It seems like just a couple years ago I was a grom lurking around the Yater shop, eagerly seeking approval and conversational engagement from all the unique and dignified characters who strolled in and out of the store everyday. There was always ongoing anticipation to hear more than two words out of Renny as he diligently took inventory on boards and wrote down specs for new custom orders. We were just a bunch of kids with too much to say and not enough time to say it in. Renny was living on a different plane than the rest, by all means he was not self righteous or big headed just politely performing on a different level. Unlike Renny there was also a cast of shapers, artists, and surfsters that held a wealth of knowledge deeper than the Surfers Journal archives, willing and enjoying the chance to conversate with me and the other open minds at the shop interested in things other than the newest Lost video. I found myself comfortably encased in a surf community with a swath of heritage and history everywhere I looked. Ceilings lined with loads of boards taken directly from the 50's and 60's beach scenes of Malibu, Rincon, and Hawaii. Dudes coming over from the Beatty shop talking about glassing personal boards for guys like Liddle or Curren. Historians like Kirk Putnam and Jim Mahoney slyly roaming about, telling stories about characters and places only half of which I'd ever heard of. There was Steve Brom and his magic VW Bus whom always seemed to emit some sort of jaw dropping fish design....(About ten years before this mainstay resurgence we exist in now)You could always count on Gene Cooper to bring in some face melting crafts that would halt any promise of adequate customer service for nearly an hour as we quacked about the sickness and derived plans of which of our boards we needed to pawn in order to get our paws on one of Gene's new treats. There was trusty Mike Ferner with his drop of a hat surf report and his stoked on every thread of life jazzmatazz. Now and then was the elusive Bob Duncan quickly dropping off some mind bending, incomprehensible sliders that probably worked better than anybody could even begin to conceive. And then.........There was Brian Hilbers, who felt like more of one of us than any of the cast of characters. BJ was always afire and spry and would have some funny ass tale to tell, more often than not, not about surfing. You could tell in the way he talked and elaborated on things that his knowledge did not exist in one defined capacity but in a broad, insightful and profound data base, with deep files about punk rock; socialism, environment, hydrodynamics and board design, International Scouts, nature and species, camping and hiking, economics, politics.....you name it. An opinion from BJ was something I held true to my growing core of personal and worldly understanding. It was this aura that captured my attention and admiration and would later give me a chance to be a personal friend of the guy. In terms of aesthetics and innovation Brian's love for board building is self evident, in person his enthusiasm and willingness to try anything to make you and your surfing happy makes him one of the greatest shapers in the world. Ten years later I'm here working at Mitch's and we're privileged enough to have Brian's boards on our racks. Here's some new devices from the mind of Mr. Hilbers. -Bloggins-
Jim was staring at the bottom contours of this piece for so long he passed out and I think might be drooling a little bit. Wake up man! I'm sure it turns better in real life than in your dreams!
Here's a swift looking 5' 10" Dirty Sanchez with custom designed and foiled fins by BJ. Slightly towed in keels for more control and carve on such a wide tailed specimen. $675
This is the swallow tail Dirty Sanchez, bamboo fins and a black rip tip dip.
Another P-38 Hull Stub Twin Keel surf device, used for surfing of course.
This one having the wide square tail giving in a bit more lift and planing ability, blasting highline trim capabilities.....
We had him make us a good bundle of these P-38's and D Sanchez' cause they're that good. Come on down to the fun factory and let us sell you a smile machine.
The pee thurdy ate up all the waves every time I rode one.
Ask Jim Swarthow, his grey thurdy ate everything in sight leaving me wondering what happened to all the surf every time I rode with him.
5'11 GeeBee Stub $675 Comes with L flex fin and custom side grabber sharks teeth.
5'9" GeeBee White with purple people eater forehead. Stub a dub Stub, Thanks for the Stub, Yeah BJ! Classic S deck and rail profiles, less swing weight and none of the foam you don't want in all the right places.
Get to the bottom and things get really neat, a box, two side bite holes, a bellied tab with an ever so slightly down rail for more control in tighter turns and steeper sexshuns.
6'8 Wildthing $620 Talk to BJ about the ol' "Bad Acid" tri-plane hull on this one. Wanna go fast? Like a lotta lift? Take the Bad Acid.
7'0 Dirt $620 Much like the Microdirt featured below this is a true displacement hull with foiled rails and s deck contours. Consider this a vehicle for your ability and imagination to get lost within, especially in small speedy dumpers. No training wheels with this one.....
6'2" MP Tan top and bottom, comes with GL Flex Fin and custom side biters.
The MP gives you what you want if you want a shorter hull with a modern downrail towards the fin, allowing for some vertical capabilities and enhanced wraptitude when laying into a cutback. S deck contours for reduced swing weight and proper volume distribution. Just envision Ol' Peterson winding those cutties.
6'6" Microdirt $620 A free form flo sliding device, a displacement hull for an enthusiast looking for that finite attribute all on it's own.
7'6" Ice Blue Flomental Floquero $645 Narrow tail, soft rolled rails, S deck and rails, bellied entry into a slight v attuned to the fin. A genuinely superb ride for trim enthusiasts who want to carve as well.