How many arrows do you need in your quiver? For many surfers, the surfboard-collection ethos is much different than say, collecting records. Less constant accumulation than a soft science of swip-and-swap, inevitably most of us do end up with a few more shredsticks than would seem necessary.
In the last few years, however, while perhaps not paring down the quantity of boards in his collection, Southern California style master Devon Howard has worked to cull the variety of shapes he rides. Notable for his near-perfect surfing on myriad surf crafts, Howard, as he tells it, has shifted his focus to dialing in just two shapes.
“After a few decades of goofing off in the surf, I’ve whittled down what I ride most into two distinct camps — both of which are an obvious extension of the waves, culture and characters where I’ve lived all these years,” says Howard in the abstract to the new short film “Assorted Rides”, above. “For the cruise-y, under shoulder-high days (which there are many), I find classic style single-fin longboards (9’9″ to 10’) with a ’66 Australian bent are hard to beat. When conditions finally push shoulder high on up to double overhead, my plan shapes dip down a few feet to a range of mostly egg-inspired outlines (6’10″ – 7’2”), and the rails, bottom contours and fin set-ups take on a much more revved up form.”
Filmed and edited by Floridian filmmaker Drew Miller, “Assorted Rides” shows the fruits of Howard’s commitment to “goofing off” on Aussie-inspired Mals and turbo-charged funboards. Click play to watch Howard ride boards of the long and mid-variety with speed, power, and that signature flow — after which you may seriously consider culling your own collection, in kind.