Photo: Alex Laurel
• Standard dimensions: 5’11” x 18 ½” x 2 7/16” 11 3/8” x 14 7/16” squashtail
• Design features: Michel’s standard shorty is really a 6’0” morphed down to a 5’11 with the same volume at 27.7L. Rocker is reasonably flat with a semi kicked tail curve and a standard single concave. His boards are actually based on Taj’s glory-day shooters, but for Michel I have reduced overall rocker and increased foil thickness, especially in the tail. Michel can use more resistance (thickness) in the tail for obvious reasons! He also has slightly more rail volume that resists penetration more when burying his rail allowing him to hold that gouge longer.
• Anything about how the Firewires specifically relate to their brands of surfing: Michel is the ultimate Firewire test pilot. He is perfect for our company DNA. (Pity he is not very good looking, poor soul). No one on tour pushes as hard and for as long when on rail. When you load the rail of a Firewire you get sooooo much back at you…Ummm, did anyone notice him at Snapper this year?? Man-carves galore!
• Any kind of feedback/input/preferences: For a guy who could ride longer, he chooses not to. Smart… If he can do man-carves on a 5’11 with his level of grunt, being shorter allows him to play around too, keeping it critical and tight. However, he can’t ride a wide tail around and behind the fins. They release too early which causes drift which to a guy like Michel means loss of speed and we dooooon’t want that do we! He is such a joy to watch surf. There was a new surfing term coined this year at the Quik Pro by the crowd and commentary after collectively witnessing his man-carves… “FFFWWWOOOARRRR!!!