‘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