Essential Hardware: Craig Anderson’s Hypto-Krypto

This spruced-up seventies-style design so initially thrilled Ando he "didn't ride it for a year." Look at him now!

Five years ago, the shaper Hayden Cox presented his team-rider Craig Anderson with a surfboard of a surprising hue. Narrow in the tail and with a forward wide point it resembled something from the seventies but spruced up with the carbon Fibre Flex rails and a regular three-fin setup.

Craig was so thrilled “he didn’t touch it for a year,” says Hayden.

“I hung onto the short board dream when I was younger,” Craig says of his reticence to ride the Hypto. “I didn’t really dabble in the tricky looking fish boards. I always like a clean, normal looking surfboard ’cause I feel that shorter, atheistically weird boards have an unclean, almost cheating, look to ’em.”

Until one day when a four-to-six-foot north swell was lighting up the waves of Newcastle, where Craig lives, and he discovered the Hypto’s not-so-subtle pleasures in the long lefts of Dixon Park. “The banks were shallow coming from deep, no one out. I was really excited on how much paddle speed I had. I could sit further out and pick my lines. It was a great experience.”

After that he took it over to G-Land for a Quiksliver trip and then to Deserts where he eventually snapped it and gave both pieces of this magic surfboard to a local kid.

“Everyone likes that model a lot,” says Craig, who takes his 5’4″ Hypto everywhere including that top-to-bottom left-hander in Namibia that features in Slow Dance. “There’s no other board I’d have under my feet. Those boards make serious drops if you commit to them. You don’t have to think about your feet when you stand up. You have a bunch of paddle speed, you fly down the line and then you do turns. You get a ton of waves. It rides fast and it’s exciting. It suits my surfing.”

Hayden explains its genesis: “I was shaping a couple of twin-fins and they had those traditional wide swallow-tail designs and I found they went too straight. They didn’t want to fit into the pocket. So I grabbed that same design and put my semi-gun rounded pintail into it, blended the curves and… it worked!”

Pulling in the tail, moving the wide point forward of the middle, giving it a straight rocker and relying on the curve of the outline to create manoeuvrability ain’t a secret to anyone, of course. Dave Parmenter’s Stub Vectors in the nineties and Biolos’ round-nose-fish a few years later all combined the same magic ingredients. But the Hypto-Krypto is important because it brought the genre to a new generation. And with Craig Anderson, one of the most admired surfers in the world riding ’em in such a sublime fashion, they’ve become so popular they account for more than 30 per cent of Hayden’s worldwide sales.

“It connects with the wave really, really nicely,” says Hayden. “The whole back end of the rocker is super flat. It basically creates all the speed for you. It’s really the subtle features that make it a special board. That is, traditional concepts but it’s those refined features, where the apexes are in the tail, the roll in the entry, where the vee exits, that make it able to be surfed from one foot to double-overhead waves.”

“It’s good for the average surfer who wants to go fast and turn it and have fun,” says Craig.

Hayden says it’s been a sell-out for three years and, even now, with three factories, he’s still building “as many as we can” to fulfil demand.

In five years Craig has owned exactly three Hyptos. “I snapped the first at Deserts years ago, I just retired the one I surfed in Slow Dance, that lasted me two years, and now I’m sitting on a new one. The ol Hypto blesses me with its inner durability, for some cosmic reason.

Craig’s dimensions: 5’4″ x 19 1/2″ x 2 3/8″ (27.2 litres in volume)

Owen Wright house
Owen Wright threw one-four mill shekels down for this almost-beachfront house at Skennars Head in 2010. His first house!

Gimme: Owen Wright’s $1.6M Beach House

Got a little under two mill? Buy Owen Wright's almost beachfront, almost Lennox Heads crib!

Who doesn’t dream of chucking in the big-city life for an existence punctuated by the morning call of native birds, a honey-skinned and undemanding gal lolling around on the futon massaging her clitoral branches, and empty warm-water beachbreaks? Shelter, Morning of the Earth, they knew the allure. Come, come, it’s a real-life garden of Eden.

I don’t buy it. I like the city. The noise, the people, the constant incentive to improve or perish.

But maybe you’re different. Maybe you’ve got a little cash and you want beachfront (or almost beachfront), you want warm and you want empty. If this sounds like you, click here to find out about Owen Wright’s surplus house at 3 Bradman Court, Skennars Head just near Lennox Head and a short drive from Byron Bay.

Wright, the almost 25 year old, is currently rated 12th in the world after sitting out most of 2013 with an injury, bought the joint four years ago (for $1.4 mill) and has been letting it out as a holiday rental at ‘tween three and five gees a week. The former world number three (2011) also has a Federation-style house in Byron Bay that he bought for $975,000 around the same time. The year after those two purchases he bought a beachfront townhouse at Thirroul on the NSW South-ish Coast for $600k.

You like this crib? It has a pool that meanders through the main house, too. Luxury!

Negotiating tip: go in at one-two. BeachGrit is guessing O is okay with taking a little hit. Y’buy property in the provinces, you don’t expect to make a killing. Am I right?

Owen Wright house
Ignore that strange EZ chair in the lefthand corner of frame and focus on the indulgence of a pool that meanders through the living room.

