Caught up with master shaper Dennis Ellis from the Boardroom to find out about his new cutting edge board design, the Hopper MK2. Over to Deno:
"Making boards for Brett Hoppe has been a blast. He's so open minded,and charges in any surf which is great for feedback. If it's 1 foot Millers and he's out there for hours or 6-8 ft Supers he doesn't hold back. So I know the board is getting tested properly.
With the last 2 boards, the Hopper and now the Hoper MK2, he said let's go to town and really funk it up. The original Hopper was totally off the cuff and has a lot going on.
At first glance you can see the Tomo influence, but it has straight deep 6 channels as well as a flat deck with chimed rails. The flat deck adds massive volume without adding thickness while allowing one to have a sensitive rail. This combined with the straight rails and channels adds massive drive while the wide tail keeps it loose.
It was made with epoxy and extruded polystyrene, stringerless with carbon strips for pop. The fin placements, so vital for these types of boards was an absolute thumb suck, although a calculated one. But they worked out perfectly! Brent was stoked with it!!
With the latest board, the Hopper MK2, we had the previous board as a yardstick which makes things so much easier. Again Brett said don't hold back, which is always lekka for a shaper.
The Tomo influence is still there,with the Sci fi tail on the cutoff nose, but we went for some rail concaves for added drive and the wings act as a pivot point to loosen it up.
Coupled with a narrower tail and tweaked fin placements, I reckon this baby should be faster and looser, which is a tall order for a board that was already incredibly fast and super loose. Since the XPS foam has been discontinued, we went with an EPS core which is more buoyant and flexible. It allowed the reduction in surface area and the introduction of extra carbon for more pop.
The double carbon strip was recommended by Gary Maisch,who I've been collaborating with for a few years when it comes to alternative flex patterns. He did a lot of my Vee stringers and always returns the favour with his new stuff. Plus he's fully into alternative construction like epoxies and Poly foams, which I love.
Brett's new baby has yet to be test-driven, as he's now Pretoria-based - and when he came down to PE to fetch it the bay was doing it's best impression o fthe Vaal Dam. But as soon as Brett's had a few sessions on the Hopper MK2 there'll be a follow up article on it's performance."
(Brett weigh's in at 90kg's, to give you an idea of the board size/volume)
To celebrate the launch of the new model, Deno will be thorwing in a FREE set of Scarfini Quad fins valued at R900 with any epoxy carbon board ordered before Christmas. So tune the Boardroom asap to make sure you don't miss out.