Darren Handley

The ‘Skeleton Key 2’ – Faster, Simpler, Re-defined

The ‘Skeleton Key 2’ – Faster, Simpler, Re-defined

by DHD Surf

After a rigorous process of RND with our team we have re-fined the DHD ‘Skeleton Key 2’ to a new level of all-round performance shortboard.

DHD Skeleton Key 2016 Everyday Shortboard

We have perfected the ‘Skeleton Key 2’ with an all new outline coupled with a round tail and smooth hip flyer for maximum hold and control to become the most exciting model in our lineup. By introducing more width and thickness to the mid point, lowering the rocker and a precision crafted rail profile giving you access to stay in the water for more waves and generating speed for radical manoeuvres!

Perfect in all conditions up to 5ft and can be surfed 1-2 inches shorter than your standard short-board.

DHD Skeleton Key 2016 Everyday Shortboard

Size Range

5’9 x 18 3/4 x 2 5/16 / 27L
5’10 x 19 x 2 3/8 / 28L
5’10 x 19 3/8 x 2 7/16 / 29.5L
5’11 x 19 1/8 x 2 3/8 / 28.5L
5’11 x 19 5/8 x 2 1/2 / 30.5L
6’0 x 19 1/8 x 2 3/8 / 29L
6’0 x 19 3/4 x 2 1/2 / 31L
6’1 x 19 1/4 x 2 7/16 / 30L
6’1 x 20 x 2 1/2 / 32L
6’2 x 19 3/8 x 2 7/16 / 31L
6’2 x 20 x 2 9/16 / 33L
6’3 x 20 1/8 x 2 5/8 / 34.5L
6’4 x 20 1/4 x 2 5/8 / 36L
6’6 x 20 1/2 x 2 3/4 / 39.5L

DHD Short Board Model Skeleton Key

Check with your local surf shop for more details OR keep reading to find out more on the ‘Skeleton Key 2‘.

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
thelens.surfstitch.com

Sponsored by Stab Magazine

 

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DHD Wins STAB IN THE DARK!

DHD Wins STAB IN THE DARK!

by Stab Magazine
house

Stab Magzine: The Best Surfboard Model in the world #99.


Tonight in Venice Beach, Stab, Swell.com and Hurley hosted the global premiere for Stab in the Dark. A fabulous mix of leather, denim and skin brushed around 800 Main, spilling House BeerBoyd and Blair Vodka and Jose Cuervo Tradicional on a packed rooftop. Following a redirection to the second floor at 9.25, the mini-documentary starring Julian Wilson was shown onscreen, and the winner of Stab in the Dark was announced.

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

The overriding goal of this project was to see if we could answer the question: Is it possible to call a surfboard the best in the world? Sure, it’s a flawed objective. A board’s performance is subjective. But acknowledging this, we invited 12 of the world’s best shapers to each create a board for an unidentified 6’0”, 80kg CT surfer. Fast-forward some months and Julian Wilson was standing in the garage of a West Oz rental, opening two coffins full of cleanskin boards – no markings, no stickers, no pencil on the stringer, nothing identifiable – one from California, the other direct from Sydney.

Jules was a real sport this evening, giving time to anyone who wanted to talk. Even he didn’t know who made the winning board, but knew it would be one of the crafts hanging from their tails along the second story wall. And it wasn’t until the documentary reached the final board of the countdown that the winner was announced: DHD, by Darren Handley.

Stab in the Dark Party

Says Julian of the DHD:
“I knew this board was going to work! It felt the best under my arm out of the batch and was always going to be a dream going frontside. It was fast, super responsive, exciting and definitely the best board. It felt pretty money!”

Runner up: Chilli #01
“To have any chance of surfing on your backhand you have to be able to come off the bottom without hesitation, otherwise there’s no chance of doing a backside reo,” said Julian of the Chilli. “This was one of the only boards that gave me that confidence. A great all-rounder.”

Third place: Mayhem #31
“I liked the feel of this board, I reckon I could take it out anywhere and have a good time on it; lefts or rights,” said Julian of the Mayhem. “It felt spicy. Spice is excitement, the feeling that really technical and high performance moves are possible.”

