Since hitting the shelves in 2017, the Tomo/Slater Designs Sci-Fi model has become one of the most wildly popular surfboards in recent memory. As the first of the Kelly Slater/Daniel Thomson collaborations, it's hardly a surprise a partnership between the greatest surfer of all time and the shaping world's most relevant mad-scientist would result in such a high demand. Beyond name recognition, however, the board's sleek, modern curves, the unique edges of its double bat-tail, futuristic construction and its overall minimalist aesthetic certainly make the Sci-Fi an eye-catcher.

"This [board] has been a big hit," Thompson said, acutely aware of his understatement, when we caught up with him for a new installment of Design Forum. From entry and tail rocker to planing area to flex patterns, Thomson gave us the rundown on what makes the Sci-Fi fly—both off the shelf and on waves of nearly any size.