Stab Magazine | Will Kelly Slater Go Back To The ‘Banana Board’ For Trestles?

Will Kelly Slater Go Back To The ‘Banana Board’ For Trestles?

Greg Webber has a message for the ‘Banana’ critics before Trestles: “Shut up you morons, seriously.”

news // Sep 6, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It got panned by critics at the season opening Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast but Kelly Slater is still open to experimenting with his controversial ‘Banana’ design at the upcoming Trestles World Tour event as he looks to win back to back world tour events.  

“(Surfing Trestles) is a rhythm of generating speed, being smooth, being fast, popping turns off the top, doing tail-out fanning turns, but then there’s gonna be that moment when he generates enough speed and comes up to a ramp that’s not a lip yet and does an annihilating gouge. That’s the board I’m gonna be making him,” says Slater Designs shaper, Greg Webber. 

Webber is putting the finishing touches on Kelly’s Trestles boards as we speak. The 11-time world champ will be choosing from more than just Webber’s boards, however, the Australian shaper is so confident his Banana template can do the job at the contest, beginning this week, he’s even included a little note with the shipment.

“I’ll send it with a little message: you wanna win two contests in a row, ride that board,” he says. 

Webber is furious at the criticism the board received following the opening world tour event of the year at Snapper. A contest he says was held in the wrong conditions for the board to flourish. 

“It’s just moronic, absolutely moronic,” he says. 

“There’s been virtually no change in design and no change in the performance of face surfing in 20 years. The greatest surfer of all time attempts to push the boundary beyond that and he cops shit from people that have no idea what he’s trying to do,” he says. 

Trestles is likely to provide more drive and punch than the lacklustre Snapper conditions served up for the opening event, and Webber believes the banana design will be in its element. 

“The ideal wave type is a bowl-y one and a half times his height, four to six foot, where you’ve still got enough control over the wave where you can throw yourself into it and don’t have to hold back because it’s too big. That’s what it’s designed for. It’s not designed for two foot crap and it’s not designed for monstrous waves,” he says. 

The board will include a stinger, a swallow tail, and a curve that “allows it to generate speed all by itself but when you are in the face of the wave to have enough grip and curve in the back of the board to tear the face to pieces,” he says. 

“It’s a lower rocker banana and the plane shape matches that. That smoothness means when you’re putting it on rail the board is going through the same kind if resistance from the front to the middle – between your feet – to the tail. The more you start to flip the nose and the tail the more a surf board feels different when you press the front or the back in in different parts of your turn,” he says.

The criticism of the banana did “irritate” the champ, says Webber, but ultimately commentators need to understand what he is trying to achieve.

“He’s trying to generate speed and find lines in a part of the wave that no one has experienced yet.”

“He knew he didn’t wanna be the same old Kelly forever. So the people that moronically say, oh go back to your fucken CIs, go ride a normal board, shut up you morons, seriously.”

“We’ve got an opportunity to watch the greatest of all time break new ground and you’re influencing him to go back to dull boring old boards,” he says. 


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