ASP World Title

Mick Fanning wins 3rd World Title

Mick Fanning wins 3rd World Title

by DHD Surf
Mick Fanning - Pipe Masters 2013

DHD Team Rider Mick Fanning has won his third world surfing title after winning his quarter-final at the Billabong-Pipe Masters in Hawaii.

Mick only needed to make it to the semi finals to ensure Kelly Slater (11x World Champion) couldn’t catch him, and so waited until the final minutes of the heat to secure the 2013 world title.

“The world title is something that takes a whole year, but sometimes it can feel like it boils down to the final day and the final heats,” Mick said.

“Mick and I have but a lot of time into his boards this year, really trying to prefect the little details.” said DHD Shaper Darren Handley “All the guys at the factory and myself really believed that this was Mick’s year, and we are so excited to see all the hard work pay off.”

The contest had no lack of drama, as Kelly Slater could have won his twelfth world title if Fanning had lost against CJ Hobgood or Yadin Nicol.

Needless to say everyone here at DHD is beyond excited for Mick, and so proud to have been apart of helping him to Victory.

Mick Fanning - Pipe Masters 2013
Mick Fanning 3rd at Trestles

Mick Fanning 3rd at Trestles

by DHD Surf

The race for the 2012 ASP World Title got a little more interesting after the Hurley Pro at Trestles. Kelly Slater beat Parko in the final, but Mick was able to clinch a solid result finishing the event tied for third with fellow DHD team rider Adriano de Souza. Although Mick didn’t take first, his consistent surfing helped him retain his overall ranking of No. 1.

Mick was a stand out surfer throughout the event and he dominated the right hand walls of Lowers with his signature power hacks. Fanning, who entered the Hurley Pro fresh off a victory in Tahiti, knew advancing to the final would have strengthened his lead in the quest for the ASP World Championship, but admitted that finishing 3rd at Trestles was still a good result. “The ocean didn’t really cooperate with me, but a third is a keeper. It’s another result I don’t have to worry about and I learned a lot of things at this event,” said Fanning.

The next tour stop is the Quiksilver Pro France, which begins September 28th followed by the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal in October. A victory at either of these events could put Mick in a dominant position in the race for the World Title.

“With three third place results and two tour victories this year Mick is still in a great position to win a world championship. It’s gonna come down to the next two stops, whose surfing the best, and who gets the waves. There is always an element of luck to it, but you can never be certain who is going to walk away victorious. Everyone is surfing great at the moment and you can’t count anyone out of the running whether it be Mick, John John, Kelly, or Parko. The European leg is gonna be fun to watch, and I am excited that I’ll be over there for most of it” –DH.

5 Days 5 Championships 5th World Title

5 Days 5 Championships 5th World Title

by DHD Surf


It’s been a great week for the DHD Team and test pilots. 5 seems to be the lucky number around here because in 5 days we’ve had 5 victories.  With three wins at the SkullCandy Oz Grom Comp, Adriano surfing his way to victory at the coveted Billabong Pro J-Bay, and of course Steph’s win in France which cemented her 5th world title. There is definitely some good vibes going around the factory this week as all the boys are proud their hard work is paying off for the athletes.

“#5Steph just has a ring to it, and its amazing because not only has Steph won her 5th ASP World Title, but I’ve also had some incredible wins on DHD boards in the past 5 days” DH said. “It all started last Wednesday at the SkullCandy Oz Grom Comp when Leonardo Fiorvanta of Italy won the boys U16 title, Ethan Ewing of Stradbroke won the boys U14 title, and Isabella Nichols of the Sunshine Coast took home the girls U14 title. The SkullCandy Oz Grom Comp has become the pinnacle of surfing for the younger generation here in Australia.”

“Then you have Adriano winning J-Bay in perfect waves. You couldn’t ask for better conditions for J-Bay, and not only to see Adriano win but also to witness Nathan Hedge’s comeback. It was great to see him get a 10 and a 9.5, he was surfing those boards with so much passion.”

“And of course seeing Steph win her fifth World Title in France was phenomenal. Not only to see her win the title but the competition as well. Just coming into the factory the boys here at DHD were stoked about the week’s results. Its good to see that all the hard work we are doing here at the factory is paying off.”

