Does Dakoda Walters Surf Better On His First Ever DIY Hand Shape? - Stab Mag
This isn't supposed to happen on your first hand shape. Photo by Duncan Macfarlane.

Does Dakoda Walters Surf Better On His First Ever DIY Hand Shape?

“We hacked at it all day, didn’t even stop for lunch”

cinema // Mar 16, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dakoda Walters (MVP of Stab Highway) is no stranger to humoring the eccentric ideas of Angourie-based shapers, Greg Webber and Lee Stacey. If you haven’t already watched him surf that wack manta-ray inspired finless board straight out of a science fiction novel, you can do so here. You can also watch him rip a stoog at Lennox from this article titled, Today’s Learning: Sample Widely, Stay Inspired

Dakoda surfs incredibly well, will wear a steamer for 7 days straight, eating an exclusively pie-only diet. He and his brother Harley have a great YouTube channel producing quality, quirky content reviving ancient totems of years past touching on core surf history and design. They are willing to try just about anything shapers throw at them, which is particularly amusing when you have folks like Greg Webber in your corner who have no shortage of psychedelic theories and concepts.

Here, Dakoda tells Stab about his first DIY hand shape and how it is his new favorite (and brownest) board in the quiver. To help out the Northern Rivers flood recovery effort, Dakoda will also be doing a giveaway on his IG which you can find out more about here

Don’t judge a board by its beak-nose.

Stab: How many hand-shapes have you made?

Dakoda: That was the first board I’ve shaped and I still haven’t shaped another one. I tried to make one when I was real young with dad. We recycled an old blank from a snapped mal but when we took it to the glasser we put the wrong resin on and it shriveled and disappeared. Was just the stringer left. Sad

So that was your first proper attempt? 

Yeah, first crack. My brother and I just woke up one day and the weather was shit and there were two blanks sitting downstairs. I was like ‘let’s shape a board’ to Harley. We started in the morning and didn’t stop hacking at it until late that arvo. Didn’t even stop for lunch. 

Did you know any tricks of the trade from working with Stacey over the years or not really?

Nah, I forgot to put rocker in it. I only realized that when I got it back from the glasser. Felt like the best board under my arms, except for the fact it was completely flat. Still I’d made it so it was my baby, and I was determined to like it even if it was a dog. 

How would you describe it?

Cooked. The rails are parallel, it has a torched beak-nose, it’s flat, wonky. None of that was intentional, but I reckon it adds character. 

Symmetry is overrated

How did it feel when you first hopped on that thing?

I probably had the worst surf of my life on it. The waves were horrible and I nosedived standing up on my very first wave. That hasn’t happened in a very long time. Harls had just gotten his handshape back too and he was ripping on his dumpster diver-looking, chop-tail thing. I was managing to catch rail every time I did a turn… After that I just kept riding it and it came around eventually. Now it’s one of my favorite boards in my quiver. 

Yeah well your surfing on it is incredible. That’s not supposed to happen. Did you surprise yourself?

It doesn’t feel as souped up as some of my performance thrusters but it’s got so much drive and some of my turns actually feel better. I took it over to Stacey after to try and incorporate some parts of it into my normal boards. I thought once I got back on my regular thrusters I’d get over it, but the waves were pumping the other day and I wanted that one. Going left, it feels like the best board I’ve ever ridden. It’s also the fastest deteriorating board I’ve ever had. It went brown so quickly. So brown. 

Photo by Duncan Macfarlane

Can you tell us a little bit about what you’re doing for the floods?

I hit up my sponsors to see if we could do a giveaway to raise money for the floods. They were very generous, so I’ll have 3 packs that will go to the highest bidder. One of them will include a handshape that I’m about to make. It’s been a pretty shit time so I thought why not try levage my platform for good. 

Check it out below


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