The Stab Caddy: Conner Coffin’s Fred Rubble
Not quite a Barney and not quite a Fred.
Conner Coffin, the Santa Babs-based professional surfer who is almost 21, was 17 when he and the shapers at CI designed the Fred Rubble.
Conner ain’t one for the fish-style surfboard with its almost flat rocker, wide noses and tails that go from hither to thither. Conner is of the school that wants to be able to jam better-than-average turns but doesn’t want to be hamstrung by too much curve and a lack of width in smaller surf.
“I was doing contests around California and I’d never had a CI that I loved for all-round, junkier, fun waves or contest stuff,” says Conner.
“I had boards for good waves and I wasn’t a fan of the Flyer with its hip size. I could never groove with it. I wanted to design something that was an allround California board but wasn’t a fish, wasn’t a Dumpster Diver.”
The process of getting to the Rubble, voted SIMA’s board of the year in 2011, wasn’t exactly torturous. Working with one of CI’s team shapers, Conner had it right by the third board.
“I was telling ‘em I wanted less rocker, something similar to the MBM, something that wasn’t radically different, that had a flatter rocker, wider outline, would generate more speed and was easier to ride in shitty type surf.”
Conner was surprised when Kelly Slater made it his go-to board, winning four events on it (Trestles, Fiji, Teahupoo, France) and riding it in waves of two to 12 feet. Even Reynolds has his pack of Rubbles.
“I never expected either to love the board and they were both riding it, Kelly was talking about it and so people started riding it,” says Conner.
“It’s one of those boards you can ride in anything. And anyone can and have fun, the dudes around here and all the younger rippers. Kelly rides in it waist-high waves and at big Cloudbreak and Pipeline.”
Conner ain’t quite so evangelistic about the design as Kelly and will switch from a six-two Rubble step-up when it’s biggish to something a little more trad when the conditions demand.
“When it’s bigger I ride something narrow and with a little more rocker, either the MBM or the Proton. But I do ride it a lot.”
And that genesis of the name? “Oh man, well, to use a cartoon metaphor it wasn’t quite Barney Rubble and it wasn’t quite Fred Flintstone. It was an in-between board, a cross between the two,” says Conner.
“On the first board, the one here, I did a big version on the bottom but Burton (who owns CI) were worried about us using the trademark and so I drew the feet between the fins. Big wide feet. Like mine. It’s the best drawing I’ve ever done in my life.”
As one of CI’s best-sellers, and the best in 2011 and 2012, Conner gets a $10 royalty on each board sold (around 8000 ships moved so far) something Kelly Slater was keen to remind Conner of given his role in its popularity. “I think you owe me lunch,” Kelly told Conner.
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