2021 saw a massive influx of newbies in surfing due to COVID “free time”. Did they favor softboards over hardboards? MK
I can’t speak for hardboards but I know we have a hard time bringing enough soft boards to the market. The demand has skyrocketed.
No name brands can be found anywhere, whereas boardsports retailers are pushing the core softboards brands. What piece of advice do you suggest so they can persuade customers to buy the “real thing”? MK
We make our boards to be multi-season veterans, we want them to last and be that constant in everyone’s quiver. you can change out the fins to make it feel different, and the colours will always be striking. There are a lot of boards out there that are so cheap they almost become throw-away items that get rebought every year. A good soft board like the Mysto is an awesome addition to the everyday shortboard quiver when you want to let your hair down and just have some fun
Which designs are trending in 2021? Nano shortboards, mini-mals and funboards, high-perf replicas… MK
For sure the mini-mals and even mals, more and more people seem to be recognizing the benefits of upping the wave count. It helps that our Shoot Out and Take-off ranges are very similar; a customer can step off the school’s Take-Off and buy a Shoot Out in the same size and shape from a retailer, with the enhanced VCT construction. The Shoot Out has all the benefits of the board they have used in their lesson (carry handle, durable crocodile skin etc.) but allows them to change the fins so they can continue to progress their surfing and they have some pretty rad graphics on the slick
Do you have a specific offer for schools/rentals? MK
The Take-Off is made for schools, available in 6’, 6’6”, 7’, 7’6” 8’, and 9’ with the 7’ and 8’ also being available as Whoppers (extra wide) we have a board that should get anyone surfing. We’ve had really good feedback from schools as far afield as New Zealand to the Arctic Circle via the heavy shore breaks of the French SW coast. Camel Ski in Rock is even using them for their wake surfing sessions which is awesome to see.
Anything new to mention in the construction area? MK
The internal removable soft fin system in our Vision Composite Technology (VCT) boards, cleans up the look of the deck and stops any awkward foot manoeuvres caused by through-the-deck fin systems, and fits most Twin Tab fins. The crocodile skin makes the deck super durable and, for a soft top, gives you some insane feedback for what the board wants to do.
The softboard swag lies (a lot) in its bold graphics: what are your favorite artworks/colorways in your 2021 range? MK
It has to be the Mysto with its print in Orange/ Cyan, snapping that slick off the lip always grabs some attention.
The Mysto is also proving to be a firm favourite with instructors when they get that moment for a free surf, getting out in the water with a board that offers them the fun of a soft board but also the performance needed to make the most out of any wave
Sustainability is even more an issue (than with hardboards): do you propose alternative materials and/or recycling programs? MK
Not yet, we’re really focused on making a durable board that doesn’t need to be replaced and can outlast the rest of the boards in your quiver.
Take Off (School) / Shoot Out (Retail)