The air and water temps are dropping, the NW swells are starting to fire up and rock running is coming into fashion again. That's right, winter's around the bend and the focal point of the Northern Hemi winter is always going to be Hawaii. SURFING talked with Glenn Pang to find out what boards you should be riding on the North Shore and how they compare to Mikala's quiver.
SURFING: HOW DOES MIKALA'S NORTH SHORE QUIVER DIFFER FROM HIS OTHER BOARDS?
GLENN PANG: Usually during the winter he rides some bigger quads. So he'd probably ride like a 6'6" and maybe a 7'0" quad. And those are swallowtails.
AND THEY'RE HIS PIPE AND BACKDOOR BOARDS?
Yep, they're for Pipeline and Backdoor. His shorter boards are pretty similar to what he rides all year round. Mikala's pretty diverse as far as the kind of boards he rides, because he's not surfing a lot of contests. So he'll ride fishes and quads and whatever, you know. Try whatever out, anything that I have that's new.
HOW ARE THE QUADS GOING FOR HIM?
He's been liking them for bigger waves. We've been doing them for him for a few years now.
IT'S COMING INTO THE WINTER NOW, HAVE YOU BEEN GETTING A FEW ORDERS FROM PEOPLE WANTING A NORTH SHORE QUIVER?
I've been doing a bunch of boards for the traveling guys, the 'QS guys and some of the 'CT guys. We did a bunch of quads the year before last year but besides Mikala everyone is kind of gone back to riding thrusters again.
DO A LOT OF THE TRAVELING COMPETITORS STICK TO THE SAME BASIC ORDERS OR DO THEY LIKE TO GET WEIRD?
Because everybody's surfing contests, they pretty much want something they know is going to work. And for the North Shore, you know, you just need a board that's going to do what you want. Because the waves already have the speed, you don't need to generate a lot of speed with the board. You want a board that's more in control instead of a board that has a lot of concave and a lot of speed.
HAVE THINGS STARTED TO GET BUSIER IN THE SHAPING BAY NOW THAT WE'RE COMING INTO WINTER?
Yeah, it's peak season right now. Everyone gets here in a few weeks, so yeah, we're pretty busy.
WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE BE LOOKING FOR IF THEY'RE ORDERING A NORTH SHORE QUIVER?
Probably you want more of a pintail. Everyone usually goes with pintails for bigger waves. And the first step-up board would still have a fair amount of single concave with maybe a little bit of vee through the tail. As you get towards your bigger boards, you'd have a little more vee in the board, just to be more 'in' the wave. A lot of guys, pretty much all the traveling and competing guys are going with glass-on fins too, not a lot of fin systems. We probably only do a couple of percent of boards with fins systems; everyone else is glass-on fins.
SO THE VAST MAJORITY IS GOING WITH GLASS-ONS THEN?
I'd say it's probably five percent fin systems, as far as the competitive guys go.
WOULD THESE GUYS LEAVE THEIR BOARDS ON THE NORTH SHORE OR RISK TRAVELLING WITH A BOARD WITH GLASS-ON FINS?
I think they might take a couple of boards, because you could probably use a bigger board at a couple of places. But for the majority of the guys they just leave the rest of their boards here or sell them. They might keep like a 6'6" or 6'8" and then pretty much everything else is gone when they leave here.
NOW THAT MOST AIRLINES HAVE STARTED CHARGING RIDICULOUS FEES FOR SURFBOARD CARRIAGE, HAVE THERE BEEN MORE PEOPLE THAN AVERAGE PREORDERING BOARDS TO PICK UP ONCE THEY'RE ON THE NORTH SHORE?
We're actually just starting our season now, so we'll probably know more about that once we get into November and December. It's still pretty early in the season. We have a few guys already that order boards and pick them up over here. We'll notice it more when we get into winter.
WOULD PEOPLE HAVE TO ORDER PRETTY SOON IF THEY WANTED TO HAVE YOU MAKE THEM A BOARD FOR THE WINTER?
Yeah they would usually have to order soon. But if not, we've got a couple hundred boards in stock here at the factory, so there's a lot to choose from.
If you want to be treated like a pro and have a quiver of custom made Glenn Pang sleds waiting for you when you arrive on the North Shore, hit up the crew at T&C Surfboards and make your dreams come true. www.TCSurfShop.com