Longtom reviews Italo Ferreira’s IF15: “Best board of 2019? Has to be, don’t it?”

"I fell in love with the board. Clearly."

Many, many great surfboard shapers, designers, builders ply their trade in my area. More than a lifetime’s worth, if you really buckled down and got on a custom program with all them.

Despite the awe I feel about that I nurture a secret kink for Californian surfboards.

Most likely some blood memory of early Byron Bay when surfboard factories festooned either end of town and Californian cats were everywhere, running the factories by legit and not so legit means.

The smell of fresh set polyester resin wafted through shops filled with incense and weed smoke.

It was heady stuff for Bribie kids.

Californian shaper Timmy Patterson is connected to this area, primarily via a second wave of surf immigrants from South Africa who set up board building enterprises, like Gunter Rohn.

All of which is a long winded preamble to say I’d coveted a board from Timmy Patterson for many years.

And when the opportunity arose, via a BG commenter who gets his hands dirty building boards in the TP factory, it sounded almost too good to be true.

It was a semi-customised process based on Italo’s Title winning IF-15 design.

Hassle free Trans-pacific process.

Sat in the cargo hold of a 747  across the ditch under the ticket name of BG’s Jazzy P, then Surf Cargo up to Gunthers factory in Ballina, where I picked it up.

Under the arm the IF-15 is exactly what it looks like on broadcast: a very smooth, super balanced feeling shortboard with a moderate, even flowing rocker curve, foil slightly on the generous side and a tad extra nose width.

]“Who’s that for, your kid?” asked the glasser there looking over the top of foam covered spectacles.

“No Toddy, for me,” I replied, confidence unshaken.

I did not feel scared of this board, which can be a legitimate emotion when you’ve got something vastly too advanced under the arm.

If there is a modern dichotomy in the high performance space it’s between the super twitchy, EPS/Epoxy, foiled-out sleds in the Slater Designs stable (with undeniable sky-high, high-performance ceilings) and the more neutral, easy to ride designs being ridden by the top two Brazilians (also with unreachably high, high-performance ceilings).

(Read Longtom’s review of Gabriel Medina’s Johnny Cabianca-shaped DFK here.)

The IF-15, as indicated, sits squarely in the latter camp.

First surf.

No one around, no-one out.

Usually means a White shark has cleared the line-up, which was in fact what happened.

Text my pal: Fun, no-one out.

He responds: Guitar lessons for kid. No go out. Head-high, crumbly point surf, with any wave I wanted, until shark paranoia took over or someone else showed up.

First wave made my soul soar.

Felt so clean. Rocker feels very sure-footed, very evenly weighted fore and aft. This could be romanticising but there seems something very ubiquitous in these Californian curves.

It worked going right on points, on chunky lefts, scrappy beachbreak, wedgey peaks. Cyclone swells, windswells. A totally dependable design.

I started out with AM-1’s, the blue fin that Italo uses and that felt totally fine.

Switched up to a set of medium Blackstix with an inside foil and much more flex.

That felt insane in clean two-foot lefts. Super spicy and responsive.

Unfortunately, that experience didn’t hold in chunky, onshore beachbreak.

The fins felt overly spongey, would wash out and lack drive in unclean water flow. For small, clean waves in say, the Maldives or wet season Indo, a definite pick.

For chunk and gurgle, not so much. I went back to the AM-1’s for reliable handling.

That comforting rocker curve bought ample joy into my life at a time when mental health is at it’s seasonal nadir (summer). The increased nose width provides a stable platform for aerialists, as evidenced by Italo’s winning record in that area, but also adds a little surface area under the chest for paddle power and front foot planing speed.

No recreational surfer could hope to emulate much (if any) of Italo’s surfing. That would be an insane delusion. There is one familiar backside line Italo takes that is drastically enhanced by the design of the Patterson IF-15 and which feels achievable to the non-pro. I mean the high backside hook S-turn he does at Bells/J-Bay etc etc, sometimes, with devastating effect on the close-out end section.


That turn feels so slippery and natural on the IF-15, which I put down to the combination of elliptical thumb-tail outline curve and aft rocker curve. It’s a dreamy turn for a working stiff to pull off. Very, very hard not to claim.

I fell in love with the board. Clearly.

It’s a rocker curve and outline you could build a quiver on, as Italo has done so successfully. Duly noted, he was one of the few pro surfers in the Pipe Masters who did not cuckold their regular shaper with an Hawaiian dalliance.

And the boards looked sensational at Pipe.

My IF-15 ran to 6’0”, just under 30 litres. I hate the phrase Daily Driver, but in this case, I think an effective descriptor for a user-friendly, high-performance sled that has been proven to get the job done at surf spots around the globe.

After six months of solid use my PU/PE constructed version was still in A-grade shape.

Best board of 2019? Has to be, don’t it?

Timmy Patterson shapes are being built under licence in Australia by ultra-experienced shaper Gunter Rohn.

In the US or elsewhere, get ’em here. 

Donald Trump Jr. (left) Eric Trump and a sleeping kitty.
Donald Trump Jr. (left) Eric Trump and a sleeping kitty.

Outrage: Surfing’s most iconic music group ripped apart as band performs at world’s largest trophy hunting convention feat. Donald Trump Jr.!

Pet Sounds!

