There is a movement in surfing and it's Quads.

Quads have been around since Glen Winton and Bruce McKee invented them in 1982.
Since then there was resurgence 5 or 6 years ago with William Stretch Riedel working with Nathan Fletcher to repopularise quad boards.
They did a great job stimulating surfers to think about their equipment beyond the bounds of high performance Thrusters in small surf and also waves of consequence.
Quads have been working well on big boards for mega spots like Waimea, Mavericks, Cloud Break and recently paddling in at Jaws in Maui.
But maybe the quads have been on the wane lately in smaller surf.
Enter Kelly Slater.
Kelly has singlehandedly repopularised the Quad in small surf but not as you would think.
Kelly's claim has been that quads perform better in the barrel. He has been on about this for 2 or so years and performances during the Pipe Masters at last years contest on a fishy looking quad did not help the cause. But this year Kelly is on more normal looking good wave quad boards.
Kelly's 5'9 quad option round tail board
Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson have done testing in Barrels at the Gold Coast, Kirra etc, in the early part of this year and come up with the same conclusion as KS, that quads are good or unbelievable in the barrel.
At the recent Quik Pro in Hossegor I noticed a lot of guys in and around the event had a round tail performance quad board in their quiver that they were preferring to surf at La Graviere in the epic hollow beach break waves.
It also seems like Kelly, although he has been going backwards and forwards from quad to Thruster, that lately he is tending to surf the quad in everything including recently at the Hurley Pro Trestles, a definite performance type wave.
Parko surfed his quad at La Graviere and also chose to surf it in every heat in Portugal.

I think what is happening right now is that surfing a board in epic conditions, ie barrelling kegs, gives you confidence and an affinity with that board. These guys are surfing pretty epic surf consistently enjoying the quad and it's not surprising they are going back to them and surfing quads in more diverse and normal conditions.

So very interesting, we will see where it goes.
My man at Hossegor - Shyama Buttonshaw - ready to test his 5'10 quad option roundtail
I am working on numerous quad option boards and my range will reflect this in the coming months.
Will be introducing a performance quad option round tail Thruster, as well as at least 3 small wave quad option models that we are testing at the moment.


Travels - Shaping

at Mike Baron's, Oceanside
Was in the US, California specifically, shaping at Oceanside in Mike Baron's factory as we say, shop as they say in America.
Now I'm in France, Hossegor Soorts, Soorts is a light industrial area 2 kilometres inland from the main surfing beaches of Capbreton and Hossegor.

With the new age pre shaping machines and accompanying software it is possible to do boards globally with confidence of maintaining the integrity of your designs and shapes.

This means when I'm in the country I can shape your board but if I'm not I have my finish shaper ready and trained up to do a similar job for me. If you think that Al Merrick, Jason Stevenson, Matt Biolos etc shapes every board for their respective labels you are wrong. I'm the same but to keep the boards true globally a certain amount of travel and keeping it real is required.

In the US I was able to shape 40 boards and go over the Simon Boards model range being cut on the AKU machine across the street from Mike's shop.

The Oceanside machine is cutting consistently and true.

Spudster 6'4 x 20 ½ x 2 ¾ - California small wave board
I have made 2 boards for myself (see photos) for California a 6'4 x 20 ½ x 2 ¾ thick, 2 thickness at the Stringer in the Concave, Nose 14 ½, Tail 15 ¼, with 4 15/16 Nose Rocker and 2 9/16 Tail Rocker.
This board will be called a Spudster, apologies to any other brand using this model name.

The concave is deep single to vee at the tail in the last 4 inches. The Spudster has a wide nose and normal area plan shape tail.

The nose area helps in my recovery from hamstring reattachment surgery with catching waves. It is a nice platform for me to jump to my feet on the take-off and get going without too much shuffling around to get the feet in the right spot.

The nose entry rocker is substantial at 4 15/16 which I don't mind even though the board is essentially for small waves, this will help in the turning arc keeping it tight and tend to not catch at high speed.
This board will still have good speed in flat small waves, how much I'm not sure just yet. Surfed it at Malibu in tiny 1 footers and struggled a little there.

The 2nd board is a Bottled Lightning 6'6 x 21 ½ x 2 13/16 Roundtail, single concave to vee, Nose Width at 13 1/16 and Tail at 15 . Nose Rocker at 5" and Tail Rocker at 2 ", this is pretty moderate smooth rocker overall.

At 6'6 the BL begins to resemble a normal board plan shape wise, the nose does not appear wide and at 21 ½" width overall again it will help in wave catching. The width also gives the board a lot of curve in the plan shape which will help the board through turns and feel loose. Just a little concern when the board picks up speed that extra width may get in the way.
The rails on both boards are normal Simon rails that is low soft.

Not a bad quiver for California, had some good waves in the Blacks La Jolla region at 2 to 4 feet or head high.
The boards felt good and my surfing buddies liked the feel of both boards.

