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A Glimpse into Mason Ho's Unique Surfing Equipment Choices

Mason Ho is one of the most entertaining people in surfing, so when he releases media of any sort, we tend to tune in. He is also one of the most creative surfers in terms of the equipment that he uses, so when he drops a video talking about his boards and fins, we really sit up and take notice. 

Shallow Reef Fins

A few months back, Mason collaborated with FCS on a video talking about what he has been riding and working on. The first thing he went into was his fins for shallow reefs (which Mason is notorious for surfing). Funny enough, Mason surfs so many sketchy reefs that he actually writes notes to himself on fins that he plans on destroying by running into the bottom!

Black Sheep Epoxy Pipeline Board

Mason also shows us his Black Sheep construction Pipeline board, which is a bit of an anomaly, since most people stay away from epoxy on boards for big, sketchy barrels. His Uncle Derek Ho (RIP) spent his last few seasons at Pipe experimenting with epoxy, and Mason took inspiration from that. Mason was worried that epoxy boards would be too alive and responsive in the barrel, but Uncle Derek reminded him that epoxy boards do good airs, and sometimes at Pipe you want to air over big foam balls. The concept the two Hos worked on together is the idea that you can ride deeper in the barrel on epoxies because they will pop you up over foam balls that you normally wouldn’t make on a traditional polyurethane board. …Lost started working with the Black Sheep epoxy/carbon construction, and Mason asked Matt Biolos to start making his Pipe boards with Black Sheep materials.

Fins for Big Wave and Smaller Boards

When it comes to fins for his big wave boards, Mason likes to use the medium Carver fins. He originally used large fins, but as he got older he started experimenting with smaller fins. He found that medium fins worked well for airs and dynamic turns, and then found that they worked well with big barrels, too. Due to less surface area, they actually move fasters through the water, so Mason has even started scaling down to medium Carver fins for his Waimea boards. He even differentiates between different sets of fins in the same product line, finding that some of them are glassed up slightly thinner or thicker than others. He likes to use the thinnest ones for his Pipe boards, whereas he uses the slightly thicker ones at Sunset and Haleiwa. Mason even knows exactly what set of fins he has won at Sunset twice on!

Mason Ho Surfing

The interesting thing is that Mason actually enjoys using his large-size Carver fins on his smaller boards, between 5'9" and 6'1". At 6'1", he finds that he can use both his medium and large Carver fins, although he also enjoys riding his Mick Fanning fins, which are his favorites.

Mason's Quiver and Signature Fins

Mason runs through his quiver, showing us his basic 5'9" shortboard and his daily “car” board that he knows can sort of do it all, regardless if the waves are a little bigger or smaller. For that board, he normally uses his large Mick Fanning fins, which are also part of the Carver family.

After putting so much thought and research into his fins, it only makes sense that Mason would have his own signature line of fins, and he is currently working on that with FCS. It will probably be a few more months before those are available, but we are excited to see how they go.

Finally, Mason breaks down his dream Indo boat trip quiver, which includes a 6’44", a 5'9" squash tail, and 5'3" semi-retro fish inspired by the shapes from the late 1990s. With those boards, he’d bring along the Mark Richards Twin fin for his fish, plus the new Mason Ho signature fins for his other boards. But if they aren’t out yet, he’d probably go with the Mick Fanning fins.

Benefits of the FCS II System

When it comes to traveling, one of Mason’s favorite things about the FCS II system is never having to travel with screws, fin keys, etc. He only snaps the fins in and out by hand, and never worries about having to bring extra hardware along with him.

We definitely agree with Mason—after all, he knows a lot more about surfboards and fins than we do! As soon as the Mason Ho FCS II fins are available, we will have them in the shop and be testing them out. We’ll keep you posted! 


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