Shape: 5'9 x 18.75 x 21.625 x 16 x 2.5
Shaper Studios founding partner, Chris Clark (@cclarky), handshpaed this twin fin almost a year ago.
Inspiration 01: Gary McNeill "Torus"
"The outline of a Gary McNeill Torus Twin Fish design had caught my eye a couple years ago. After that I closely followed Gary's designs and concepts as he continued to build a quiver for one of the best twin fin surfers on the planet, Dave Rastovich. Gary seems to have committed to what he calls a 'Torus' bottom contour, which appears to be a deep single channel that runs from nose to tail. The interesting thing about the Torus bottom is that the concave does not run rail to rail but instead is only in the center of the board leaving the bottom flatter towards the rail."
Inspiration 02: Tomo "Evo"
At the same time, Clarky got to talking with Daniel Thomson about the contours on his popular Evo model and the results are modern board theory mixed with a spoon/fish outline, keeping both aesthetic beauty and function.
The "Black Rainbow" features a very subtle single concave from rail to rail with a super deep double concave inside of that, inset 4" from the rail to keep the essential planing surface of a fish in tact. The concave runs nose to tail and is complemented with slight vee out of the tail.
Glassing: 6/ 6+6
Clarky has been trusting most of his concept boards to the squeegee of glass-master, Kory Nutter (@fiberglass_moustache). The bottom of the board features a foam stain in horizontal rainbow stripes, inset to where the deck lamination meets. The top lamination was done with black pigment and epoxy resin, followed by a black hot coat to achieve the really deep true black color.
Finning: Glass on Keels
Clarky hand foiled some red keel fins for Kory to lay up. When talking about the fin selection for this board, Chris said "They have less surface area to them than I would normally require on a board with this much volume but that friction free feeling was something that I wanted to play with as well. Less is more when it comes to fins unless you're logging."
Test Drive: Session 1 & 2
We caught up with Clarky after his first two sessions to get some feedback.
"I shaped this "black rainbow" twin fin over a year ago and finally got to ride it for the first time yesterday. With only two sessions and 20 waves I think this board is the most liberating board I've surfed in a long time."
We asked him to elaborate about what specifically he enjoyed while surfing the newest addition to his quiver. "In my first session of the morning it felt so intuitive, especially on the backside re-entry. So smooth. On the second or third wave it got away from me. The deep concave throughout surprised me a little with so much lift off the top of the wave. It felt like the board wanted to fly up and off the lip. After the first two waves I decided to adjust my approach.
Because the board felt so free, I thought to myself, I'm going to take more of a finless approach to this board:
1. find a low center of gravity and control the deck pressure.
2. work the rails and wait for them to engage.
In my second session of the day the waves were a little smaller but even more lined up. For the first time I was able to shift gears on a surfboard. I could set a high line and cruise in a steady trim and with a section approaching I could kick into another gear or two by applying the slightest compression down and then releasing to gain speed (pump).
With that being said, there is much more to discover on this one so stay tuned. That's the beauty of making surfboards, applying theory in the shaping bay and testing it in the water.