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)