A TWIN FIN ODYSSEY TO AN ATOLL FAR, FAR AWAY. BY LUKE KENNEDY. ALL PHO­TOS BY SI­MON ‘SWILLY’ WIL­LIAMS.

Tracks - - Fresh Fish -

Aerial spe­cial­ist, Matt Me­ola, un­packs his quiver and al­most apolo­get­i­cally ex­plains why he has so much foam and fi­bre­glass crammed into his travel cover. “When I told a few shapers about this trip they all wanted to shape me a board and I didn’t want to say no to any of them, so I just brought them all.” As Matt starts haul­ing the boards out of his bag, the other surfers stand around and ooohh and ahhh, grab­bing them off him, clutch­ing the rails; tuck­ing them un­der arms and imag­in­ing the ride. The un­veil­ing of twin fins car­ries a dis­tinct sense of cer­e­mony. On some pro surfer trips, boards can take on a kind of util­i­tar­ian qual­ity – bleached white, dis­pens­able – tools of the trade that can be read­ily re­placed and repli­cated – but the twinny still seems to in­spire a sense of mys­tique and wonder. Just at a glance twins prom­ise trans­porta­tion to a more Zen-like space; a path of least re­sis­tance where speed, flow and style trump the more forced jam, hack and slash of a thruster. De­spite the ea­ger­ness to please his litany of crafts­men, Matt pro­fesses ig­no­rance when it comes to this trip’s cho­sen board genre. “I re­ally know noth­ing about twin fins,” he cries as he tries to de­cide which one of his shapes to ride. The is­land of Maui, where Matt is from, goes pretty much flat in the sum­mer and Matt be­comes con­sumed with chas­ing fish and hunt­ing. He hasn’t surfed in three weeks when he ar­rives on the boat, whip­pet thin and wear­ing a beard that is some­where be­tween bib­li­cal and rock­a­billy. De­spite his pro­fessed lack of knowl­edge, Matt seems equipped with the es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent for an exploration of de­sign – an open mind.

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