Two-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) is back in the frontrunner's yellow jersey heading into the second event of the women's 2015 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT) season. Swell during this year's Gold Coast window was more elusive than fans, event organizers and surfers would have hoped, forcing many of the world's best to grab their grovelers for competition.
Moore managed to win in Rounds 1 and 3 but her shaper, Lost Surfboards' Matt "Mayhem" Biolos, admits they took some time to get her board dialed in before heading into the later rounds. It would seem that Moore found the magic one just in time to help her win the event.
Shaper: Lost Surfboards by Matt Biolos
Dimensions: 5'8" x 18.75" x 2.25"
Volume: Slightly under 26 L
World Surf League: When the conditions turned out to be less desirable on the Gold Coast, how did Moore's board setup change?
Matt Biolos: After she just squeaked through her Round 3, three-woman heat, we regrouped and agreed she was looking less than stellar. We hadn't focused on grovel boards since [Huntington Beach] last July, and nothing she had looked or felt alive in the small, gutless waves. Combined with the fly weights, like Silvana [Lima] and Coco [Ho], looking so good in the small surf, Riss was feeling nervous about the rest of the event.
I made five boards over the next few days, feeding her one of each of my most proven small-wave boards. The one she clicked with most, and went with, ended up being a Sub-Driver just shy of 26 L. It was the same model and dims as Wiggolly [Dantas'] board, but a touch smaller.
WSL: What are the challenges in designing a small-wave board versus a bigger-wave board?
MB: They are nearly the opposite, one is designed for controlling speeds, to allow turns ... The other's designed to create speed, all allow radical turns and maneuvers.
WSL: What are the biggest things surfers should switch up for small waves?
MB: I would say the main thing is to redistribute surface area, and adjust bottom curves from a surface planing bottom to a bottom that sits lower in the water at high speed.
WSL: Does Carissa switch things up a lot? Or does she tend to stick to the same designs for all conditions?
MB: Traditionally, she has been riding two rockers: One for junky, flat-faced surf, and one for solid surf. In solid surf, she has a rocker we call the CM-Pro. She rides this board in waves like Margs, Bells Bowl, Hawaii (Honolua, etc) as a 5'9 squash up to 6'0 round tails.
She has been riding a Sub-Scorcher 2 (SS2) in small surf since she won the U.S. Open and Portugal CT on one in 2013. But the SS2 looked flat and uninspired in the curvy little tight pockets of Snapper, so we needed to find a different curve.
Find out what makes a magic board so magical
WSL: When conditions get tricky how much do you weigh in? Does Carissa always know what she wants?
MB: On this occasion I got a bit more heavy-handed, but usually she and her dad, Chris, discuss and decide far more than I. He knows her surfing better than anyone.
WSL: Was there anything about Carissa's off-season training or improvement that you were surprised to see?
MB: Not really. She's a world champion athlete and knows what it takes to stay at that level.
Watch Moore and the rest of the Top 17 battle at the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach LIVE on the World Surf League homepage April 1 - 12, 2015.