Stab Magazine | Was Eric Arakawa's Board #55 The Most Versatile Of The Bunch?
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Was Eric Arakawa’s Board #55 The Most Versatile Of The Bunch?

According to Dane Reynolds, it just might be.

hardware // Nov 4, 2016
Words by Photography
Reading Time: 3 minutes

If Stab In The Dark is the main event, then please consider the Shaper Series as special features.

Presumably you’ve already watched our 36-minute film, in which Dane Reynolds takes 13 of the world’s best (unbranded) surfboards to South Africa for 10 days of rigorous and unbiased testing and flexing.

In the Shaper Series, a joint with our pals at SWELL, we delve a little deeper on the other side of the coin; we step into the shapers’ bays and syphon their thoughts and reasoning around their art, and the board they shaped for Stab In The Dark 2016.

So, what did we tell our shapers? Boards to be delivered by June 1 in either LA or Sydney. Surfer is 6’0” and 190 lbs (86 kg), but will remain anonymous. Shoot location, South Africa. Surfboard must be 6’0” but width, thickness and volume all open to interpretation. Oh, and blank, blank, blank. Completely void of all branding or recognisable features like unique carbon patches. This is not a paid-for board guide – our readers are too savvy to make informed decisions based off that. Yes, there will be honesty. Every board will have positives and conversely, every board will have negatives. And, there’s a chance the board could break first wave, first turn, first air. If it does, apologies, you’re out.

KZN STAB AlanvanGysen Board55 FORWEB

“That board took thought, it wasn’t a random thing, it just didn’t come together by accident, and that’s where I get pleasure out of this.” – Mr Arakawa.

“It was probably the best board I’ve handshaped in 6 to 12 months,” said Hawaiian foam master Eric Arakawa. “I built a 6’0” x 19” x 2.5” Amplifier squash tail for the Stab In The Dark challenge. It’s designed with a deep single concave and slight double in front of the fins. It’s the model that most of my team are riding as their go-to shortboard in Hawaii. I know that design works for surfers with similar stats and style as was given for the mystery surfer.“ 

KZN STAB AlanvanGysen Dane Reynolds FORWEB

Pure classic lines are what Hawaii’s Eric Arakawa’s known for. That didn’t necessarily surprise or excite Dane too much, but it still made for a good board in his book – and thrilling viewing for the rest of us.

While Dane didn’t find any particular attribute of board #55 exceptional, he commented on it’s versatility and the workmanship invested in its construction. Also, being a Captain Fin/Futures guy, Dane noticed the difference in the fin setup – highlighting just how tuned in our test rider was. 

“I think the weirdest part about the board was the FCS fins, because I’m not used to them. It’s a different flex pattern from the fins that I’m used to. But, it feels like a good board. It didn’t do anything tricky.” 

Dane also scribbled a few notes on the scoresheet in regards to the shape, along with high scores in the ‘release’, ‘overall responsiveness’, ‘landing’ and ‘confidence’.

“Basic, good board, but no real draw or excitement… med speed, med responsiveness, med drive etc… Feels durable. Good construction.”

In case you missed the memo, we’re giving away all of the boards submitted for this year’s Stab In The Dark. Flick over this way to exercise your SITD knowledge and take a shot at winning a priceless piece of foam. FYI: TODAY’S THE LAST DAY TO ENTER…

Though Pyzel won in the end, we’ve noticed that our audience has expressed an interesting range of opinions on which board looked better under Mr Reynolds’ feet. So, we decided to run a poll to compile the thoughts of our readers, go here to share yours.

And, one more thing, you can run your eyes over our SITD shaper logo tees – head here if you’re in Aus, or here if you’re in the US.

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