Everyone should get at least one custom in their life, and Tony Dodd has done just that. Here is the story of Tony and his 100 litre Moo custom, from the initial concept to hitting the water.
I first went to Jon at Moo about 3 years ago. I had been getting increasingly into wave sailing and had progressed from single fins to a Quatro Tempo 84 twin and then a Quatro LS quad 75. The Tempo was good but I wanted something a bit different to push on my waveriding as it still felt quite like a freestyle wave. I should say from the start that I enjoy getting new kit and always feel that new toys help to push me along. This is probably just psychological but who cares. I also like something a bit different and was attracted to getting a custom from what I had read on the Boards forum. I considered a few options and eventually decided to contact Jon who shaped me a 90 litre trailer fin. I liked this board so much that after about a year I then got a 75 litre board shaped. I cannot recommend enough getting a custom board that is just for you and even has “Tony’s moo” hand written on the tail. The initial thinking and then anticipation of waiting for the board is a special experience.
For the 90 litre board everything was done by email. I provided Jon a lot of information about me down to the width of my feet, the places I sailed and the conditions I sailed in. After a while I then went over to pick up the board. It was great to actually meet Jon and have a chat. For the 75 litre board we had more of a chat about what I wanted. Jon has a great ability to read between the lines and intuitively work out what will be best for you. I don’t know how he does this but it’s no doubt down to a lot of experience and skill. The only problem was that the 75 litre was such a good board and so efficient that it made my 90 litre board pretty much redundant. I’m about 75kg and the small board was very impressive at planing and slogging.
So I started to think about getting a bigger big board, nearer 100 litres, to pair with the 75 litre board. I had been using a Goya X1 105 as my biggest board and whilst I could ride it in waves up to head high it was not the easiest and I will never do freestyle. I had tried a Starboard Blackbox 87 (which I enjoyed but is very skatey), Ola had released the Frugal range and some other custom shapers like Flikka and KillerFish were starting to look at super short shapes. A lot of this was being heavily influenced by developments in surfboards like the Firewire Vanguard and other compact surf shapes. I spent some time researching and learning more about these shapes.
The idea of a super short board really appealed and I started working on Jon to shape me something really short and around the 100 litre mark. I liked the idea of a fast rockered board that could plane easily but that would also have true waveboard turning even at 100 litres for a 75kg sailor. This seems like a pretty specialist bit of kit and I suppose I knew this but I wanted a board that could be used in sloppy cross-on through to really marginal cross-off conditions and anything up to head high. Whilst many people go for a two board quiver that is quite close in volume I preferred the idea of a large 25 litre gap to cover a really wide range of conditions. This would rely on the two boards have pretty wide ranges in terms of both wind and wave conditions.
I exchanged some ideas with Jon and eventually went over to talk in detail about where we should take the design. Jon has been shaping short boards for a long time (my 90 and 75 litre boards are 225cm and 222cm respectively) but I really wanted to push it on the length. Jon convinced me that trying to hit the 2m mark was a bit far and we settled on 215x63cm. We discussed various other aspects of the shape including the tail and eventually settled on a Vanguard influenced tail shape. Jon is great to work with, he has immense passion for windsurfing and is really enjoyable company. You have full confidence that he will shape a board that will do the job.