Sunday, May 27, 2012

Picking the good ones for Tavi! (that's Pinky, the Rio winning board)

Surfline's Power Rankings are out, and JJ is #1 !

Power Rankings

Is JJ surfing’s Black Swan? Is he the incomprehensible, unexpected, game-changer that causes the world to tilt? When the bricks were being doled out to all the pretty Californian kids a few years back, John John missed out on the cherries and got the pips. Now, the surf industry lizards stiffen with anticipation at a contract renewal that will make numbers and accountants spin. Seventy-something seconds into the final at Rio, John John didn’t just have his foot on Joel Parkinson’s neck, he had him stripped naked and shivering. A nine-point backside air 360 (ain’t no reverse in the mix) on JJ’s first wave? In under seven minutes, Joel was comboed and being force-fed bitter slices of melon. Joel responded with tuberides and cutbacks. And Joel is the current world number one. And while Kolohe aims for Rookie of the Year, John John talks of world titles. One of ‘em is dreaming.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

a little interview from Portugal about JJ's newest model- Pinky

(English Version)
Jon, we heard that the board John John rode in Brasil was made in Portugal, how did that work?
We had just worked on a brand new board for JJ that he took to Trestles to try, and it turned out to be something that he really liked a lot.  He made it to the Semis in that contest riding it, and I could see that it was working really good for him.  It was the first board of that design that I made, so I wanted him to have a back-up in case he broke it.  I was in Portugal at Polen and Alvaro told me to make him 2 more like it, and he would have his friend bring it down to Brazil and get it to JJ.  I shaped a couple new ones, and the team at Polen worked hard to get it finished up and on to the plane to Brazil in just 2 days. In Brazil Ricardo Martins got the boards and brought them to JJ at his hotel in Rio. The next thing we saw was JJ riding one of the new boards in the Billabong contest, and he ended up liking it even more than the first one I made him.  And he ended up just blowing up and winning the whole thing!
That kind of help, from all the people at Polen, and Ricard Martins, that all made it possible  for JJ to feel really confidant and know that he had a great board under his feet in his heats, and another one on the beach for back-up!   That is what it takes to be a champion.
You’ve been working with John John for a long time, did you expect this?
To be honest, yes.  If you had seen the boy surf all his life, the way we have here in Hawaii, then you would believe that all the stuff happening now was going to be happening for sure.  I think that I have believed this would happen since he was about 10 years old.  I have done everything that I can to help him on his road, and I have enjoyed all of it.  
What type of board does JJ ride the most?
His favorite shortboard  has been our model, The Flash, but now I think he is really liking the new board we came up with (we don't even have a name for it yet), and he also really likes this stubby board we make called The Slab.  He helped to give me ideas for the Slab and the new board, telling me what he wanted the boards to do and giving me feedback.
Very few surfers on this level work with only one shaper, what makes this case so different?
He does try other guys boards too, and I think that is a good thing for us both, because it gives him ideas to bring to me, and it also gives him confidence in my shaping by seeing that his boards are working well.  He knows that I am here to support him, and that I want to see him do well all the time.  I work hard to make sure his boards are working good for him, and I am always in contact with him to keep things going in the right direction.
You were in Portugal recently, how was your stay?
I go to Portugal to work at Polen at least 2 times per year, and it is always great!  I love your country, the people, the wine, and the waves!  It feels like a second home to me.
Can you tell us a little bit about the more recent models you’ve been working on?
I have been making a lot of shorter, wider boards that still surf like a good shortboard, but give you more speed and glide in weaker conditions.  The Slab, The PyzAlien, The Rip Off and the Runt are a few examples of this style of board.  It's nice that these boards work well for all levels of surfer, not just Pros.
In your opinion is shaping right going in one specific new direction or is it more about refining what has been done?
I feel like the door is open for all different types of boards, including the refinement of high-performance shortboards.  People are more open-minded and willing to try new designs- and this is really fun for me as a shaper, to not be stuck making the same thing over and over again.
What’s next for Pyzel Surfboards?
We are just looking forward to seeing how JJ does this year- I think he has some good results ahead of him still.  And I will be working on new designs to keep people stoked on getting in the ocean!  Thanks for taking your time to read this and enjoy yourself in the water!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shea Lopez writes about John John and the tour in