France Quiver - 3 weeks later.
In France I have the BL 6'6 board from California and have been reunited with my favourite magic 6'10 x 20 wide by 2 13/16  Rounded Pin semi gun or step up board.I like to ride the 6'10 in anything from 5 feet to 8 feet or head high to double over head plus a bit.

France quiver - 6'6 BL and 6'10 magic DSC Vee
Nose width is 11 7/8  and Tail width at 14 ½, nose rocker at 5 ¾, tail rocker 2 11/16. The nose area is reasonable for a step up but looks balanced to the overall 20" width and tail area.

The concave is slight single to vee in the back half of the board, a slight double concave flows from the single through the vee stopping at area in front of the back fin. This bottom combination produces a board with a good foundation strong smooth bottom turn that holds thru the arc without stuttering, skipping or twitching and will turn out long or go vertical at will.

The rail in the 6'10 has a touch more volume but is maybe a touch lower than normal.

Shaping Bay - Euroglass, Soorts Hossegor

In the Planning Stage -
Fusion 6'5 x 20 ¾ x 2 ¾ RSQ, this is getting back to a more of a normal type of board for me.

Surfed waves at Hossegor beach breaks at 2 to 3 foot , really clean nice little right handers and felt I could benefit from something more streamlined and  frisky.
NNB - The 6'10 at work


2012 sees us manufacturing boards in Australia and our production centred on the Gold Coast with glassing out of BoardPlay Currumbin.
We have new full time manufacturing partners in the US, through Mike Baron and Quiksilver Surfboards operating from Oceanside.
France is going strong out of Surf Odyssey and also Euroglass, both factories in Soorts out the back of Hossegor.
Brazil we manufacture through Luciano Leao of Surface, factory based in Cambria on the coast 2 hours drive from Sao Paulo.
 I am designing boards on the APS 3000 software and we are all working worldwide to produce boards of integrity that you can believe in. This is not an easy assignment but we endeavour to live up to it. My method is not unique but with the quality of pre shapes available through a well maintained APS 3000 system, or the AKU and CSD machines for that matter, it is possible to work to a very high level of consistency to produce boards of many different shapes and sizes that will work well for most surfers. At least the boards are a great representation of what I believe in and the elements or qualities I like to see and feel while surfing in my personal boards. These qualities are blended into any of the Simon boards you will see on the racks around the world. This means you can expect the Simon boards to have good hold, good speed, a level of friskiness with a blend of solid feel and good contact with the water through turns in the critical part of the wave.
This is all nice but we also need to provide a good balance of weight to strength ratio you can be happy with. This is key to good glassing and board making. The people we are partners with have this in common, the high level of experience and ability to have a chance at fulfilling the sacred mission.

My Quiver  - Simon 6'3” - 100 kg
DSC -  6'10 20 2 ¾ Roundtail, Nose at 12" up 11 7/8, Tail at 12" up 14 ½, single to double concave thru a slight vee in the back ¼ or so of the board. The rail is low soft but a touch more volume than normal plus a little lower than usual. This is a magic board and feels solid of the bottom drawing long lines if needed and still cuts a tight arc off the top. Is suited to 5 to 6 feet waves (Sydney beach break wave sizing).

                                                                  DSC at North Narrabeen

Fusion -  6'5  20  2 ¾ Rounded Square, Nose 12  7/16, Tail 15 ¼,  36.60 liters, deep single with more a single than double thru the fin area, normal low soft rail but just a touch more volume. Great all round Sydney small wave board,  best in 2 to 4 feet. This is a step down board in line with the trend on the World Tour shorter, wider style. Even though this type of model has been around for years, this is my current version and can be a good option in a 2 board quiver covering 1 to 5 feet. You could then supplement this with a step up board like my 6'10 DSC. More boards to follow.

Distributors Outside Australia

Michael Baron, Quiksilver Surfboards 3205 Production Ave. Suite J,Oceanside, CA 92058. USA
P: 760.433.1000
F: 760.721.1098
Email: quiksilversurfboards@gmail.com

Luciano Leao,
DR. Arberto Seabra 1213, Sao Paulo, SP 05452-001, Brazil.
Phone: (11)30213611
Email: surface@surface.com.br
Website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qguh2fhi6IY

Xavier Barjou at Surf Odyssey,
Surf Odyssey SARL, 5 rue Pitey, 40130 CAPBRETON
Tel: 05 58 72 16 99
Email: xavier@surf-odyssey.com

I'm also part of the Quiksilver Board program, for info go to the website; http://surfboards.quiksilver-europe.com/
or contact;
Euroglass Surfboards
529 Avenue de Pascouaou, 40150 Soorts-Hossegor, France
Phone: +33 5584 34185 


I've been working on various replica shapes from the original ‘81 quiver, primarily the 6'6 big Bells board but also the 7'6 Pipe winning board and also the Coke board a 6'2  20 1/8  2 ¾ single flyer rounded square tail.

