All Photos: Brad Masters
Weight: 160 lbs
Shaper: Luke Studer
Model: The Joe
Dimensions: 5'8" x 18 5/16" x 2 3/8"
INSPIRATION OFTEN FINDS US OUT OF THE BLUE. Like after a collision with an old guy at Rocky Point. That's how Mikala Jones discovered his favorite board. Experimentation leads to discovery, especially in surfboard design, but sometimes it takes a surprising person to lead us out of our comfort zone. To run us directly over and, in spite of our skepticism, make us try something new. In Mikala's case, inspiration came in the form of a guy named Joe. —Leo Maxam
MIKALA: This board is based on a board this older guy, Bali Joe, made for me years ago. I was surfing in Hawaii and Joe and I had a collision. I popped up and he was like, "Whoa, sorry, let me shape you a board!" Sure enough, Joe brought two shaped blanks to my house the next day. They were kind of retro shapes, but I looked at them and told him, "Pull the tail in on this one." He brought it back the next day and we had it glassed with a two-plus-one setup. I didn't try the board for a year. But I brought it back to Bali and when I finally rode it, it paddled like a steamship. And I got on a wave and it just turned so easy.
I had the board for four years and I rode it in some really good, hollow waves. Then I let Luke, my shaper, take it on a trip to the Mentawais and he got some of the best barrels of his life. When Luke came back to Bali we started making our own, shorter version of the board for Keramas-type waves. The original was a 6'1", so we started with a 5'10" and then made a 5'2'' and everything in between. We are probably 20 boards deep into this "Joe" model now.
The board in this photo is like "The Joe" version 30.0. It's pretty much all I rode last year in Indo. We used to go with a single-fin box with two side Future boxes, but lately we've been going with five Future boxes. I like it as a quad in right barrels and as a thruster when I'm going backside.
The Joe model is shorter and thicker with the wide point moved forward, which makes it super drivey and perfect for freight-training waves. Plus, it turns really well in the pocket when you step back on the tail. It's made for paddling, barrels and turns — basically a shorter step-up board. I'll ride it in surf from 2 feet up to 8-feet plus as long as the waves are hollow.