A mo­ment with the MR

Tracks - - Fresh Fish -

It’s a story that’s been told be­fore in this mag, but it doesn’t get old. Mark Richards re­turns from Hawaii to New­cas­tle after the win­ter of ‘76, ‘77 with a head full of Dick-Brewer-in­spired ideas and his heart set on mak­ing a board that he can win con­tests on.

Back In his New­cas­tle, Mark spends sev­eral months work­ing on the new de­sign. Fuelled by com­pet­i­tive am­bi­tion, the project takes on an ob­ses­sive qual­ity. Mark paints a bed­room wall black so he can hang up his card­board out­lines and stare at them from his bed. After nu­mer­ous at­tempts he fi­nally set­tles on an out­line he’s happy with and spends a solid eight hours shap­ing the board. Tap­ing up the iconic, shoot­ing-star spray takes even longer. The swal­low-tail twin (also known as the Free Ride twinny) fea­tures fluted fly­ers, fi­bre­glass fins cut from a skate deck, and sharp rails from nose to tail. The Free Ride twinny model pro­pels MR to four world ti­tles be­tween 1979 and 1981. It also in­spires a golden era of twin fin de­signs as shapers around the world de­velop their own in­ter­pre­ta­tion of MR’s sleek de­sign.

In hon­our of Mark Richard’s con­tri­bu­tion to twin fin evo­lu­tion we’d de­cided it would be fit­ting to en­sure there was an MR on board. MR shaped a 5’8”Supa Twin, specif­i­cally for the trip. Far from a replica of his ti­tlewin­ning board, it’s more like a clas­sic car that’s been fit­ted with a mod­ern en­gine. It fea­tures a pro­nounced rocker and a deep, sin­gle con­cave through the tail. The fly­ers are there but the flutes are not and it ar­rives with a sta­bi­lizer op­tion, just to tempt the no sta­biliser pol­icy that’s been en­forced on this trip.

Tyler War­ren’s been eye­ing it off all trip, but has been con­scious of en­sur­ing he has enough shots and footage on his own

craft be­fore he starts ex­per­i­ment­ing with any­body else’s. While his own twin­nies also in­cor­po­rate mod­ern de­sign el­e­ments, their core in­spi­ra­tion are the mini-Sim­mons twins, which fea­ture wide square tails and keel fins set way back.

Even­tu­ally Tyler’s cu­rios­ity gets the bet­ter of him and he grabs the MR twinny for a back­side as­sault on the bowly left. Truth be told he had to kind of wrench it out of my hands be­cause I’d been hav­ing so much fun on it. “It should be pretty grippy with that deep, sin­gle con­cave,” sug­gests Tyler, whose shap­ing brain en­sures ev­ery board rid­den is sub­jected to some se­ri­ous presurf anal­y­sis.

On the first few waves it’s clear he’s feel­ing it out. For a surfer like Tyler who sub­scribes to the ride ev­ery­thing phi­los­o­phy (or more ac­cu­rately ‘ride the right board for the given con­di­tions’), the de­cod­ing of a craft is part of the fun. He knows that the body and mind take a wave or two to adapt to dif­fer­ent equip­ment. Many surfers miss out on the ben­e­fits of rid­ing a di­verse range of equip­ment be­cause they are too anx­ious to make a board work straight away, or too read­ily in­clined to try and force it to ride like the one they are ac­cus­tomed to.

Watch­ing from the boat it’s clear when the board clicks for Tyler and he be­comes com­fort­able with its nu­ances. Once con­fi­dent, Tyler sud­denly goes from re­laxed turns to full-blown back­side hang­ers and buried rail carves; even tuck­ing into a few grab-rail, back­side tubes with­out a sec­ond thought.

By the time I pad­dle out, Gold Coast­based pho­tog­ra­pher, Si­mon Wil­liams, is shak­ing his hel­met-capped head in a sign of ad­mi­ra­tion, as he treads wa­ter in the

chan­nel. “Tyler War­ren is tear­ing that MR a new one!” he ex­claims in an ac­cent that still gives away his Cor­nish roots.

After the ses­sion, Tyler is flush with the stoke that comes from a good ses­sion on a new craft. “It felt like a per­for­mance short­board,” he sug­gests. “I’m re­ally glad you brought it on the trip.”

Although he may still dab­ble in the oc­ca­sional long­board comp, Tyler prob­a­bly hasn’t pulled on a con­test sin­glet to ride a short­board since his school surf­ing days. How­ever, Tyler’s not surf­ing to sat­isfy some sort of ‘al­ter­na­tive’ cliché, and will hap­pily ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a board built by a four-times world cham­pion who de­vel­oped his twin­nies with the sin­gu­lar pur­pose of win­ning con­tests.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.