Meet Your Maker Darren Handley by Surf Stitch

Meet Your Maker Darren Handley by Surf Stitch

by James Willmott

You’ve no doubt heard the news that local Gold Coast board shaper DHD took out Stab in The Dark at last night’s global premiere in Venice Beach. The competition drew 11 of best shapers and test pilot, Julian Wilson to the table in search of the world’s best surfboard.

We caught up with shaper, owner and founder of DHD, Darren Handley to get the nitty gritty on the ultimate board.

Can you tell us what you were looking for when designing the template of this board?
I was in two minds when approach this board design. I could have gone with a design for that has worked for the past 10-12 years OR used a design that is more current, which is what Jack Freestone is riding on the DX1. In the end I decided to go with the DX1 template which performs better for bigger guys. Also factoring in the size of the surfer I thought this would be the most suited board to ride for all round conditions.

Why did you choose the aspects and dimension you chose for the board?
In my experience this was the most ideal dimensions to use for a surfer with that type of weight, height and surfing ability. If the surfer didn’t have the type of experience that Julian has, I would have gone a touch wider and thicker with the design.

What conditions would best suit the board?
The DX1 is suited for all types conditions or for whatever surfing conditions come at you from beach breaks to point breaks. It has been great to work with Jack Freestone with this particular design as he is on the QS and has to surf all types of wave conditions.

DHD Winner of Stab in the Dark Best Surfboard by Julian Wilson

What makes the template so unique to others on the market?
I think the difference with other boards on the market is that this rocker I have with this surfboard. It has been used for a long time and each year I tweak it for what the market wants. You have to understand this is the same rocker that Joel Parkinson (Parko), Adriano de Souza and Sally Fitzgibbons where also riding. The changes that I have made with this latest design working with Jack Freestone is now a lot more user friendly. This rocker has stood the length of time.

Can you tell us about the process behind first putting pen to paper with designing the board, to eventually seeing the end result?

To come up with the right surfboard design for a person with this experience took some time to make perfect. In that I had to really put my thinking cap to get the right concave’s, rail, outline, rocker & fin placement perfect. As this contest was very important to me.

Did you shape the template around Julian and the specific locations you knew the testing would take place?
I didn’t know that the surfer was Julian I thought it was someone else. I also asked Mick Fanning and he also had no idea. I just made the board for the height weight and WA. Which can give you so many different types of beautiful waves. And thinking about it, I didn’t realise that Julian was that tall and that heavy.

DHD Winner of Stab in the Dark Best Surfboard by Julian Wilson

What’s next for DHD?
We have a number of internal projects at the moment, the one that excites me most is a project focussed on developing a board with more flex in the lower half, ultimately giving the surfer more feel. Mick has tested the first prototype and while it wasn’t too attractive to look at, his feedback was very positive. Research and development is very important to the team at DHD, we rule everything in, and always look forward to choosing the next team member to be a test pilot. We are very lucky to have such a diverse team, our focus is to help our team members achieve their goals.

Who will be some famous faces riding this board?
You don’t need to be famous to ride a DHD, just passion for a well designed board that can take you to the next level!

For those of you wanting to match your specifications with that of the winning DHD board and Julian himself, check out the details of both board and surfer below:

Julian Wilson / Height 1.83M, Weight 79KG
DX1 / 6’0 x 19 x 2 3/8 / 28.5LT

DHD Winner of Stab in the Dark Best Surfboard by Julian Wilson

Repost from Surf Stitch
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