Though often dwarfed in comparison to the popularity of a well-shaped bit of foam, the importance of good surf hardware cannot be understated. Decent traction could be the difference between your toes staying glued on your first rote or falling for the thousandth time. A strong leash could be your saving grace as your favourite raft starts drifting precariously close to the rocks. And, let’s not take for granted the countless times a board bag has stopped the beak of your board snapping off as you groggily load it into the back of a mate’s whip before the sun’s up. Below, we’ve compiled four companies whose wares aren’t necessarily under the feet of the world tour contingent, but well worth your attention.
1 | Sympl Supply Co.
Da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication and he tended to be ahead of the design curve once or twice. Co-founded by former WSL athlete Travis Logie, Sympl. stay true to their namesake with a hoard of products that exemplify the brand’s clean and minimal steeze.
2 | Zombie Tread
For surfers, by surfers. Simple premise, excellent execution. Zombie Tread is designed and manufactured under the one roof to maintain a level of craftsmanship and performance that meets the high standard of the company’s founding members. If it’s good enough to keep Laurie Towner anchored to his sled on some of the caverns he pulls into, it’s definitely good enough for you.
3 | Velvet Grip Co.
The brainchild of some uni students in NZ, Velvet Grip is still in its infancy -but there’s enough potential there to warrant a follow. And some hyperbole! Disheartened with the arduous task of finding front pads in their homeland and seeing the potential for something new in the industry, the guys at Velvet are mixing it up with materials and appearance. Based solely on photos and no tangible evidence, I bet their traction feels like standing on Morgan Freeman’s hair.
4 | Octopus is Real
Dion Agius, Chippa Wilson & Nate Tyler. Three aerial aficionados that also happen to make a mean grip. Definitely not a strong contender for those that like a little more fruit in their tail pad colour palette, but it’ll only take one viewing of this clip from The Wedge to know that the boys have a whole lotta’ faith in the performance.