Big wave surfer Natxo Gonzalez and fellow Basque tube hound Aritz Aranburu have teamed up with their shaping label Pukas to a launch a new custom-only surfboard model called the Crystal Curtain.
"This has been about three years in the making and we think we've made the perfect weapon for perfect waves,'' Gonzalez told the WSL. "Myself and Aritz have tested the board at home in Mundaka, Namibia, our favorite European slabs and Teahupo'o."
It's a research and development phase that has probably logged more tube time than any other project and tells you a little bit about how and where this board will, and won't work. Not so good for airs or in mushy beachbreaks, but potentially life changing when the waves get seriously perfect.
Both surfers have given detailed feedback to shaper Axel Lorentz and the Crystal Curtain was the result of both surfer's input.
"Aritz recently took a few of my shapes to Teahupo'o and to tell you the truth he said it wasn't for him," said Gonzalez. "So we tweaked aspects based on his feedback and came up with two models that we are both really happy with."
The original idea was to create a shorter board that could handle the heavy waves that both chargers regularly take on. Natxo will ride these from 5'7" to 6'6" on any sized slab that comes his way. With the volume centered in the middle of the board and narrowed out through the tail and nose, plus a five fin set up, it's a board that is designed for speed and hold in the tube.
"We've spent so long on it, but that means it's a board you can always trust when it gets big and hollow," Natxo says. "And there's no better feeling in surfing than that."