For those who aren’t across the concept yet, in short: We wanted to answer the question of whether it’s possible to call a surfboard, or a shaper, the best in the world? There’s no way to answer either of these questions definitively… But, we can get damn close. How? By commissioning 13 of the world’s best shapers to deliver their top line, high performance boards (sans any recognisable logos), and having one of the world’s best high performance surfers test-drive them. The catch? Neither shapers nor surfer knew the others’ identity. No logos, no brand association, no preconceived notions: Just one of the world’s best surfers and a pile of nameless magic. Is it a flawed concept? Absolutely. But, it is the least subjective platform we’ve got.
And this is how we came to find ourselves touching down in Johannesburg back in June with Dane Reynolds and 13 pieces of anonymous foam, and 10 days to test and flex.
Dane was lucid, critical, analytical, and most of all, surfed… beyond adjectives. The boards our shapers submitted for testing were gorgeous, blank weapons and rose to the challenge of Dane’s critical performance (and judgement!). Those shapers were (in no particular order): DHD, JS, Chilli, Mayhem, Maurice Cole, Rusty, Channel Islands, Cole, Pyzel, Stretch, Arakawa, T Patterson and Haydenshapes.
Who did Dane deem the winner? Click play above, and watch.
Alan van Gysen
In case you missed the memo, we’re giving away all of the boards submitted for this year’s Stab In The Dark. Flick over this way to exercise your SITD knowledge and take a shot at winning a priceless piece of foam. Update – this competition is closed.
And if you’re digging the soundtrack, click this link: