Phaeton is a 44 x 18 inch three-part throwback/innovation....
All are handmade originals.
One part Paipo;
One part Greenough Spoon; and
One part Fish.
Injuries.... they never come at the right time. One quite realistically may look at stand up surfing as being a closed chapter in one's life. That be me. Neck, knee, lower back, and way too many others to mention here all took their toll... and stuck horizontal on my back was and still is the only relief I find. Swimming [no gravity] was and still is the only activity I do somewhat pain free. But after a couple of years of swimming between lifeguard towers, I began catching a few waves along the way. Bodysurfing with its obvious limitations was becoming annoying... in a good way. I was getting barreled but watching exits go by unused. The desire to get down-the-line again was sparkin. But what could ride? I had a little pool-type kickboard people use to swim laps, but they have limits, too. I did not want a sponge [against my religion haha] because my neck will not work properly on any floating board. [I Can't lift it up while prone]. Hmmm.... self, dig thru the expeience archives, self.... I knew something fit in that empty space there. So... necessity being the mother of invention, the following three ingredients reared their heads.
One: I had ridden a Greenough-style spoon for a couple of years as a teen and was well-accustomed to the no-flotation aspect of a surfboard [albeit was a kneeboard]. Two: Although never owning one but always dug 'em, I watched guys on Paipos all the time growing up and many times in movies. [They might be in fact the first wave riding craft - developed by the Hawaiians perhaps sometime in the 16 or 1700's. Captain Cook documented them while on one of his visit to the Big Island in the 1700's - maybe he should have tried one LOL]. Anyway there's some serious wave riding lineage behind The Paipo Board. The third and final ingredient was the 5'6" ET [Eddie Talbot - it was more than likely shaped by Pat Ryan] kneeboard that I transitioned to after the Greenough Spoon. It was a frigging gem that loved barrels and carving. I would eventually learn to stand up surf on that board and it forever reigns as a real game changer in my surfing approach. It got me on my feet LOL. So with three ingredients, off to the drawing board went I.... Quick mention to the Kaiser's in Santa Monica... Pat & Kevin - to say their Wooden Ships bodyboards had no influence would be a misstatement.
After four non-qualifying recipes of different glasses and resins, the fifth proved the experimenting was over. The amount of flex, being held in check by a hardwood center, is perfect.... just enough to allow you some nose-down-entry-flex and that's it. You don't notice it while on the wave face. The tri-fin set up is tops. A center 7 1/2" Greenough 4A Fin accompanied with two five inch twinnies keeps sideslipping to a minimum and would gut a shark in a second. Phaeton will pump and hit the lip like a real surfboard when called upon. The 90 degree deck pads placed above the twinnies keep the inside hip snug on the inside rail - a must when high and tight. It's simply just a small surfboard hull. The leash is attached at the nose for a pull-return when tugged although it's rare you lose 'er - she's super easy to hold onto in the churn.
Here's the kicker. No flotation. The glassed-in foam handles at the nose have little to no effect on buoyancy. To most wave riders [99.99%?] no flotation is not in their vocabulary. But to a gimpin salty old waterman like myself, it's a Godsend. Phaeton is never caught inside - deep dives are a fin kick or two away. Ever take off under a breaking lip with a real board? Not without consequences. Taking off ridiculously late is as easy as merging onto the Coast Highway at 4am on Sunday. The board literally grabs the face, pivots left or right, hits zero to sixty in a flash, and you're down the line from a standing start. Serious. Phaeton is built for speed and for hunting barrels. and, btw there's no doubt a skilled rider could drop knee, knee ride, or even stand up on it with stubbie fins.
I cannot say enough how much it has meant to me to be able to enjoy waves again at a down-the-line surfing level. Life changer. I would hope that any older or younger watermen, injured or not, would consider getting into or back into the mix with this platform.
Immerse Yourself is The Challenge and Mottohere!
Each board is handmade, weighs about 9 lbs [about 5 in the water but feels like nothing], measures out at 44"x18", is numbered, and production is limited to about one a month... on a good month - many thanks to Kratom's assistance.
Barrel Hunting Season is always open. Pick up your license today.