Surf shops are now catering to those chasing a different sensation.


Surfing’s ‘Ride Anything’ approach has grown in popularity in recent years. The philosophy behind the movement is pretty simple - riding a whole bunch of different boards can be more fun than repeatedly trying to refine your act on a modern shortboard. A certain number of surfers are regularly riding twinnies, single fins, finless wooden slabs, quads and logs just for the sensation. In this subset of a surf culture it’s all about enjoying the feel of a board, and style usually trumps high performance as a priority for those who subscribe.

Certain surf shops have begun catering to the growing interest in diverse shapes. Last Thursday the “Six Ounce” store in Manly officially opened its doors.

 

The restrained design of the twin-room store aims to do one thing– showcase the vast number of different boards on display. Think Ben Aipa twin fins, Dick Van Straalen experiments and Donald Takayama longboards, to name a few. All of the craft are designed to have an aesthetic impact and deliver a unique surfing sensation.  Invariably it’s the sort of place where you want to spend hours pulling boards out off the rack, running your hands down the rail and dreaming about what every piece of gloss-coated board candy might go like.

The promise of free beer will draw a crowd anywhere, but the eclectic crew who attended the opening seemed to embrace the idea of a shop that deviated from the kind of over-lit, garment-focused surf store that often seems at odds with the very act of surfing itself. Six Ounce is striving to be a surf shop, which offers an experience as opposed to being merely a place where you make a purchase.

On the opening night a band jammed in the front window and a projector was aimed at a wall to play artistically sensitive long-boarding movies. Perhaps the scene might sound a little too pretentious for some but if you don’t get too wrapped up in the image of the thing and remember that it’s basically about finding different ways of having fun on a wave, then the concept is pretty hard to fault.

The shop’s aptly named co-owner, Roberto Weil-Machado [pictured above], was fairly clear about his expectations.

“So long as the store doesn’t loose money and I get to ride all these different boards I don’t care!” he exclaimed.

Ultimately the “Ride Anything” movement encourages you to open your mind a little. It doesn’t mean forgetting your regular, 2/14 x 181/4 thruster, but rather discovering that perhaps that’s not all there is to surfing.

Luke Kennedy, Editor of Tracks Magazine

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