Surfboard Model Namer Runs out of Names

After eight years in the business as one of surfing’s premier surfboard model namers, Ed Klonkfield has run out of names and quit . “It was easy back in the day,” said Klonkfield, a 32-year-old originally from Durban. He had started off as a ding fixer, progressed to Factory admin guy before finding his niche as a model namer, working freelance for some of the biggest surfboard companies in the business. “When I started we would just actually use the plane shape or design aspect of the board as inspiration,” he told Surf Europe. “My first big hit was the “Double Barrel” followed by the “Vee Reverse.”  The shaper would tell me the shape, and I would do the rest. It was too easy.”

However with shaping machines improving all the time, it meant designs were coming out thick and fast, and they all had to be named. “It really picked up pace about five years ago. I’d come to work on a Monday, and I had four new board models to name,” he sighed. “But I was young and fresh, so I just saw it as a challenge. I had a good six month run on animals. The “Scorpian”, “Panther”, “Swordfish” and “Sloth” were all mine. I mean they had fuck all to do with the plane shape, but the pressure was intense, I had to improvise.”

Online surfboard websites added to the volume and soon Klonkfield was literally coming up with random words and attaching them to surfboards. “By the time the “Fist Fucker”, “Poison Dwarf” and “Sub Woofer” came out, I knew I was starting to struggle,” he continued. “The shapers would look at me like I was on acid, which incidentally at one stage I was. But I had to find means to get creative. I’m still not sure whether The DayGlo Dodo sold many units.”

Klonkfield trying to summon some inspiration.

Eventually Klonkfield cracked. “I was racking my brains and nothing was coming. I’d see a brand new model come out of the machine and I’d break into a sweat. The misspellings (“Monsta”, “Mavrick”, “Kicka Styx”) gave me a bit of time, but I knew I was finished. New kids were coming through with new names. I tried to go back to basics. But you try selling “Thruster Hybrid” to the market these days. They want so much more.”

After staring at one new model for two weeks and only coming up with “The Hipsta”, Klonkfield knew he had to go. “I was done. Now I’m not sure what I am going to do. It’s a pretty niche occupation. There is always wetsuits I suppose, but it’s just not the same…”


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