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Birth of a Board Model

People often ask me,

“Where do your ideas come from for new board models? Do you decide to create a new board just for the heck of it? Why do you have so many different board models?”

Well, here is the short story of one particular board ‘Da Monsta’,

which has been and continues to be one of my most popular designs. I think it explains well that question … at its root, the simple reason, is to fill a need for a certain type of surfer; a certain kind of wave … to create something that will bless people in a very specific sort of way. Here is the story of ‘Da Monsta’:

For me, each new board idea grows from relationship;

and sometimes wonderful things result from times of turmoil and emotional distress.



Da Monsta is one such creature.

The idea for this little board came about during a time when Nick (Rozsa) and I would go surf just to go surf….simply to get back something that had been lost somewhere along the way - fun. He had recently lost all his sponsors and was disenchanted; heavy laden from all the expectations as to the professional surfer everyone thought he ought to be.

At this same time, I think surfers were looking for something more out of their personal surfing experience as well…

boards were getting shorter, wider, thicker, flatter….able to go faster when the waves were less than ideal. And sometimes when change is happening, the pendulum can swing too far in the other direction. I looked around and noticed surfers were going faster, but that some of the spark in the pocket was lacking. Tails especially seemed like they were getting a bit too wide…On the short/wide boards, surfers could now come speed-bursting out of the gates, but they weren’t cornering their turns as tight.


Nick and I never really brainstormed a new breakout board or anything like that…I just decided I’d surprise him with a little 5’7” x 19” x 2 1/4” (26 liter) gas pedal that could pound out the speed even in crumbly mush, but that would also hold a rail and go lightning where it counts.

A lower entry, and consistent, constant curve throughout; harnessing all the board’s kinetic energy by accelerating the curviest part of the rocker through the back half. A wider outline overall with more volume carried out to a nice, full, boxy, pushback rail.

The lower entry would get into waves early and jam it down the line, and the sweepy rocker from center back would give it that “I like it here” in the pocket feel. The tail width and tail block were kept a bit fuller than normal, but not too blown out; so you can keep those rail to rail transitions on ball-bearings.


….And…..one day at Emma Wood we brought Da Monsta down for a maiden voyage in some 2-3 footers.

And the greatest thing I get to experience as a shaper happened…a surfer grinning while on a speed blurring tear.

I remember Nick came paddling over to me with a smile, and said, “Hey this board feels really really good.”

He proceeded to go buck wild over the next few weeks and months,

and the “Homegrown” video series was birthed by friend Chris Papaleo who diligently documented Nick doing his thing on the little board that helped bring back some fun to a newly unencumbered, and soon to be re-sponsored wunderkind.


I think this current Monsta is Nick’s fourth duplicate since that first one. We don’t really change too much with this board….just keep making the same little homegrown spaceship.

Surfing Magazine's Take | Nick's Take | Read both at this link 

as seen in Surfing Magazine | photo: Seth de Roulet

Surfing Magazine's Take | Nick's Take | Read both at this link

as seen in Surfing Magazine | photo: Seth de Roulet