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Close READER POLL 2017
We promise this won't (really) hurt.

Wanna win a new surfboard? We have a custom Chilli ‘Black Vulture’ to gift (plus all the trim you’d expect from a premium dealer). To be in the running, just answer a few questions for us. It won’t take long.

Craig Anderson rode a 5'4" Hypto Krypto at 10-12 foot Kanduis

Words by Elliot Struck


Craig Anderson caught 10 waves over two days at Kanduis during what’s been noted as swell of the decade. And of those 10 waves, most were on a 5’4” Hypto Krypto made by Hayden Cox (HaydenShapes). “I’ve never known the actual dimensions of that board, I just know that I ride it as a 5’4”,” says Craig. He’d been at G-Land for Peter McCabe’s 60th birthday get-together when he heard about the swell headed for Indo. Craig had never surfed Kanduis before, but wanted to, so he made the arrangements. And with shades of Tom Curren riding a Tommy Peterson-shaped 5’7” Fireball Fish at Bawa in ’94, Craig paddled into a high-energy Kandui lineup on his 5’4” where 10 footers were common and 12 footers weren’t absent…


Stab: Tell me about your experiences at Kandui.
Craig: The first two days were big and the third day was perfect, but I didn’t surf on the third day ’cause I’d kinda done my dash out there. By the second afternoon everyone was getting hurt, but my body was intact other than a few cuts on my feet. I was satisfied, I was stoked, and I’d taken one or two where if I’d hit the reef on the end bowl, it would’ve been game over. So I thought I’d quit while I was ahead. I rode the Hypto the first big day. I paddled out with a quad setup in it, and the fucking thing went backwards. It was crazy. My first two waves, I sat for about an hour and a half, finally took off on one thinking it was a bomb, got barreled, and the end of it just went mutant. The board didn’t want to co-operate. On the next one, I just couldn’t get drive out of it. I went back to the boat and put in a tri-fin setup… and it went incredible.


Oh, the eternal quandary of fins. Yep. I was vibing on it as a thruster though. I was getting into these waves… guys were riding 6’3”s and 6’1”s and step-ups, but that Hypto, I was getting crazy amounts of paddle power. I’ve always ridden that board in bigger waves and always been psyched on it.


And that social-melting photo? That was the biggest wave I got. It didn’t even really barrel, but the board felt sick. It was probably a six-wave set, some of the best waves I’ve ever seen. I wanted to spin on the first one, and the second one, but I was scared ‘cause the day before I’d gone on the first wave of the set and got detonated. It didn’t rattle me, I just didn’t want to do that again. So for some reason I just swung on the last, biggest one that didn’t quite hit the reef properly. I made the drop real late and the wave just spat. I bottom turned, and it was just a perfect wall to snowboard on. I didn’t turn hard or anything, just did a sort of highline carve-down thing. I didn’t really get barreled or do anything on the wave. It honestly felt like I was snowboarding down a wave. And the board just felt really connected to the face. It felt really cool.


Did you ride the Hypto the whole time? No. The second day, I scraped into one on it. It’s a pretty easy roll-in, but I was a little late. I got to my feet and had this 20-metre gaping wall ahead. I weaved up, and came to a complete halt, and got front-flipped in the barrel. I came up and Koa Smith was there, and I was like, “What the fuck just happened?” He goes, “You rode straight over some guy’s board!” I watched the footage later and the guy must’ve freaked out, it almost looked like he pushed it in front of me, but he was just frantic about getting an eight-footer on the head. I didn’t even see him. I rode straight over his board, and my board broke. Luckily no one got hurt, but I was bummed.

“I saw Ando run down a stray board at high speed on a bomb,” says the photographer here, John Barton. This is afterwards, when Craig jumped on his back up 5'9". “I saw Ando run down a stray board at high speed on a bomb,” says the photographer here, John Barton. This is afterwards, when Craig jumped on his back up 5'9".

What’d you get on then? I only had a 5’9” shortboard once the Hypto broke, but it didn’t feel anything close to the Hypto. Just getting into waves, and you can position yourself better on the Hypto. Although, if there wasn’t a super clean surface to bottom turn on the big ones, the Hypto felt a little like I had to get real low and nurse it off the bottom. But, that was only on the bigger ones.


Biggest wave you took off on? I almost feel like that first day I got one of the biggest ones. I pulled up and got barreled, then went through the end and just got absolutely flogged on the end bowl. SO smoked. Then came up and wore a 12-footer on the head. It was one of the scariest scenarios I’ve been in. I can’t believe I didn’t hit the reef. I don’t think the footage does that end section justice – it’s like Greenbush on heat.


If the exact same swell forecast landed for next week, and you were headed back to Kanduis, would you just take three Hypto Kryptos? Yep, 100 percent. I’ve just always ridden them when it got bigger, and they feel good and I just know my way around them. You can just glide in, and there’s so much foam in them. After I snapped my Hypto at Kanduis, I was sitting on my shortboard in the water and just the buoyancy, even sitting there it felt under-buoyant. Even when you’re just sitting there on the Hypto, there’s so much energy in the board. Same when you’re paddling.


Anything else we should know about you snowboarding Kanduis on a 5’4”? I don’t know, I don’t really like big waves? I feel like I’m a bipolar big wave surfer. I think it’s a good idea and I want to challenge myself, then when there’s a 10-footer looking at me I’m like, “What the fuck am I doing this for?” But then you pop out the end of the wave, cop a beating, get a crazy hit of adrenaline… and it feels pretty insane. But you’re not going to see my on the next tow swell at Chopes, that’s for sure. Or in a hood at Mavs with my buoyancy vest and shit.

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