In a new mini blog series we are going to take a look behind the scenes at the surfboards and equipment the Mango team and some of our close friends are using, whilst getting to know a bit more about them at the same time. First up is me...
Position: Mango Surf Shop, online & surf team manager. (more on that last one coming soon)
How long have you been surfing? I only started surfing when I was 17. This is when we could drive ourselves to the beach. Before that it was all skate for me. So i guess that's about 13 years now.
First Surfboard? I will never forget this. Like i said i was 17, working part time at the local Mcdonalds whilst still at school. I'd saved about £100. Like most weekends we would drive down to Newquay, surf, party and sleep in the car. But this weekend was different, we stopped in at Surfers Paradise (rip) and i told the guy i had some money and wanted a surfboard but i didn't know what i needed. His eyes lit up, he asked what my budget was and funnily enough he had the prefect surfboard for me. He pulled a board out of the rack that looked like it had been there a long time and it was nothing like my friends NSP mini mal, but he said it would be perfect and who was i to argue. I still have that board...it's a 6'10 custom gun with so much rocker you could probably surf it either way around. I legit didn't stand on it for 6 months but i didn't care at the time. In hindsight it's probably the cause of my awful style.
Above-I'm normally the one taking pictures, so this is a rare one of me surfing.
Favourite Surf Trip? After visiting Morocco twice i swore i would never go back again, but as is the case for most UK surfers, it was January and i was already fed up with the winter and constant onshore winds. I checked the forecast and got on a plane the next day. Less than 24 hours later i was back in Taghazout but this time was different, it pumped for 7 days i got to surf all the points and it wasn't even that busy. I'd herd rumours Dane reynolds, Yadin Nicol and Conner Coffin were in town and on an afternoon when i couldn't paddle anymore we got in the car and took a drive to a wave we thought may be breaking. Dane and the guys were just suiting up and we watched them surf for about 3 hours totally in awe. They even came and had a chat with us post surf.
Above-The pro's showing us how it's done. Below-My weird face with Dane Reynolds and Yadin Nicol.
Current Equipment? Board wise i've just picked up a new Mango Surfboards performance fish. Like i said i grew up skateboarding and this was reflected in my boards. Shorter, wider and quite flat. But i fancied a little change so sized up to a 6'0 with a touch more rocker but still enough volume to help me get into the South Devon waves. The Mango Surfboards are shaped by local legend and all round nice guy Nigel Semmens. He helped me dial in the dims for exactly what i needed.
I set it up with the new Al Merrick twin + trailer FCS2 fin set. This was the fin set up used when i feel like i was surfing my best a few years ago. The big side fins offer heaps of drive and hold, and the little trailer just adds stability and control when i manage to do a top turn.
Finished of with Jam Traction comp leash, deck pad and front foot pad. Now i realise that's controversial but it's helping me with my wonky front foot placement.
Above-My wonky front foot in action. Below-My new setup to try and help that.
Any final thoughts, inspirational quotes ect? Don't be afraid to ask for help, this doesn't just relate to surf but in life as well. Starting our surf shop was a big leap and we had no experience in bricks and mortar retail but we took all the advice we could get. Now if id used that advice when i was younger maybe i wouldn't be such a kook.
At Mango we love to surf, so if you need any more help about which model or size surfboard will be best for you, or anything else just drop us a call, an email or a facebook message. We want to help find you that magic board, set of fins or wetsuit:
Phone: 01752 229624
Facebook: Mango surfing
Live chat: Mangosurfing.com