Interview By: Beau Flemister
A few things you might already know about the brilliant, new Hypto Krypto Step-Up model: It’s a step up. It’s got a swallow tail. It friggin’ works. Fair nuff. It’s details you could probably gather from one look on the site at it. But what’s the Team saying about it? The guys that have put that shape to the test in waves of consequence, during this firing Indonesian season, and at home in step-up-worthy waves? We got the goods about this exciting new sled from three of Haydenshapes’ favourite North American riders: Dylan Graves, Micky Clarke, and Jake Kelley. Here’s what they have to say…
Haydenshapes: Tell us about the Hypto Krypto Step Up…What do you like about it, and have you had any memorable sessions on it?
Dylan Graves: My Hypto Step is 5’7” x 19” x 2 1/4” which is actually what took with me on our team trip to Indonesia this summer. We got a ton of swell while we were there and surfed a bunch of slabs, and this board was feeling INSANE. It had all the paddle-power needed as well as drive and manoeuvrability when necessary. I was pretty baffles really.
Micky Clarke: Yeah, the Hypto step up is pretty sick. I ride it as a 5’9” by 2 ½” by 19 3/8” which is a relatively small board compared to my everyday 6’1” shortboard. What took me by surprise was how good it felt in steep, fast paced, head-high to over head tubes. A very memorable session I had on the Step Up was surfing a left slab in Indonesia where I found myself sliding in under the lip with much more control than I would’ve anticipated. I really admire how well it keeps its composure in critical surf.
Jake Kelley: The Hypto Step Up has actually become one of my favourite and versatile boards I’ve ever had. I’m riding it in 5’6” stock dims, I got it for the team Indo trip straight into some insane sessions. I also just landed back home last night on a trip to the Outer Banks for a hurricane swell where I literally only road that board. Pretty much makes any session where you are getting tubed and have big sections as fun as it gets.
Unreal. So, do the two Hyptos compare at all?
Dylan: Both have a good all around feel, but I would say the Hypto Step Up is made specifically for good waves, it feels very trustworthy off the bottom and has a little more length than your normal Hypto so I think the name is appropriate [laughs].
Micky: Comparing the Hypto and Hypto Step Up you’ll find they do have a few similarities considering they handle tubes and critical conditions very nicely. I just feel as though you can push the limits on the Hypto Step Up a little further and in my personal preference I really enjoy swallow tails for a quick and responsive feeling on your back foot which is what the new Hypto Step Up was designed with it.
Jake: I think the main difference I noticed between the Step Up and the original is how well it holds in the pocket and how aggressive you can surf it. You can push as hard as you want on any section that you’d be wanting to ride a step up short board but it still has the speed and glide of the original Hypto. It makes it really effortless to draw different lines since it has the speed and glide of the original Hypto, which is really fun when you are surfing cranking waves. You basically can try new ways of surfing the best types of waves with out being hindered by losing speed or sliding out.
You guys said you rode it a lot on the Team Trip in Indonesia. More on that…
Dylan: There was this right slab we surfed that was pretty intense, not the biggest but really throaty and SHALLOW. Right on the reef. It seemed the perfect place to try it out, seeing as how you needed paddle power to get you over the ledge but then short enough board to manoeuvre through these boxed out little monsters. Really intimidating little wave and the board gave me that confidence I needed to feel comfortable to swing when it was my up.
Micky: Yeah, I did ride it on the Team boat trip. I actually had one of my most memorable sessions on it from that trip at the left slab. I had a few more sessions on it at a right slab as well as a punchy, peaky beach break. I noticed at both the right and left, it handled a steep drop and held a nice line through the tube. At the beach broke it rode very user friendly and I had a lot of fun trying some straight airs and a few rail turns as well.
Jake: This was the board I rode the most on the team trip anytime we were surfing the slabs. Whether it was a left or a right, chest high to well overhead, it seemed to hold in the barrel or when you would get a big section to do a turn on. To me riding a smaller board in bigger tubes that actually holds gives you a really good and different feeling you can’t get with many other boards, especially with the paddle power you have in this board and how well it plains once you’re going down the line.
What kind/size of waves would you say the step-up works best in?
Dylan: Here’s the summary, if you’re looking for a one-board Indo quiver and swell is looking decent: get the Hypto Step Up as it still performs when it’s small. But if forecast was looking small with a day or two of swell I would go one board quiver of normal Hypto.
Micky: I definitely will say you can ride it in waves from 1-3 foot wedges to 6-10 foot tubes. I think its most ideal conditions would be a 6-8-foot peaky, tubing beach break where you could find an odd air section or turn section to really feel out all the board has to offer.
Jake: My favourite waves to ride the Hypto Step Up is anywhere from overhead to as big as you want to push it in hollow waves. The paddle power allows you to put yourself in any position you want. It’s definitely a standout in bigger hollow waves, but as long as it’s punchy it’s really fun to ride because it still has the forgiving aspects rail to rail as the original Hypto, along with all the speed. I’d say chest high and up in punchy waves, it’s my favourite board to ride right now.
Technically (like, rocker/rails/concaves, etc) what do you love most about the Step Up?
Dylan: Well, it’s designed with more rocker but similar concaves and rails to the normal Hypto, so you have a familiar board with better GOOD wave perks.
Micky: I love that Hayden added a swallow tail to it. Also, it seems like it has a more pulled in tail and nose which would make it a bit easier to control in average to critical surf. I’m not too great with rockers and concaves but I will say that whatever is going on with the bottom contours and rockers for the Hypto Step-up, that it works!
Jake: My favourite part, technically about the board is the pulled in tail with the low nose rocker. It lets you hold and plain down the line when you are in the tube, and then you can step back on the tail and really lay into it.