We know what you’re thinking.
“Great. Another old dude trying to bring back some washed-up design and squeeze a few extra gold coins from his glory days.”
Not even. What we have here is something quite unique: a case of lightning striking twice; a rare, double-bolt of twin-fin ingenuity, if you will.
The first loud crash came in 1977 when a young Mark Richards set out to make something more loose and free than the ubiquitous 6’6″ single-fin; something that would work in the tour’s smaller surf but still handle a decent wave. So, he took the twin-fin set up from his favorite, round-nose fish groveler, married it with the era’s popular drawn-out plan shape and built a high-performance design that would win four-world titles and dominate the world — until the Thruster came along and as MR puts it, “relegated the twin-fin to a museum and rightfully so.”
Cut to the year 2000. An anxious Japanese distributor requests a few twinnies for his teamers and puts MR in, as he puts it, “a bit of dilemma. “I knew I couldn’t make him old style big fat ones,” he remembers. “So I got this idea to make a twin-fin that was about an inch wider than a thruster, kept the old square wing and the swallowtail, then went for a modern rocker with a kick in the nose and concave in the bottom and added a stabilizer to give it a more positive feel.” Richards sent 10 of the creations over and soon got a fax back saying they all rode amazingly. But he didn’t really wake up himself until a trusted shop mate tried one and said it was “his best small wave board ever.”
“That’s when I went, ‘Shit, I better try one myself,” Says MR, “and I’ve been riding them ever since.”
He was far from the last convert. Once again, this newfangled “Supertwin” is one of his most requested models Down Under. And when a sneak shipment of 50 hit California last summer, it sparked an explosion of US demand. That’s when MR teamed up with Matt Biolos of Lost who, via the magic of computer shaping, will now take the Supertwin all across the America — the first MRs distributed States-side in over 20 years. Is this Richards’ long-awaited revenge on the thruster? We decided to ask him for ourselves.