Asymetrical Surfboards – The Next Wave?

Carl Ekstrom & Richard Kenvin photo:hydrodynamica

Carl Ekstrom & Richard Kenvin photo:hydrodynamica

Surfing in a age after so many board revolutions have occured, I often wonder what’s next, or if anything is next.  There hasn’t been too much progression in board design in the last 20 years.  (I’m not saying there haven’t been little innovations here and there.) I was starting to get the feeling that going green was to be the next step.  I figured that the next 10 years would be spent figuring out how to build all our current favorite designs with more eco-conscious materials and methods.  And that’s probably the case.

However, posted “The Asymetrical Surfboard” the other day and I admit it took me by surprise.  Like with all clever concepts, they always seem so simple once you hear them. How had we all gone this far without someone coming up with it?  The idea is to build a board that is half built to tailor to your frontside style and half built to your backside style.

My initial reaction to this was that it seems like an awesome idea, but with hesitation.  But the more I thought about it, the more receptive I became to the idea.  The real trick would be figuring out what kind of board works for your front/back surf styles.  And I wonder if getting used to this kind of board messes with your ability to surf all your other symmetrical boards, unless you are a one board kind of person. Resale value would certainly go down.  But then again, why shouldn’t we tailor our boards to us rather than try to conform to the board? Or, does tailoring your board to your style prevent you from improving your front and backside ability?  Oh the questions!

I just can’t decide.  What do you think?


  1. anon on 2 November 2009 at 11:41 am

    This guy’s been making them for years, though this particular shape is new:

    And then there are these: Not asymmetrical, but WTF?:

    • Jeff on 2 November 2009 at 12:06 pm

      Thanks for the vid. That fin set up they are using is making thinks even more bizarre.

      But that second link – I’ve seen those too. I don’t know what to think about them yet, but who knows.

  2. peter on 2 November 2009 at 2:20 pm

    there’s an article about each of those dudes in a recent issue of “surfer” (joel tudor guest ed.). i love that there are some people who approach the act of wave-riding from an intellectual and inventive perspective as well as a sensation driven one (but, hey, we all love the gnar-gnar). kenvin is an especially interesting character, who is really dedicated to learning and teaching about the history of surfing and the progression of wave-riding devices. i first heard about him here:

    … and as i have gotten more interested in board shapes and shaping, his name just keeps popping up.

  3. SurfScience on 2 November 2009 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks for mentioning our article. We had a great time talking to Carl & Richard. Two shapers with a great philosophy on surfing. Check back for some more great interviews with shapers, surfers & coaches.

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