With winter quickly approaching, most surfers in Hawai’i have already begun preparing for the most wonderful time of the year…and we don’t mean Christmas. Yet as certain as Christmas will come, the long awaited northwest swells are sure to once again bless our islands with the epic surf we’ve come to know and love. Get ready for long lines of traffic, long lines at Foodland Pupukea, and long lines of swells crashing into the North Shore and West Side of O’ahu. And if you haven’t already gotten your boards ready for the season, no worries, we have you covered with stock boards from some of Hawai’i’s best shapers. Whether you’re a fun loving surfer who enjoys trimming your longboard along the reef at Chuns or you’re ready to charge maxing Sunset Beach, we have boards ready to go in any and all conditions. We’ve asked resident shapers Glenn Pang, Tommy Tanaka, and Makani McDonald to take a quick break from their busy schedules to share with us some of their recommendations to help build your North or Westside quiver.
“The CSU is the step-up board based off of the Flux Model, which is your go-to model for most days in town and smaller days on the north or west side. It has a little more pulled-in outline, the fin placement is different, there’s a bit more rocker to suit bigger waves. Depending on what length you get the board in, you’ll want this for waves up to around the six foot range.”
“Once you start getting into the heavier stuff you’ll want to reach for the S4V model, which is a lot more pulled in on the outline, more mellow on the concave so the board settles more in the water instead of riding above the water. Usually on smaller waves you’ll want the board to ride more above the water to generate speed, but when the waves get bigger, they have more power so you don’t need all that concave, all you want is the board to turn where you want it to turn.”
It’s not all thrusting in the winter. For the longboard lovers, and for the heavier set braddahs and sistas, we have a couple boards tried and true by Tommy Tanaka in stock and ready to strap to the roof of your vehicle.
“When the north shore’s and west side is pumping, flotation is key. You don’t want to undergun yourself and not be able to get into the wave. When it’s bigger, you want to get in quick and get up on your feet, set your line and go. My “Pro Model” is an all around board you can take anywhere. It’s a competition style board that works great at Makaha, Haleiwa, Chuns, Laniakea, or wherever you’re trying to surf overhead waves.”
TRI CON MODEL
“The Tricon Model is the single to double concave model, made as a down-the-line speed board. It’s got the edge, it’s got everything you want and is geared more for those that ride the tail a little more than the nose, but we left the nose kind of full so you can get to your nose but still use the tail. Either of these two models, the Pro Model or the Tri Con would be perfect anywhere on the island.”
If you’re looking for something a bit more alternative and more custom, Makani McDonald has been cooking up something special. It’s a small to mid range size board that is fresh out of the research and development stage and has been getting rave reviews. He’s been experimenting with some of the team riders and the feedback has been insane.
‘It’s called the “Missing Link.” It’s basically a twin fin that can be ridden in bigger waves. We haven’t started stocking it yet, but Vance, our board shop manager, who has been testing the board too, is wanting to get it in stock. It works really well in a wide range of surf, especially in winter conditions. The feedback I’ve got on it has been really positive. I made one for Ned Snow this summer and he really liked it for the big town swells. I made our team rider Koa Yokota a 6’0” one and he absolutely loved it for the solid town swells. He even took it on a trip to Mexico and said the board went insane in bigger surf. He said it went so well that he ordered a 7’0” version of it for Sunset.
Normally the Missing Link is a twin fin, but I have a friend that asked me to make him a 5-fin version, which is a bit different because his is a thruster or quad setup. Usually the board comes as a round pin-tail but I made him a baby swallow tail and he was blown away by how it rode. So the board is very customizable and a great recommendation for an all around winter board. Just pick your favorite fin setup. If anyone has any questions about it, or wants to order one just call Vance at the shop!”
Our T&C Surfboard Factory is located at 401 N.Cane Street in Wahiawa Town. We stock over 200 surfboards, as well as select hard-goods like fins, leashes, deck pads, wax and board bags. Contact us to order a custom surfboard by phone at (808) 621-5000, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in to pick a surfboard off the rack. Walk-ins welcome anytime from Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm!