Mick Fanning (AUS) and shaper Darren Handley have worked together for more than two decades. Fanning just won the Hurley Pro at Trestles on a DH design, and now more than ever their relationship is a case study for the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Fanning's win at Trestles was his second event title of the 2015 season (in April, he won the 2015 Rip Curl Bells Beach) and assumed control of the Jeep Leaderboard. Taking the No. 1 spot earned him the yellow jersey for the first stop on the European leg, the Quiksilver Pro France.
"With Mick, he basically rides the same board with just small refinements for the different locations," Handley said. "He surfs three times a day and likes to keep fresh boards under him. At the next events he'll pick up 10 boards and pick the best when he goes out for his heat."
"When Mick was young I was showing him how shaping works -- how concaves and fins affect the board and what everything does," Handley continued. "I'm a surfer but what he's doing in the water, I don't understand that. So what he feels in the water he brings back to me and tells me, 'change this,' 'try this do that,' so we have a lot of experimenting to go to the next level... . Everyone's looking for a magic board, even if they have one."