Why'd Kolohe Glue Metal Plates To His 6'4? - Stab Mag

Now Live: Ferrari Boyz With Harry Bryant (Redux)

Where have we seen this before?

Why’d Kolohe Glue Metal Plates To His 6’4?

An old trick from the Taj Burrow playbook.

hardware // May 3, 2022
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yesterday in the Margaret River Pro, Kolohe Andino did something you rarely see in surfing — he added metal plates to the external frame of his board to make it heavier.

Typically, ‘step-ups’ (like Kolohe’s 6’4 Lost) are glassed with heavier fiberglass than high-performance shortboards. This is to make the boards stronger, and thus less susceptible to breaking, as they are designed to be surfed in larger/more powerful surf. It also helps with mitigating chops and chatter to increase drive and control.

A standard HP shorty uses two sheets of 4-ounce fiberglass on top and a single sheet of 4-ounce fiberglass on the bottom. The top deck receives extra fiberglass to mitigate pressure dings from the surfer standing on this side of the board.

Most Stab in the Dark boards are glassed with 4-ounce fiberglass…or less. Photo: Arto Saari

A typical step-up, at least for the average punter, gets two sheets of 6-ounce fiberglass on top and a single-six on the bottom. But because most pros get boards for free (and thus aren’t afraid to break them), they often get their step-ups glassed with just 4-ounce fiberglass, so that the boards are as light and responsive as possible.

A light board may be preferred in clean conditions, but on a large, mostly fat, windswept face like Margie’s Main Break, a lack of weight can lead to a “chattery-ness” in one’s surfing that appears wobbly and weak. Judges hate to see it.

So with a huge swell expected for his Round 3 heat, Kolohe took his finely-tuned 6’4 and did something unthinkable, if highly imaginative. Brother went to a local hardware store, bought two quarter-pound metal plates, and applied them to the deck of his board using glue and wax as an adhesive. A typical surfboard weighs between 5-7 pounds, so half a pound is not a major addition, but it would be noticeable.

Putting weights in a surfboard is not a new concept. Tow guys do it all the time, to make their boards more capable of absorbing chops and less affected by the elements. However putting weights on a surfboard is not something many people have seen before. So where did an idea like this even come from?

We’ll let Kolohe explain.

As Kolohe mentions in the video above, the idea of adding weight to the board came from his dad, who thought that spray-painting the 6’4 would give his son an edge in bigger surf. However, after speaking with many-time Tour winner and WA staple Taj Burrow, Brother got the idea of adding actual weights to the deck of his board, as Firewire founder Nev Hyman had done for Burrow back in the 2007 Bells event. Taj won that comp over Andy Irons with a nine in the dying minutes.

“It feels unreal just to ring that thing finally,” Burrow said after winning his first Rip Curl Pro Bells on a crudely-weighted Firewire. “Having rung the little one, the big one’s a lot louder.”

Yep, an old-school Firewire with metal on the deck. Photo: ASP

So, did Brother’s Frankenstein creation work?

He seems to think so, and the scoreboard tells a similar story. Using the weighted 6’4, Kolohe smashed his competitor at Main Break — 14.57 to 9.00 — locking in two seven-point rides to a secure a Round 3 victory over Australian Jackson Baker.

Out of 16 heats, Kolohe ended up with the sixth-highest heat total of the day, for surfing like this.


On Finals Day (today), the waves will be smaller and cleaner, so it will be interesting to see if Kolohe keeps the plates on, removes them, or surfs a different board altogether.

Assuming he used Superglue, option 2 might not be off the table.


Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

How Sophie McCulloch Broke Her Back At The Box Three Days After Being Cut From The CT

The untold brutal side story of finals day in WA.

Apr 24, 2024

The Cut Wasn’t The Surf Fans’ Idea — But It Might Be Our Fault

Psychoanalyzing surfing’s highly sadistic audience (us!).

Apr 23, 2024

How Surfers (And Skiers/Snowboarders) Could Be Using Buoys Better

Snow in Japan = waves at Pipe = snow in Utah, @PowderBuoy told us.

Apr 22, 2024

How Did Sydney’s Hottest Landscape Architect Stack So Many Clips Less Than 10Kms From Centrepoint Tower? 

Fraser Dovell is a man of culture, taste and jabbing North Av lefts in the…

Apr 22, 2024

Full Frame: The Other Side Of Nazaré

The death of a wave, and the birth of an entire genre of surf. 

Apr 21, 2024

Jack Robbo Double Beats Double John At Margies, Gabriela Bryan Dodges Dolphins For Maiden Win

The cut is finished - WA finals recap.

Apr 21, 2024

Watch: A Leisurely Day With Fingal’s-Most-Wanted Foamball Wrangler

Lungi Slabb and filmmaker Beren Hall offer insight into the exact specs which bring GoPro…

Apr 20, 2024

The Stab Interview: Chippa Wilson

On childhood bullies, surfing bigger waves, the making of 'Zipper', and what's on the horizon…

Apr 19, 2024

Medina Cooked at WSL Judges’ BBQ, George Pittar Flares En Route To Finals Day

Four heats, a nine point ride, and some brotherly tears.

Apr 19, 2024

Ferrari Boyz: Harry Bryant (Redux)

A Land Cruiser, a shitting collie, a tank of petrol, and a wild Haz in…

Apr 18, 2024

Surprise! Margies Ran At Southside Today

No rest for the wicked - day 5 WA recap.

Apr 18, 2024

A Dispatch From The Best Run Of Swell Northwest Australia May Ever See

Three weeks of pumping surf, two decades ago, that changed this writer's life.

Apr 17, 2024

Nichols, Silva + Spencer Cut, Robinson Lives To Fight Another Day

Waiting: a polite term for slowly losing your mind - here's what happened in WA…

Apr 17, 2024

The Pupo Brothers Will Face Off At Margs, And Only The Winner Can Stay On Tour

Let's look at every match-up that will seal a CT surfer's fate.

Apr 16, 2024


After 30 seasons on tour, 56 event wins & 11 world titles, Kelly Slater has…

Apr 16, 2024

Slater Takes His Last Dance, 7 More Men Axed From The CT

Day 3 WA recap.

Apr 16, 2024

Did Kelly Slater Just Retire?

3 decades, 56 event wins, and 11 World Titles later.

Apr 16, 2024

Goofies Dominate, Ewing Detonates, The GOAT Is Led To Slaughter

Once cut, twice shy.

Apr 15, 2024