Brad Domke gave Tom Curren a skimboard
Words by Morgan Williamson
Enigmatic man of style, Tom Curren, has recently been seen surfing Rincon on a skimboard. The board’s been modified a bit and, of course, Curren breezes on the thing. “I’m pretty excited about the finless movement,” Tom told Luex Mag. “I think there’s a lot going on there, and I think there’s going to be a lot of progression in the board designs. A lot of people really enjoy riding finless boards, they won’t out-perform regular boards but maybe some day it’ll be a kinda shift in board design.”
Last summer, a clip dropped featuring Mr Curren shaded from the sun head to toe, in Mexico, riding a bodyboard.
“The boogieboard is one of the greatest inventions ever, I think,” said Tom. “It’s small, simple and has good flex, on the right wave you can get a good ride.” The skimboard didn’t really come into play until he and Brad Domke, the unique disc charger, linked up down in Mex. Tom can be rather elusive between touring with his band, chasing swells and creating new platforms to ride waves on. The three time world champ’s always on the hunt for something different to ride; he was one of the first gents to start experimenting with Daniel 'Tomo' Thomson’s weird cut-nose designs. Stab called Mr Domke to get the lowdown on Tom’s newest salt water endeavour.
“I was on a trip filming for my TV show that’s coming out in Brazil,” Brad tells Stab. “I ended up linking up with Tom and gave him the skim, which is the pro model that I designed for Exile Skimboards. I spent most the summer with Tom riding a bunch of pointbreaks down in Mexico. He rode finless skims pretty much the whole time, and we were riding some pretty sick waves. He was having more fun on them than his actual surfboard, which he only rode maybe one percent of the time. After that, he brought it over to France and started riding it finless all over the place. That’s where it all started. Eventually he put some fin boxes in it, and has been riding it ever since. I always thought it’d be sick to ride the board with fins, but it’s not easy to get fin boxes in there, although he seemed to figure it out pretty quickly…”
What Tom has modified Brad’s board into is unlike anything we’ve seen beneath Mr Curren’s feet. The fin box system he’s introduced has allowed him to experiment with unorthodox combinations, which is suitable since riding the skimboard is anything but orthodox. “He put some foam on top of the board so it floats and he can paddle,” Mr Domke tells us. “It’s pretty interesting, he’s using EPS foam. He’s so used to riding soft tops and bodyboards that it’s an easy transition. The foam gives the board the amount of float he needs to paddle into waves but doesn’t jeopardise the rail or the bottom. That way he can still carve with it.”
“I’m really curious to ride the thing,” says Brad. “That’s the board I’ve known forever and I know enough about surfing, so who knows? It could be a really sick board. He told me it’s his favourite thing to ride, he’s super stoked on it. It seems to work pretty well. It looks less challenging than without fins, that’s for sure. He’s doing something different, changing the game and ripping while doing it. That’s pretty sick.”