From beginners to experts, equipment selection in surfing is vital. We tracked down the sophisticated Mikey DeTemple, an East Coast native and full-time water dweller, to share with us his suggestions when looking for the right board. Mikey’s quiver of boards is as diverse (and fun) as it gets — below you will find his shape recommendations for various skill levels as well as the typical surf conditions you’ll find on the East End. Take heed!
5’5” Chris Christenson – Monarch
This is an updated version of San Diego’s classic “Lis Fish.” With a wide swallow and low rocker, the board will be able to generate it’s own speed in small waves. Let the surfboard do the work. But don’t let the small wave stigma fool you, these glassed in twins hold in just about anything you could paddle yourself into — think Mark Richards in the 1982 film, “Storm Riders.”
5’8” Hayden Shapes – Hypto Krypto
Made popular by the knock-kneed-butter-smooth surfing of Craig Anderson, this is one of the most versatile thrusters you can find. Wide point forward and extra volume in the chest area of the board makes paddling into mush seamless. The wider nose allows for it to be ridden slightly further forward generating more speed and its foiled pin tail keeps things tight in those hard to find summer pockets.
5’8” Ryan Lovelace – Rabbit’s Foot
Who needs fins, right? All they do is create drag and slow you down. And that’s the exact point behind this finless craft. Conceptualized by Dan Malloy for the sand bottom point breaks of Santa Barbara, this board gained traction (no finless puns intended) by the surfing of Dan, Trevor Gordon and finless genus Ari Brown. It doesn’t need much to get going. Just something lined up- an approach that will leave a perma-smile on your face.
8’0” Tyler Warren – Functional Hull
There’s nothing smoother looking than a mid-length being ridden well. With trim and flow this is the perfect board to bridge the gap between long and short and it actually works, especially in East Coast surf. With soft rails through the nose and mid section and edge in the tail, this single fin is very user friendly.
9’9’ Chris Christenson – Flat Head
For a log, always keep it traditional- one fin, heavy glass and soft rails throughout. You won’t go wrong with this formula. Inspired by Mike Hynson’s 1960’s blunt nose experiments, the slightly rounded off square nose makes an excellent noserider in beach break type waves. This type of board should last you a lifetime and will keep you having a blast on those tiny days.
Jeah that’s it — should be enough to get you through the summer (and the winter if you’re of good blood). Thanks for the input/words/photos, Mikey!