Interview by Steve England Photos by Billy Cervi
Every now again you get a random “Wait, what…?” shot through the email that stops you in your tracks. A bottom turn by 24-year old WA resident Jordan Rodin, on a finless craft, did just that this month. He’s full tilt, laid over, only the last third of rail left in the water for drive on one of Derek Hynd’s Far Field Free Friction designs. How did he do that, what was going on? Steve England found out…
This is what I love most about Free Friction Surfing; there are no shortcuts!
So, that’s pretty much the best bottom turn shot I’ve seen since Hynd went on our cover … How do you keep the board in the water when you are so on edge?
Oh wow, big call Steve! Thank you! Well speed and momentum is a great sticky thing. The speed of free friction off the bottom is so great once you lay your board on rail and hold it in the right line there is no slip. The rail sticks to the wall of the wave through speed and carry.
What made you take up FFFF?
At the time I just forgot my fin one day down at the beach, but I believe I was bored with my surfing and it happened organically.
A lot of groms have got into the friction free vibe since mini-foamies came out. What advice do you have for anyone who wants to take it up technique wise. Have you got any magic shortcuts?
This is what I love most about Free Friction Surfing; there are no shortcuts! I spent the first six months of free friction eating shit, but I would say minimize everything you do on the wave and just trim.
I read the only down fall is you can’t go backhand so well on these craft. Is that so, if so why?
In my opinion backside has a high and low. It works wonders when the waves are hollow and you can adopt a tradition pig-dog stance, but when the waves are flatter rails and get sticky and easy to slip. I took a trip north last year up to Red Bluff to learn more about backside and I proved myself wrong on what you can pull off, which was exciting. I think that’s the future for FFFF.
On the other side of the coin foils have started to raise their heads and it seems riders are describing a friction free feeling too. Have you had a go?
No, I haven’t those things look really scary ha ha! And I don’t think I even have a wave around West Oz that would suit it. It’s all pretty dumpy around here, but I can imagine the glide speed would be insane.
Can you ride these things in deep pits. You must really have to have Jedi skills to keep an edge behind the curtain?
Yeah, you can ride the barrel for sure both frontside and back. It’s more the right style of wave you have to look for, rather than snap stall or arm drag in them. You want to backdoor the section and use the FFFF speed to your advantage.
Do you ride these all the time now? The only minus I would see is that it is fun to fully extend on a bottom turn, and actually getting air, which I think you were really good at, is pretty fun too, but your probably not going to do many of these without fins?
I have been riding without fins now for a little over a year, as far as airs go not really, I have landed minuscule airs off reverse sections but would never call it an air. I am just happy going really fast ha ha.
Have you gone FFFF at the Box or North Point?
Yeah I have surfed North Point a bunch of times, never huge, but a fun size. I definitely want to try some more days out there. I haven’t popped the Box cherry yet.
What is in your present quiver, I guess its pretty interesting, why do yo like each board and which boards do you ride most of percentage wise?
I’m lucky enough to have three FFFF crafts in my quiver: a fish, shortboard and a step up. All under Derek Hynd’s name and helped by Des Sawyer and Mike Myers. Lately I have been enjoying the fish. There’s something about going really fast on a bigger wave with a small board you can’t beat!
What is the key to a good FFFF board?
Hard rails and no short cuts!