Boards: Nick Rozsa

[portfolio_slideshow size=large]
All Photos: Seth de Roulet

Nick Rozsa
Age: 26
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 175 lbs

His Surfboard
Dimensions: 5'7" x 19" x 2 1/4"
Shaper: Todd Proctor
Model: Da Monsta

For most, when a perfect surfboard enters our lives, we call that board magic. Well, Ventura's Nick Rozsa calls that bullshit. Like the illusionist on stage sawing a beautiful woman in half, there's always another factor at play. A mirror here. Some sleight of hand there. And in the case of the "magic" surfboard, Nick claims that x-factor is probably you. Still, with or without the incomprehensible abracadabra, he sure does like Da Monsta.

NICK: This board isn't magic, because no board is magic. I don't like to throw that word around with boards. Magic is more of a mental state. It's more your motivation, your physical fitness and your mentality. I've had some really good boards, and Da Monsta is one of them, but it's the surfer that makes the board magic.

I never thought I'd be riding a board like this. It's a stringerless EPS epoxy with carbon rails -- really different -- all I've ever ridden is standard PUs. I normally ride a 5'10" so at first I was like, "I'm not going to ride a board that's 3 inches smaller than what I normally ride." But then I did and I was hooked. It's my favorite board.

The stringer is replaced by the carbon rails, which hold the integrity of the board and keep it from being too flimsy. It has enough flex to really warp to the wave but it doesn't overflex to the point where it feels like if you push too hard it will turn into a piece of rubber or something.

I've ridden it in ankle-high slop and it works well because of the extra thickness and flat rocker. It's got push. But I've also paddled into some good-sized waves on it, waves that I wouldn't normally surf on a board that small. I'd say probably the happy medium would be somewhere between shoulder-high and a few feet overhead.

The best thing about Todd is that he shapes using his riders' input, which I think is one of the most important qualities in a shaper. I give him my thoughts here and there, but I let him do most of the fine-tuning. Da Monsta is his design, top to bottom. I didn't have much say. It's nice; when Todd makes me a board, it looks and feels exactly how I want a surfboard to look and feel, so I don't worry too much beyond that.

Interview by Mike Misselwitz