Several Decades ago, I was very involved in trying to understand how objects functioned and reacted when they were used to ride waves.
This personal pursuit of knowledge was stimulated by the fact that I had the best team of surfers ever assembled under the one logo and the requirements for each surfer were very different, due to their individual styles and approaches to surfing.
Supplying them with the same basic equipment was not an option, they needed specialised designs.
At this time I felt inadequate to do the job properly, I just did not have enough experience or knowledge, even though at this time I was considered the leader in surfboard design worldwide.
Within me there was a burning desire to know more and I was working on many aspects of design that obviously had never before been explored, such as the way each individual stands on an object, where his body is positioned for each manoeuvre and what he or she is trying to achieve.
I was thinking about the waves that we ride and what causes them to begin with and how they do have a mechanical action that is caused by natural energy and how that action reacts on an object in motion; where the energy points are on each individual wave.
I had all this random information on these various aspects and questions on what it was really all about it, I was getting to a point where it was becoming an obsession.
Then, one day I was driving by myself from Avoca Beach to my friend Thor’s house at Palm Beach in Sydney, for a team meeting of the “McCoy Boys”.
Various concepts and thoughts were flashing through my mind.
I remember the moment very clearly. I was driving on the old Pacific High Way, information started streaming into my head, things started to make sense to me.
So strong was this rush of knowledge that I had to pull my car over ( right beside the Kuringi Railway Station).
I got out of the car and sat on the front just being blown away by the flood of knowledge that was coming in, fitting everything into place perfectly, all my bits and pieces finally coming together.
Within 30 minutes, I had moved into a whole new awareness of how it all worked.
I was overwhelmed by it all, I took a bit of time to ponder and I then realised that I had discovered a new direction for the objects we called surfboards.
The designs would be vastly different to what was then considered normal; most everything I knew was wrong in terms of design; it was completely opposite to what I had previously believed.
I proceeded to the meeting enthused and excited by this new realisation.
Later, back at my Factory and Design workshop at Avoca Beach I shared my thoughts and concepts with my workers and team riders, there was much discussion.
Finally I decided that I needed to at least shape one of these revolutionary new designs to test it, even though I was barely brave enough to embark on this new concept.
I drew the plan shape on a blank and we all stood around going “its radical, it looks strange, but it’s worth doing,” (I was not even game to make one, all my old concepts were telling me it would not work even though I had received the information and I believed that it would).
These are the thoughts that were buzzing through my head when I was looking at the plan shape with its wide tail and a narrow nose. I thought “ I do not even know what to do with this”, my new message was all about curves, natural curves for rocker, plan shape, rails. My previous experiences and knowledge was all about straights and flats vee’s, bottoms and hard edges.
It was at this point that I realised I was embarking on a whole new learning experience. I knew nothing of this new unexplored design world, it was a whole new adventure.
I built the first board, we all rode it and it blew us all away with how much better it worked than the conventional boards we had been riding. This boards was superior, more efficient in all aspects of wave riding. I called this new design the “LAZOR ZAP” It was completely different to all other designs, it was all curves and rounds, soft and fluid; it challenged the status quo at the time because it looked so different, but it worked so well. So functional was this design and so different in appearance to what people were accustomed to, that they banded together in their fear and ignorance and wrote the concept off saying at the time the design was dysfunctional.
They compared the new design to the twin fin design which I had pioneered in Australia, being labelled “THE TWIN FIN KING”.
I knew that the twin fin had design limitations that the single fin did not have. It is now a well documented fact that the twin fin design is to a very large extent limited to wave size under 6’, where the single fin has no limitations, which it has gone on to prove in waves up to 80’+, in extreme conditions.
So here we are some 30 plus years later and the so called design experts are now copying my wide tail designs, slowly starting to realise the amazing qualities of the wide tailed single fin and the benefits the wide tail design offers to any fin configuration. I have been designing, shaping, building and riding these designs since 1978 because I had the revelation that it was the future in surfboard design. Since those early days when my knowledge of this new design approach was limited I have been on an amazing learning and understanding journey which has led me to a situation where I now have a vast understanding of an object to surf on and how it will function when riding a wave. I have proven beyond question that the function of a wider tail is superior to all other designs.
Once you start to understand these design advantages you realise how superior they are and why they function so well in practical use. The wider tail allows the object to tap into the energy of the wave in a more practical way.
This in turn gives the surfer better control in critical situations allowing for a much more relaxed surfing experience that enhances the ride.
It has taken a very long time for surfboard designers in general to wake up to this obvious fact and they are now starting to look at the wide tail designs with a new enthusiasm, discovering finally, the great advantages which they offer.
From the early days of the unrefined LAZOR ZAP designs through 30 plus years of learning, understanding and refining the concept to this day, where I have a wide range of my wide tail Nugget designs which I continue to refine and improve the performance of with encouraging results across the whole range.
These designs are futuristic and very exciting to ride in a wide range of wave sizes and conditions, once you dial into one of my designs you will be so stoked that all other designs become uninteresting and tired by comparison. It is fair to say that these futuristic designs have to be ridden to be believed!
DESIGN THROUGH DEVELOPMENT