Many of the following board models are stand-alone original models or hybrid concoctions unique to Aleutian Juice Surfboards. A number of these designs have been in circulation and have had a following for decades. A few, like the Stubb-Vector and all stand-up surf and paddleboard designs, were the forerunners of entirely new classes of surfboard design.
All other types of surfboards are of course available, from ultra-short high-performance shortboards to long and sleek open-class prone paddleboards, but I have chosen to emphasize the models unique to, or made first by, Aleutian Juice Surfboards.
Back in 1991 when the first prototype was shaped in San Luis Obispo, Ca, the ‘Stubb-Vector’ was the very first postmodern shortboard. Inspired by the sort of surfboards Michael Petersen is seen riding in the classic surf film Morning of the Earth, the Stubb-Vector was also the very first ‘hybrid’ or ‘funboard’ made specifically for hot surfers rather than beginners or weekend warriors. Wide, thin, and flat-rockered, Vector-Class surfboards nonetheless combine all the most potent speed-gathering elements from modern shortboards to create the fastest and most versatile surfboard possible. Whether shorter or longer, the Vector planshape and thin sensitive rails allow you to carve modern lines on a surfboard that works 90% of the time – diametrically opposed to typical fussy shortboards that only work 10% of the time for all but the very best surfers in the world. In those 20+ years the original design has been transmuted into a number of offshoot models – hybrids of a hybrid so to speak.
Some of the best-riding surfboards on Earth right now are so-called ‘retro’ designs refined and modernized by cleaner or more sensible components. If it worked good in the 70s or 80s, then it follows that it will only work better today by applying all that we’ve learned over the past 30 or 40 years. That’s the Nowtro ethos…
Since the longboard renaissance began in earnest in the early 1990s, this phylum of surfboard has branched out nearly as divergently as any other surfboard design. There are modern longboards made for ‘wing-wanging,’ retro soul-daddy replicas, longboard guns, 50/50 designs, noseriders, and cross-country supertankers, etc. One interesting thing about longboard designs: Unlike the shortboard, which can be successfully designed and shaped for world-class performance by shapers who don’t actually ride them, I have found that whatever type of longboard one fancies, only shapers who diligently ride them can make good ones. Perhaps this is because a true longboard is a platform for an elegant dance form, while the shortboard has the far more aggressive intent of really mussing up a wave’s hair.
All types of longboards are available from Aleutian Juice Surfboards, from streamlined modern tri-fin styles to period vintage classic cruisers.
In Hawaii, where the waterman ethos was born, most serious surfers practice some sort of alternative paddle sport during the offseason. Outrigger canoes, prone paddleboards and, now, stand-up paddleboards – all round out the Island ocean sports diet for the seasoned waterman. Conventional board surfing is terrific for overall conditioning and maintaining fast-twitch reactions, but with leashes and jet skis and mostly submerged surfboards, it’s not possible to build the classic surfer physique of the 50s and 60s unless one cross-trains on other paddle or surf craft.