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"A viceroy is an official who runs a polity in the name of and as the representative of the monarch of the territory."

-- Wackopedia

I couldn't find any cherry trees so this one had to do
I couldn't find any cherry trees so this one had to do
Dang those goofy ass pinlines... (
Dang those goofy ass pinlines... ("No, it's not epoxy")
That rail line is sooooooo flat!
That rail line is sooooooo flat!
Look closely and there is a tiny belly
Look closely and there is a tiny belly
Lady in waiting
Lady in waiting
Money shot!
Money shot!
Swathed in a cushy towel for safe travels
Swathed in a cushy towel for safe travels
Secret earplug holder
Secret earplug holder
I swapped out the 9.75
I swapped out the 9.75" Greenough 4A for this G&S fin and it works even better!
Early in the design stage
Early in the design stage
Starting to rough the blank out
Starting to rough the blank out
Nose up not down
Nose up not down
Early in the shaping process when it looks kinda like a weird thing on two sawhorses. Late on it would like a weird thing covered in fiberglass.
Early in the shaping process when it looks kinda like a weird thing on two sawhorses. Late on it would like a weird thing covered in fiberglass.
Stringer, stage 4.b.x
Stringer, stage 4.b.x
Gluing up the stringer
Gluing up the stringer
All glued up and almost ready for glass
All glued up and almost ready for glass
Love them curves!
Love them curves!
Top lamination activation
Top lamination activation
That cursed white deck patch
That cursed white deck patch
At least I was happy with the lam placement
At least I was happy with the lam placement
First bottom lamination
First bottom lamination
Nearing the finish line
Nearing the finish line
Meat in the middle, stepped deck and tail
Meat in the middle, stepped deck and tail
Look close and it's pretty janky
Look close and it's pretty janky
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This board began as an idea to replicate the tail of a 9'4" Steve Seebold shaped noserider that I had acquired a few years back, only in a lighter and more maneuverable 9'0" length. That board had been shaped backwards with reverse rocker and loads of kick in the tail. I loved how flickable it was when you stepped back, even though it was a fairly beefy noserider with a wide nose and lots of concave.

My goal with the Viceroy was to get a similar feeling at the back, but with a more pulled in nose and less rocker to maximize speed. The 93AX blank I was using was going to limit me to a 9'0" maximum length, which would just get me in the door at longboard contests.

Aside from the above mentioned Seebold board, some of my other inspirations for this shape were:

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My goals for this project are simple:

  1. create the proverbial "one board quiver"
  2. create the most exciting surfboard ever ridden!

Surfboard design, like many things, is a process of give and take, of exploring limits and then finding a middle ground that works best for any given set of conditions. Our shared liquid playground offers an infinite set of variables that seem to make building the perfect board an impossible task. Factors such as swell direction and storm proximity, wave height, pitch, speed, smooth or choppy surface conditions, lefts or rights, ocean floor contours, beach breaks, point breaks, reef breaks, flat faced or hollow tubes, undercurrents and rips, winds and tides all combine to determine the type of surfing and surf craft that is best for the current conditions.

And just as wave conditions depend on infiinite combinations of the above factors, board design also offers an infinite combination of rail outline, rocker, thickness, fin type and placement, rounded hull designs or concave(s), and so on, each combining to form an overall riding experience that hopefully allows the rider's skill level to shine through in whatever conditions exist at that moment in time.

Even moderately experienced surfers know that the more rocker a board has and the curvier its outline, the better it will turn but the slower it will go in a straight line. Conversely, a very flat board with a straight outline is going to travel like a missile through the water, but good luck turning it without stomping on the tail to slow it down and then really cranking one rail into the water. See Ryan Burch's experimentations with finless chunks of rectangular foam at about the 7:00 mark of this video for example. 

The genesis for the idea of this project came from three sources:

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Detailed notes are important

The vee bottom boards masterfully ridden by Australian Bob McTavish in the mid '60s were groundbreaking designs that foresahadowed the shortboard revolution that would soon follow. To see the progression of the design, fast forward just a couple of years to Billy Hamilton, Mark Martinson, and Keith Paull at Hossegor and Biarritz in the late '60s flick "Waves of Change", and more recently to Ryan Burch on a "V bowls" design in the wonderful short "The Shakes".

Continuing this progression of the vee bottom design - but with some radical new elements and construction concepts - is high on my list with the launch of Qustom Product.

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