Most are now pretty familiar with the whole concept behind Stab In The Dark. On invitation of taking part, what were the shapers told? Boards to be delivered by June 1 in either LA or Sydney. Surfer is 6’0” and 190 lbs (86 kg), but will remain anonymous. Shoot location, South Africa. Surfboard must be 6’0” but width, thickness and volume all open to interpretation. Oh, and blank, blank, blank.
Risks? The honesty perhaps. By being involved, you are exposing yourself/brand to being absolutely cooked by the surfer should they decide the board was a lemon. The concept is heavily flawed, yes, but is it damn interesting and entertaining? Absolutely.
After declining to take part last year due to some personal committments taking priority, Hayden was all in for the 2016 installment. Taking the title quite literally in terms of the shape he decided to submit (he instantly picked it was Dane), Hayden opted to create something completely unique and never before been tried or tested. Submitting an existing model didn't seem as fun.. So, that's what it was, a 'stab in the dark' shape that has since taken on the name Dark Side. The movement begins...
Dane and the rogue shape seemed to get along quite well, as he picked it in the TOP FOUR of 13 submissions from the worlds best shapers. We were pretty stoked. We were also stoked for Pyzel who took out the top spot!
Editors note: Is that 2/2 boards now? Remember when Dane rode the Psychedelic Germ in the Quiksilver Moments campaign? Watch HERE. (it also made his scribbles in the score card notes below.) Of the two boards he's ridden from Haydenshapes, if you do the math, it seems the compatibility rate is 100%. But hey...who's playing cupid here?
“The Stab In The Dark shape I put forward was a design that would give the surfer a lot of sensitivity and ability to carve the board in the pocket," said the craftsman behind shape #18, Hayden Cox.
"I assumed that the surfer was going to be Dane Reynolds based on the rider specs, and took into account that it would be surfed in Durban, which has some great top-to-bottom beach breaks, allowing for a very responsive, traditional performance design. The difference I went for was to design a rocker that will allow a 6’0” to feel like a 5’10”, but allowing you to use those longer rail lines to keep the carves powerful but tight. Blending the trend of having a smaller (but wider) shortboard and how that feels with the more traditional late 90’s/early 2000’s performance shortboard design.”
"A board with a continuous curve throughout the rocker so it’s really going to fit into the tighter areas of the wave, but also generate enough speed so if they’re approaching a section, hitting a ramp or something like that, it’s going to go pretty fast."
Taking a look at the scoresheet and you'll note the across-the-board 4/5's, coupling that with the quality of Dane's surfing in the feature and you can see why Hayden's board made the prestigious fav four.
“It was one of the first boards I rode," remarked Dane to Stab. "I think I originally said it was a JS but now I think it’s a Haydenshapes (bingo). I rode it in pretty bad conditions the first time and wanted to give it another try. Coming off the bottom – instead of engaging and really wanting to go up into the lip – it would do this release thing. It felt like a good board all around, just not super drivey.”
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