The Kyu P Designs Story

The story behind Kyu P Designs is simple. There is a phrase 'necessity is the mother of invention' this is indeed true. Yet for our story I would expand on the phrase by adding the following, 'and frustration is the mother of innovation.'

You see Kyu P Designs came about quite simply because no matter how hard I tried, I simply couldn't quite get what I wanted under my feet. Now don't get me wrong here. I have had some really good boards over the years from some shapers I hold in very high regard indeed. But there was always a little something missing. Call it what you like, but for me it was always the same thing, inspiration. The boards I rode in the past went well, some went very well, but they simply did not inspire me anymore. So there I was, four decades of surfing under my belt, and getting bored with my boards. What to do?

Then one fateful day an innocent yet crucial conversation was had in a Byron Bay car park between Evan Squirrell of North Coast Surfboards, Yoko and I. The topic was pretty much as above, when Evan suddenly says, 'Hey why don't you pop into our factory and have a little chat with Hutcho (Paul Hutchison). He can make your sticks exactly the way you want them that's his gig'. We did just that, and before we knew it we were on the path to producing our own label boards.

Ok, so things were moving fast now, we needed a name & a logo. I kept coming up with all sorts of old school cliché stuff, anchors, tall ships, stripy shirted old sea dogs smoking corn cob pipes etc. Then Yoko just strolls into the office and pencils out a simple and naive outline of our pet budgie, Kyu P. That was it, a surprise package that has given us so much joy over the years. So yeah why not, the little yellow bird became our label.

Our first boards got a whole lot of surf testing; they were good, really, really good. We were already super stoked, and nearly released that board as our first model. But deep down in my gut I knew we could do even better. So we ordered the same custom blanks again and returned to the shaping bay with Hutcho to refine the design. Once laminated we surf tested the new sticks, the boards were freaky, and they were almost too good to be true. We kept looking at each and saying is yours' as good as mine, because mine is F#@*ing unbelievable.

This was it, the board I'd been looking for, for decades. We had our first official model, The Beak. These sticks are so much fun, they still have us both grinning like raving fruitcakes every time we surf them. We knew we were onto something special, the stoke is back and the fire is burning brighter than ever before. The boards have us pushing our own personal limits each and every session.

Everyone who rode them was utterly stoked. One bloke ordered and paid in advance for one, after only a ten minute loan of mine, even though they weren't officially released for sale yet. They were getting heaps of attention, and it soon became apparent that we would need to design a few more models. The Tail Feather model slowly and carefully came to life and there are more in the works. The labels were printed and the stickers arrived and soon the apparel will begin to appear. The connection was made with Larry Allison in California and before long our fin designs sprung to life perfectly foiled. So where to from here, well life is short, and we could not ask for better boards under our feet than what we have right now. Sure we'll design more and Kyu P Designs will continue to grow, but nice and slow, because right now the clock is ticking and we got a whole lot of surfing to catch up on.