The fascination of flex in a surfboard is something I inherited, imprinted in my DNA. When I watch Paul Witzig’s unforgettable footage of Dad on the Stringerless Plastic Machine at Honolua Bay in 1966, I’m left with no question as to where my love for stringerless boards originated.
A couple of years ago Wispy asked me for a three board quiver he needs for an Indo trip a week out. One of them was a micro 4’9” squashed Vinny type thing, but the only blank we had was stringerless. The results of the stringer-free fish can seen in his movie ‘Seek’… (shredding just quietly). In the meantime I shaped Corey, Harry and myself different incarnations of the mini-Vinny all sub 5’5”. The results were coming in positive, even in solid 6ft pipes. We adjusted the tail outline, tweaked fin placement and Harry got the latest upgrades… then we chat. He just had got out of the water and was losing it! It went wayyy better, faster, looser yet holds drive. He was fizzing on the same feelings we all had; loading speed in bottom turns, releasing and contorting through sections, fitting to the wave as needed, becoming almost part of it, an extension of yourself, morphing and bending to what the wave allows.
It’s a massive privilege to keep Dad’s stringerless dreams alive (albeit a few feet shorter and 50 or so years later), but the same feelings and the same fun.