NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2021
When I was growing up in Okinawa, it was a US-occupied area with a heavy military and US presence. There was actually a Coca-Cola bottling company there, as many US companies were taking advantage of the tax breaks that were available from basing business in occupied areas.
Okinawa is part of the Ryukyu Archipelago, a chain of islands in southern Japan that include Yanaguni, the home of a mysterious underwater monument. The Ryukyu area is also known for its exemplary glasswork, created by local artisans who developed their world-class talent by working with discarded Coca-Cola bottles. Today, Ryukyu glass is renowned around the world, and comes in a number of different, striking colors, including deep blue, vibrant pink, and an entire rainbow of other options. Ryukyu glass is now registered as one of the traditional crafts of Japan.
This year, my cousin sent me an engraved cup made of Ryukyu glass—a beautiful blue mug with a clear handle. It has my name and the word “Okinawa” etched into the front, along with a traditional design. I thought that was a really cool gift, as it not only shared part of the Ryukyu artwork and culture with me, but also served as a reminder of my time growing up in Okinawa.
I hope that you all had a great Christmas with your families, and that the gifts you exchanged are memorable ones that you can cherish for years to remember good times with those you love!
Shaper Dan Mann recently sat down with The Wire podcast to talk about Firewire sandwich construction and his new Dominator II shape. Feel free to check out the podcast, or read on for a summary of the highlights from his conversation.
Kevin Schultz has been ripping on the Dominator II, which has been a pleasant surprise for shaper Dan Mann. Kevin tried one of Kelly Slater’s Dominator II's awhile back, and is now genuinely stoked on the board. He is especially excited about the sandwich construction, which is something Dan Mann first heard about in 2003, in the context of windsurfing boards. In 2006, when he went to Australia, a bunch of guys were doing sandwich construction boards there, and that was an eye-opener for him—especially once they were able to use balsa rails.
Sandwich construction is at the core of Firewire boards. It turns boards into something like a set of Legos, in that you can build the board how you want. Shapers have refined their designs to the nth degree, but now that you can open up materials with sandwich construction, you can tweak layers and weight and other things that might normally be difficult to account for. You can tweak flexibility, strength, the feel of the board, how it responds, etc.
The other benefit of sandwich construction is that you can make a really strong board really light. The construction process allows you to use less resin and also tweak the different layers of the board, so you can add harder layers on the outside, create flex in the middle, use resin as a bonding agent rather than a structural agent, etc. This provides a wide array of construction options that can be refined to create both strength and performance.
In short, sandwich construction lets Firewire use a super light weight, less dense, one-pound EPS blank without sacrificing strength. With normal PU boards, the blank provides some of the structural integrity, whereas sandwich construction allows you to building layers of strength with different skin layers, balsa rails, etc. The trick for Firewire’s shapers has been to learn to shape the materials that Firewire uses, and discover new possibilities that are created by this unique building process.
One of the advantages that Dan Mann sees in his Dominator II is the wide range of surfers and waves that it works for. Shapers are always trying to find a way to make high-performance boards work in junk waves, and to make grovelers still hold in good waves—and the Dominator II is the happy medium between the two. In terms of performance, the nuances of the vee out the tail and where the fins are located has been conducive to groveling in bad waves, but it’s still good in punchy waves.
The Dominator II is the sequel to the Dominator, which was released in 2008. The original Dominator was considered a groveler, and was one of the first quads Dan shaped and rode. He had been riding twinzers, which are like quads with small trailing fins—but as he discovered true quads, it was a bit of a revelation for him. Once he dialed in his fin placement, he wanted to shape a groveler—so he took his quad experimentation and pared it down into the board that became the Dominator. This was a year before Dan created the Potato, which also grew out of the quad experiments.
In Dan’s eyes, surfboards are elaborate vessels for fins. Boards provide the planing surface, but it’s the fins that you actually end up surfing. Boards direct water toward or away from fins. For instance, on a really wide tail you are pushing the limits of being able to push the board over onto rail, so you have to use fin placement and bottom contours to accomplish that. With the Dominator II, there is width through the front fins, but there’s a narrower tail outline due to a hip that gives way to a soft squash tail. The narrowness at the tail is where your foot drives from, so it’s not super difficult to put the board onto rail, whereas the width up front provides planing surface so that the board is able to get speed in smaller waves.
Meanwhile, the double-barrel concave is extended a little further forward and set within a single concave. This double barrel feeds the water through the leading front fin (as a quad) or through your center fin (as a thruster) as the board is put on rail. Then the vee out the tail helps with transition through the turn.
Dan Mann recently designed a new quad fin set that is available both with FCS and Futures. His goal was to create fins that you don’t feel—that integrate seamlessly into the board. You don’t want to feel a hum or a chirp, or feel that you are underfinned—you just want them to work for you, without having to think about them. The front fins in a quad should be the same no matter what, once you find a good template. Then you can tweak the rear fins to get a different feel with different boards and different waves—using wider quad trailer fins as waves get bigger, or replacing the quad trailers with a center fin to turn the board into a thruster.
My wife Keiko is a great chef who prepares a bunch of delicious dishes for our family. For the past few months we have been featuring a number of her recipes in our “Keiko’s Cooking Corner” series. This month, we will feature Keiko’s curry recipe, which is relatively simple to make and goes great over steamed rice or other staples such as quinoa.
I love curry rice, and Keiko makes an amazing version of this dish. She usually doesn’t include tomatoes, but the last time she cooked it she added them to the curry a little sweeter, and it was pretty amazing!
