All Photos: Jimmicane
At a perfectly blue reef pass in the Caribbean, Eric Geiselman breaks his shortboard. As the top half of this busted board tumbles toward the rocks, he lets out a yell of frustration before returning to the sailboat to replace his equipment. But instead of waxing up another high-performance shorty, he returns to the lineup on a newly minted, bright yellow single fin his dad finished sanding only 24 hours earlier. The rest of his session is dreamy, one filled with smooth arcs and clean tubes. Post surf, he's beaming. "I was pissed when I broke my shortboard," he says, "but now I'm so glad it happened. I would never have tried that single fin today, and it might be one of my favorite surfboards ever." --Zander Morton
ERIC: I was home in New Smyrna for a couple of weeks and the waves were small, so I was riding a longboard a lot. I was buzzing about the longboard and then Buttons passed away, so when this Caribbean trip came up I went to my dad and was like, "Do you think you can make me a single fin? Like, tomorrow?"
This one is a Buttons tribute all the way, from the shape to the color. I named it the Kraft Single [laughs]. I've ridden single fins in the past, and I love how they feel. You don't ever need to push them; it's all about timing and finesse, so there's nothing better for your surfing. Riding this board helps with my footwork and form, which in turn helps smooth out my surfing when I jump back on my normal shortboard.
This is the first single fin my dad has ever shaped me. I've noticed when I set the fin farther back it has more bite. But on tight takeoffs, if I try to knife it super hard, it's definitely tough. There is still a lot of room to play with the fin; every inch makes such a huge difference. This one has a little FCS fin screw so I bring a key in the water and change up the placement after every couple of waves.
I'm planning to bring it to Hawaii and use it on the down days and maybe some smaller days at Backdoor. Riding this board is going to keep surfing exciting and fresh. If I'm ever having a bad surf, this is the perfect board to grab for a few waves, cruise on, and kind of get back in a good mindset. It's my morale booster. [laughs]