|(Photo: Christophe Brachet)|
Dimensions: 9'0 x 22 x 2 7/8
[completed in July 2014]
The story: Pro surfer Rico Leroy is the “French Laird Hamilton”. From SUP, OC, longboard, canoe surfing, big wave riding, Rico is a complete ocean athlete. His record of achievement is multi-disciplinary and the list I so long I would just refer you to his webpage: here. Amongt that list, I would mention his recent title of Tandem Surfing World Champion he won last year with his partner Sarah Burel. Tandem surfing is actually how we crossed path many years ago when I used to compete with Fred Branger. Rico and Sarah were always eager to share their aloha and lift tricks with other tandem couples. Although rivals in the line-up we rapidly became friends. Even if I stopped competing (as my partner moved away from US), tandem surfing is still deeply anchored in my heart and I would not miss an opportunity to go out for an occasional session, specially with The world champion!!! (Scroll down and you will see some pictures of Rico and I tandem surfing)
The shape: The idea of shaping a longboard for such a professional water man was mind blowing. It was a huge deal for me. I had a couple of sleepless nights with cold sweat. His instructions about the dimensions were very minimal and I just had to go with my guts on an improvised shape. I was at SWOP Surfboards factory and I stole David Charbonnel’s favorite longboard template to create the outline. The rest of the shape was intuitive and supervised by Master SWOP himself.
The artwork: “black/red/grey” was the only requirement from Rico. I fetched the masking tape and start playing with lines it to create a modern and masculine design. As usual, I used the blank as a color (white) which turned out an ideal spot for Rico’s sponsors’ stickers.
The glassing was done at Eclipse Surfboards in Cap-Ferret (France).
Special thanks to David Charbonnel for the board pictures.
|Photo: Corey Walter. Swamis 2013.|
|San Onofre (2014)|