines Ware in conversation with historian Alison Rose Jefferson and filmmaker Rhasaan Nichols. They will discuss the legacy of Nick Gabaldón, the first documented surfer of color in the Santa Monica Bay, through their work — Alison’s book, "Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era" and Rhasaan’s film "Walking on Water".

Thu, Jun 4, 2020 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM PDT
Register Here

Heal the Bay is responding with a new interactive science education series “Knowledge Drops”, where our team of scientists, experts, and advocates explores the water world and offers fun lessons about the marine environment. Each session is about 1-hour long and includes a live presentation, Q&A, polls, and videos. Our new webinar series is generally geared for 3rd – 8th grade students, but all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Justin Swartz, surfer and shaper from Venice Beach is a semifinalists in the O’Neill Regional Wave of the Winter Contest.

The contest is using Surfline’s Instagram Story for user voting to determine the winners for each region. Four semifinalists from each region will go head-to-head in an IG story, where Surfline followers will determine who moves ahead to the finals — and ultimately pick the winner for each region.

Vote for Justin on Surfline’s Instagram Story.

Joel Tudor at Malibu summer, 2019.

"Malibu is Joel’s institutional backside dojo. See how he surfs on vintage 1964 Yater. It’s perfect example of trim including, footwork, drop-knee, and noseride with grace." - Tatsuo Takei

Theo Lewitt surfing Venice Beach.
All Surflies camera footage.
On, March 31st, Malibu legend Paul "Mink" Minkoff passed away. Details are unknown at this time.

Here's some words left by some his friends:

"R.I.P. Mink
Such sad news. Malibu/Bali Soul Surfer Paul Minkoff was that one guy you ALWAYS loved to see. I heard he passed in Bali from maybe a heart attack??? God I'm gonna miss those eyes, the stories and his zest for life. This one hurts..." - Brad Stanley

"So sad.
We both had white VW Bus’s, often we would crack Bu and could see them parked curbside from the lineup...later stroll over to the Omelette Parlor, where he knew surf , chicks, and VW’s, then another sunny day go out...always so cool hang’n at the beach with Mink. Good days.
RIP Mink." - Rich Melendez

Photo via Glenn Hening

"Mink had a big smile a big heart.I’ll always remember him at the jetty’s during the winter waiting for low tide.He loved 2nd jetty and always parked his VW van on the beach side of PCH at Malibu with doors open smiling,burning some good bud,always.R.I.P." - Harris Jaffy

"Paul’s fin-first take offs at a good size Malibu lineup always a treat to watch." - Stephen Robert Johns

"I bought my first VW from Mink for 800 it was a 65 Beetle with a Crank Sunroof ... He always had one rolled and ready to go ... Love to watch him surf 1st Point in his Longboard with the little mini fin so he could do 360’s and Fin Release Rail Slides. R.I.P. Mink" - Dino Joseph Bortoli

Photo via Glenn Hening

"RIP Minks. One of the best guys I ever met coming out of Surfrider. A personal Fav of mine. The VW Bus, puffy pants and sarongs. I will miss him." - Brian Merrick

"Paul disappered into the south pacific I had not seen him for a few years. Then while attedning a screening of Endless Summer II in Santa Monica I started getting crap from the guy behind me in the theater. About the time I was starting to get mad I realized it was Mink, he was sitting there behind me. We hung out for a time that day and as always it was great to see him." - Kevin Piatt

Photo via Randy Stoklos

"omg no. the mink was such a good man, he was always very cool to me... it made me feel special because i was just a grom looking up to him like a legend, and he treated me like i belonged. i'll always love him for that." - Kent Senatore

To all of Paul's friends wondering about a gathering for him, when the time is right, a gathering for Paul will happen. .

Noah Hill decided to make some videos about how to improve your surfing.

"Here is the most highly requested video topic, how to do airs. I hope you enjoy."

Noah Hill decided to make a video about how to improve your surfing from home.
I first saw Allen Sarlo surf when I was 12 years old. It was a summer day at Malibu in 1984, back when the creek used to let out up at Third Point, and the sand filtered down along the groomed cobbles, creating fast, perfect rippable, world-class waves that connected for 300 yards or more. A phenomenon — and a golden era for the famed point long steeped in rich surf history; and one that saw the El Niños of the ’80s blast so much sand down the point that Rabbit Bartholomew had claimed the ‘Bu as the “best high performance small wave point break in the world.” By Todd Proctor

I first saw Allen Sarlo surf when I was 12 years old. It was a summer day at Malibu in 1984, back when the creek used to let out up at Third Point, and the sand filtered down along the groomed cobbles, creating fast, perfect rippable, world-class waves that connected for 300 yards or more. A phenomenon — and a golden era for the famed point long steeped in rich surf history; and one that saw the El Niños of the ’80s blast so much sand down the point that Rabbit Bartholomew had claimed the ‘Bu as the “best high performance small wave point break in the world.”

