Up front, Tomo’s Sci-Phi, (the laid-out version is the actual board Kelly rode in the Kelly Slater Wave Co video). Behind that, with the blunt nose, Tomo’s Omni, and behind that, the Webber-shaped Banana model. Photo: @realwatersports
Here's the full debut line of Slater Designs models:
Words by Jake Howard
It’s been a busy day in Orlando. You don’t read that on Stab often, but with the debut of Kelly Slater’s new Slater Designs surfboard line at Florida's Surf Expo, the world has scooped its first look at where he’s taking the surfboard. Funny how it always comes back to Florida with this guy.
In a word, the boards are beautiful. For this trade show they chose to debut three models: Two designed by Daniel Thomson and one from Greg Webber. Are we excited? Yes. Here’s the vitals:
1. Sci-Phi – designed by Daniel Thomson
The pocket rocket of the trio, this is the board KS rode in the now very famous unveiling of his wave pool. He rips it at 5’6”x 18 3/8”x 2 1/4” with 25.8L of volume. With its wings and double bat tail setup, if nothing else, it’s visually very futuristic. The magic is in the back end, which features a flatter rocker with lots of planning area to maximise speed while still retaining control. An additional carbon strip down the top deck gives it more strength and flex.
2. Omni designed by Daniel Thomson
With its blunt nose, the Omni is Slater’s vision of an everyday, go-to board. He rides it at 5’3”x 18 3/4”x 2 5/16” with 24.8L of volume. The board is an updated version of the planing hull theory that Thomson’s been playing with over the last several years. With a more pulled in, rounded tail than in most of Thomson’s other boards, the Omni is built to Slater’s specifications and fits with his interest in the less-is-more concept.
3. Banana designed by Greg Webber
This is the board that Slater rode at the Pipe Masters and was everyone’s first look at Slater Designs. The champ rides it at 5’10”x 18 3/8”x 2 1/4” with 25.8L of volume and it’s his pick for good, hollow conditions. With a very pulled in tail and heaps of rocker, you better be tube hunting if you’re riding the Banana. Somewhat inspired by the work that Webber and Shane Herring did together back in the ‘90s, this is what Kelly’s riding at Pipe and Cloudbreak.
Other crib notes to consider: None of these boards feature a conventional stringer, rather, they all have a strip of a 0.75” (18 mm) wide aerospace composite that runs down the centreline of the board. Borrowed from Firewire’s cookbook, it’s been dubbed Linear Flex Technology (LFT) and it's pretty awesome. Another big part of the construction is the combo of EPS blanks and entropy bio-resins, which makes the boards certified “Ecoboards” by SustainableSurf.org.
This is everybody’s first look with early reports positive, and it sounds like retailers are buying into the concept. The boards won’t actually land in shops until Spring and Summer, so while it’s fun to look, it’s going to be a little longer until we can ride them.