The Best Pro-Model Inceptions

Having your own pro model is a ­pretty big deal — both for the pro whose name is on the board and for the rider who purchases it. There have been some significant pro-­model board series that have spanned ­decades, like Shaun ­Murray’s, ­Danny Harf’s and Shawn Watson’s, to name a few. In this ­installment of The Best, we sought out some of the best pro-model inception stories spanning over the last 15 years.

Parks Bonifay

I actually had three different years of pro models with CWB and Freemotion, and I never actually saw one person ever ride my board. I was like, man, it seems like in a way I didn’t even have one. It wasn’t until 2003, when I had my first pro model with Hyperlite, that I ever saw someone riding my board. I don’t know what it was about it, or how Paul O’Brien pulled it off, but it ended up being one of the highest-­selling pro models to date! From there, I went on to having nine years of pro models with Ronix, and I’m thankful to work with such an amazing group of shapers!

Dean Smith

When designing, we went through a bunch of prototypes that were completely ­asymmetrical. The toe side was different from the heel side, and the nose different from the tail. That way we could try out as many variations as possible until we had the shape how we wanted. Seeing your name on a board is one of the raddest feelings you can have. Even now, I still feel pride knowing the effort that went into the board. It tripped me out the first time I saw someone riding one. I think it was on a Ronix demo. It’s gratifying to hear positive feedback, knowing that I’ve stoked people out with a board they love.

Oli Derome

When I first signed with Slingshot, we agreed that I would get my pro model released in September 2013. We started with the shape outline and my preferred board size, and then it was on to features and designs according to how I wanted the board to feel and ride. We went through a process of four prototypes to get it right. The third one was a simple redesign because I loved how it rode­ ­behind the boat, but it wasn’t right for rails and the park. Tony Logosz and I got on the phone and went over what I wanted once more, and he knocked it out of the park in his last design.