It was on one of these days, during a week long sizeable six-foot Southern Hemi swell; my sister had just dropped me off down at First Point at the gap in the Adamson Wall to check it. I remember the perfection of it all. It was like looking through a timeless portal at a lineup where for a moment life itself stood still; my young brain burned a permanent mind photo that day of the oily glassy conditions, zero wind, the smell of the salt in the air, the sun piercing from the south, and the crisp sound of sculpted lips cracking peeling green perfection as sets marched their way across towards the pier. The peaceful spirit of the ancient Chumash seemed to permeate the air.

Photo: Ben Tomson/Surfing With Ben

As I scrambled to get out there, the shadow of a huge figure came lumbering down the stairs. It looked like the Incredible Hulk, some kind of superhero, maybe even a bit werewolf; but definitely not human. My grom buddy whispered to me, “Whatever you do don’t look now, but that’s Allen Sarlo. He’s the best out here, he gets all the best waves, and he can crush your skull with one hand!”…and it was all true, except thankfully I never got my skull crushed.

Photos: Courtesy Allen Sarlo

They called Allen (and still do) the “Wave Killer” because nobody went faster and threw bigger sprays. If you got stuck behind him on a wave, the trench his bottom turns made would buck you off your board like a boat wake. Allen spent a lot of time in Hawaii early on, and was one of the first guys to charge big Backdoor in the late ’70s and early ’80s when everyone went left because the right at Pipe wasn’t yet considered an actual surfable wave. He was on both the IPS and ASP world tours and was one of the original Dogtown Z-Boys. He was also one of the first guys to give a face to big-wave surfing along with his close friend Mark Foo. It was actually at Mark Foo’s house on my first trip to the North Shore in 1990 that I first met Allen. He said, “Hey I know you — what are you doing here? Then he says, “Ahh, so you decided to leave the rat race and get some real waves huh?”

Flash forward a couple decades later, I had became a shaper in my late teens and was now in it for life. And Allen says to me one day, “Hey, come by my house — I wanna show you my garage. It’s full of every board I’ve ever had…let’s look through the different ones and I can tell you what does and doesn’t work for me. And let’s do a board.” It’s led to many boards since and a fun design process — but most important of all, a cherished friendship.

At 62, still shooting the pier, for over 40 years. Photo: Trent Stevens

So back at Allen’s house, it was like a museum. There were handshaped Al’s from the early ’80s, a multitude of boards from the now extinct Blue Hawaii, a couple Diffenderfers, Jeff Ho’s, Rodstokers, Rawsons, Con Surfboards, R.Sleighs, Zuma Jays, and the list could go on for some time as I think there was close to 200 boards stashed in the rafters, on the walls, in racks, piled up in corners; boards everywhere. He pulled out different ones and would be like, “This one has good drive, but too much nose rocker and is hard to get into waves.” Or, “This one has the perfect volume and dimensions for paddling into anything, but it’s too loose in turns”….”This one turns insane, but I can’t make it across flat sections”…”this one flies, but it’s too light when I come off the bottom it loses speed”…

So we looked around at what aspects of the various designs had worked through the years, and which aspects needed to be updated. Much the same process when working with anyone I’ve never built a board for prior. We establish a baseline and work from there: what dims and volume paddles best, what kind of rocker suits their wave and their particular style and approach to that wave, and a plan shape that matches their build/body type and body mechanics. In Allen’s case, there has been a full rotator cuff replacement and a full knee replacement. Eventually every surfer has an injury/recovery story, so it’s always important to take those things into consideration when putting together a one-off custom design. Hull contours, rail shape, fin placement also follow suit, playing major roles.

Our baseline started with the Monstachief design. A board I had already been doing for a few years to fill a gap; a need for bigger guys and power surfers to have an alternative shortboard design made appropriate to their build so they didn’t have to resort to funshapes or longboards if they didn’t want to.

I knew a lot of surfers from the ’80s and ’90s that were rippers, and in that 200-250+ lbs range. A lot of them had to quit surfing for many years when they started families. And when they came back to it many years later, the moves were still in there, but the body didn’t necessarily follow the way they remembered. So the Monstachief came to be. Not just a resized big version of a chippy shortboard, but all the appropriate geometry and design built from the ground up to cater to those big guys who still had the grit, but needed the right equipment to get them where they wanted to go. So as to give larger-framed surfers a platform that would use their stature as an advantage rather than a disadvantage; to create fun for a cross-section of the tribe that was getting overlooked.

Like each surfer I work with, Allen’s boards are designed and tuned specifically for him. Allen continues to this day to be the King of the Point through healthy living, surfing, kiteboarding or foiling every day. He runs a successful business, and operates off the motto “work to surf”. He takes an active role with the Mauli Ola foundation. His wife’s a sweetheart and both his grown children are mellow, kind people that shred. In his own words Allen says, “There is almost no better feeling than sharing the love of surfing with friends and family. Surfing keeps us young. We found the fountain of youth surfing. Thank you for the magic boards Todd, much appreciated. I’m surfing better than ever on your boards.”

As a tribe we must remember the past, know our people, design the future, and honor the elders. This is a board design that seeks to do just that. – Todd

Proctor Surf

Devon Howard in Malibu, California, 2020. Filmed by Trent Stevens