Wednesday, 12 January 2011

a dagger of sorts....

  

but only of sorts.....................................

  I've rewritten this post several times, trying to be concise, accurate and honest so here goes.

I ordered a 9'4 gato heroi death dagger off Robbie Kegel, through the squire who had organised for him to come and shape some boards in newquay. I've previously spent a lot of time looking at these shapes from afar and felt pretty sure i knew what i was getting. What i actually got, despite the laminate, is different from any death dagger that i have seen for sale in US or Japan, different from the board an accquaintance in Oregon owns, different even from the death daggers posted for sale recently on the Gato blog. Among other things, it's only 9'3 and the nose width is at least an inch and a quarter less than anything i've seen them make for this model before. Needless to say, i am slightly gutted. Brendan at Gato agrees it's not the stock shape, Robbie himself seems less than helpful. Unfortunately they're a whole ocean away anyway. Sadly the board doesn't sit in my quiver where it was supposed to and as a result i'm not sure how much it will make it out of the bag. I had been warned to be careful with ordering but had thought this was a fairly safe way of doing it. It's not the squires fault either in my eyes, i hasten to add. Interestingly i know RK didn't want to put gato laminates on the boards he shaped here, perhaps thats because he didn't want the evidence of having let his customers down. I know i'm not the only person out of the episode who didn't get exactly what they asked for.

I must be clear that i'm not saying it's a badly made surfboard. In fact it's beautiful to look at with abstract glass and volan flex fin. It's heavily foiled and SO narrow, it's almost like some kind of shortboard gun under arm, all sleek and pointy. It doesn't paddle well despite it's exceedingly flat rocker, perhaps due to the subtle roll through the bottom but more likely due to lack of foam. Once you've taken off it is fast in trim though and feels lovely to jam hard rail buried cutbacks or deep crouched grab rail bottom turns. It's more akin to a midlength egg off the tail, smooth but quietly radical. So far so good.....

Sadly it's up front that things are not as they should be. It will noseride, just, in the pocket of a steep wave but the nose is so narrow that there isn't enough room to fit ten toes over and that narrowness means it is difficult hang five in anything other than a cheater position. Obviously, it's not supposed to be a nose rider and i didn't order it as such but if you watch footage of knost or others riding this shape. In fact if you watch segments of Gato's own DVD showing the model off, you will see that it should pocket noseride better. Of course you will also notice that the nose width on the death daggers  they are riding is close to 16 inches or more, not 14 1/4 like my board!

I'm left feeling frustrated. I like it but can't help feeling i'd like it more with a 15 1/2 or more nose width like i thought i'd ordered. Left feeling that the waves it will suit best as it is, are waves i'd probably be riding a shortboard in.

The saddest thing i think is this. I am a fervent believer we should support hand shaping, custom ordered surfboards, made by craftsmen not factories and yet the argument for doing that is to get a board you actually want. Instead i must settle for something that isn't exactly what i ordered with no prospect of resolving the problem without sending yet more money in a direction that i'm not entirely sure is deserved.

compare this:

 9'3 dagger in Ca........

with this:


my 9'3 "dagger"

Obviously it's a little difficult to show in pictures but hopefully most will agree the nose template is different!




26 comments:

Anonymous said...

your dagger looks like a newer one.. robin has been fucking with narrower noses lately..

Wheardo said...

It's not just the nose, it's pretty much the entire front half that's narrower.
Gutted for you, I was expecting you to be waxing lyrical

Squire Surfboards said...

It seems true enough that RK has been experimenting with narrower noses but not sure it is right to use customers as guinea pigs with these experiments .. that said you forgot to mention that Brendan offered to make you a new one ?

Thos said...

Looks more like a 'Pointy Pig' than a 'Death Dagger'!

CP said...

That's true, Brendan did offer but didn't offer to pay to ship my board back or send the new one here, Leaving me facing another spend to put rk's mistake right.. Brendan did seem to genuinly feel bad about it but like i said he's an ocean away. Plus I'm nervous that I still wouldn't definitely get what I wanted I don't feel like I trust them much. As you know rk himself didn't seem to care.

Maybe I should talk to you about that squire instead!

mason said...

this isn't the first or last time the wrong/odd boards have been made. I was shocked at an order I placed with Brendan - only after being a bastard did they offer to replace (on his visit) by which time 6 months plus had elapsed. I've got RK down as a Twat but he seems to pull in the punters. Good luck mate...hope you get the board you asked for and not just a skinny fit and style over substance.

Anonymous said...

from what you are describing, that board sounds like it would ride really well and looks sick. sounds like it might be difficult to ride but that would make you a better surfer.

ride it in bigger faster waves. run to the nose quickly in the pocket and get back.

alex knost could ride a door better than any one of us!

i think robbie is pushing the limits of surfing, and the capacity of longboarding

Rebecca said...

Gutted, that nose looks COMPLETELY different.

It does look like a fun board, but considering you're not the heaviest person in the first place (!) it's not going to be the easiest board to sell on if you wanted to.

To anonymous above me: we live in the UK, small fat waves are our speciality...bottom line is sick board or not, CP should have got what he ordered.

Squirrel Brand said...

Get yourself a nice Firewire Chris. You know it makes sense !

Surfsister said...

The board you got looks completely different from the one in the first picture. I say you have a right to be indignant, but don't give up on hand shaped boards just yet. I think this speaks volumes about the individual shaper as opposed to shapers in general.

