Stab Magazine | Introducing The "Electric Acid Surfboard Test" Starring Noa Deane

Introducing The “Electric Acid Surfboard Test” Starring Noa Deane

We’re currently filming our third dose into the alternative universe… this time on the North Shore. 

Words by Stab

The discomfort of riding surfboards that are traditionally contrary to the conditions is why the Electric Acid Surfboard Test exists – to antagonize, to surprise, to learn or to grow. 

Right now, we’re on the North Shore. Today, the waves started to pump. On Monday, the first real NW complemented by all-day easterly trade winds is forecasted to slam the coast, and Noa Deane’s supported by quiver of boards he’d never pack into a coffin and ship out for what will be coined the North Shore’s “Opening Day”. 

Up until now, the surf’s been either fun or flat; nothing to write home about but nothing to write off, either. Rocky Point’s had its moments. Backdoor’s tossed a few lids onto the reef. And Noa Deane, the star of EAST III, has been riding 11 surfboards that tip into the “alternative” sphere up and down the seven miles. 

The shapers involved this year are Simon Jones, Daniel Jones, Blake Peters of Panda Surfboards, Peter Schroff, Timmy Patterson, Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, the Campbell Bros, Glen Pang, Jon Pyzel, Britt Merrick of Channel Islands, and Wade Tokoro.  

After we brought Steph Gilmore–a woman who was put on earth to highline a twin fin with elegance–to Mozambique for our second edition of this project we wanted to revert back to a surfer you typically wouldn’t see on a mid-length, twin fin or bonzer. Similar to our inaugural journey into surfing’s alternative consciousness with Dane Reynolds, we enlisted Australian thrasher, Noa Deane. 

Noa rides Luke Short’s LSD designs. He’s notorious for finding one board he likes and riding it in all conditions. Due to the status quo of Noa’s quiver, and that his surfing is thrilling as it is charged, we thought he’d be an ideal candidate for 2019’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test. The purpose of this project is to put different craft beneath the feet of the world’s best surfers. It’s to get feedback and see how those who occupy the high-performance space navigate boards that have helped broaden surfboard design into its current state.

While there will be plenty more to see from this project in the coming week, we’ve plucked a few of our favorite stills from the trip so far. 

Look down. 

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In order to get the 11 odd-ball boards from Honolua Airport to the North Shore, Noa piloted this 80s limo. Classic surfboards have no place riding in a crappy Hyundai rental.

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In the past, we’ve chosen destinations where we could control and operate under a veil of secrecy. With Dane, we went to Salina Cruz and were the only crew with cameras in the area. Steph in Mozam was a similar affair. But for what? What’s it really matter? This year, we went to one of the most documented coastlines on Earth, dropping anchor at the Volcom House on the North Shore of Oahu.

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For us this always the most exciting part, seeing surfer’s genuine reactions to what they’ll be riding over the next two weeks.

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See that yellow, blue and pink swirl? This is the outlier of the batch. The board has a snout like a platypus.

And so far, Noa’s been ripping on it.

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“That’s all the boards right there,” says Noa. “Minus the Tokoro.” As Tokoro’s already stationed on Oahu, we picked up the board after our arrival.

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Noa inspects the parallel between a *local shaper’s*spray and the foliage at the Volcom House.

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Only certain boards in the batch enjoy the pasting of a RAGE pad. Some simply have a hand-drawn pad on the tail… others are surfed in their most functional, yet unmolested form: Sex Wax.

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This is what Noa would describe as, “a fun little barrel.”

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This 6’1″ channel bottomed thruster with a double-winged swallowtail is the most traditional high-performance shape in the cast.

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“Pretty sure there’s been a few of these done out at Rockies,” says Noa on the North Shore’s premier lefthand ramp into the tradewind for the past 30 years.

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Noa on one of this year’s most odd designs, gliding under the hood on a head-high day at Backdoor.

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Noa and Hawaiian icon, Derek Ho, discussing his dad Wayne’s board in the yard.

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You can identify a truly gifted surfer by their ability to decode any craft you put under their feet.

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