What Is He On?

Andrew Doheny’s Self-Shaped Pseudo Black Beauty

Will Andrew Doheny change the world with his surfboard designs? Probably not. But Droid, as he is called, is one of the most creative surfers of his generation. From his shaping to his music to his organically tweaked lipslides, Andrew epitomizes Orange County's recent renaissance. I visit him at his Newport Beach abode, a newly remodeled garage turned bedroom, and am impressed by how nice it is. It is MTV Cribs-nice.

Andrew offers me chips and Mike and Ikes. I accept. But I am excited to see this board he has shaped, so I ask him if I can check it out. He looks around his room, frazzled, and then searches outside. "Oh man, I left it in Sherm's car," he says, bashfully. Steve Sherman had left a few minutes before I arrived, having come to photograph the images you see on this page. He liked the board, wanted to give it a try and Droid graciously relinquished his creation. Droid might not change the world with his shapes, but at least he's piqueing Sherm's interest. —Mitch Abshere

Photo: Sherm

What was your inspiration for constructing this board?
I wanted a Tom Curren, old-school type of board. Kind of like a Black Beauty but way smaller. Like an '80s refined shortboard.

What type of wave did you make the board for?
All waves, good and bad. I tried to make this one with super flat rocker and the bottom with a little flip. It's super thick, pretty much a plank. I wanted to go fast and have it be forgiving when paddling. It flies through flat sections and you can really carve through big turns.

What's the best wave you have ridden it on?
I brought it to Morocco and it was really fun at the right pointbreaks. It was overhead the whole time and the board held up. With this board, you're not going to turn as sharply as you would on a high-performance thruster. But I know that going into it so I just take a different line and go where the board wants to take me.

What is your favorite part about shaping a surfboard?
The whole process is just cool. I never really know what I'm going to make, but as it gets thinner and thinner I start to get more ideas about what I am going to do. It's like a science experiment: You don't know if it's going to work out or explode.