The Thagomizer, so termed by the great Far Side creator, Garry Larson. This model checks every box an eye-catching noserider should have. Prominent parallel rails running equidistant from your choice of stringer configurations. The rails featured are 50/50, round and forgiving, like a tennis ball; at the tail they are up-turned in an arc-tail shape, for that all important lift. Terry Martin’s influence on surfboard design is unrivaled anywhere, especially here at Hobie. We used T. Martin rocker in a green weight U.S. Blank, relaxed the nose, and accentuated the tail rocker in the last 30 inches; more lift doubles hang time. Up front, under the nose, reveals an expanded, canyon-esque concave, almost rail-to-rail, extending a third of the way down the bottom. The idea behind Larson’s Thagomizer is speed and hang-time. None of this is theory. The design has been tested and proven by our team. You want to nose ride and have your sandwich too, get on a Thagomizer.
Part 3: Mason Klink
Hi everyone! I hope everyone is doing their best to stay healthy and think positive during this hard time. At Hobie, our hearts go out to those affected and are keeping them in our thoughts. Currently, all shops are closed until further notice and will keep you guys in the loop on our social media channels. Please continue to practice social distancing, and remember we’re all in this together!
On a lighter note, we have new employee picks, from Mason Klink of San Clemente! Mason is an ambassador at Hobie as well and enjoys surfing at SanO in his spare time! Here are his shop picks:
1) Legacy Surfboard
This board is Mason’s favorite because it’s not just for nose-riding. He feels that “…this board can help any surfer learn to approach waves in a more natural manner.” This board quickly generates speed and keeps its momentum all the way down the line. “Terry Martin designed this Hobie to be the legacy of his shaping experience, and board design talents should motivate any surfer to want to try this board.” Mason recommends this board for people trying to make their surfing smoother and take an organic approach to traditional longboarding.
2) Authentic Wave by Tatsuo Tekai
This book means a lot to Mason because it encompasses the era of traditional longboarding that inspired him at a young age. Now longboarding has become extremely popular, but in the mid-’90s to early 2000’s it was about pushing the boundaries of performance longboarding. This book was shot during this time, so you can get inside this community of surfers. “Having this retrospect and photo evidence of the surfers who challenged the move to more performance longboarding is nearly priceless, in my opinion.”
3) Patagonia R2 Wetsuit
This is Mason’s all-time favorite suit! “Where do I start…I grew up wearing hand me down wetsuits and whatever I could find that didn’t break my dad’s wallet. The first session I had in my Patagonia blew my expectations out of the water, “‘no pun intended.”’ According to Mason, the suit drys extremely fast, and its crazy warm. “You get what you pay for with this Patagonia product, just like their other offerings.”
Mason says that he has one of these bottles with him at all times. “It helps me monitor my water intake and decreases my use of plastics.” At Hobie, we aim to be sustainable whenever we can and have so many amazing products like this bottle, which can help everyone be sustainable.
These are Mason’s favorite shorts all the time. “They are great for surfing, hiking, and everyday use.” These shorts are made of 100% recycled nylon and also dry quickly, just like the wetsuits. Mason has tried a bunch of different swim and walk short brands, but he loves the Patagonia Products the most.
Thank you guys so much for reading this post and remember to stay inside!!
It’s noseriding, the magic art of walking foot-over-foot on a traditional longboard. You’re hanging five toes, maybe ten, off the nose with nothing except air and water before you. You’re flying, Jonathan Seagull free, working without a net.
Born in the 1950s, noseriding a longboard – done while riding the front third of a surfboard — became an accomplished maneuver. The greats: David Nuuhiwa, Corky Carroll, Lance Carson, and others tested their cat-like skills while balancing on a moving surfboard, propelled by a spirited wave.
In the mischievous game of surfing shenanigans, new tricks beyond the classic hang five and hang ten were added to the dance. The Stretch Five, Hanging Heels, Front Foot/Heel Hang, Back Foot/Heel Hang, and the Crow Bar.
In 1965, philosopher, inventor and accomplished jazz drummer, Tom Morey (Morey Boogie Board fame) created a cutting edge surfing competition — the first of its kind — The Morey Invitational. Morey’s concept was a timed noseriding event. Whoever stood with both feet on the front third of their surfboard the longest would be crowned champion. Two Hobie riders emerged triumphant that day. Mickey Munoz won the men’s division, with Corky Carroll taking out all comers in the junior’s. Both victors rode boards that were specifically designed and shaped for the event by the great Phil Edwards.
Today traditional noseriding flourishes worldwide, thanks impart to Donald Takayama and Joel Tudor. This is not to slight any of the shapers and surfer’s who have contributed to the resurgence of longboarding and noseriding. After all Herbie Fletcher proclaimed, “The Thrill Is Back” in the 80s. I believe that history will show that it was Takayama’s Hawaiian linage and South Bay history of designing and shaping surfboards for the greatest of all noseriders, David Nuuhiwa, that foretold the rise of eminent world champion, Joel Tudor. Traditional longboarding, like a hibernating bear, emerged to take its rightful place in the surfing pantheon. Many dismissed longboarding and noseriding, labeling it retro, but Tudor, whose skills rivaled and surpassed those of the greats, passionately defended the ride, igniting an underground, grassroots movement that has fueled the imaginations of today’s young riders of the nasal passage.
Two things that will help you improve your surfing are lots of practice and a good board. Some of my favorite boards have been shaped by Gary at Hobie and have helped improve my noseriding immensely. I’m here to break down some of my favorite Hobie shapes that will get you having major fun in the water!