Steph Gilmore Claims her 5th World Title

Steph Gilmore Claims her 5th World Title

by DHD Surf


DHD Team Rider and poster child Steph Gilmore has claimed her 5th World Title. The boys here at DHD could not be more proud of Steph—aka Happy—who captured her 5th ASP Women’s World Title Saturday after she won the 2012 Roxy Pro Biarritz, France. Despite being a bit fatigued Steph surfed her way into the finals against fellow Aussie Tyler Wright. Steph elected to go back to her good wave board that she rode to victory at Snapper Rocks, the Ducks Nuts. The Ducks Nuts has been her go to board in waves over 3 feet.

“This year for me was all about improving my consistency and having fun with my surfing,” Gilmore said. “From when I started five years ago to we are now, women’s surfing has improved so much. It’s an honour to be back on top as these girls push me everyday and are all incredible surfers.”

All the girls stepped up and surfed challenging, and at times frustrating waves, but ultimately it was Steph’s consistent quality surfing that led her to her third victory of the year and 5th World Title. Her solid surfing throughout the event culminated in the final with a total score of 18.53.

“I have an amazing support team between my family, friends, sponsors, and shaper Darren Handley,” Gilmore said. “To be able to do what we do and make a life our of surfing is a really blessed thing. Surfing is what motivates me to wake up each day and attempt to better myself.”

“It’s just fantastic after all these years working with Steph and building up such a great relationship to see her back at the top,” Darren Handley said.  “It was tough seeing her struggle with her confidence after that horrible incident last year when she got attacked. But to see her come back and win the championship, and proving her dominance in women’s surfing, well… that was something special.”

“I have spent a lot of time with Steph this year surfing and getting my ass kicked in ping-pong…our secret training regiment,” DH said half laughing and half serious. “We have spent a lot of time just talking and keeping her confidence up and making sure the boards were feeling good under her feet. But to see here win her 5th championship in France was an amazing feeling, I am just so proud of her.”

“She has been riding some amazing boards, mostly the Ducks Nuts and a few other variations. But the board she won France on was the same board she won Snapper and New Zealand on. That’s the thing about surfers and their boards when they have that magic stick they take care of it and bring it out when they need it.”

“One thing I did notice watching this contest is just the standard of women’s surfing. To see some of the stuff the girls where doing is just amazing. I am already looking forward to next year, because with a few new younger girls coming up the standard of surfing is just incredible. They are doing airs and layback snaps the future of girls surfing is looking really solid, that’s why I have always supported women’s surfing.”

DHD Team Rings the Bell

DHD Team Rings the Bell

by DHD Surf

With the passing of MP it was only fit that Bells would turn it on for us this Easter. Five days straight of surfing and some of the most nail biting heats we have seen for a long time. Bells is notorious for dishing out spectacular clashes and the Mick Fanning and Slater final is sure to go down as one of the greatest in history. It was a great result for the DHD team, Mick Fanning putting his first win on the board and Sally Fitzgibbons going back to back in an all DHD final against Steph Gilmore. The first two events are critical for Darren Handley as it allows him to witness firsthand the team riding their new equipment and sets them up for the year. DH was down at Bells catching the action and hanging out with his team. We catch up with him and get a rundown of the event from the eyes of the shaper.

Providing a chair for the champ, DH brings Mick in.
Q: What an amazing event for the DHD team, give us a rundown from your seat DH

DH: Yeah, it was a great event and a great tribute to MP. I was really stoked with all the team’s efforts and how their equipment was looking under their feet. Bell’s is always a great testing ground, it has so much ground swell power, it always wants to bump you off the wave and it really tests the team’s surfing and their boards.

Q: How about that final of Mick’s?

DH: It was amazing and nerve racking. If Slater is getting a perfect 10 and losing you know you have a heat on your hands. Mick had been surfing really well for the entire event and was hungry for that Bell. Mick kept his cool stayed calm and surfed hard. Mick kept his cool, stayed calm, and surfed hard. Those three turns on that wave were just what he needed. He was precise and connected his turns perfectly. Sitting there was not easy—Slater is capable of anything, but I felt this was Mick’s year at Bells, he was so focused throughout the event.