Surfing in Berlin
Santa Cruz ex-pat Ira Mowen is chasing cash via Kickstarter to make a movie about a once-a-week wave that lights up just outside the German capital of Berlin. But the badly-designed ship that creates this monster wake is about to be replaced by a sleeker design. But sleeker design equals no wave! Compelling! | Photo: Ira Mowen

Epic: A German Surf Movie

Santa Cruz-expat Ira Mowen's odd project about a once-a-day wave that is, suddenly, in grave peril!

surfing in berlin
Tavarua? Sumatra? Nein!

Can you imagine what it’s like to be a surfer living in Berlin? Yeah, sure, you’ve got all those cultural hits playing (marvel at the Brandenburg gate, the Reichstag, hunks of the old Berlin Wall, stroll down the Kurfustendamm, hit the bars and clubs) but old habits die the hardest.

Ira Mowen drifted into Berlin from the States and had soon accrued all the attachments necessary for modern hipsterdom (moto, cute cams, twin fin, mat, journals, Polaroids, long hair parted delicately in the middle and accessorised with beard etc) but was missing the most important ingredient, waves to shred.

And then after six years, there it was. The massive wake created by a poorly designed ship coming back to port, once a day. Head-high, fast and fat.

“Like a head-high swell hitting 38th, in Capitola in Santa Cruz,”, says Mowen.

Except it’s real hard to catch. So hard Mowen had a seven-foot, twin-keel Simmons-style sled built for the joint.

Anyway, the ship that creates the wave is being replaced by a ship that’s sleeker, faster, with a hull that ain’t got the same gas-guzzling drag. But sleeker equals no wave. And so Mowen is making a film (and selling tees, books, framed photos too) about the experience.

Throw some cash at his Kickstarter (click here) and at least let’s get some pretty pictures of it before it vanishes…

Surf Berlin: 60 seconds from Ira Mowen on Vimeo.

Chas Smith with his book Welcome to Hawaii Now Go to Hell
"The following extract comes roughly one-third of the way through the book, if I recall," says Chas Smith, "and was a dream come true. It was perfect. It was so perfect, in fact."

(Audio) When Eddie Slapped G

Chas Smith reads from Welcome to Hawaii Now Go to Hell. Here, Eddie Rothman slaps Billabong's Graham Stapelberg…

From the author: The extract you’ll hear comes roughly one-third of the way through the book, if I recall, and was a dream come true. I had sold the concept to my publisher based on past North Shore experience. The New York executives sat across the table and rubbed their eyes in disbelief as I described the ever beautiful but ever ominous North Shore. I sold the dream/nightmare and was hoping beyond hope that the 2011 season would live up to the hype. Eddie going to the Billabong house and having a slap while I was flying across the Pacific far exceeded even my wildest hopes. That event sent the tone for my winter of 2011. It was grandly amazing. Everyone was more tense, more scared, more weird, more North Shore. Surfers of all stripes were, quite literally, shaking as they walked down the bike path for their daily surf check. And then John John won the Triple Crown. It was perfect. It was so perfect, in fact, that I only needed 24 hrs to tell the whole story. Fortuna? She loved me that winter. She loved me lots.”

(You can buy the book here!)


How to survive a surf injury

Opiates, self-loathing and sit-ups. Wait, screw the sit-ups… 

It’s been a rough year. I destroyed my shoulder bodysurfing Pipe last December, got it rebuilt using a dead man’s ligaments and assorted screws. Fought through physical therapy long enough to break my collar bone spearfishing. Sat out two months of life waiting for it to heal and then copped a bone infection that put me put for two more. I’ve got this recovery thing down.


Opiates, weed, and booze are your friends. Pop a few Percocet, hit the bong and drown your sorrows. You won’t heal any faster, but life will pass in a blissful stupor. One day you’ll wake up hung over and dope sick because your asshole doctor cut you off from the gravy train and you don’t know any teenagers to score dope from, but that’s a worry for tomorrow. Today you’re riding high in the sky rambling on to your wife about the ASP judging criteria and how they’re obviously inflating scores to create more tension during heats.

Self loathing

This one dovetails nicely with the preceding. Spend hours in front of a mirror, watch your waistline expand and your upper body shrivel.  Gaze in awe as your cock shrinks in increments, as your shorts cut deeper and deeper into that sagging pile of shit your call a stomach. You disgusting pile of shit, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Contemplate suicide

Don’t do it.  Offing yourself is for fucking losers and pussies. But think about how you’d do it, should you ever turn into such a sad sack piece of shit that you can’t think of any better option than flipping the off switch and joining the void. Would you don black face and drive around running stop signs in LA? Swallow the balance of that bottle of benzos and chase it with half a bottle of gin? Go old school and kick out a chair while wearing an extension cord necktie? So many choices, but how to choose?

Alienate your loved ones

Fuck ’em anyway. What do they know about what you’re going through. You’re the only person who’s ever suffered this much in the history of humanity. Your wife’s a selfish bitch. Who cares what she cooks for dinner? Why can’t she just leave you the fuck alone. Throw a chair at her, call her fat, tell her she’s the biggest mistake you ever made. If you’ve gotta feel this bad, make everyone around you share the pain.

Do sit-ups

Nah, fuck that. Play video games. Go online and write racist messages on youtube. Wallow in your own despair until it fills your gut and spills out every orifice you have. Call an old lady a faggot. Fuck this world and everyone in it.