Uncle Buck II:
My all-time favorite shape is the Uncle Buck II, a reimagined version of Bucky Barry’s original, Uncle Buck. This board has more tail rocker than the first so that the surfer can turn easier! This has made an enormous difference in my surfing! I’m 5’3” and ride a 9’2”, so frequently, if I don’t have enough tail rocker, boards are super hard for me to turn, and I end up just making super small cutbacks, with no power whatsoever. With my Uncle Buck II, I am now able to turn easily and not sacrifice being able to noseride, because it can do both!
This is another one of my favorite boards, mostly because it’s a total wave magnet! I can literally catch as many waves as I want on this board, because of its flat rocker! It is the perfect nose rider with its super-wide nose, which helps me hang ten all day long! Above is a beautiful Uncle Buck that Gary Larson Shaped for me back in 2017!
Full disclosure, as soon as I gave up short boarding competitively, and started longboarding full time, I became the worst paddler! I got way too lazy after learning that you only have to take about two strokes to get into any wave on a longboard! But then came a time when I decided I should probably broaden my quiver and so I turned to Gary and Kris Carlow for help. I got lucky because they had just created a new version of the retro egg, called the Farside. This model is super similar to the retro egg, but one of the main differences is the nose is a little bit more pulled in, making it way easier to duck dive! It’s perfect for those head-high winter swell days when it’s too big to take out my trusty log! I recommend this board to anyone who’s trying to make the transition from longboard to shortboard, it makes it way easier! Pictured above is a fantastic Farside that was shaped for me in 2019. Shoutout to Reyn Spooner for getting me the coolest fabric!
When picking a shortboard, I try to go with a fish or twin fin, since I can usually make it wider and thicker (easier to paddle and stand up)! The C-4 is a more progressive take on a 70s style fish. What’s neat about this board is it can also become a quad, so you have more options for fin setups depending on how the waves are looking. Another notable characteristic of this board are bumps that allow the board to break the water, to have a greater turning radius. This is such a fun board and is an excellent take on the fish style that we all know and love!
Hope you guys enjoyed my Hobie board picks, hope to see you out in the water soon!
The history of surfing is full of characters, both men and women, some possessing dubious backgrounds, behaviors, and motives. Still others were of exemplary behavior. Prior to European contact and empire building, the Hawaiian people surfed unimpeded. Their only prohibitions were the rituals required to build a surfboard, and the system of kapus that outlined who could ride what board, and when and where. Hawaiian lore is filled with tales of extraordinary watermen and women, such as King Kamehameha and his wife, Ka’ahumanu.
With surfing’s re-emergence from the Calvinistic missionary period, its rise in popularity exploded as travelers, like Jack London and Mark Twain, encountered it while visiting the islands. Soon thereafter, surfing and the surfboard made its way to California, and subsequently a California surf lifestyle took root. As the California surf scene matured, individuals, many of whom were ocean lifeguards of exceptional abilities, began to be recognized as their exploits became known. Tom Blake, Pete Peterson, Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison, and George “Peanuts” Larson, whose famous quote, “I’m not talkin’ about the way it was, just the way it’s never gonna be again,” come to mind.
The surfboards of this era were long, solid wood, heavy affairs. The modern lightweight shortboard wasn’t even a glimmer in the eye of these men. For years these boards were put to the test as rescue paddle boards and were often featured in distance races as part of surf riding festivals. In the late 1920’s, Tom Blake stunned the surfing world with an uncontested win at the Hawaiian Surfboard Paddling Championships, setting a record in the 100 yard dash on his never before seen, semi-hollow board.
Now fast forward to the late 1940’s. Enter Dale Velzy, a characters character, and his need for speed. A paddling tradition had become a deeply rooted aspect of the California surf culture. Unrestricted to just making surfboards, Velzy possessed an impassioned interest in paddle boarding. Like his souped-up hot rods, Dale wanted to go fast. He married his creativity, craftsmanship, imagination, and experiences in the lifeguard service, and launched an all out effort to create boards for speed and racing.
Inspired by the waterman ethos, and taking inspiration from the escapades of Blake, Peterson, and Gene “Tarzan” Smith, Dale and buddies Bob Hogan and Wendell “Gibby” Gibson conspired to organize a 32 mile race from Catalina Island to the Manhattan Beach Pier. Buoyed by the interest of big-wave legends Greg Noll, George Downing, and Ricky Grigg, Velzy set about creating the ultimate paddleboard.
Dale built his boards for open ocean racing. He staunchly believed that knee paddling was more efficient than prone paddling, used less energy, and the paddler was in a better position to catch and ride wind swell and chop. His design featured a rounded bottom with a flat spot at the apex that counteracted the broaching problem of fully rounded hulls.
The inaugural 32 mile Catalina to Manhattan Beach Pier race commenced in 1955, with the winning paddler, Ricky Grigg of Santa Monica, California, crossing the channel in 8 hours, 27 minutes. Today the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race continues to grow in size and popularity, and although Dale Velzy is no longer with us his legend and racing designs continue to be tested in the most challenging of environments, the unforgiving open ocean.
Hobie Surfboards has a long history of making competitive prone paddleboards. Contact Kris Carlow at 949-481-6381 for information on our Surf Beat and Cloud models, or visit our website at www.hobiesurfshop.com.
Editor’s note: This article is by no means a definitive history on prone paddle boarding. My focus fell on Velzy because his fingerprints are found on many aspects of the surfing life. Watch for upcoming installments.