EPS/epoxy construction vs. traditional polyurethane construction was last modified: April 12th, 2016 by
My full name is Judson Hung Sun Lau. Judson was my grandfather from my mother’s side, Judson Lindsey Gressitt. He was an entomologist and traveled the globe extensively, but home base was on Oahu. He started the Entomology department at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and it is now named after him. Hung Sun was my grandfather on my father’s side. He was born on Oahu of Chinese descent, and I am of the fourth generation of this family born in Hawaii. My parents moved from Oahu to Maui shortly before I was born, and I was lucky to grow up here in the 70’s/80’s when it was a relatively slow paced and quiet island paradise. There was just a few stoplights on the whole island then, and we were only accessible via an inter-island flight from Honolulu!
I started surfing at the age of 14, and after high school, I moved to Honolulu to study at the University of Hawaii, and to surf the North Shore of course! One thing led to another, and after graduating from UH with a Sales & Marketing degree, competing in amateur and then professional surfing events, getting married, working in several different positions in the surf industry, having two boys(now 15 and 17), taking up the craft of surfboard shaping, and opening and operating our own retail surf shop for 12 years; I now find myself still loving the art of designing and shaping surfboards just as much as ever! I have been shaping for just over 10 years now, and at this point have shaped just over 900 boards. The first 650 were shaped by hand start to finish, without the use of CAD software and a CNC machine.
A few years ago I began my last venture, working with some of the young surfers here on Maui. I help them with their technique and wave knowledge through the use of video analysis. Also, we work on competitive strategy with practice heats and other surfing games and drills. I spend a lot of time talking with them about mental preparation, the importance of keeping their focus, and staying in a good head space. And as always, there is no substitute for hard work and determination/dedication/devotion! As coaching becomes more and more prevalent in the sport of surfing, this seems to be a well timed endeavor, and hopefully to the benefit of Maui’s up and coming competitive surfers.
My plans are to continue shaping boards forever, constantly trying new things and experimenting, to keep the performance of our equipment continually progressing. My short term goals are to begin to grow sales outside of Maui, and then outside of Hawaii. The challenge with being a shaper is to be both right brained for the creative side (designing and shaping) and at the same time left brained for the logical and analytical, sales side of the business. Our latest undertaking, however will probably help us with the sales side of our surfboard business: My wife Kelly and I have just recently made a move back to the wholesale side of the surf industry, picking up a couple lines that we will work with as sales representatives in the Hawaii region. I am hoping to piggyback some surfboard orders!
I am also excited about continuing to work with my team riders, helping to coach them to achieve their goals and aspirations as well as to be good people! Working with the youth, and seeing them progress is incredibly rewarding!
Quads vs. Thrusters
Simon Anderson invented the Thruster (3-fin) setup in 1980. This has been the standard for performance surfboards ever since. The quad (4-fin) setup was invented around the same time, however it is difficult to find any details on who exactly is credited or precisely when the first quad setup was used. Through the 80’s and 90’s, quads were something like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster, you heard about them, but never really saw one. However in the past 5-10 years, the quad setup has become a reality and you see them quite often, and some surfers even ride quads exclusively.
Basically, a quad setup is generally faster than the thruster setup, but with any change in surfboard design, you are always giving up something to gain something else. So with the change from a thruster to a quad you are giving up control for added speed. Thrusters turn much better than quads, they give the rider much more control when putting the board on rail and transitioning from one rail to another while connecting turns and maneuvers.
However, like any part of the surfboard, there are endless variables that will change the way the board moves through the water, thereby changing the way it feels under your feet. Fins are no exception. So depending on where exactly the 3 fins, or 4 fins are placed on the board (how far from the tail, how far from the stringer, or the rail, and how spread apart they are), how much the side fins are toed (aimed toward stringer) and cantered (leaning towards the rail) will all affect the performance. And then there is the size of the fins themselves, front and rear. For quads the rear fins are always smaller than the front, while for thrusters the rear is sometimes the same size as the front but sometimes a bit smaller than the front and occasionally a lot smaller than the front. Then there is the shape or outline of the fins and the foil (inside and outside curve) of the fins; for a long time the inside of side fins did not have a foil, they were flat, however, over the past 10 years there has been a lot of experimentation with the use of concave foils on the inside of side fins to increase speed and lift, something like airplane wings.
And that’s just the beginning! Personally, I think quads are advantageous in certain specialty areas: for massive surf like Waimea, Mavericks, or Peahi where you are not really doing the same kind of rail to rail surfing like normal sized waves, for really, really fast or super gnarly barreling waves where you are pretty much just going straight and speed is your friend, and sometimes for specialty boards for super small weak waves where you need a board that generates speed really easily. Otherwise I prefer thrusters for most normal surfing.
