In early spring of this year I contacted Malcolm Campbell about shaping me a new Bonzer shortboard that was based on the short, thick and wide shortboards of the 1980’s, but with modern refinements to the rocker and foil. The result was the Mini-Merk and I am stoked.
The Mini-Merk Bonzer5 is glassed with double layer 4 oz S-cloth deck, and single 4 oz S-cloth bottom, with a wetsanded gloss coat. The glass-job is seriously solid. I haven’t been riding any of my other boards all summer, and the Mini-Merk still looks new 5 months later with barely any deck dents and zero dings.
The Mini-Merk is wide and thick for the fat mushy waves I’ve been surfing all summer. The lightweight and flexy bamboo Bonzer fins give this board a performance boost for vertical surfing I can’t get out of my twin and quad Fishes.
The Mini-Merk after it was freshly airbrushed and up front waiting to get glassed. Thanks to my airbrusher Dad for taking the time to tape off all those lines.
The Mini-Merk at Fish Fry 5.
The Mini-Merk dims are: 5’11” length x 20″ width x 2 9/16″
The airbrush was inspired by JM’s jammies.
Ignore my funky looking waxjob, it melted in the car. The little traction pad is by D-Surf.
Some of you may remember seeing the unwaxed and unridden Mini-Merk at the Sacred Craft show in Ventura back in May. The Mini-Merk will be on display in the Surfy Surfy/Moonlight Glassing/Campbell Brothers Bonzer Surfboards booth at Sacred Craft October 10 and 11 if you want to check it out in person.
I bought myself a new set of those fancy curved Lokbox Turbo quads because my bro-in-law Trusty Dusty borrowed my original set 2 years ago and never returned them (because they are magic).
The board pictured is my 5’7″ Choice vanishing stringer “Flexdialer” that I commissioned Rich Pavel to shape out of my last Clark Foam blank (that I bought from Ian Zamora in the parking lot of the 2006 Fish Fry).
My new 9’0″ Chris Christenson 3 fin glider.
Chris shaped this board out of a beat up, ratty and yellowed blank he had hanging around the shop. He took a pass with his planer and to our surprise the foam was as clean as snow.
I know what you are thinking, that looks like it is going to go straight. And it does! Really fast too. But it actually turns good (there isn’t much margin for error).
Gary Stuber did a fantastic glass job on it with 6 oz and 8 oz volan cloth. Kenny Mann sanded it, Mark Donnellon glossed it and I wetsanded it down to 500 grit. This thing is clean!
Marlin Bacon of 101 Fin Co made and glassed on the bamboo fins. The center box fin is the first bamboo prototype fin Marlin made last year.
I’m having fun on it during these 2 ft hot and glassy January days. Point and shoot!
This board is buttery smooth. It has a great weight under the arm and surfs light and lively. It’s actually a joy to paddle in smooth glassy water. I’m stoked I finally got a glider style surfboard and now I’m looking at 1 foot surf in a whole new light.
We are calling this board the 3 Fin Surfy Glider. If you are interested in getting one too email me for more info.
See also, previous post Surfy Surfy: Chris Christenson Small Wave Seeker
This is Gary Hanel aka GH. He has been shaping my surfboards since I was 15 years old (1985).
Here are a couple of pics of me riding GH’s when I was 17. Photos by Jeff Nelson.
This is Tyler Hanel. Tyler is the oldest of 4 Hanel brothers (all goofyfoots who rip). Tyler runs the KKL shaping machine service. He is really good at math.
Here is a surfboard Gary Hanel handshaped for Tyler. It is based on the 1980s boards GH used to make for us, but with modern updates to the rails and rocker. I was pretty stoked when I saw it so I asked GH to shape me one too.
Tyler laser scanned the board and made a digital file of it. Tyler and GH then scaled the board to my size and weight. This is GH manning one of the machines at KKL.
To mix things up a bit we decided to go with a stringerless blank. My friend Jason in Venice had recently hooked me up with some carbon fiber, so I thought it would be cool to do carbon fiber rails. Moonlight handyman Dave Dvorak glassed the rails.
When you have a special project like this you want someone with knowledge and skill. Here is Gary Stuber glassing the board with 4 oz S glass. The glass work came out immaculate.
After the board was hotcoated, fin boxed and sanded I thought it should get some snazzy red pinlines to finish off the rail cutlaps.
The finished board looking tight.
The Lokbox fin system shown here with the composite Taylor Knox fins.
The dims: 5’10” x 18 1/2″ x 2 1/2″
I’m not big on traction but I do like these backstops from my brother-in-law’s company, Destination Surf.
I rode this board during last week’s run of good glassy surf. It really wails. Believe it or not but I haven’t gotten a new thruster since the summer of 2000. The thruster is a stable platform and easy to surf. It’s not as fast as some of my other boards but it’s great for some basic old school wave thrashin’.
Usually the waves are bad when I get a new board but I got lucky this time. I snapped this pic after session #2 and before session #3 of the day.
A close look at the carbon fiber rails. I had a number of GH surfboards glassed with a variety of carbon fiber back in the 80’s so this board is quite the retro trip for me.
*Stringerless polyurethane blank by Just Foam.
*Shaped and designed by Gary Hanel, Tyler Hanel and HAL the komputer.
*Carbon fiber supplied by SciArt, Inc. They do custom weaving. Ask for Vince, ph# 949-788-1709
*Glass work by Dave Dvorak and Gary Stuber using low emission polyester resin.
*Hotcoat and Lokbox install by Dave Kerr.
*Sanded by Kenny Mann.
*Pinlined by Peter St Pierre.
*Glossed by Mark Donnellon.
*Wetsanded matte finish by myself.
*Traction and leash by Destination Surf.
*Fins: Taylor Knox template for Lokbox.
*Logo design and screenprinting by Jon Pankopf at Factory 101.
*Made with stoke at Moonlight Glassing in California, USA.
*UPDATE: this board was donated to the 2011 Summer Fun on the 101 raffle and was won by Ashley, one of the baristas at “Coffee Coffee”.