 I've been developing these boards on the APS 3000 machine and software. This has been enjoyable for me and really is a great exercise to develop your skills as a designer on this type of program. The latest board is the Coke board.
The difference with this one is it is being sprayed by Martyn Worthington probably the most famous practitioner of spray art in the history of the Australian board making industry. In this case he is basically copying the original boards’ panel spray, pretty simple for Martyn. It is then to be finished by Steve Zoeller, glassed and sanded. Steve is the original sander of the first Thrusters in the old Energy factory founded in 1976.
 This board is a charity board to be auctioned on 3rd June, Saturday night, see accompanying photos. The thing about this board is it came out pretty good and close to the original, you can never get it exact. I like the deep vee bottom and the outline shape is pretty spot on. The rails are the element I like the most. The original board has pretty horrid rails, a flat deck going to low rails that don’t feel that good in the hand. This replica board has very similar rails to the original, not quite as chunky but just fit the hand in a nice way and feel more functional.

                            6'2 Single Flyer Rounded Square tail, Filler Coated ready to be sanded.

Original Thruster fin templates from the 80's.

 I'm inspired by this board to look at producing another run 810 model series of boards with a similar rail and plan shape but more modern rockering with concave bottom contours mixed in with the vee.
                              Steve Zoeller and the charity 6'2 at the Mona Vale Energy factory.


We have been tweaking the Fusion ever so slightly to get it as balanced as possible. The area being worked on is the volume throughout, with minor changes to the forward and tail thickness and then the plan shape specifically the nose and tail. Just pushing the area out up to 1/8" so that's only 1/16" per side to add a touch more surface area and volume giving increased flat line speed.

The feedback is good from the team, Shyama Buttonshaw says he is able to surf the Fusion in similar fashion to the XFC but he has more control doing aerials, a little more launching speed and good cushioning feel on the landing, increasing attempt and complete percentages which is nice. Personally I'm finding I love the extra speed and therefore looseness in waves 2 to 4 feet. I'm surfing Fusion 1" shorter than my normal 6'6 20 ¼ to 20 ½ wide XFC and 1/8" to 3/8" wider.

So shorter wider at 6'5 x 20 5/8 wide and 2 ¾ thick has given a slight fish-like performance boost. Also I'm using PC7 (4 ¾" deep) or Simon upgrade S25 (4 11/16" deep) side fins combined with an PC3 (at 4 3/8" deep) smaller back fin in smaller 1 to 3 feet waves. This bigger small fin combo provides a little more spark in the smaller range of surf, optimizing performance.

 I'm 100 plus kilos, if you are smaller 88kg down to 65kg your combo for small waves would be PC5 side fins (4 9/16" deep) and back fin a PC2 (at 4 ¼" deep) for example, keep in mind upgrade fins will give you better performance in most conditions and when the waves are good go back to a uniform set of the same size fins.

                                         Shyama at Winki with the Fusion.
Shyama Buttonshaw not looking like he is going to land softly on the Fusion's slightly wider nose and tail.

The Fusion is similar and replaces some old models like the Interceptor and EQ. This is an important model because a lot of the surf we get week in week out is suited to this style of board.


Most of you know I tore the hamstring off the bone same as Mick Fanning. Although I don't expect to come back and win 2 World Titles like Mick, I do expect to get back into surfing hopefully in as good condition as before.
The day before the hamstring injury, surfing in the legends heat at the Quiksilver Pro Snapper Rocks.

Boarding the flight home from Gold Coast to Sydney.                            Waiting in hospital.

David Wood was the surgeon from the Mater Hospital in North Sydney who performed the operation which is I guess pretty complex but done in 1 day, in in the morning and back home later in the day. The recovery however is slow, taking 6 months before you can expect to be back in the water.
I'm 10 weeks out from the operation progressing well I guess and working on rehab, physio, some swimming, a bit of walking, chiropractic and will be still water stand up paddling soon. I have been designing some rehabilitation boards and am looking forward to making them and starting to surf again.


To Mrs Peterson, Dot and Tommy deepest sympathies at the passing of your son and brother.

Your dedication to Michael in his later years has been a wonderful thing.
Mick will of course be remembered forever in Australian surfing.He was arguably the greatest Australian surfer of all time dominating contests in Australia for most of the 1970's.

I was fortunate enough to compete against Mick during this period and was privileged to see a lot of his ground breaking performances in the surf and glimpse some of his state of the art shapes taking surfing and boards to the next couple of levels.
You could also argue that Michael was the greatest surfer, shaper designer of all time anywhere.

His contribution to surfing and influence on surfing and board design, pushing it to previously unknown levels can only be compared to Kelly Slater.

Michael's hero was Nat Young, he wanted to surf like Nat, he did that for sure and will always be held in the highest esteem in the lofty halls of surfing freaks.
Mick you touched surfing with your magic and surfing is forever better for it.

Image by Frank Pithers - Mike flying on his way to winning '73 Bells.