Stoked Vision connected with Peahi Surf Media to learn about the company and to get some tips on how to pursue dreams of becoming a photographer and filmmaker in the world of Surf. “Shoot your passions, and look for emotion. Nurture your creativity through music, drawing, reading, writing and nature – it’s all connected.” In other words, being Committed To Boardriding is a given and a very good start.
Filming on location with Discovery Channel.
PEAHI SURF MEDIA
Peahi Surf Media is a Maui based movie production company. They focus on producing quality content that is true to the nature of the Islands and its people. We were interested to know a little bit more about this company, that we have seen popping up on social media, and connected with the current owner and director at Peahi Surf Media, Wangdu Hovey.
WHO IS WANGDU HOVEY?
Born on the Big Island of Hawaii and residing in Haiku Maui, 35 yr old Wangdu is the founder and current owner of Peahi Surf Media. He is a filmmaker, photographer but also a surfer, father of two, husband and owner of two dogs.
Wangdu Hover, owner and director at Peahi Surf Media
Wangdu is raised on the north shore of Maui (what an awesome place to be raised) and graduated from Maui High School. He is a USCG veteran and served in Iraq as a diver and Quartermaster. Wangdu also graduated from the University of Hawaii, at Maui.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY & FILMMAKING
My father and older sisters are photographers and they passed down the interest to me. I learned videography while in Maui High School and produced an award winning project with some of my friends during our senior year. After the Coast Guard I was looking for a trade and I gravitated back towards videography.
“Being inspired by the films shown at the Maui Film Festival, I made a determination to have a film presented there.”
I traveled to NYC in 2005 and attended a 4 week intensive digital filmmaking work shop at the New York Film Academy, producing small projects throughout the city, and more mini docs when I returned to Maui.
“When surfers started to paddle into JAWS, I knew the world wanted to see it, so I pointed my lens that way.”
I’ve shot nature and lifestyle stills for fun since a youth, throughout the Coast Guard and traveling around the world. This is the first year I’ve focused on still photography at JAWS. I’m really enjoying the simplicity and the beauty of capturing a single frame.
JAWS: CHANGING THE GAME
“It is an incredible story about a group of surfers paddling in to some of the biggest waves ever ridden.”
In 2012 he directed and produced Jaws “Changing the Game” – a 42 minute documentary giving the world it’s first JAWS paddle in movie. Wangdu says: “We screened at Maui Film Festival, New York Surf Film Festival, San Sebastian Surf Film Festival, and many others. The film was distributed internationally through X-treme media.
In other words, he produced and directed Jaws “Changing the Game” which was selected at multiple international film festivals and received international distribution on TV and digital platforms.
Watch full movie here: JAWS: CHANGING THE GAME
TIPS FOR FUTURE PHOTOGRAPHERS & FILM MAKERS
“My best advice for aspiring an lensman, is to build a strong foundation based on classic cinematographer / photographer techniques such as composition, lighting and depth of field.”
Whether you do this formally or on You Tube it doesn’t matter. Get educated about your camera and settings. Once you have the basics to work a camera in manual mode, get out there and shoot, always pushing your levels creatively.
Shoot your passions, and look for emotion. Nurture your creativity through music, drawing, reading, writing and nature – it’s all connected.
“Most of all, believe in yourself, no matter what anyone, family, friend or foe says. Nobody knows what your’e capable of, but yourself. ”
Wangdu’s personal goals are to work together with surf companies and surfers to help build their brands and social media followings. To become a brand ambassador for a socially conscious label that helps use photography to inspire people creatively to make positive changes in their lifestyles and local communities.
PEAHI SURF MEDIA GOALS
The goals for Peahi Surf Media would be to work seamlessly with larger media outlets like WSL, Surfline, and Surfer Magazine to bring high quality surf media content instantly and directly to iPhones as well as traditional print media and to continue to be at the heart of big wave progression at Jaws and around the world year round.
Thank you Wangdu for taking your time and sharing your story & visions with us. We are Stoked to connect with you!
READ ALSO: Memorable Moments at Jaws 2016
READ ALSO: Entries in XXL
READ ALSO: A Wipeout
Its not a matter of if you will have a wipe out. For every surfer its a matter of when and how bad. Wangdu Hovey from Peahi Surf Media shares his worst wipe out ever with us.
READ MORE: About Wangdu Hovey and Peahi Surf Media
The day after the historic Mega Swell, my partner Micah Harris and I went out to Peahi, the conditions were epic, glassy and approachable but there was still some size.
I got into a nice sized left in the first twenty minutes and started feeling comfortable. I let my guard down and the next thing I knew a large set was rolling in. I was deep on the north peak and a little too far inside. I paddled vertical up the face of the wave, when I got to the top I felt it pulling me back like a waterfall, I threw my board to the side and relaxed as I as thrown backwards over the falls, I fell for what felt like 4-5 seconds landing deep in the water.
