Announcing "Shred Show X Futures." Finding your next fin set - no guessing games or mental strain required
I sometimes think fins are surfings own version of Rodney Dangerfield, the legendary comedian admired by Jay Leno, Seinfeld and others, famous for adjusting his tie on stage and comedically muttering “I can’t get no respect”.
We tend to think of boards first and fins second even though surfboards and fins are functionless without each other and can’t exist alone. Doubt this? Recall if you can the last time you went fin shopping and then searched for a board to compliment your new set of fins. A minority even think fins are on the same level as a free bar of wax, asking “does this come with fins” with every new board.
Sometime last year I began getting to know some of the guys who run Futures. We swapped emails and exchanged phone calls and a relationship started. When I had the opportunity to present their fin line in what I thought was an easy to digest manner, I didn’t hesitate.
It's a privledge to present their remarkable work on video, and I want to know what you think of this, so tell me what you think in the comments below. Normally I close the comments on the blog in favor of YouTube, but we’ll try something new.
See you soon on Shred Show.
1) Nixon’s Arch II backpack: I once had a Nixon watch that didn't work out how I wanted but this backpack by the wristwear manufacturer has taught me a lot about life in 2013. Its lesson? Never take more than you need.
It fits a laptop, sweatshirt and a couple mid-sized books. Nothing more. The surf industry has a history of making “take-all-you-can” bags that fit a wetsuit, change of clothing and a six pack of beer, including room for your girlfriends sun hat, sun dress and makeup, along with everything else she usually holds in that oversized day purse that gives her scoliosis of the spine.
But the Arch pack is all efficiency and even places its three zippers on the side so you can swing it around on your left shoulder and access everything in your bag while walking around town.
Smart design, possibly influenced by Arc’teryx line of Blade backpacks, and could be made slightly better with a sunnies pocket on top of the pack between the shoulder blades.
2) Weird Music: For me 2013 was a year of feminine vocals over male backed keyboards.
You’ll find, if you look in far corners of the internet, that Labyrinth Ear and Purity Ring fit a genre described as “Ice Disco with a warm beating heart". Whatever that means to the person who coined the term, I find music from both duo's to be cold but charming and warm but chilling.
A different and entirely unique category is occupied by Niki and The Dove, who are worth giving a listen to.
3) Channel Islands Weirdo Ripper: Genuinely fun in most waves you put it in between waist and three feet overhead as long as they’ve got a bit of power and aren’t really weak.
Incredibly snappy off the top and holds drive off the bottom as good as any other board if you set it up with three AM template fins. Very fun. So fun. And tailor-made for good waves in parts of the world where 'good' doesn’t mean stand up barrels or 300 yard points.
4) The poem “God Abandons Antony” by C.P. Cavafy: I found this for the first time while reading Nassim Taleb's “The Black Swan” which I read mostly as a discussion on the unpredictability of rare events and the general un-knowledge we all have about our future.
Taleb introduces Cavafy’s poem as a way to calm yourself when life doesn’t work out as expected and particularly when you loose something. Loose your wallet? Read it. Surf suck? Read it. It’s a useful way to move forward after tragedy and I’ve relied steadily on it several times in 2013.
You can read my favorite translation of it by clicking HERE (Note: the poem is written to a king who wakes up in the middle of night to find his empire being overtaken by an enemy army as he watches from his window, helpless to stop their advances.)
5) Track pads with no arch: If there was supposed to be an arch on the deck of a surfboard it would be shaped in to it*. Give me more grip to the existing curve of my deck or give me nothing. End.
*this is only a personal opinion.
6) Blue Diamond Salt and Vinegar Almonds: Tasty as potato chips and 3,000 times more healthy.
7) Roberts Mutant / Firewire baked potato: This is a tie of sorts, depending on what day it is and if I want to act like I’m a ripper or just want to have fun.
Both boards are made for waves under chest high with zero power but the Baked Potato flies horizontally across the wave's face, floating above water, and stays buoyant through cutbacks on impossibly flat shoulders, while the mutant feels as drivey as a single concave thumb tail on twice as big a wave. It's as if the fins and back third of the Mutant are grinding in to the ocean full gear with intent to draw fast blood.
The Mutant is a good board if you’re the sort who tries to entirely remove the back half of waves during your top turns, and if you need a step down from your shorter/wider shortboard. This board destroys.
The Baked Potato is just pure joy, especially on lazy days.
8) “Breath” by Tim Winton: After a curious beginning this story quickly introduces you to two kids in Australia who begin surfing at a young age and grow up together throughout the novel.
During the first half of the book you get a crisp picture of what every surfers developing relationship with the ocean looks like, and you get the impression this story will continue on a well behaved path. But then you reach the halfway mark and find the plot twisting as things become completely insane. Horrifying even.
This book is a good read for anyone looking to get more acquainted with their own surfing memories, or if you want to read something thrilling.
Huge thank you to “Spr1ngChicken” on YouTube who introduced me to this book in the comments beneath the Sharpeye Disco episode on YouTube.
9) Making breakfast. Here’s a recipe: 3 organic eggs, diced grilled chicken and frank's red hot sauce. It’s like dropping a protein bomb on your stomach that gets you through the first third of your day without eating donuts and pastries and Captain Crunch.
Frank's Red Hot is essential.
10) Stretching: Before bed hit the floor, lay on your back and take some deep breaths. Stretch your arms way above your head and stretch your toes in the opposite direction. Sit Indian style and reach forward. Do a butterfly. Do most of the stretches they taught you in High School P.E. and then start making up your own. Breathe deep and exhale slow the whole time. This is great for helping you fall asleep and calms you more than handful of Xanex. It also helps you feel loose during the next mornings surf.
And a bonus for 2014:
Socks by Komafram: I got an advance pair of these not-yet-to-market socks last week and I’m enamored by them. Why? Because it’s impossible to make them smell bad.
The company was founded by the family who invented Polartec, with an emphasis on fashion forward base layers (think Under Armour meets LuLu Lemon) and the pair they gave me smell brand new despite having found a home on my feet for the past three days, even as I type this while wearing them now (T.M.I.).
If you’re planning a road trip through Baja or West Oz in 2014 and want to travel light, look for a pair when the brand launches in retail later this year.
Hopefully they start making wetsuits immune to the left-in-trunk-unwashed syndrome.
Shred Nation, I'm taking a break from making videos over the next month to explore a few opportunities and spend more time surfing.
I'll still be on Twitter and responding to YouTube comments - might even post a few things to the blog here in the mean time.
Shred Show will be back in about 3 to 5 weeks, but today we'll discuss the WCT fin by Futures in Fin Day Fridays episode #5.
For more on testing surfboard fins from FCS, Futures and everyone else, check out Finatic at:
After surfing this board a couple times I took it with me to go see one of the most successful surf industry veterans I know - someone who's managed the marketing behind huge brands in surf apparel, accessories, and even surfboards - and I wasn't surprised to see that upon holding Taz's Underdog beneath his arm and in his hands, he couldn't find a flaw.
What makes Taz's work special isn't his expert lineage ranging from the Cabianca family or Mark Richards or Matt Biolos - but the hunger he has for producing original shapes that sprout from his own intention to make the best boards he can. And in the surfboard industry that can get you pretty far, as evidenced by Taz's new brand partnership with Pukas called Kream.
He's just 17, and if you find the chance to jump on one of his boards now, you'll be able to say you were a fan before he was cool.