You had to see this coming. First there was the tweet from Kelly congratulating John on his first World Tour win months before it actually happened. Then there was John’s string of incredible performances over the last year that saw him win heats, win events, and ride waves to near perfection. It was clear that it would only be a matter of time before John took to the podium on surfing’s biggest stage.
John’s strength comes from the heightened level of competitive and freesurfing that he started to reach two winters ago. That’s when the North Shore watched him drawing lines and looking at waves like only a few before him ever had. The topper: his ability to stay on that same line while completing every air variation imaginable with frightening consistency. The four-turns-on-a-wave routine of yesterday has evolved into a fin-ditch followed by a carving turn, then gaining speed for a big air and closing with a quick reverse off the whitewash for good measure—a far cry from the old “three to the beach” ethos.
With performances like that from the new generation, watching their heats on the World Tour is as good as any surf clips on the Internet. If Julian Wilson is in a heat, you know he’s going to put a number of highlights together and possibly do something you’ve never seen before. When John and Julian surfed in the no losers round, Julian came out with a lightning quick three-move backside combo that was the most technically difficult and precise ride I can remember in a heat. John came back from being in a combo with a few solid rides of his own to take the win and jump straight to the quarters. Julian won the next round, bringing the two best surfers of the event back together for a quarterfinal match-up. This time the roles were reversed, with John coming out firing. Julian never came back, and John rolled over the rest of the field, winning the Rio event with ease—as he should in waves that were nearly a mirror image of a fun day behind his house at Ehukai.
Looking at the rest of the schedule, I see a few things coming together—and, surely, so does Slater. There should be one hell of a title race between at least five contenders. Rio unfolded as perfectly as you could ask for if you like close title races, with Parko and Taj just escaping early round losses to stay in the mix and keep things interesting. But above all, one person is going to be an enormous threat when the title race comes to Pipeline in December. Slater has had his attention on this person for a while now, as he is the first challenger since A.I. that Kelly should be scared of. His name is John Florence, and he’s a bad man. John can win Fiji, Tahiti, and Pipe and nobody would blink an eye. Lowers, France, and Portugal are also potential victories for a surfer who can read a tube, draw a clean line through nearly any combo, and stay comfortably in the zone. Slater better have a few tricks left up his wizard sleeve if he is going to outpace the top three all-around performers: John Florence, Julian Wilson, and Josh Kerr. Kelly also has to keep an eye on the spot-specific result producers: Owen Wright, Michel Bourez, Jeremy Flores, Kolohe Andino, Ace Buchan, the Hobgoods, and Gabriel Medina. And finally, he can never count out the perennial contenders: Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Adriano de Souza, and Jordy Smith.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Portugal Night Surf with Jet Ski Assist

The guys here at Polen Surfboards built a couple of amazing boards for a night surfing exhibition that went down Saturday night under bright lights and a crazy full moon!  They had a few jetskis whipping guys into the 
tiny surf, but it was epic to see.  

Friday, May 4, 2012

JJ wins hisTrestles no loser round heat against Cory L. and CJ Hobgood and sticks this on his way in.

This was right AFTER his heat ended, but still one of the biggest airs of the week so far!  He says his new board is working really well.  Looks like we will be letting that one out to everyone sooner than we thought.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

John John looking good at Trestles on a fresh new board we are working on.

He says it is feeling really good out there, and we (and the judges) agree.  He is looking fast, loose and solid on the board.  Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

John John takes his newest model out for a spin at Lowers- and it seems to work pretty well!
He won his heat and got 2 of his waves nominated for the Nike MVP awards.  He pulled a weird little foam climb-air reverse combo at the end of one wave that had the announcers claiming they had never seen that
maneuver done before, ever! Nice surfing and the waves were so fun!