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

Final Stab in the Dark results (as chosen by Julian Wilson):
1. DHD #99
2. Chilli #01
3. Mayhem/Lost #31
4. JS #23
5. Panda #10
6. Sharp Eye #13
7. Channel Islands #03
8. Dahlberg #16
9. Simon Anderson #00
10. Robo #36
11. Stamps #05 (tied with Robo)
12. Pyzel (Did not arrive)

The Stab in the Dark mini-documentary drops on Stabmag.com at 10:30am Thursday, Pacific time. It’s 15-ish minutes long and features one of the world’s most technically perfect surfers pushing himself on bespoke (but blind date) surfboards in Western Australia over 10 days. You won’t wanna miss it. We’ll also be dropping a short profile series on the shapers in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

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

photos by Matty Wong

 

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Tracksmag: A Different Kind of Fire

Tracksmag: A Different Kind of Fire

by DHD Surf

Be sure to get your copy of the latest Tracksmag – Issue 537.  Mick scored the cover and there is a 10 page story on Mick and Darren to check out.

Mick Fanning possesses the most refined act on tour. He’s ridiculously talented, mentally unflappable in the water, rides perfect boards shaved to the millimetre, is perpetually well dressed and adorned to his sponsors requirements, handles media like a pro and possesses the rarest gift of all, a ferocious competitive fire that gives him the ability to win … continuously.

Tracksmag: A Different Kind of Fire
Tracksmag: A Different Kind of Fire

Source: Tracksmag – Issue 537

Photos: Simon Williams

Mick Fanning WINS fourth Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2015

Mick Fanning WINS fourth Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2015

by DHD Surf

Mick Fanning WINS fourth Rip Curl Pro Bells beach on MF Ducks Nuts Replica.
Claims Gold Leader Jersey after closest final in CT history.

Mick Fanning WINS fourth Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 2015
Photo – @WSL Kirstin

Mick’s victory drew him level with Australian great Mark Richards and 11-time world champ Kelly Slater with four Bells titles. Victory for Fanning today means that he is tied with Kelly Slater (USA) and Mark Richards (AUS) with four Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach wins each, the most in the event’s history. Fanning first won in 2001 as a wildcard and then again in 2012 and 2014. The three-time World Champion also ties with Andy Irons (HAW), who both have 20 CT event wins.

Mick Fanning has won a record-equalling fourth title at Bells Beach. Fanning on a path to his fourth World Title and he will take the gold leader jersey going into the third event WSL.

MF Ducks Nut Replica

The MF Ducks Nuts Replica available now. Our best selling Model for March 2015.

5’10  x  18 3/4  x  2 1/4  /  26.1
5’11  x  18 3/4  x  2 1/4  /  26.52
6’0  x  18 3/4  x  2 1/4  /  26.93
6’1  x  18 3/4  x  2 1/4  /  27.39

MF Ducks Nuts Replica

 

Closely followed by the JF DX1 which is what Stephanie Gilmore was surfing at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event.

5’10  x  19 1/8  x  2 7/16  /  28.33
5’11  x  19 1/4  x  2 1/2  /  29.55
6’0  x  19 1/4  x  2 1/2  /  29.96
6’1  x  19 3/8  x  2 1/2  /  30.48
6’2  x  19 3/8  x  2 1/2  /  31
6’3  x  19 1/2  x  2 1/2  /  32.38

JF DX1

 

 

What is Mick Riding?
He is was riding the  MF Ducks Nuts Replica for Bells Beach.
5’11  x  18 3/4  x  2 1/4  /  26.52

“The difference of this years Quiver to last year is that we added a wider nose, decrease in Tail Rocker by an 1/8 of an inch, a smidgen taken of to lower the rail and the rest is Top Secret.”
– Darren Handley

MF Ducks Nut Replica

WSL: A Star Shaper’s State of Mind

by DHD Surf

Darren Handley, founder of DHD Surfboards, has a long history with some of surfing’s modern legends and he’s worked hard to keep up. In this intimate portrait, the shaper opens up about his ambitions, his relationships with World Champions Mick Fanning (AUS) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), and love of the craft.

See Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore on DHD boards during the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro Gold Coast. Inside Gilmore’s Magic DHD board that helped her win a sixth World Title in 2014.

WSL – worldsurfleague.com

DHD Open Mic Evening at Stone & Wood Brewery, Byron Bay

DHD Open Mic Evening at Stone & Wood Brewery, Byron Bay

by Ryan

Come and join us for the DHD Open Mic evening at Stone & Wood Brewery, Byron Bay. Friday 13th, March / 5 – 9 PM. Meet Darren Handley & the DHD Team.

Any DHD Surfboard purchased at SURF DIVE SKI (BYRON) @surfdivenski or RIPCURL @ripcurl_aus will receive 2 Free tickets.

Tickets $50
Drinks + nibblies included. *Limited QTY’s — not available for purchase at the venue.
Call  (07) 5593 5600 or email mel@dhdsurf.com for Tickets.

