Pro Surfing

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

Mick Fanning Wins at J Bay

Mick Fanning Wins at J Bay

by DHD Surf

DHD is more than excited to congratulate team mate Mick Fanning on his second win of the season in South Africa.


image courtesy of FCS

The waves were pumping for the final, and it couldn’t have been a better match up. Mick faced off against fellow Cooly kid Joel Parkinson, defeating him in the end 17.00 to 13.60.

Mick rode his DHD MF Ducks Nuts, bolstered by carbon reinforcement and lightened by a 4×4 Team glass job.


image courtesy of FCS

“Darren and I looked back to my boards from 2006 & 2002 (JBay victories), picked out what was working and improved the rest.” – Mick Fanning

“Mick’s current Ducks Nuts is the sum of years and years of research and development. Everything that makes the board the what it is today is based on what Mick and I have worked on together.” – Darren Handley

Stephanie Gimore in Fiji

Stephanie Gimore in Fiji

by DHD Surf

We had a great time watching Steph compete in the Fiji Pro, and we wanted to share with you a few good shots from the event.

Photos are taken by the talented Peter “Joli” Wilson

There you have it folks! Happy Gilmore looking great in the water, can’t wait to see her surf in the upcoming Vans Open of Surfing @ Huntington Beach CA this July

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.

What Mick’s Riding on the Road

What Mick’s Riding on the Road

by DHD Surf

Half way through the year Mick Fanning is leading the race for the ASP World Title. Coming off a great win in Tahiti, Mick is focused, loving his boards and he is letting his surfing do the talking for him.

DH and Mick have been working day in and day out, in the shaping bay and in ocean, to refine Mick’s boards for the this leg of the tour. The first of three stops is the Hurley Pro at Trestles. Trestles is one of Mick’s favourites. “I’m so pumped for Trestles—it’s definitely one of the best stops on tour. There’s so many ways you can approach the wave, you can get a heap of speed out there but the wave is really forgiving so you can kind of try anything. I think you need a good mix of power surfing and airs at Lower Trestles, anything less just isn’t going to cut it”—MF.


It’s no secret that last year Mick was riding a few Mayhems shaped by San Clemente local Matt Biolos. “I think it’s been good for Mick’s surfing that Mayhem shaped him a few boards. It’s the same as when the tour stops here in Cooly and I get pros from all over the world stopping by the factory and picking up boards from me. That local knowledge can be the difference maker in these high performance events. Since then Mick and I have been experimenting with boards with a little more volume specifically designed for Trestles. Right now Mick has six really good Ducks Nuts that if the waves are 3 foot plus they are gonna be his go to boards. Even with that extra volume and rocker he reckons they are his fastest boards.”

“DH has been on fire this year with my boards, being so consistent and they’re always feeling fresh. DH and I have been working on a couple of models for different sorts of waves and we have a few that will go really well at Lowers,” Fanning said of he and DH’s latest creations.

Right after Trestles wraps up the tour stops in France for the Quiksilver Pro followed immediately by the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Mick’s European quiver was designed by DH for all types of waves and conditions. “In France and Portugal you just don’t know what the conditions are gonna be like. The waves can be 1 foot one day and 10 feet the next. Mick’s biggest board is a 6’3 that he rides in absolute pumping conditions. In his quiver he also has a bunch of rounded pin 5 fins. These are still works in progress, but they seemed to really work for Mick in Tahiti. Even Parko was riding a quad in that final. Anything that barrels and needs some speed Mick will be riding a quad with a rounded pin. In that quiver he has a board for any type of condition and I will be over there so if he needs anything else we can shape that for him there. I am really looking forward to watching Mick’s surfing in these three events. We have been working really hard to get to this point and I wish him all the best”—DH.

Mick Fanning Takes Tahiti

Mick Fanning Takes Tahiti

by DHD Surf

With his victory over Joel Parkinson at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Mick Fanning
became the first Australian to win at Teahupoo since 1999. Parko established an
early lead of 18.37, with two high scoring waves in the early minutes of the 35-
minute final. MF got a late 9.37 and with just 3 minutes on the clock Mick caught a
barreling wave earning a nail biting 9.5. This wave put him in the lead which he held
onto for the rest of the final, narrowly edging out fellow Australian and good friend
Joel Parkinson.

“It’s a 35 minute final so I knew the waves were going to come,” Fanning said. “I just
had to be patient. It’s Teahupoo so it goes on and off. You can get you can get two 10s in two minutes so I knew I just needed to keep my composure throughout the Final. Joel
(Parkinson) is such and incredible surfer and he’s gotten so good out here. He raced
out to an early lead and I knew I needed to focus on my own game plan. I got that
good score about mid-heat… The second wave was the one and it’s and incredible
feeling to come back and get the win. I’m stoked.”

On the smaller days of the competition Mick rode a 5’11 ½ x 18 ¾ x 2 ¼ Ducks Nuts
with a rounded square. When the surf had some size and power, as it did on the
final day of the competition, Fanning rode his 6’0 x 18 5/8 x 2 1/4 Ducks Nuts with a
rounded pin and four fin set-up. The quad set up gave Mick the speed he needed for
the barreling conditions.

