Team Riders

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 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 Lastnamefirst.tv, 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

‘What I’m Riding’ Sally Fitzgibbons

by DHD Surf

Sally Fitzgibbons
H: 5’7 (168cm)
W: 135LBS (61kg)

Over the past year Sally and DH have really solidified their relationship and her surfing has never been better. With wins at the Australian Open, the Newcastle Surfest, and most recently her back-to-back victory at Bells it has been a phenomenal start to the season.

At the end of last year Sally wasn’t satisfied with the way her boards were performing.  DH invited her up to the Gold Coast to hangout in the factory and learn about shaping and designing the right boards. Together they measured up her old favorites, noting the aspects she liked and some of the things she didn’t like. She took off with four boards from this shaping experience and straight away went to the Australian Open in Manly and won on her 5’7 x 17 ¾ x 2 1/8 Project 15. After the event she sent DH a text, which said ‘We Won.’ “That was a great achievement not only for Sally but also a great achievement for our relationship” said DH.

In the next event, the Newcastle Surfest, Sally again surfed her way to victory. This time on her 5’7 x 17 ¾ x 2 1/8 Puzzle Piece, a fast, responsive board designed for all conditions, allowing her backhand to excel. The Puzzle Piece is DHD’s ultimate beach break surfboard with speed and looseness it allows you to get tight and keep your flow on beach break waves.

Sally claimed her 3rd win of the season at the coveted Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro against fellow team rider and good friend Stephanie Gilmore. She was surfing a DX1 with a rounded pintail, which has good hold in bigger waves. This board allows you to draw longer lines and helps make tighter turns on big open faces. Perfect for bigger, choppy, strong surf.

Sally’s feedback has allowed DH to create the right boards for her in all conditions and her results speak volumes of the two’s relationship.

“Sally fits right into the DHD team, she is hungry, focused and works hard to achieve top  results. The inspiration and great friendship she draws from Steph creates an awesome working environment for the three of us and I just love it when the two of them go head to head in the final. As a shaper watching Steph and Sally at Bells this year was really satisfying.”DH

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.

Steph – On Target

Steph – On Target

by DHD Surf

This year’s Women’s ASP World Tour is well on its way, three events deep and a building swell for the Layne Beachley Classic set to go off this weekend. Winning four world titles straight off the mark from her rookie year, it was a shock to the system for Stephanie Gilmore to give up her World Title ranking in 2011.
Well it is pretty obvious what her intentions are in 2012, winning two of the last three events and only narrowing finishing in 2nd place against fellow DHD team member Sally Fitzgibbons at Bells.

“This is by far the best start to a season I’ve had in my career,” Gilmore said. “To have three Finals straight off the bat, I’m kind of tripping out. It’s really cool. That was a really close Final, I’m sure it could have gone either way. I watched Carissa’s (Moore) wave from behind and she did that huge first turn and then raced to the next section, but if she did another turn straight away, I’m sure she would have gotten the score. I’m glad it went my way though.” Was Steph’s response to a close victory in New Zealand over Carissa Moore.


At last year’s Beachley Classic Carissa took Steph out of the event in the semi final to then carry on and win the event. Steph is going to be keen to carry on her good form for the year, with a hungry Sally and Carissa eager to take out there event and stay in the running for this year’s title. With a predicted heavy east swell due to hit tomorrow, we can’t wait.

Steph was riding the same Ducks Nuts model she was riding at Snapper a 5’10 by 18 1/2 by 2 1/4, this has been working really well for her in clean smaller conditions. With conditions looking a little more solid for Dee Why we are expecting Steph to wax up the same board she was riding at Bells 5’11 x 18 ½ x 2 ¼ version of the Mick Fanning Ducks Nuts.