Reshaping Surfing; Thomas Meyerhoffer's Design Skill Might Change Look of the Sport

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), March 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

Reshaping Surfing; Thomas Meyerhoffer's Design Skill Might Change Look of the Sport


Byline: Bill Hoffman

HE has designed everything from the Apple eMate to snow goggles, the Swedish brand soap and toilet paper dispensers that are used around the world.

But yesterday it was Thomas Meyerhoffer's skill as a surfboard designer that was on show at the GSI One Design Division of the Noosa Festival of Surfing.

And what a design it is.

The standard board shape since the inception of the sport has consisted of a single curved rail, a concept which has only ever been tampered with through the introduction of stepped in wings near the tail.

For a man who has in his design resume a soft computer whose screen can be angled to allow you to better read it in bed, the norm was never going to be enough.

Thomas describes the experience of surfing his longboard design, which has a pintail curving out to a bulbous back third before coming in to a narrow "middle" and then again rounding at the top third nose section, as akin to listening to remixed music or eating food you haven't tried before.

It takes some getting used to, but not much if the experience of competitors surfing the craft for the first time yesterday was anything to go by.

There were plenty of nine point rides as surfers quickly discovered the design benefits that allow tighter turns on a lighter board that still measure 9'2".

Thomas said the key to the development was an appreciation that longboards were only ridden from the rear for turns and at the front for nose riding.

A surfer himself for the past 10 years he began messing around with designing and building his own board about five years ago.

He pushed the envelope until he eventually found one that worked and began refining it until he arrived at the shape now being produced by Global Surf Industries

"It's a lot more nimble," Thomas said.

"I took away what you don't need. …

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