The Importance of Quality Surf Hardware
Surf hardware can make or break a session. If that session is overseas on a much-anticipated trip then you’re in for a world of hurt.
We’re all familiar with this scenario… You’ve just pulled off a wave but your board got caught in the lip. The board gets sucked over the falls and you feel that familiar tug on your ankle. Suddenly, it’s all slack and you know instantly you’re in for a long paddle to shore.
Go find your board check for dings, fins, tail pad… kiss the session goodbye.
Good hardware can make or break a trip.
There’s only really one way to test gear and that’s to get someone else to do it… Someone who does miles and miles on it. Someone who probably gets more waves in one session that you do in your busiest week.
Someone like Steph Gilmore for example…
Nobody surfs quite as much as the world’s best. Sometimes it’s surfing at home, sometimes it’s half the world away. Wherever those waves are being caught and ridden those extra miles add up and that extra usage defines the line between good hardware and great hardware.
We caught up with the guys from Creatures of Leisure to see where they and six-time (nearly seven) world champion, Steph Gilmore, draws that line.
Stoked: What drives a brand like Creatures of Leisure to keep pushing?
COL: In a nutshell, we want to create high-quality, dependable, battle-tested equipment. When the worlds best start analyzing their equipment we listen because in most cases that equipment is battle tested. Battle-tested is exactly what we’re all after when it comes to preparing for a surf trip. Whether that’s board covers that keep our quiver fresh and protected, fins that allow you to unleash on any section, or leashes that have your back in all types of conditions.
Stoked: What’s the most important item(s) to bring on a surf trip?
COL: It’s gotta start with boards, right? A dynamic quiver is the best kind of quiver – so you’re prepared in the occasion that the ocean goes flat, or if picks up and goes absolutely bananas. If that quiver doesn’t decimate your pocket change, accessories are next.
Stoked: What hardware gets thrown into your travel bag?
COL: Well its starts with strong, light and dependable boardcovers. Inside them we’re always packing a few leashes for different conditions, a couple fin templates, even a traction pad or two. The comes things like wax, fin keys, changing poncho and maybe even a waterproof bucket hat (if you’re into that type of thing)
Stoked: Creatures are proud sponsors of Steph Gilmore, with a potential seventh title on the horizon what equipment makes it into her travel case….
COL: Yep, one thing you can count on when it comes to surf accessories is the esteemed advice of Stephanie Gilmore. The accessories and essentials that might be contributing to her success on tour this year. That being said, we’re pretty sure Steph could win a world title on a wooden door, but there are certainly some knick-knacks that we reckon help define a great tour from a good tour.
Stoked: Such as?
COL: Well, we’re pretty proud of Steph’s 2019 Signature Traction Pad. There’s a bit of fashion meets function here. Three colourways all with a bit of pink running through them. That was totally Steph’s recommendation. The pad is designed with minimal round cut out holes and a 3-piece construction, providing more tail kick coverage for the average surfer who’s got happy feet. It’s a pretty traditional under-foot feeling, so it’s not too techy, just a good solid grip on the board with just the right amount of raise.
Stoked: How about leashes, the pros are in for some potentially massive waves, board drags, and hold-downs. What has Steph got around her ankle?
COL: Definitely, the Pro 6 Leash. Steph tosses a few of these into her bag and they have her covered from Australia to Europe. It’s a great leash for all around conditions and medium-sized waves, so you can’t go wrong.
Stoked: What about the board bag? A quiver like Steph’s gotta be well protected right?
COL: We set Steph up with the Multi Tour Board cover. Like any tour surfer, Steph has demands for how many boards she needs to travel with usually around 6. Most travellers hit their destinations with about 2-3 boards in tow. But, having the capacity to carry up to six is a real bonus. The Multi-Tour holds six of Steph’s blades and is easy enough to get around with. Plus the tech that goes into board covers these days is a whole other level.
Stoked: What kind of tech are we talking about?
COL: Wel, the multi-tour cover uses Genuine Diamond-Tech Fabric – it’s light, strong and dependable and can withstand being whipped around the airport by even the most apathetic ‘handler’. After that, a casual mission through the jungle on top a Landcruiser is no sweat. One of the big features, that the guys in the Research and development department came up with, is the air flow system. Basically, it means no more melted wax bald spots on your board if your trekking somewhere hot – not sure how it would hold up in a car in a Sydney summer day though?
There you have it, folks.