Friday, June 19, 2009

Brian Hilbers!!!!

My friend ..the mad board designer..the artist..the craftsman...Brian Hilbers of FINELINE Surfboards had this to say when I asked his input concerning Pig shapes. As an introduction to my respect for Brian ...I once rode a board of his ( a Zombie) in the dark at Malibu. We had a mollusk crew evening session and I rode Johnny's Zombie. Johnny and I are not built alike. Johnny is a big boy. This Zombie board I rode is the type of board ...well...if I were the type that judges a book by its cover, than I'd of thought this book would have read differently. It was huge. This board blew my mind. I rode like it was a feather under my feet. I got a SICK nose ride and the most fluid transitions and deep cutbacks. One wave and it felt like it was a board I had ridden for years. SO INTUITIVE. mind blowing. Brian and I have known each other for over a decade.

"Mike- Actually, I was thinking about you, anyway. Short answer- any board works, when the rider feels like making it work! When someone opens up to what the board does, rather than have an independent agenda as to how they expect the board to ride based on pre-conceived notions, they usually find something they like about it. After the dust clears, the rider can always make an informed decision as to what he really prefers; there's so many subtleties in actually riding any board competently, that most folks get one style wired, then, that's it, Jack! I was thinking about you, in reference to the Zombie- I think you rode Johnny's once or twice, but his board is neither tuned to your specs, nor heavy enough to really get the feel you've been used to. The Z is a pig noserider- in spite of the 18 1/2'" nose, the template actually does the pig thing- ie., concentrated template curve in the back third, into a straight speed rail that's offset from the tail, thanks to the 17" tail- so it, to some extent, has that floaty, lazy susan tail turn the pigs pull; the difference lies in not having that sort of washy transition to the front end that you have to overcome to like and ride well a true pig. Up in SB, I think I convinced Jeremy to pull a stock Fog Cutter off the rack to play with for a while- it's one take of mine on a true pig, and it will be open to public rape and pillage in true piratical tradition- so if you get up in the old hood, try to abscond it for a week or two. Again, it may not have the weight required to alleviate that washy transition feeling, and indeed that might be the key to a good pig, but rail shape certainly would also be a factor. Anyway, I have a heavyweight blank I ordered for Seth around a year ago, for a 10'0 Zombie. I can't help but feel that ol' Seth wouldn't begrudge a test ride or two on his sled.
Yar Begar, Brian
PS- I have a lot more to say about Pigs, particularly in the rocker department. While most of the better older pigs used "reverse" rocker,ie., nose templated into the intended tail of the blank, this isn't the smartest move with today's modern blanks, or rather, isn't necessarywith the use of rocker templates instead. As always, rocker is inextricably wedded to thickness distribution, and this is a HUGE factorwith pigs.
Hoist the topgallant, BJ

Below is the actual Zombie I rode!
 that I say THANK YOU BRIAN ..& I'm on my way To S. B.!!

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