Give Alex Knost A Microphone And Watch The Fireworks Ensue
Dane Reynolds, Mikey February, Wade Goodall, Karina Rozunko, and the Duct Tape Festival shaper's panel.
"I was always a big fan of Knost's surfing, but after this I want to be the guy's best friend!" one South African former pro remarked after Al Knost wrapped up MC duties at the Vans Duct Tape Festival shaper's panel, to a packed crowd behind Duncan Campbell's Bonzer Front and Haleiwa Cafe.
While the Cafe Haleiwa crew satiated the gathered masses with roasted fingerling potatoes, fresh fish and roasted chicken, as well as an open bar and top-shelf Cuervo Palomas, Knost brought up the evening's pro surfer/amateur shaper brain trust—Mikey February, Dane Reynolds, Karina Rozunko, and Wade Goodall—to discuss their experiences taking planer to foam.
The panel started like elementary show and tell: name, where you're from, and one fun fact.
Each surfer had been tasked with building boards for attendees to ride on Friday, on the South Shore of Oahu, at Ala Moana Bowls. The Duct Tape Festivals are the evolution of Tudor's original Duct Tape concept, which started simply as an invitational classic logging event, and has grown into proper surf festivals, and most recently included an all-women's invitational in China.
Bookending the stage were eight handshapes, two from each surfer seated, and Knost walked the crowd through each, humming and hawing over the more refined of the batch.
"I made a grom board," Dane told Stab, "because I'd never really made one, and I thought it would be cool for kids to have something to ride. The other is what I always make for these, it's from an old MTF template, one of Channel Islands' iconic '90s twin fins. The original board was so dinged up that the wings were like completely destroyed."
Dane Reynolds with his "grom shortboard" Duct Tape offering, and trusty take on the MTF.
Knost lavished praise upon longtime San-O sister, Karina Rozunko's remarkable rookie efforts, an Total Involvement-era single fin log drawn from one of Knost's personal favorite templates, taken from Mr. Dane Peterson.
"I've made probably 500 longboards, and this is the best board I've ever seen," Knost gushed.
"This is my second board I've ever shaped. Alex and Alrik [Yuill] helped me with it a lot."
After fondling the mid-length egg Karina had cobbled with Troy Elmore, Knost turned to Goodall and February's eclectic offerings. February worked with Brian Anderson on his Bertlemann-esque double-winged single-fin and winged swallow twin a la Buttons, while Goodall put what he'd gleaned from Morning of the Earth's Chris Brock to pull off the admittedly very thick thruster, and Bing Speed Square-inspired twin fin, drawn from a stretched Drag boogie template.
Mikey Febs inspecting his goods.
Wade Goodall's stubby stand-up will be a crowd favorite Friday, for sure.
The evening's proceedings wound down with an all-hands-on deck call from Al Knost, who gathered Duncan Campbell, Vans' Steve Van Doren and Scott Sisamis on stage to pepper questions at the panel, and to let Duncan remark on the magic of feeling a surfboard you shaped yourself under your feet, leaving the crowd with a few nuggets of wisdom: "You learn from what doesn't work."
All the boards will be available to surf on Friday, at Ala Moana Bowls/Magic Island, in Honolulu from 12pm to 4pm.
Suffice to say the panel was lighthearted.
"There a little 'Acid Test-y' aren't they?" - Mikey February.
Bonzer Front is a fine locale for an intimate gathering of surfers.
Karina Rozunko, "one of the best female longboarders of all time," according to Knost.
Wade Goodall, all good.
Entertainment and education, washed down with cold foamers and bottomless Palomas? Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday night on the North Shore.