Dann Mann Freaks Out the King With the Slater Designs FRK
Kelly Slater has been called a lot of things over the years. Champ. GOAT. The King. And, of course, the Freak.
When Slater approached Dann Mann about designing him a board, Dann knew exactly what he wanted to make Slater—and what it should be called. The FRK is medium-wave performance machine with an aesthetically pleasing outline, medium rails, and a rounded pintail that almost gives the board a quasi twin-tip look. In a word, the board looks fast—and if Slater’s performances on it have been any indication, that’s exactly what it is.
The funny thing is, the FRK almost didn’t get ridden. Dann shaped it for Slater in 2015, but Slater gets a lot of boards shaped for him, and the original design ended up sitting in a garage for two years before a friend of Slater’s took it out for a spin. He had a blast on the board, and called Slater up telling him he needed to try the board out. Slater said he knew it was a winner before he even completed his first ride. He started riding the board a ton, putting together mind-blowing performances at Trestles, J-Bay, the Surf Ranch, and the North Shore.
This year, Slater Designs is releasing a Firewire version of the FRK, and word on the street is that it rides even better than that original custom that Dann Mann built for the original Freak himself. Featuring a moderate volume and the flexibility of five fin boxes, this is a standard high-performance board with all of the necessary ingredients—and nothing else. Mann’s goal was to distill a board down to the bare essentials, creating a design that is so clean you forget it’s even there.
If you are looking for a board that puts you so in touch with the wave you forget there’s fiberglass between your feet and the water, then this is the answer. Just don’t forget to come to the shop and check it out!