With the summer doldrums in full effect on both coasts of the US, it may be hard to imagine yourself stroking for an overhead-plus screamer, but if the summertime blues have forced your hand into pulling the trigger on a surf excursion you'll want to be sure you're prepared to not just stick the drop, but perform as opportunities present themselves down the line.

With the new dedicated mini-step up Hydronaut model, modern surfing's resident mad-scientist Daniel Thomson's designed yet another aesthetically pleasing template that's highly functional, and assuredly approachable whether or not you've yet to charge anything substantial this summer. With a double ender outline (a Tomo staple), the Hydronaut incorporates typical rhino-chaser elements—narrow width, significant rocker, pulled-in tail—but with an assimilation of high performance shortboard design characteristics—channels through the tail, qaud inside single bottom concave—and a well-foiled torpedo nose, is meant to be ridden at around five to six inches smaller than your archetypal step up. 

Here, Thomson walks us through the finer points of this performance oriented board, designed for heavy water situations.