Surfboard design has come a long way from the days of the classic longboard, and now everyone, from beginners to seasoned surfers, has access to a wide variety of board types to choose from. Surfboard makers offer a huge range of graphic designs and color schemes for their boards, with the only limits being your imagination and your budget. But for some of the coolest designs for surfboards, we’ve got to look beyond just the surface decorations.
Gary Linden, of Linden Surfboards, makes a lot of different kinds of boards, but what sticks out the most in his offerings are the boards made out of the stalks of the agave, or century, plant. Not only are these beauties made from a completely natural material (the dead flower stalks are harvested from plants in the desert of southern California), but the builder’s skill is really evident on a ‘naked’ surfboard like these, with no decorative embellishment to take the eye off of the lines of the board.
Designer Thomas Meyerhoffer set out to build a better board for himself – one with the best characteristics of both short and long boards baked into it – and what he ended up with took a much different shape than the normal surfboard. With the Meyerhoffer 2, “You get all the advantages of a shortboard and a longboard. Fast, responsive and easy to turn, yet at the same time it paddles, glides and noserides effortlessly.” And with some world champion longboarders now riding the Meyerhoffer Comp 9.1, it looks like his new shap has been accepted.
These surfboard fins from Spirare aren’t your average fins – they’re full of fishing nets, lost lines, driftwood, and other found marine debris. Maker Kevin Cunningham says they “inform the fin’s strength and flex pattern”, and while they don’t promote it, the fins would also seem to be making a statement about man’s influence on the ocean. The fins are 100 percent hand foiled, and are available for several types of boards.
The WaveJet might not fit with a purist’s definition of surfing, but because it aims to take a bite out of the energy it takes to get to where the waves are, it might be the trend to watch for recreational surfing. The WaveJet is a jet propulsion device that mounts beneath the surfboard, which is then operated by a controller worn on the wrist. The jet drive moves the surfboard at up to 12 mph (several times faster than paddling), and is powered by a lithium-ion battery which can be charged with house current or via an automobile lighter.