Anonymous said...

just sell your board to someone in hawaii or mexico then dude.. that board will work, maybe not in the UK.. but that board would be UNREAL at a spot it's created for..

put it this way, when you order a gato- you NEVER know what youre going to get. unless youre a good friend of robins or standing in the room the entire duration of your board being shaped, youre most likely not going to get what you order- plain and simple. do you really see robin using board templates..? look at how he lives his life.. robins brain is all over the place, he's a total genius- just watch him surf, completely ahead of the pack and one of the most stylish surfers of our time. he obviously has adhd and does whatever he feels like; have you seen this..? (http://vimeo.com/15862823) it was on the gato blog, he basically did this against the owners will..

all it comes down to; you either trust robin, or you don't. i trust robin, and brendan is an amazing human being- they run a business, yes its unfortunate you didn't get your exact order, but eating the cost on a board is over $600, easy.

HD said...

CP - from your blog; you are a man of distinctive taste, so trust your instincts. Its sounds like even if the anon. comments were right, you still have a board you are not quite into, right down to the ethos of the shaper. JI of Squire is a man I would trust and I like his boards and style. So I guess its time you start more of an English based quiver, and whilst our shapers might not be so 'bleeding edge' at least they appear grounded, and perhaps more interested in the surfers who use them.

kk said...

That sucks - it sounds like RK is a bit of a twunt!

However, it is also an example (albeit a very extreme one) of a fundamental truth about custom shaping. ie: Every shaper is different, if you gave the exact same order to three shapers you would end up with three different boards. Although you'd hope that they at least got the basic dimensionss right!!

Ordering a custom board is as much of a gamble as anything and ultimately the shaper is going to shape what he wants to shape for you - that's what you are paying him to do after all. Communication and trust are the clinchers, which is where your local shaper can have an advantage - although this is no guarantee of satisfaction either.

Every board ever made was shaped with someone in mind - Chris it sounds like you got burned on this one but hopefully you can find someone who feels that board is the right board for them...

Gato Heroi said...

robin does not want to shape exact replicas old models, if you want that get a computer cut which will look perfect(the other 9'3 dagger shaped by John Wesley). He is out to expand surfing; single fin longboarding in particular. robin is a surfer/shaper (emphasizing surfer) not a shaper who counts passes. He is making every board an experiment.

either you think he is a great surfer/shaper, or you think he is nuts. Good or bad that's the truth.

mason said...

I'm fully aware Gato is tres cool, but that doesn't mean folk should be encouraged to order a board without this 'warning' made very clear prior to handing out their hard earned cash. Robs taken it on himself to make CP a board without giving an idea that there maybe a difference between what we (the ordinary folk) are expecting - from years of seeing his boards in shops and on your own website, and what RK feels he should arrogantly make. Experimentation is surely in the realms of friends and shaper's not for the market he's traveled to pursue taking money from someone pocket without consulting them to big changes in a design. I know Chris, he's a nice bloke...recon you've diddled him in the name of 'to cool for school'

CP said...

Robin doesn't want to shape replicas of old models even if the customer has requested that? Well he should make that clear in advance then!

I'd have had the computer shape instead if anyone had mentioned that but oh no one did!

Anonymous said...

what bullsh!t from gato heroi. get out of your ar$e. anyone whos making and selling surfboards has an obligation to make what they've agreed to make. if you want to experiment with boards give them away free to mates to test, not the unsuspecting public. THis sort of attitude in surfing is what disgusts me about the modern 'artisan' shaping of longboards, this holier than thou attitude. shapings a trade, a skilled trade, but not a shamanic ritual.

Anonymous said...

He's not the messiah , he's a very naughty boy .

mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CATGOTGONE said...

my name is robin and ill come and take it back and here is your options:
take a used board from the quiver i will be traveling with in france , uk, and other disclosed places.
a trade for a used board straight up .....
or a cost only deal on a new custom.
ill be back this spring. ill make the nose 16. its fine.
I attribute the abstraction due to a lack of marijuana or hashish and too much piss like uk food and drink .
breathtaking place though
and i found the waves to be full of fun punch and chop. people are cool thanks to seabase for usage of there factory . and sorry for your NARROW mindedness.
joking RK4GH
I meet a devon lass and foxed her so might have mini gatos be on the look out

CP said...

Hi Robin

Thanks for the offer, that will do nicely! I'll swap if you have something i like the look of or get you to shape something if not.

When are you coming back?

Brendan has my email address

Royal said...

(http://vimeo.com/15862823) it was on the gato blog, he basically did this against the owners will..

so, the guy didn't want that done to his board, and NO ONE said anything. You all just sat around and watched somebody hack up the guy's board?

what the fuck is wrong with you people? heroi or not, that wasn't his board to start with, and he should have respected the owner's wishes.

KL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed said...

i got my gato from when rk was down last weekend, i got a smooth operator model and am stoked with it, yeah its totally off the wall, the nose is real thin (about what i expected) but i effin love it.
guess its just luck! sorry to hear bout it. hope ur new one is good.
couple of shots on my blog.
barnacledlogs.tumblr.com

lukascad said...

found your site on del.icio.us today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

aroma essential oils

kaka said...

It's not just the nose, it's pretty much the entire front half that's narrower.
Gutted for you, Deal or No DealKirk Sanford

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...