Aaron Gold’s Record Setting Gun
On January 15, 2016 a massive swell aligned with ideal conditions to create giant, perfect waves at Pe’ahi on Maui. Amongst the celebrity big wave surfers, long-time charger Aaron Gold made history on his very first wave, which is being widely regarded as the largest wave every paddled into. Images of Aaron’s feat spread through Instagram before Aaron had even caught his second wave (on which he broke that board, unfortunately). The most interesting detail of this story, to us at US Blanks, is that Aaron hand-shaped that now historic board. We caught Aaron on the phone in-between swells and planes to hear about how that one ride has changed his life and what we can expect next from Gold Surfboards.
I built this board a long time ago, in 2011. Honestly, I can’t the exact blank but I generally use the 10’6″ A or 10’6″AX in Green density with 1/2” or 3/4″ bass stringer and a Hawaiian rocker to make my 10’2”s. The board dimensions were 10’2″ x 20 1/4″ x 3 1/4”. The deck on this one was relatively flat with very round full rails. The bottom had equal V starting from zero in middle and going out to 1/4” in nose and tail. It had a thruster set up. Unfortunately, the board broke on that day, January 15th, but I had already pulled the exact measurements so I could replicate it.
Up until recently I’d built all my boards, about 25 a year, in my backyard. My shaping room and glassing set-up are very simple; grass roots style. I recently moved so I’m using friends’ shaping rooms and then glassing in a canopy tent in my backyard. But for the past few years I had a 16’ x 20’ setup for both shaping and glassing in my backyard.
I plan to rebuild that shaping bay at my new house, but after my wave on the 15th I’ve been getting a lot of interest from people wanting to order boards. I have been throwing around the idea of setting up a larger scale operation, but still have to see how things play out as my first priority is my family and staying in the water. Regardless, I love building surfboards and will always do so. My dad built boards and passed the tradition down to me so l plan to hopefully pass it on to my kids.
It is super rad to see big wave surfing starting to grow and finally get the recognition it deserves. I have definitely had some doors open as a result of my wave on the 15th (sponsors, interviews, exposure, etc ). However, the coolest thing about all this has been the support I’ve received from my friends, family, and peers. I’m super stoked to be a part of this time and help to push the sport of big wave surfing forward so that the next generations will have another avenue to pursue in surfing should they choose it. There is simply nothing better than getting to be a positive influence to those around me and being able to sharing the traditions that were passed on to me with those who come after us.
Learn more about Aaron at AaronGoldSurf.com
and follow at @TheRealAaronGold