DESIGN HISTORY

I built the first Magic Carpets in about 2007. The original concept was to create a wider, more stable version of the MKIV for surfers who were looking for extra stability, and also for surfers who might be coming off long boards, or looking for an alternative to their mini mal.

 

The first thing i noticed with the MC was the extra glide from the extra width, which felt great! But the wide tail made it a little difficult to control, so I pulled the swallow tail in a little and changed the single concave thru the fins into a double concave. 

 

A couple of years ago, I made further adjustments to the rocker and concave and a whole new level of performance opened up. Not only did it produce a more solid carve on open faces, but also the ability to pull much faster turns off the top, and in the process became the fastest surfboard I’ve ever surfed. During the final years of the Odyssey expeditions, my Magic Carpets were so popular that there was always a queue waiting to borrow it.  I often had to wait until everyone was having lunch to get to ride it myself!   

 

Now with addition of the Full Length Vee, the latest Magic Carpets feel even smoother under the feet and love sitting up on a rail thru long sweeping turns. So if you’re looking for an incredibly fast board that can skate across nothing, glide for miles, and still carve solid turns on open faces, you’ve found it!

When the Steve Liz style twin keel fish’s first reappeared in the early 2000’s, everything about them said to me that they shouldn't work. The crazy wide tail, the flat rocker and the super long base fins went against all my design knowledge. But they did look kinda cool… so I borrowed a pals twin keel fish and took it for a surf.

 

What a surprise, I was blown away! It was so fast and smooth, and it carved beautiful turns. I immediately made one for myself and started surfing it in every wave i could find.  It was magic in the tiny waves, turning and gliding so easily and was still really fun in waves up to chest high.  But in larger waves I found it limited and I often found myself having to nurse it through turns.  And so i went to work…


Over the last 10 years rockers, outlines and bottom contours have undergone relentless changes in a never ending quest to get the most out of this design as I constantly pushed the limits of it in all size waves. 

And now, the latest tweaks to the rocker and bottom contours has pushed this design to a whole new level of performance. Not only does this board swoop and glide effortlessly in the tiniest of waves while still carving solid turns in waves up to double overhead, this latest version can now perform tight, in the hook, mid face turns just like a thruster.... only better in my opinion.  

 

To be honest, I think this simple, but amazing design just might be the most versatile surfboard design on the planet.

I've been looking at this outline for a couple of years now. I really like the fuller nose outline and the overall balance of the curves, but just couldn't see how to introduce it into my range. But as we started working on this current Summer Series of boards, I saw that it would compliment the two twin keel designs nicely. So I built a couple of versions to test out, one with the Full Length Vee and one with a classic single into double concave bottom contour. Both had the same low entry rocker for maximum glide and a quick response tail rocker for performance style surfing. Five fin boxes were added to give the option to ride it as a thruster or a quad fin.

Preliminary tests is small waves revealed that the both boards surfed nice as thrusters, but we felt that the single into double suited the design better. Further testing in better waves revealed the limitations of the thruster setup, and so the fins were swapped out for a quad set. The FLV surfed nice, but the classic single into double concave with the quad fins turned out to be the magic setup, producing the most drive and speed, while still carving nicely, with the ability to pull tight hooks when required. 

 

So if you're looking for a hybrid style board with excellent small wave capabilities and can still fire when the waves get going, here it is!  

Next Series Sea Darts - Autumn 2019 

This board really surprised me. I honestly didn’t expect it to surf as good as it did. After surfing throughout the 70’s entirely on single fins, I honestly didn’t have much interest in going back and surfing them again.  The speed, acceleration and control that multi fin set ups offered felt just too good to turn away on.

 

So when I first built the Winged Pins (originally the '73 model), they were designed as a quad fin.  But I could see that the rocker should work with a single fin and so I a threw in a single fin box, just for the hell of it.  But it was really more of an afterthought than a critical part of the design.  

