Alex Brown, Ph.D.
This past fall, I was in the market for a new board. Over the past couple of years I've decided to get with the program, buy some decent winter gear, and extend my surf season into the colder months. After snapping my old 9'2 performance longboard on a big, dredging right this fall, I decided that continuing to surf from October-May meant that I needed a board that would be better suited to the demands of the more substantial New Jersey winter swells.
I considered lots of 'stock' board designs from lots of shapers, but nothing seemed like a good fit. I've been a die-hard longboarder since my early teens, so a typical performance shortboard or step-up would probably have cut my wave count a little too drastically given my skill level. I'll admit: I'm aging rapidly, and my waistline isn't getting any smaller. I needed something with quite a bit of volume, but I didn't want to sacrifice hold or drive.
Thankfully, the guys at Kona were super quick to draft a board design that met my seemingly impossible combination of conflicting requirements. From scratch, Chris concocted a wide point forward design with performance rocker, a pulled in tail and performance oriented rails that would hold in bigger surf, but maintain enough float and stability to keep things fun for a longboarder without a lot of experience riding boards under 9 feet. Chris and his team took my height and weight, assessed my experience level from a few videos, and turned those specs into a completely custom magic stick for less than many comparable stock boards. The experience was affordable, quick, easy, and personalized. As an engineer, I was impressed with Kona's in-house manufacturing capability and their local supply chain. As a customer, I couldn't be happier with their commitment to customer satisfaction and the care they took in delivering a truly personalized product.