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.

Enter the Bay

Enter the Bay

by DHD Surf

Can’t find what your looking for in stock or you just want that feeling of a custom surfboard?

Then enter the bay and ‘Shape Your Board’ a new way to customize and order your new surfboard online. Select from all available models, sprays, glass jobs, and carbon options, to put together a magic ride that is truly your own creation. Shipped in two weeks from order and shipped direct to your door.
We are always updating our sprays and adding new designs to our models. Select from the range of handcrafted sprays for your own personal taste. Prefer to ride naked? That’s fine too, you can choose the blank board option at no cost.

Want extra glass or carbon strength, or you want to go lighter and gear your equipment for the ultimate performance ride? You have the option to select your glassing and carbon  technologies.

These have been developed with DH, his team and the glassing craftsmen to ensure the correct balance of strength, flex and performance.

You can also select which fin system (FCS or Futures) you would like to be set up with.

You have the option to save your board for later, start a new one, or get your new baby on it’s way. You can also select to upgrade your fins from our range of perfomance fins and complete your quiver with leashes, traction or covers. We have all bases covered for you.

Get in the bay and have some fun.


‘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.”

‘What I’m Riding’ Alex Smith

by DHD Surf

Whether is it an exotic photo shoot in Indo, a boat trip in the Mentawais , or simply a surf comp, Alex Smith travels the globe in search of perfect waves. The young Hawaiian has the skill set most dream about and when he is not getting shacked at Pipe or throwing hacks at Lowers he takes the role of Director for he and his brothers vision, which documents their unique lifestyle. His surfing accomplishments include at 10 point ride during the Pipeline WQS and most recently a win at the 2012 VQS Volcomania Championships. “I love my job. I get to travel around the world, surfing amazing waves with great people. I’ve been riding for DHD since I was 14. Darren is a total legend. When he talks everyone stops and listens. He knows exactly what his riders need under their feet. It’s an honour working with him.”

I was stoked to win the VQS Championships. The waves were really tough—small and windy. But I rode my magical 5’10 Eager Beaver, it played a huge part in winning the event. I like the Eager Beaver in high performance waves, especially at Lower Trestles, the board is loose and easily controllable. I’m loving the quick release and the rail to rail transition. Right now this is probably my go to board because it feels real good under my feet.

The Switch Blade works well in smaller, but steeper beach break conditions. It is a quick board that has the ability to draw and create lines in smaller waves. It goes good in places like Australia and Cali.

The DHX is my weapon of choice for bigger days. It works well in steep, fast, powerful waves. It’s a really good board for making hard turns in powerful waves. It goes good in places like Hawaii and Australia where the waves throw top to bottom.

‘What I’m Riding’ Koa Smith

‘What I’m Riding’ Koa Smith

by DHD Surf

With multiple NSSA Championships, a 1st place at the 2010 Rip Curl Grom Search, and most recently a Gold Medal at the 2012 ISA World Championships with team Hawaii, Koa Smith has the skills most surfers dream about. Born on Kauai and now living on Oahu’s North Shore, this 17 year old Hawaiian phenom is taking the surfing world by storm.

Koa is a versatile surfer with an arsenal of airs and maneuvers, but the young Hawaiian prefers barreling Pipe and tubes in Indo. According to Koa, “there is nothing better than a nice long barrel.” He has been a constant presence in/at the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang, in which he has showcased his surfing abilities in heavy conditions alongside some of the best surfers in the world.

Sponsored by DHD since the age of 12, Darren and Koa have established a special relationship. At the beginning of the year DH had Koa and his brother Alex out to visit the factory and surf some of Australia’s best waves. “DH is a legend, going to his home turf was so sick! He let me stay at his pad and he took us surfing everyday,” Koa said of his recent trip to Oz. DH speaks very highly of the up and coming surfer, “Koa has a unique attitude and I really like the way he lets his surfing do the talking for him. Its good for me now that I have a factory in the USA and have spent some time in Hawaii, to have a great young surfer to make boards for.”

Koa’s quiver consists of the DHX, Eager Beaver, Sweet Spot, SwitchBlade, and the Scalpel. “All the boards are super fast and have an amazing flow in every condition. I can surf every type of wave with the boards in my quiver from small beach breaks to pumping Pipe.”


 Koa is loving his 5’ 11 x 18 3/8 x 2 ¼ DHX, “I’ve had my best sessions on the DHX, it’s a great all around board that allows you to pick the lines you want. The DHX works really good in Hawaii and bigger waves with a little more power.”


I’ve been riding the Eager Beaver at Lower Trestles, it works especially good in high-performance waves.” With this model we have really focused on a little more volume, and little more width, and less rocker through the tail. Adding a little tail vee though the tail behind the fins that allows for quick release and fluid rail-to-rail transitions.


 Sweet Spot is Koa’s weapon of choice for bigger days. When he visited the DHD factory at the beginning of the year DH made Koa a boxed out 5’10 Sweet Spot that is made for 6ft plus. This board was made with the idea of staying right in the pocket of the wave. “The Sweet Spot is my board of choice when the waves are barreling.”


 DHD makes some amazing small wave boards. I particularly like the SwitchBlade and Scalpel. The SwitchBlade goes good in smaller surf and can handle whatever you throw at it. I have been really liking the Scalpel, it’s really good for airs and tail throws. The Scalpel makes you motivated to surf small waves.”

Which DHD boards are in you quiver?

I have one DHX 5’11 x 18 3/8 x 2 ¼, two Eager Beavers (one 5’10 ½ x 18 3/8 x 2 ¼ and one 5’ 10 x 18 3/8 x 2 1/4), a 5’4 x 18 ¾ x 2 ¼ Scalpel, and a 5’7 x 18 5/8 x 2 3/16 Switch Blade, 5’10 x 18 3/8 x 2 ¼ Sweet Spot

Back Home with Mick Fanning

Back Home with Mick Fanning

by DHD Surf

After winning one of the greatest finals to go down in Bells history against Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning has returned home and settled into some quality waves at his home break Snapper rocks. Taking a break from ringing his new bell, check out some of these snaps.

The same swell that Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore are tearing to pieces at Dee Why for the Beachley Classic has hit the Gold Coast and is producing some quality surf. Steph and Sally both in the quarter finals, fingers crossed for another Steph and Sally final like we had at Bells.

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.