SC: What about the development of the boards?
KT: All the boards are based upon the same principles, I just tend to change the bottom contours a little bit. Rockers are generally kept the same, and that’s also what I ride too. The boards are generally based on what I’m riding.
With Levi it has been a steady development, over the years we’ve been working together, to shape his boards. With myself, I’m always trying new stuff with my boards, so I can bring new ideas to all the boards we do. Bernd kinda gets the best of both worlds; whether it’s the production board, which really suits his needs, or its his custom board.
SC: So, all the boards have a similar starting point?
KT: Yes, they kind of do. So I have the models, which I start from. The pyramid, for instance, which has a squashed tail, a little bit wider towards the back and then pulled in at the tail; the last design of that board is the starting point for the new board.
Then I have Levi’s ‘go to’ board that’s been steadily evolving. When I make a new board for him, I plug off of that last board and make the new changes. It’s then the same for myself, I just go from the last board that I made for me, and go from there. Camille usually takes what shape I’m riding, but just a little tuned to suit his needs.
My last board is frickin’ amazing, it’s the best board I’ve ever had! It’s the closest to a surf board that I’ve ever felt, the way it projects through turns.
SC: Do the riders come to you with input of what they want, for example what if Bernd felt he wanted something different?
KT: Oh, yeah, definitely.
Bernd likes a little bit more pop in his boards, a little wider outline and a little more forgiving with wider tails. I make stand up boards for Bernd too, with similar wider outlines, he really knows how to throw around wider boards, it really suits his rotational moves.
Bernd is now really coming into his power, he’s pretty powerful for his size, and I think he is going to come into a lot more power. I think that’s when it’s going to get more interesting. I’m looking forward to designing some stuff to really accentuate his power, I mean don’t get me wrong hes got good power now, but he’s got really good flow through the whole wave and I think there’s more power to come. So I’m looking forward to tuning to his needs, before I would feed Bernd more or less what I ride, and I think he’s really starting to figure his own needs out now. I really think he’s going to start coming to me with more of his own ideas.
I think the overall goal, no matter what the board, has been to get the boards faster and faster, but still be able to deliver that turn.