A New Noll
Noll Surfboards in undergoing a transformation. They can be found at the same street address, operating under the same tradition of craftsmanship, but the space has a revitalized energy. Classic, solid wood “Da Cat” models share the walls with modern EPS parabolic stringered hybrids in a wide open, well-lit retail space that centers around a fish-bowl styled shaping bay. Gnarled, repurposed wood furniture juxtaposes the sleek bamboo floors to illustrate a keen reverence for legacy driven by a strong sense of direction.
Jed Noll is at the helm and has devoted square footage and wall space to embracing the somewhat forgot surf shop community experience. Last Friday night we stopped by for an opening exhibit and artist reception and found the space packed with live music, burritos, and smiling faces. Sun bleached, salt-crusted groms zig-zagged through the crowd, raffle tickets in hand, hoping to win a hand-shaped surfboard. Jed, meanwhile, was quietly sequestered in the nucleus, ambivalent to the party energy, finishing a futuristic looking surf craft. The groms finally mustered the courage to slip into the sacred shaping bay and inquire about their prize to be.
Jed Noll, “In the original version, which was built 3 years ago, the board had a very straight (parallel) outline, deep concave deck, deep double-concave bottom, deep channels, and a lot more volume. It was hard to control rail-to-rail because we had so much of the ‘pontoon effect’. It worked great in small waves and generated a lot of speed, but once the waves were larger with plenty of naturally supplied speed, the board was more difficult to maneuver. It would slide with the smallest of changes in weight distribution.”
“The goal for the updated version was to find the exact right balance between control and release.”
“This new version is narrower, longer, with less volume and more curve along the outline. It has a more traditional domed deck. Overall, it’s a more versatile design that can be used in a wider range of surf and Travis, one of our shop employees, rides it really well. He gets tons of drive and is able to bury a lot rail, considering the absence of a fin.”
The finished board is a 5’6” x 20” x 2 3/8” shaped from a 6’5” A with a Basswood/Cedar/Basswood T-Band stringer.
Click NollSurfboards.com to get a glimpse of the new Noll.