When I was a young boy with oversized surf dreams on Oregon’s rural coast there was nobody to guide me in the proper way to live that surfing life. No plugged in older kid to emulate. Thus what I imagined surfing to be grew weird. Bizarre. I thought, for example, that Pirate Surf was the world’s coolest brand, that Flojos were meant to be worn with socks, that The Beach Boys were core and listened to, regularly, by southern California, Australia, Hawaii-based surfers before they paddled out to ride the curl.

Well, I had a very harsh awakening when finally landing in southern California and learned that nobody listened to The Beach Boys and that even with all that singing about the Pastime of Kings, The Beach Boys didn’t even surf.

Even still, they are our world’s most iconic group but getting violently ripped apart by the seams as one-time visionary lead singer Brian Wilson is demanding that people boycott the band over its decision to headline a very large trophy hunting convention featuring a keynote address by Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest son.

And let’s have our hearts thoroughly broken by digging into the sordid details.

Brian Wilson, who co-founded The Beach Boys, is now urging fans to boycott the legendary band. In a tweet on Monday, Wilson shared that the band, which he is no longer a part of, would be performing at The Safari Club International convention – a trophy hunting event where Donald Trump Jr. will be the keynote speaker.

“This organization supports trophy hunting, which Both Al and I are emphatically opposed to,” Wilson tweeted, referring to bandmate Al Jardine. “There’s nothing we can do personally to stop the show, so please join us in signing the petition.” He linked to a change.org petition titled: Tell the Beach Boys to Say No to Trophy Hunting.

The change.org letter states those who sign the petition pledge to stop buying or downloading the band’s music, going to their concerts and purchasing merchandise until they withdraw from the convention “and publicly state their opposition to this sick ‘sport’ of killing animals for ‘fun.'”

“We will call on the Beach Boys’ record label, agent and publicists to disown the Beach Boys, and on members of the public to protest at forthcoming Beach Boys concerts, unless they do so,” the letter continues. The Beach Boys are currently fronted by original band member Mike Love.

What is the most precious thing you have ever killed?

Are you #TeamSafari or #TeamPetSounds?

Sarah Foote, sometime fan of Mick Fanning, sometimes not.

Woman charged with stalking Mick Fanning, busting into his house; sent letters accusing him of paedophilia (and confessing her love)!

Who writes letters anymore?

It ain’t all palm trees and water so warm you feel like you’re sloshing around in mammy’s womb up there in northern NSW and the Gold Coast.

There’s a dirty undercurrent of violence and ruined people with veins peeled open by the spike, brains scrambled by booze.

I lived there ten years, got beaten unconscious, attacked with a glass bottle (the swing missed me and hit pal), got picked up on the street mid-fight with a drunk girlfriend by undercover cops who pulled her aside and told her, “You want us to hurt him? We can hurt him”, houses broken into, cars stolen, usual.

Therefore it didn’t surprise when Stephanie Gilmore got belted by a homeless schizophrenic junkie in the stairwell of her apartment in Tweed Heads in 2010.

Nor did it surprise when, earlier today, a woman was charged with the unlawful stalking of three-time world champ Mick Fanning, breaking into his house with intent and two counts of stealing.

Sarah Foote, a thirty-eight-year-old from Ballina, same age as Mick as it happens, is accused of following Fanning between January 29 and February 4, the break-in of Mick’s pretty beachfront joint in Tugun allegedly happening on Feb 2.

“When someone walks into your house, it’s concerning, so that’s why I called the police,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin. “I know the details of it, I was there, I look after people in my house and that’s what I am doing.”

The woman, who looks nice enough if you like pushy blondes, was remanded in custody and will swing back in to Southport Magistrates Court on Friday.

This Just In: Hurley’s new BlueStar Alliance is first of its name, breaker of chains, mother of deep cuts, slasher of Michel Bourez, destroyer of Carissa Moore, maker of money!

Smart business.

I know this is Stab magazine’s beautiful Ashton Goggan’s Pulitzer in the wings. This most important surf industry story of the past ten years etc. but…. massively robust professional surfer teams getting cut to the bone?

Do you really care?

Look, I’ll be honest. I loved Michel Bourez less than the next man. Sure The Spartan had a nickname that rolled right off Joe Turpel’s tongue but besides that?

I’m truly at a loss.

‘Rissa Moore?

I’ve never chatted with the champ and I’m certain she’ll land somewhere but still, I don’t care.


Ok, you’ve got me. Rob Machado is Kelly’s Slater’s evil twin. The man who stays young and gorgeous forever, surfs better than anyone and will be laughing while that fucking Kelly Slater is locked into a mental institute.


Look at Rob’s, growing more luxurious decade by decade.

Kelly’s gone for decades but I digress.

A fantastic company will pick Rob then what?

For whom do you weep on Hurley’s surf team?

Now, BlueStar has pared down to Julian (Australia) Kolohe (America) Filipe (Brazil).

Don’t that tick the boxes?

John John and his rumored $4 mil so long. Carissa and her rumored $1 mil vanished.

And what’s lost?

Be honest.

Stripping that wildly bloated surf team down to the three of its members that currently matter (minus current our world Michael Jordan except a Michael Jordan that refuses to shoot the ball, the man who made a deal with the devil (who should have been kept but will be acquired) and someone who ain’t competing next year?

Be very honest.

Correction: Julian Wilson isn’t signing with Lululemon

BeachGrit previously reported that Julian Wilson would soon be announcing a new deal with Lululemon.

We have since learned that this is not true and that our reporting was indeed incorrect.

As such, we deleted the original article that included this false report and we wish to formally retract the statement in its entirety.

We have been advised that Julian remains committed to his long-standing partnership with Hurley under its new management.