 

At the time, good single fins were hard to come by here in Bali, and so for a month or so, I surfed it as a quad.  The board surfed well, but it wasn’t setting my world on fire. However, during one of the Odyssey expeditions I noticed that one of the guests had a nice looking single fin, and so I borrowed it and threw it into my 6'0 Winged Pin.  

 

Whoa!  What a surprise!  I couldn’t believe how well it surfed as a single fin!  It had a squirt and acceleration that none of my 70’s single fins ever had!  And it wheeled thru bottom turns, cutbacks and hooks under the lip like they were going out of fashion. I was seriously quite shocked at just how well it surfed as a single fin.

 

One of the things that really surprised me about the Winged Pin was how well it handled fatter and smaller waves.  It would glide out across softer and fuller faces and then fly back into the pocket again, often so much better than a thruster would, and so by the end of the Odyssey expeditions season, and after countless surfs in all sorts of waves, my Winged Pin became my favourite board in waves up to head and half high.

And now with the new Full Length Vee bottom contour, the Winged Pin now has the smooth rail to rail transition of a vee bottom, but with all the drive, acceleration and hold of a concave. 

 

Looking for a versatile single fin?  This one would be pretty hard to beat…

Next Series of Winged Pins - Autumn 2019 

Throughout the 70's I pushed my hand shaped single fins to the limits of their performance and capabilities in some of the world's most challenging waves. Waves like Cronulla's Shark Island, Hawaii's Pipeline and Sunset Beach, and of course, Bali's Uluwatu.  This led to developing a large depth of knowledge and understanding of single fin design and performance.

 

And so now I’ve taken all this experience and knowledge from the 70's and married it with the 40 years of design knowledge and experience that I’ve accumulated since then, to produce this modern take on classic 70’s style single fin design.

The original inspiration behind the Wanderer was to create a single fin more suited to better waves, and so, starting from the surprisingly well performing '73 (now called the Winged Pin), I made the overall outline slightly narrower, added a classic 70's style, pulled in pintail, and made a few other subtle adjustments to the bottom rocker and contours.

 

The result is a classic, finely tuned and well balanced single fin that still surfs surprising well in smaller softer waves, but really lights up once you get it into more solid conditions.

And now with the Full Length Vee, the Wanderer now has the beautiful glide and rail to rail transition of a vee bottom, but with all the squirt acceleration and hold of a concave. 

 

A smooth surfing, joy to ride, single fin... the Wanderer.  

Next Series of Wanderers - April 2020

The Zen Glide was designed to be a classic looking board that paddles like crazy and allows you to surf stylishly and effortlessly, no matter whether it’s a two foot beach break or a triple overhead outer reef.

 

I pulled the bottom contours and rocker from the highly developed Hit the Road series of boards, but adjusted them for a cruiser, more stylish surfing approach. I also slightly lowered the entry rocker to improve paddling, and keep the board moving and gliding when the waves slow down.

 

The plan shape was also taken from the Hit the Road models but I pulled the overall template out wider and made the nose outline fuller for extra planing and paddling.  Then I added a retro style pintail template to keep it feeling free on the smaller days, but give you added control when the waves get going. I kept the rails low and soft, to keep the board looking and feeling sleek, and give it that addictive smooth glide, that once you’ve tasted it… there’s no turning back!

 

The Zen Glide is the limo of the range.  Looking for crazy paddle power and a board that can be stylish fun in waist high waves? And yet still keep you looking good and easily in control when it’s double overhead or even bigger?  You’ve just found it.

 

And now with the Full Length Vee, the Winged Pin now has the beautiful glide and rail to rail transition of a vee bottom, but with all the squirt acceleration and hold of a concave.  

 

The Zen Glide, the ultimate desert island board…

Next Series of Zen Glides - April 2020

There would be very few shapers who have spent as much time as I have, chasing and riding Indo barrels.  For the last four decades I’ve been hunting down the longest, fastest Indo barrels I can find, and the Indo Rockets are a direct product of this. 

