Stab in the Dark: Darren Handley of DHD

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posted by Kate McCart

Welcome back to Stab in the Dark. By now you’ve seen what Julian Wilson did with our collection of cleanskin boards from the world’s best shapers. You also know that Darren Handley (DHD) won. But, now it’s time to meet the gentry behind the other crafts that made for such compelling viewing in our mini-documentary.

And now, for our winner. The DHD #99 Board. Darren Handley, 51 years old, is the man who puts world title-winning board under Mick Fanning’s feet. “I was in two minds which model to base the shape on between the Mick Fanning model and Jack Freestone’s DX-1,” says Darren. While he thought that our test pilot was Dion Atkinson, Darren came up with something that would “work well for a QS, beachbreak, aerial-based surfer. It’s a lot flatter than my typical Snapper or Kirra board. It’d struggle in bigger, hollower waves because it’d be too flat and too wide on the nose.”

Julian says of the #99: “Before surfing this board it just looked fast. I wasn’t sure how it’d feel backside but I knew it’d be a dream frontside. And it was. It was really fast and responsive. Frontside, it’s got a real spark to it. I’d take off and it gave me plenty of time to decide where I where I wanted to go, which is something I’m always looking for in my boards. I never had to force it. A good all-round board, which performed the best.”

Step into the winner’s bay above…