Mick Fanning’s Board

by DHD Surf

Mick Fanning’s Board: The Competition Craft

by

Mick Fanning and his money-maker.Mick Fanning and his money-maker.

All Photos: Corey Wilson

Mick Fanning:
Age: 33
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 160 lbs

His board:
Model: DHD EB2
Dimensions: 5’10” x 18 3/4” x 2 1/4” 26.7L
Shaper: Darren Handley

>You know this already, but have you really thought about it? Mick Fanning has won three world titles. Three! Equal to AI and Curren and one more than Tom Carroll. These days, you don’t win events, much less titles, on sheer talent. Mick has made his case for the Hall of Fame on the back of blistering speed, tight technique and the sort of surfer/shaper relationship money can’t buy. Darren Handley doesn’t mind if Mick meddles with Mayhems or takes Tokoros to the Triple Crown, he knows that White Lightning will return richer for the experience, with a heap of new knowledge that team DHD will use to enhance the Champ’s next tilt at the title. – Chris Binns

MICK: This is an EB2. It’s a work in progress that’s pretty close to being signed off on. DH modified the Eager Beaver model and came up with this. A couple of minor tweaks and it’ll be golden.

I go through 100 to 150 boards a year. When I’m at home testing I get a couple every day over a week and ride ’em all. If one feels amazing under my arm I’ll save it until just before an event, but generally I test them all to see how they perform. DH will throw in a couple of curve balls too, which I always enjoy trying to figure out.

From the first surf I know if a board’s good or not, and if I like it it’ll go straight into the cool room. Some will have a spark and I’ll take ’em for an extra spin or two just to see if there is a little X-factor. If you have two special boards at one time then you’re very happy, but most of the time there’s only an extra 5% that makes a board amazing compared to a regular board. I try not to be too precious with staying on one specific board in an event; I usually ride at least three different ones to keep things fresh.

If I’m going to Trestles or a France type event I’ll pack a pretty big bag: A 5’10” Skeleton Key, two 5’10” EBs, two 5’10 1/2” Ducks Nuts, and four 5’11” Ducks Nuts. I’ve got a couple of magic boards saved from last year’s Europe leg too, and they get the call up in special conditions.

I went shorter in 2009 when I won the title, but last year I think the secret with my boards was their consistency and the belief I had in in them. I think for some people the shorter, wider thing has reached its limits. I know I don’t want to go any shorter. If anything, at places like the Bells Bowl, I’m going a little longer to extend my turns more.

Between Stephanie and I, DH has eight world titles to his name. I don’t think there’s any great secret other than communication. We chat all the time, and I know Steph does the same. You need to be able to communicate exactly what you’re feeling, and what you want to feel, to the craftsman

NEW – The Skeleton Key

NEW – The Skeleton Key

by DHD Surf

 

The Skeleton Key is a collaboration between DH and Mick Fanning, who set out to create a performance inspired short board that all surfers could ride. The formula is simple… More outline in the plan shape,  lower rocker, fuller rail and a lightning fast deep single to double concave is what makes this new model a MUST  HAVE for ALL
surfers in ALL parts of the world.

The Skeleton Key is best surfed 1-2 inches shorter than your standard short-board, with a touch more width and thickness. The lower rocker and mid – full rail profile allows you to surf this model in small and gutless waves, yet the subtle flyer / hip rounded square allows you to launch into more solid waves and still have good hold and control of the tail.

For an all-round performance model that UNLOCKS all your quiver concerns, the Skeleton Key has you covered!

On the deck, the bi-lateral carbon flaps on the tail provide an even flex pattern that still has some give in all directions. This is MF’s choice of carbon in his models as he likes the feel that this carbon setup creates.


The unilateral comp strip carbon on the bottom of the board running along the stringer, makes the memory of the flex pattern react quicker when under stress. This gives your board a slightly stiffer, yet more ‘’alive’’ feeling when driving through sections. The comp strip also acts a reinforced layer of glass to add strength.

The Size Range

PRE-ORDER Your Skeleton Key before it’s official release date on April 16th and your board will arrive with limited edition Mick Fanning Signature decals

DH’s California Tour

DH’s California Tour

by Ryan

From June 3rd to June 7th I will be visiting shops in California from Santa Cruz to San Diego. Please feel free to stop by the shops listed below to discuss the current trends in shaping and designing surfboards, talk about what the team is riding, and of course to order your own custom DHD surfboard. All custom boards ordered in-store will receive $50 dollars off the purchase of that board.