Panicked, I pulled my inflation chord and my buoyancy vest inflated giving me a sense of security, the underwater current pushed me towards the shore for a solid 30 seconds, when I came up, another large wave landed right on top of me as I corked up and down in the whitewater, than one whitewater ball after another hit me all the way to the rocks as I barely missed the worst part of the whole bay, the jagged point in the middle, luckily my board was still attached and I jumped on it and mustered my last 10 percent of entry to paddle to the East cove the” last resort”.
I was so happy to get to the shore, it took me 10 minutes to regain my composure enough just to walk back over the jagged rocks with my big wave board back to the main bay worst of all, my pregnant wife watched the whole episode from the cliff.
Wangdu Hovey from Peahi Surf Media pointing his lens, sitting on a jetski or surfing and sharing some awesome Jaws moments, including his own wipe out.
1. Shane Dorian
Watching Shane Dorian pull into his February 10 ride of the year nomination barrel. I probably was the closest human to him when he came out, and seeing his mastery in that intense situation was inspiring.
Shane Dorian, JAWS 10th Feb 2016 Photo: Wangdu Hovey from Jetski
2. Mark Healey
Being on the left at Jaws during the Mega Swell and watching Mark Healey drop into a 60 footer right in front of me. The left is intense and there’s a smaller window of safety to shoot from than the right. You have to be really aware of your surroundings and shooting it makes it twice as difficult and dangerous as just being there.
3. The historic Brock Swell
Watching my friends have Jaws all to themselves during the historic Brock Swell. The Eddie Aikau invitational at Waimea Bay was running so all the big name surfers stayed on Oahu. The ultimate soul session went down, and watching the boys tackle massive, stormy Jaws was incredible, oh yeah, I towed into a few that day too.
DK Walsh Brock Swell, Photo: Wangdu Hovey
Tikanui Smith, Brock Swell. Photo: Wangdu Hovey
Will Skudin, Brock Swell. Photo: Wangdu Hovey
4. Big wave surfing skyrocket
Seeing the level of Big Wave Surfing Skyrocket led by a group of young surfers from Maui, particularly Albee Layer, Tyler Larronde, Paige Alms, and the Walsh Bros. On February 10 the Maui crew went off, and Tyler and Albee were both sent to the hospital, within two weeks Albee was back on the water scoring a ride of the year nomination. Unbelievable.
Albee Layer. Photo: Wandu Hovey
Paige Alms, Feb 10th, Photo: Wangdu Hovey
5. Wangdu’s Jaws wipe out
The day after the historic Mega Swell, my partner Micah Harris and I went out to Peahi, the conditions were epic, glassy and approachable but there was still some size. I got into a nice sized left in the first twenty minutes and started feeling comfortable. I let my guard down and the next thing I knew a large set was rolling in. I was deep on the north peak and a little too far inside. I paddled vertical up the face of the wave, when I got to the top I felt it pulling me back like a waterfall, I threw my board to the side and relaxed as I as thrown backwards over the falls, I fell for what felt like 4-5 seconds landing deep in the water. panicked, I pulled my inflation chord and my buoyancy vest inflated giving me a sense of security, the underwater current pushed me towards the shore for a solid 30 seconds, when I came up, another large wave landed right on top of me as I corked up and down in the whitewater, then one whitewater ball after another hit me all the way to the rocks as I barely missed the worst part of the whole bay, the jagged point in the middle, luckily my board was still attached and I jumped on it and mustered my last 10 percent of entry to paddle to the East cove the” last resort”. I was so happy to get to the shore, it took me 10 minutes to regain my composure enough just to walk back over the jagged rocks with my big wave board back to the main bay worst of all, my pregnant wife watched the whole episode from the cliff.
6. Rescuing friends
Being out there as water safety for a few of my friends was just as intense as surfing it, you have to rush in over the boiling soup of white water and time your pick up just right, being careful not to hit the surfer or miss them leaving them gassed and stranded. Once you have them on your ski, you have to race around a giant white water ball to get to safety hopefully not tipping your jet ski and losing it on the rocks. Much respect to all the dedicated water safety guys, like Kurtis Chong Kee and Kolomoana, and Daniel Silvagno.
Tools of the trade
BIG WAVE AWARD
The 2016 Big Wave Awards will stream live April 23rd, 2016. An entry has to be nominated, then viewed and finally accepted. To read more about the Big Wave Award check out theWorld Surf League website.
Peahi Surf Media had about 15 nominations in the WSL big wave awards this year, previously known as the XXL. The prize money and prestige has gone up exponentially since WSL took over control. Wangdu Hovey currently has 1 entry in the paddle category top five finalists of surfer Pedro Caladoo, and 1 entry in the Women’s Surfline Performance category finalist of Paige Alms. Check out all the nominees & submissions We wish Wangdu and Peahi Surf Media good luck at the big wave award giving show on the 23rd.
Pedro Caladoo ,WSL-Finalist. Photo by Wangdu Hovey