 

But this design actually has it’s roots way back in Cronulla in the 70’s.  Growing up in Cronulla meant surfing serious reef breaks like Cronulla Point, Voodoo and Shark Island.  These waves all demanded one thing.. a board that would handle steep drops, cling onto extremely steep faces and go like a bat out of hell thru deep barrels!  At the time, this was a lot to ask from a single fin, but there was no option for a board that couldn’t do this, and so I ended up developing a series of 6'6" single fins that could handle pretty much anything that the Cronulla reef breaks threw at me. 

When Simon’s thruster appeared in the early 80’s, it was a revelation. The thrusters held onto the wave faces so well, that it felt like we were cheating at the time. And so, while the surfing industry became completely focused on contests and riding square tail thrusters in often poor quality waves, I turned my back on pro surfing, built myself some pintail thrusters and and went hunting for the longest deepest barrels I could find.  I was very fortunate, and had an amazing time, surfing places like Uluwatu, Desert Point, Grajagan, Cloudbreak and Gnaraloo, often all by myself or with just a couple of friends. 

 

And of course all the time, continually developing and testing my boards, pushing the designs to the limits of what they were capable of. Now, with 40 years of testing and development behind them, the Indo Rockets is a very finely tuned surfboard.  

 

The most recent improvements to the Indo Rockets have really surprised me. Even though they’re a board designed for high speed waves and barrels, the more recent versions actually still surf really well when the waves are slower and softer. Currently I'm working on bringing the Full Length Vee into the Indo Rocket Series.

 

The Indo Rocket, a high speed rocket ship, designed for high speed barrels… and yet still a very fun, capable board when the waves are slower and softer.

Next Series of Indo Rockets - April 2020

For more than 40 years I've been chasing the biggest, longest fastest barrels I can find, and the Hit the Road boards are the result of this.  

The design originally came from single fins that i took to Bali and Hawaii in the 70's. The longer boards worked great in Bali straight off, but i quickly discovered the that they were seriously lacking in the massive playgrounds of waves like Sunset Beach. And so I set to work, learning how to build longer boards that could project out of turns and cover serious distances, but still change direction quickly and easily when needed to.

 

Since then I have been continually developing and testing my longer boards in some of the worlds most challenging waves... Cloudbreak, Uluwatu, Grajagan, the Bluff and Gnaraloo. And while the surfing industry was blindly focused on contests in often junk surf, i was spending long periods in Indonesia and the West Oz desert, often with a 7'0 as my shortest board. My attitude at the time was that if I couldn't ride a 7'0, I wasn't interested. Ha! Pretty funny really...

For the last 10 years I have been based in Bali, living just a couple of fields back from Uluwatu. This has been incredible for the development of my longer boards. I can shape myself a 7' plus board and usually have it tested within a week of building it. The beauty of Uluwatu is that it has such a diverse range of waves, from thick, ledgy, top to bottom barrels all the way through to fat sludgy faces, that it's a very comprehensive testing ground for surfboard design. And now these days, with the ever growing crowds at Uluwatu I have been chased to more obscure parts of the reef . But the upside of this is that I'm often surfing very difficult areas of the reef, where the slightest fault or weakness in a design becomes glaringly obvious. Which of course can be really frustrating at times, but is a real blessing for a surfboard designer.

The current Hit the Road's are now a finely tuned series of boards with over 40 years of r&d behind them. Boards that will not only handle anywhere you want to take them, whether it's a big fat mushy burger of a wave or a top to bottom racing barrel, but just as importantly, are built to last!

Next Series of Hit the Roads - April 2020

GUARANTEE

 

'I don't believe that buying a board should be a risky affair.

 

All my custom boards come with a performance guarantee. I'm only interested in building you a board that you absolutely love. 

 

If you feel that your board is not performing as good as you expected, I'll replace it for you or refund your money.'  

 

* Reasonable conditions apply.

 

Jim Banks

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