This year we launched an entirely new shape called the Arrowhead. It was developed by team manager and rider Jason Wilson over the past two years. After trial and error we have finally perfected the shape and are pleased to add it to our line of premium boards. We recently linked up with Jason for a quick interview about his new shape and what it is all about. Check it out!
Photo Credits || Matt Adams & Kevin Newcomer
Red: Dave || Black: Jason
So to start off, tell us a little about your new shape?
The Arrowhead is designed for riders looking for extra float. It’s wide mid-section helps provide more stability and surface area for side slipping out to waves. The narrow nose and winged pin tail balance the board out allowing its rider to dig the tail and respond quickly. It is a great board for catching hard to reach waves and staying on top of the water with minimal pumping necessary. I developed this board to help with catching siders, liners, and keeping speed in smaller conditions. My focus with the design was to not compromise maneuverability or response while riding a wider board.
How many years have you had your own pro model with Zap?
I have had my own pro model for 10 years.
What does it take to design your own shape? What are some of the steps involved designing a new board?
For me designing a skimboard shape is about making something that is not available. Making a shape that works better in certain situations or conditions. The boards I have designed with Zap have been made with specific types of waves in mind and making it easier to ride those waves. I also like to make boards that work in a variety of conditions since I have always traveled a lot for skimboarding and spent time living on different coasts!
Once I have something in mind I explain that to the shaper at Zap, which for me has been Steve Boomhower. We talk about what I’m trying to achieve and what are some of his thoughts as a board craftsman. From there its all R&D. He makes something, I ride it, give feedback, and then we try to fine tune the next board to what I liked or did not like. It usually takes 3 boards or attempts at the shape for him and I to get it dialed in before it is ready to be produced for others. That usually is over the span of 2 years of riding those boards to be sure they have been put to the test and that I am confident it is a shape to offer to others and endorse as something I feel will skimboarders will enjoy.
What made you change the outline from your original pro shape?
I changed to offering the arrowhead from my original pro model shape because that is what I have started riding more often. As I have gotten older I have wanted a board with more float that requires less effort to catcha and ride waves. I still really like my original shape and use it in more critical waves and heavier shorebreak. That is a good shape that I still have in my quiver and can still be ordered custom through a shop or Zap. We just wanted to push something new and even more different than the other boards in the current Zap line up. The Arrowhead is a good and fun board that can float nice and still respond quick!
What wave conditions are optimal for your new shape?
I think liners are optimal waves for my shape. Riding front side and gliding out to a wave that your hoping to get some travel on. That pin tail locks in the pocket nice while the wide belly keeps you extra stable and floaty on top of the water.
Seems like kids are more open to riding a wider board now as opposed 5-10 years ago. Why do you think that is?
Wide boards are a definite trend. I think people want to pump less and float more on their boards. I would like to think I have helped push that trend as we have developed the Arrowhead over the past few years. I rode that board to a few UST finals and showed that it is also a good contest board. Two finals I made were in France and Vilano where it was difficult junky conditions. The board helped me maintain speed and ride most waves up the beach. Wide boards are also easier for airs and landing tricks which definitely helps in contests!
You said you have been working on this shape for a few years now, do you think you will tweak in again in the future?
I’m pretty happy with the shape and don’t look to tweak it. I have though considered going smaller in length and maybe getting one in 5/8 thickness as opposed to 3/4 which is what It comes in and the thickness I traditionally prefer. Maybe see if either of those options work any differently or offer even more response?
Besides the actual shape of your board looking like an Arrowhead, any other reason behind the name?
It is definitly named after the way it looks. Seemed like a good board name too! Haha. I like indians. I also am a Redskins fan. I hope that does not offend any native Americans… I have much respect for Indian culture and those who were here before us… One Blood.
Anything else you would like to add? Shout out to your sponsors.
I would like to thank Zap for working with me to try and offer different shapes over the years. Thanks to Steve Boombower especially for helping to mold my vision. Thanks to Mark Stewart and Monster who also have made my boards! Shout out to the Alley-Oop Massive, Freak Traction, and Janga Wetsuits. They are all first class companies. Check out their stuff and support them because they support skimboarding and put back into our sport.