Boards: Clay Marzo

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All Photos: Brent Bielmann

Clay Marzo
Age: 24
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 175 lbs

Model: The Answer
Dimensions:  6'2" x 19" x 2 11/16"
Shaper: SUPERbrand Shapers Collective/Jason Koons

Clay Marzo isn't the type to go in a room with his shaper and tell him in minute detail how he wants his boards to look and ride. You won't find him painstakingly reviewing curves and dimensions over the phone, either. He has no interest in designing shapes on a computer or getting busy with a planer -- he simply picks up a new board, carries it for a second, squeezes the rails and knows right away if he likes it or not. When he gets one that's magic, he can't tell you much, other than he likes the way it feels under his feet and that he wants five more just like it. 

Jason Koons of Super Surfboards is familiar with Clay's highly intuitive and idiosyncratic approach to testing his sticks. Clay is hard on his equipment. He breaks a lot of boards when the waves are firing, and he isn't easy to please. Jason might not get feedback from his rider in a conventional sense, but he knows how to shape boards that suit Clay's combination of creativity and reckless abandon to a tee. --Jamie Tierney

CLAY: This is the Answer. It's good in almost any kind of waves. Not too big. Six feet or under. Fun waves, anything high performance. I like it for big throw tails, snaps, air reverses, whatever. And getting barreled. I like the volume in it, and I like the little bit of curve, and it has a nice hip in the tail. Most of my boards have a double concave on the bottom, and I like them a little thicker. The concave and thickness are important.

I only rode this one for two or three surfs. It went well. Then, I went out to one of my favorite slabs [in West Oz] and didn't quite make one tube. I came up and flipped the board over and it was creased. A board is never the same after it's been creased. You can try to fix it but it's never going to ride the way it did before. I think I caught one more wave and it snapped.

Jason Koons shapes my boards. I love that he always knows what I like, and he delivers the goods on short notice. For me, a good board is smooth and responsive and doesn't catch rails. I can usually tell how a board will ride after feeling it once. I usually go through three to five boards every month -- sometimes more depending on what the waves are like -- so I'm stoked Jason can bust out such good boards so fast.