“Darren and I have been playing around with the [the quad set up] for a little while,
but the waves were so clean out there that it was the perfect place to try them out
in a heat. I’m really happy with the way they went. You needed that extra speed to
make those barrels” Mick said of the boards he road during the competition.

“Mick and I have been playing around with the Ducks Nuts rounded pin for awhile
and having seen Mick’s results in Tahiti we may be making that an option available
for everyone” said DH.

The win in Tahiti marks the 15th elite victory of Fanning’s career, and the second of
this season (after a memorable win over Kelly Slater at Bells Beach in April). This
victory puts Mick in a comfortable lead in the ASP standings over Parko and Kelly
Slater.

‘What I’m Riding’ Ryan Hipwood

‘What I’m Riding’ Ryan Hipwood

by DHD Surf

Born and raised on Australia’s Gold Coast, Ryan Hipwood was drawn to the art of surfing from a very early age. He quickly began competing and as a teen rose through the pro junior ranks. Hipwood (aka Hippo) was a well-respected competitive surfer with top results, however, he found himself growing tired and frustrated with the competitive surf scene. He began to pursue a career in free surfing and has achieved some phenomenal results since leaving competitive surfing. In 2007 Ryan won the Cloud Nine Invitational contest in the Philippines. In 2008, he received the ‘Biggest Paddle In’ award at the Billabong Teahapoo invitational. And in 2009 Hippo won the Waves Black Knight Award, a peoples choice contest where the Australian public vote for their favourite surfer.

As an accomplished free surfer, Ryan has found his niche in big wave surfing. Hippo was runner up for the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards in 2009 for surfing a monster wave at Shipsterns, Tasmania that nearly took his life. And in 2012 he was nominated for Billabong XXL Ride of the Year for his massive backhand barrel at Cloud Break, Fiji. These are two of the most prestigious awards in not only big wave surfing, but in the entire surfing community.

Hipwood has been riding for DHD since he was 15. He and Darren have established a great relationship that has allowed Ryan to progress beyond competitive surfing and into the world of big wave surfing. “Especially in big wave surfing it’s really important that your shaper can relate to your feedback and transfer that to your boards. I am lucky that I have such a good relationship with Darren so that I can tell him exactly what I want and know that he will apply it to my equipment.”

“Ryan has made a name for himself in an aspect of free-surfing few dare to explore, he is constantly pushing the limits both mentally and physically in search of the world’s heaviest waves. When it comes to big wave surfing these guys are putting their lives on the line every time they go out. The trust between surfer and shaper has to be there or things could go horribly wrong. Ryan’s feedback is critical to how his equipment performs and his trust is of the upmost importance. It’s an honour working with such a talented and progressive surfer.” —DH.

Tow Board

I ride this board mostly in Australia or where the waves are really slabing and impossible to paddle into. Places like Shipsterns in Tasmania, the Right in WA, and Tahiti.

The 6’1 Ducks Nuts is my standard short board. I ride this board when the waves are 4-6 feet. It’s a great performance short board especially for places like the Gold Coast, which don’t really hold much bigger than 6 feet. The Ducks Nuts has heaps of drive and makes smooth rail-to-rail transitions.

The 6’2 is my step up size from my 6’1. I ride this board when the waves are starting to over power my standard short board. It works well at places like Cloud Break, Hawaii, and Tahiti.

This board is my step up gun. I would even think about riding this board unless it was a solid 8 to 10 feet. It goes great out at Pipeline and really big Teahupoo. This is probably my favorite board, because I only break it out when the waves are pumping and I have had my best waves on it.

‘What I’m Riding’ Steph Gilmore

‘What I’m Riding’ Steph Gilmore

by DHD Surf

With three ASP tour victories in 2012 and her 5th ASP Women’s World Title it has been an amazing year for team rider Steph Gilmore. Gilmore won an unprecedented four-world titles in a row from 2007 to 2010 (including her rookie year on tour), but fell back to ASP Women’s World No.3 in 2011. With her most recent win at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, Steph claimed her 5th ASP World Title and reasserted herself as one of the greatest athletes in women’s surfing and an icon of Australian Sport.

Steph started the year strong with a win at her home break Snapper Rocks, followed by a second place at Bells, and another win in New Zealand. Her third win of the year came at the Roxy Pro Biarritz against fellow Aussie Tyler Wright. This win cemented her 5th World Title and put her in an elite class of surfers to win five or more ASP World Titles.

Although Steph has a number of boards in her quiver she has found the most success on her 5’11 x 18 3/8 x 2 3/16 Ducks Nuts. She rode this board to victory at Snapper, New Zealand, and most recently in France. The Ducks Nuts is Steph’s go to board in clean, pumping conditions but also in more difficult surf as well.

When Steph isn’t competing on tour she likes to mix up what’s under her feet in the water. She has really been loving the Eager Beaver in smaller surf. With a little more volume and a little less rocker the Eager Beaver is a great board for days when the waves aren’t throwing top to bottom.

Steph has also been enjoying the Switch Blade. The Switch Blade is a DHD small wave performer with tons of paddle power, but goes good in waves with some size and power. It’s a great all around board that can handle whatever you throw at it.

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.”