Q: How have you and Mick prepared for Bells?

DH: It has been a long time since Mick last rang that Bell and losing so closely to Parko last year, we didn’t want a repeat of that this year. We got really busy over the Summer months and set Snapper and Bells in our sights. We have really been focused on his Ducks Nuts model for those good competition days. Basically we pulled his quiver into three really tight models the ‘Ducks Nuts, Sweet Spot and Eager Beaver’ and just kept tweaking them running into the events. At this stage in the year we are really happy with them. You can see it in Mick’s surfing, he is confident with his equipment and that translates in his turns. Mick is really focused and good at giving feedback, this allows us to really finetune the designs and make boards for specific conditions and locations.

Sally turning up the heat in the final.

Q: Sally and Steph the DHD duo, sitting on the fence for that one?

DH: Yeah what a position to be in, both final surfers on your boards. I did have to sit on the fence for that one. Sally and Steph have a great rivalry going, they are great friends and Steph has been a great inspiration for Sally. It was an awesome effort to win Bells back to back and a great final to watch, the two of them are really pumped for this year and they just keep pushing one another. Steph got Snapper and Sally got Bells, question is will Sally go back to back in New Zealand.

Congratulations Sally.

Q: Snapper and Bells, you have been sitting with the team in the competitors’ area talking with your team a fair bit, run us through all of that?

DH: I really make the most of these first two events, both being in Australia. I work close with the team over Summer getting their boards right for the tour. Then they all show up at my place for Snapper and we put the equipment to the test. Sometimes we make a few changes after Snapper so it is good to get down to Bells and see the result of that first hand. I get a lot of information just watching and talking to the team when they are fresh out of a heat, the waves and board is fresh in their head and it is some of the best feedback a shaper can have. Because they are both such different waves, it gives me a great scope of how the boards are performing for each team rider.

Steph off the top in the final.

Q: What were Mick, Sally and Steph riding in the finals?

DH: Mick was riding his Ducks Nuts 5’11 x 18 ¾ x 2 ¼. We have really got this model tight and Mick is loving it when the surf is pumping. He rode this board through most of the event.

Sally was riding a 5’9 x 17 3/8 x 2 1/16  DX1, this is the model Sally chooses when there is a bit of size and the surf is good. She has been riding the Eager Beaver, Project 15, Puzzle Piece and DX1 and we are really stoked with how the quiver is fitting together. I reckon we will see her on the Puzzle Piece and the Eager Beaver throughout the NZ event.

Steph was riding a 5’11 x 18 ½ x 2 ¼ version of the Mick Fanning Ducks Nuts. Mick and Steph have spent a lot of time surfing together and surf very similar designs. I generally model Steph’s performance board off the Mick’s with a few tweaks that are more suited for Steph.

Adriano De Souza laying down the Brazilian power.

Q: What was the feedback from the team for this event?

DH: Yeah everyone is frothing on their boards, I reckon this is the best start to the year we have had with the team. We all got focused over Summer and the boards are just so tight, all the team keep calling me up and they are just frothing. Everyone is really happy with quality as well, the team keep commenting on the strength and lightness of their boards. This is a hard balance with team riders to have the lightweight performance and maintain strength. You need to have confidence in your equipment, not only the performance but durability as well. It is taking them a lot longer to wear out their boards which is a big plus, particularly if it is a magic board. A lot of the team are liking the Puzzle Piece and the DX1 as their performers. Jordy Smith was looking great with the 6’3 x 19 1/8 x 2 ½ DX1 under his feet in a few heats, Adriano was stoked with his 5’10 x 18 3/16 x 2 1/8 DX1 in those conditions. Everyone is feeling really comfortable with their equipment after the first two events, at the end of the day that is what I want to hear.

Jordy Smith Superman in the bowl.

Q: Your boards are popping up under everyone’s feet, how do you work with such a large team

DH: The team never seems to stop growing, there are a few more guys on the core team this year and my test pilot team is always growing. I love working with such a large team, there is so much surfing experience amongst them all and each surfer is so different. As a shaper you can’t get enough of it, it fuels my inspiration and keeps me pushing to get the ultimate design for everyone.