Kelly Slater's Surfboard Designer
Slater's Surfboard Designer
When Kelly Slater calls you up and asks you to design a board for him, you know you have made it as a shaper. However, when Slater rides that board and then decides to add it to the Slater Designs line, you really know you have done something special. That’s exactly what happened to Dann Mann, when his FRK design became the latest in the Slater Designs arsenal. Mann had been around a long time before Slater invited him to join the SD team—in fact, he’s been a master shaper for nearly two decades!
The Coronado-based shaper has been building boards since 1996, under his own label “Mannkine” and for industry leader Channel Islands. He’s also glassed for Rusty, Xanadu, and Joel Tudor. In other words, this guy has credentials. Mann’s reputation really began to develop after the release of some of his early Firewire offerings, which became crowd favorites with the summertime grovel crowd. The Sweet Potato, Baked Potato, and Chumlee are three very different boards with some very similar characteristics—all of which are designed to make them super fun and super-fast. Wide, flat, and round, these boards provide trim speed in even the flattest and fastest of waves but compensate for their extreme width with user-friendly curves that make the boards super exciting to ride. When combined with Firewire’s lightweight, extra-strong construction, all three of these boards became great options for surfers looking for a silver bullet to get them through summer—and as it turns out, there were a lot of those types of surfers.
As Mann’s shapes gained popularity, so did their shaper, and in 2015 Slater sent in a request for a custom design. The result was the FRK, a board that is set to revolutionize high-performance once again, under the feet of the man who has redefined what high performance is numerous times throughout his storied career. If Slater trusts Mann to build his boards, then so do we, so Hawaiian South Shore is honored to be getting a shipment of Dan Mann’s new surfboard The Dominator 2 in the coming weeks. Whether you are looking for a standard shortboard like the FRK or a stubby, ethereal grovel-stick like the Sweet Potato, Mann knows what it takes to make a board tick; making him a great resource for a surfer looking to change things up.