Five Surfboards Stab Can’t Wait To Wiggle On In 2019
Or, “Channel Bottoms And Beak Noses Are So Hot Right Now.”
It’s widely ignored just how massive the market for surf is on the US East Coast.
But shapers like Matt Biolos, Jon Pyzel, and Hayden Cox are well aware: for surfers from Ruggles to Reef Road, Nova Scotia to Puerto Rico, Surf Expo is where shapers from Australia and California parade their new poster boards, while smaller East Coast shapers give them a run for their money with booths full of Right Coast-tailored grovelers.
While there were certainly dozens of foxy numbers we’d have just loved to slip under our feet, here’s Five Surfboards Stab Can’t Wait To Wiggle.
Matt Biolos and …Lost’s new “Rad Ripper.”
Shaper: Matt “Mayhem” Biolos
Model: Rad Ripper
“This is the new Retro addition, the Rad Ripper,” Matt “Mayhem” Biolos tells Stab of the wide-outlined, beak-nosed, winged squash tail that very few Surf Expo attendees missed the opportunity to geek out on.
Having spent the winter putting one of his 2018 Retro Rippers, as well as a RNF Retro and Retro Gun, through their paces, we’re thrilled with the addition of the “small-wave utility board” to the line, and with Matt’s commitment building ’80s-inspired, boxy, beaked shorties. We can’t wait to get a tiny one under our feet for what Matt calls “classic California point surfing” a la Curren, Wardo, et al.
Also, the OG Mayhem logo is just rad.
The board’s available at select dealers in the US, and as a custom whenever you’re feeling brave.
Jon Pyzel and a new Stab In The dark-inspired model for 2019 team addition Jack Freestone.
Shaper: Jon Pyzel
Model: The Shadow
A brand spanking new model for 2019’s line, and for team addition Jack Freestone, this freshie was drawn from the same guts as the board Pyzel put under Mick’s feet, albeit in epoxy and EPS tech, for this year’s Stab In The Dark.
The outline’s wide-point forward might look familiar: it’s from the lineage of Pyzel and John John’s famous “Ghost.”
AJW’s Adam Warden is a goddamned gentleman and a fine board builder.
Shaper: Adam Warden
“I like Thai food, but not boards from Thailand,” AJW’s Adam Warden tells an old mate wondering if his boards were made overseas. “I’m in San Diego.”
For years, Adam’s built a loyal following for his working class attitude and traditional craftsman’s approach to the biz. He’s also the longtime shaper to Brendan “BigDickPowerSufer” Buckley; if his vote of confidence don’t carry water, we don’t know what does…
How about Matt Meola’s?
“This is the board Meola got the Maneuver of the Year nomination on, from the Waco contest [Stab High],” Adam tells us. “I don’t know Meola personally, at all, but I made some boards for his younger cousin, Logan, and basically Matt hit me up out of nowhere, basically just saying, “I’ve never gotten any of your boards, because you’re an East Coast guy and it’s too expensive to ship to Hawaii… I just found out you were in San Diego, and I just got invited to this Waco thing [Stab High], and I’m trying a bunch of boards. He ordered three boards, I shaped them right before I left for Europe, told him to grab them from the glass shop on his way to Texas and I figured I’d never hear from him again.
I went to Europe, and I was in the factory shaping, and I hit him up about the boards just to see if he got them, and I heard nothing. But then you guys released that clip of him doing that flip, and one of the shaper’s in Europe came into the shop and was like, “I didn’t know you made boards for Meola!” I hadn’t seen it yet, but it went sorta viral, you know? Good coverage.
“So I told him I’d make him a free board just, because I was so stoked. And again he didn’t hit me back. Then, out of nowhere, he hit me back just saying, Boards worked good, went super fast, I landed a couple airs… Just super low key.
“It’s a total made up model. I just took a good shortboard, and dropped the tail rocker to like 2”, just super flat, with 4” nose rocker, kinda thick and with softer, more forgiving rails.”
Clint Priesendorfer and The Blade.
Shaper: Clint Priesendorfer
Model: The Blade
Sticking out from every corner of Rusty’s radical little booth in The Neighborhood, were clear, beak-nosed, boxed-railed, channel-bottomed squash tails (picking up on the theme, here?) that we just had to know more about.
Rapping with East Coast frother extraordinaire Matt Keenan, and heir to the R-Dot throne, Clint Priesendorfer, you could tell they were as excited about the model as we were. With the vintage thrashy ’80s Rusty logo on the tip, and plenty of modern upgrades to the whole ’80s vibe, the board was originally designed with Harry Bryant, who really wanted it to be his model, before he jumped ship suddenly for Vans and unknown shapers.
Drawn from the famous Occy 1984 template, The Blade catches waves like a dream, with plenty of spice and spring, we’re to believe this stubby little number is a groveling power surfer’s dream whip.
Greg Geiselman and the classic Rocket Fish.
Shaper: Greg Geiselman
Model: Rocket Fish
“I started making this board in, probably like 1998?” legendary New Smyrna shaper Greg Geiselman tells us, of this swallow tail with a classic outline. “It seems like that’s really coming back around, but without any of the narrowness or chippyness that boards had back then. More volume, wider outline. It’s a speed demon.”
For decades, Greg’s kept surfers all over the East Coast more than supplied with proper hi-fi equipment, drawing inspiration from his sons, Evan and Eric, who have brought back countless other shapers boards for his inspection. His customs program is top notch, and his small-wave models are tailor made for East Coast grovel. Everyman daily drivers, if you will.
Hayden Cox and his new colorway for the Holy Grail.
Shaper: Hayden Cox
Model: Holy Grail 2019
Hayden Cox did the near impossible last year, following up years of success with his iconic-to-the-point-of-cliche Hypto Krypto, with the runaway hit the Holy Grail, a crudely wide-tailed, sidecut outlined shortboard that has become a daily driver for literally anyone who’s taken the leap and put one under their feet.
“We’re doing some projects with this pattern,” Hayden says of the speckled, bonded foam pattern on the rails, an unlikely but let’s be honest damned stylish touch. “I saw the pattern and knew right way that was what we needed. We might do some traction pads, and some boardbags with the foam, too.”
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