It’s been a hugely experimental few years for wave riding and board design.
Through the desire of surfers around the world to ride waves differently, an anything-goes culture and a hugely creative global fraternity of shapers, surfing and board design are evolving as fast as they ever have, and it feels like the possibilities for innovation are almost limitless.
Enter, Nixon’s ‘The weird’ – a competition dedicated to pushing the boundaries of board design by getting shapers to fashion the most peculiar craft their minds can imagine. The format, which has been running globally for a few years now, goes a little something like this; gather together a group of respected shapers to hand shape a series of weird craft, give each of said craft to a surfer and send them out in a local line up for a winner takes all competition.
Earlier this year ‘The Weird’ arrived in Cornwall, with the team at Nixon deciding to mix things up and split the event into two sections, in order to give equal due to both the shaping and surfing elements.
First they gathered together six of the most respected, innovative and influential shapers in the UK together at Walters shaping bay in St. Agnes, challenging them to shape a weird, but functional board, entirely by hand in just two hours. Each shaper was given a specific ‘Weird’ design element including finless, single fin, super short and off they went.
What followed was a refreshing mix of ideas, collaborations, mutual reverence and ultimately a showcase of the skill and craftsmanship that goes into creating these mind-bending sleds. Once each board had been shaped it was time to colour match it to one of Nixon’s fine ‘The Mission’ Smart watches, before Jeremy at Walters had the challenging task of glassing and sanding the collection of funky little sticks.
Everyone involved brought something original to the mix and the eclectic assembled crowd on the day were ultimately left with one underlying question; how will these boards actually surf? Tune in on Friday, when the next video drops, to find out!
Here are the shapers, the board they had to shape and the colour of the Mission watch that matched each craft:
Lee Bartlett – Channel Bottom – Orange
Andy Gale – Super Short – Blue
Hugh Brockman – Finless – Grey
Chris Harris – Single Fin – Black
Luke Young – Twin Fin – Green
Brad Rochfort – Assymetric – Yellow