To make her curry, Keiko starts by mincing half the onion and putting it into a pot with butter and garlic. She lightly browns the garlic and onions, then cuts the other half of the onion into larger pieces and adds them too, along with chopped potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. Once those have browned slightly, she adds mushrooms and meat. The tomatoes release their moisture as they heat up and creates a stew, which Keiko allows to simmer for around 30 minutes.
Once the stew has simmered for awhile, she adds
curry spices, which come in a stick form and can be purchased at Don Quixote or Nijiya Market. After the spices are added, she mixes the curry and allows it to simmer for another 20 minutes. When it’s done, Keiko serves the curry over rice, creating a delicious dish that everyone enjoys!
Within surfing—and Hawaiian surfing in particular—there are a number of legendary families with generations of talent. The Moniz family is one such group, epitomizing hard-charging Aloha on Oahu and around the world for the past 60 years. Family patriarch Tony Moniz was a surfing legend in his own right. He was a competitive force throughout the 1970s and ’80s, traveling the world and dominating at home, where his focus was representing his sponsor Local Motion at the Duke Kahanamoku Classic and the Triple Crown.
After a successful career as a professional surfer, Tony met Tammy at Local
Motion headquarters, and by the mid-1990s they had five kids who were all addicted to the ocean. Their two youngest, Seth and Josh, have gone on to have successful careers on shortboards, with Josh winning the Volcom Pipe Pro in 2018 and Seth earning a spot on the world tour. Meanwhile, older sister Kelia has become one of the world’s most stylish longboarders, a reputation that was made official when she became the women’s longboard world champion.
Kelia has become an icon of the longboarding world, and recently released a signature fin. Made by FCSII, the Kelia Moniz fin is a 9.75" Greenough-inspired template that lends itself to virtually any style of longboarding, from noseriding and cruising to power turns off the bottom. We might not all be able to surf like a Moniz, but now, thanks to Kelia, we can at least ride the same fins!
When and why did you initially get into surfing?
I started getting into surfing with my dad when I was in middle school, during this time and we’d always go on our “safari’s over the weekend. I started to take my best friend with me and we all started surfing together. These are some of the best memories during this time of my life.
Did you have a time period you laid off from surfing?
Unfortunately, I did have a long period off. College got really demanding, married my high school sweetheart, kids were soon to follow, and working on my career became a huge priority. Pretty soon I was left with only enough time for working out and golf.
If so, when and why did you start back up?
I’ve been back surfing for about a year and it has been the best thing I could imagine. Since I lost the groove for surfing pretty young I didn't fully realize what a big part of me was missing.
What is your favorite thing about surfing?
I’ve had a lot of hobbies through life, and I can say that nothing can come close to how suring centers your soul. The freedom, connection with nature, the way it clears your mind, and puts you in an unbelievably good mood is unmatched by anything else that I can think of. With today’s intense work environment and jobs being more demanding than ever, I think it’s so important to keep that one thing alive that can truly detox the stress and help you focus on the things that really matter
Where is your favorite place to eat after surfing?
Since I love to dawn patrol, I have to be honest, and say at about 7:45am I can’t stop thinking about coffee.
What is your favorite item on the menu?
20% Kona Estate roast does the trick and saves me a few bucks lol
What other hobbies do you have besides surfing?
I still golf and go to the gym regularly, but things I’ve had to slow down on over my adult life include spearfishing, shooting, skateboarding, tennis, airsoft, videogames, and car tuning. I used to drive my wife nuts and love to make time for the kids!
What type of work do you do?
I am the lead designer and part owner of Design Trends Construction. We specialize in full interior/exterior remodels from kitchen, baths, extensions, and small home builds. We’re a full service design/build firm with a showroom on the corner Waialae & 10th above CPB. You can find out more about what we do at www.dtchawaii.com
Tell us about the board(s) you recently purchased from us.
I can’t rave enough about the new Dominator 2.0
What model and size is it, and how do you like its performance?
I have the 5’10 coming in at 33L. To me this is one of the best all arounders. It’s fast even in small waves, speed is effortless, very maneuverable, easy to paddle, and can handle steeper faster waves no problem. If I had to choose a board to handle 90% of the conditions this would be the one for me
Do you have any additional comments?
I really appreciate how much Hawaii South Shore values customer service. This is a huge part of ensuring overall satisfaction and really makes a difference for me in who I want to do business with. Brett is always a tremendous help and the whole team is dedicated in making sure that you’ve made the best decision for the sport you love! Boards are a big investment and I wouldn’t trust anyone else.
Reviews From HSS Loyal Customers
The most fun board I own!!! Total game changer when it comes to nose riding AND those “whapah “ turns and cutbacks!! 🤗🤗🤗😁. Dying to try it out at San O!! Might have to get another one to keep one at San Clemente. 🤪🤪 - Sharon
Took that board out to Freddie's today in overhead surf. It was amazing! Was catching 6-7 waves an hour! Paddles so well...Thanks again! - Daniel
Just wanted to let you know that the Harley Ingleby Cruiser is amazing. It is doing everything I hoped it would as a single and thruster. Took it out at lots for some waist-high single fin action and she felt like a traditional log with a bit more maneuverable. Then out to ali’is for some 3-4ft gems as a thruster, this board gets in early holds the nose, and rebounds off the pocket like a much smaller board. I was downsizing to a one board quiver and so far so good, she goes! - Daniel
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