Watch And Read: Dion Test Pilots A Prototype At Waco
"Thats the only board I’m riding at the moment, Cant get enough of it."
When wave pools first landed, there was much talk regarding purpose built pool boards. Not only do the waves in pools not differ from one another, but their speed, curvature, and all around nature are noticeably different to the real and original things that roll along our coasts.
Some surfers swear by epoxy for its added float in the freshwater, and a few insist certain shapes work best (see Kelly and his snub-noses at the Wave Ranch), but we've hardly seen a complete transition to boards built specifically for wave pools.
When Dion Agius flew over to Texas last September for our much discussed and heavily covered Stab High, he had one board in mind. Not a board he believed would work well in a pool, but one which he thought he could dial in with the landlocked, yet stable environment.
"Testing new boards is hard. In the ocean obviously every wave is so different and conditions change so much, so every surf it's really hard to get a constant variable and learn the little in's and outs [of a board]" Dion told Stab. "Especially when you are working on a new design like this where we slightly change each variation of the board [between prototypes]. It can all get pretty confusing at times and hard to tell what the fuck is actually working or what's affecting each change you make."
"I was pretty hesitant about swallows for airs. But after the pool I’m backing it so hard. The last little bit of grab you get from the tail right before leaving the lip is insane."
"The pool was insane for trying it out because you have the same wave, and the same ramp over and over again.
"Originally I came to Hayden looking for an all round board that isn’t just good for airs. With airs you just fly a million miles an hour down the line and try to get as high as you can, so it's not hard to get a good board for doing airs [laughs]. I'm pretty shit at turns too so I wanted to work on something like this: a board just as suited for airs as it is for surfing on rail."
"I was pretty hesitant about swallows for airs. But after the pool I’m backing it so hard. The last little bit of grab you get from the tail right before leaving the lip is insane. You really use that last little squirt to get a lot of extra height when you are doing an air.
And judging off our own first hand viewing, the scattered images you see here, and of course, the clip cut up above. It's quite clear the board works, and pretty fucking well. Although we're sure Dion could punt just about anything he waxed up – see, Dion's part in Foamalicious.
Dion jumps (yet again) as Chippa and some enamoured onlookers ogle.
"[We've been working on the shape for] probably about a year now. [Hayden] shaped me one for a trip to the Mentawais last year, so the first time I got to try it was at Macaronis and I was tripping . It felt so different to my normal shortboards: particularly, the way it was hold through turns. Macca's is a pretty insane wave for testing boards, it's so perfect that it will really show any negatives spots in the board and highlight them, but the first version I had of this just felt crazy straight away so i knew there was something special."
The last time we witnessed Dion call a board special was at the unveiling of the Holy Grail. A board that we also fell in love with. So what's different about this newest sled?
"The Holy Grail is super fun in more playful waves. The tail on the Grail is rad cause it gives you this extra bite through turns thats hard to get on a normal small wave board, but this new board is more of an all rounder. I've ridden it from two foot up to six foot now and it seems to handle it all.
"I'm riding it in pretty much everything now. Unless it's tiny, then I’m riding a fish. Thats the only board I’m riding at the moment."
"I don't write full dims on team boards so Dion is probably seeing this for the first time. Dion has normally been riding a White Noiz in a 5'7 1/2" x 18 1/2" x 2 3/16" @ 23.87L and this new swallow tail is 5'7" x 18 5/8" x 2 3/16" @ 23.75L.
"There are very subtle changes throughout to balance things up, but I think we are at a great point where Dion is enjoying the shape in a large range of conditions, including the recent Stab High event in the pool."
Oh, and yeah, we asked Dion when the fuck we can get our hands on one.
"[Laughs] either track down the person who stole one of mine, steal one from my board bag, or beg Hayden.
"We've got a few more prototypes to go but I think we are there already. Pretty much every one that he’s shaped me so far has been one of the best boards i've ridden so I’m pretty excited to start getting them out to other people to try it out to see if they dig it as much as me or if I’m just tripping [laughs].
And judging from Dion and Hayden's track record. We dare say he ain't just tripping. We'll let you know what they're like after begging Hayden for a test run.