Words and questions by John Streit. Answers by Shaun Devine. If you’ve stopped by Surf & Adventure Co. in 2011, then chances are you’ve seen The Seaglass Project “Tuna;” a finless surfboard similar to an alaia, but shaped from an EPS blank, glassed with epoxy resin and tuned with an extremely deep single concave with beveled rails. We’ve been messing around with these unique, challenging designs since our demos came to us from Global Surf Industries last November. But our team rider/shop crewman Shaun Devine took to riding the Tuna in a more dedicated fashion this past summer, ironing out the kinks and learning how to functionally surf – and rip – one of surfing’s most “alternative” shapes. Every time Shaun hit the water on the Tuna in Sandbridge this summer, he turned heads. “What the heck is that thing?” “That must be so hard to ride!” “I wanna try that thing so bad!” He also turned heads all the way across the globe in Australia at GSI’s headquaters. After Chris Stellato recommended to the GSI brass that Shaun was deserving of a look by The Seaglass Project team, finless surfing innovator/Seaglass founder Tom Wegener contacted Shaun with the news that he had made the cut for the project’s international team. Recently, Shaun traveled to California for some waves and soaking in some scenery in the Mojave Desert. While there, he ran into an ideal little wave to continue his progression in the Seaglass game. Now, he’s back in Sandbridge with a pretty cool story to tell. Enjoy! Over the years, you’ve taken to riding alternative shapes. What has been the inspiration behind that? It was probably when I moved to Florida in 2006. St. Augustine is a total surf town – almost everyone surfs really good. The standard shortboard is the norm. I remember being out so many times and seeing people get so frustrated on boards that were not ideal for the day, but they rode them anyway because that was what everyone else rode, I guess. I had been into different shapes for a bit but one day something clicked and from there I told myself I would ride whatever suited the conditions, no matter what that board was – longboard, fish, funshape ect. I just wanted to catch waves and have fun. That had to have aided in your progression as a surfer. Describe the benefits of taking your approach. Yeah, for sure. Keeping an open mind about equipment choices allows me to surf on days when most people wouldn’t consider it ‘ride-able’. It still surprises me how much fun those days can be. Getting the chance experiment with different shapes, to explore different lines and approaches to the wave keeps things interesting and a chance to discover your style. And then you found the Tuna… Had you rode a finless board before that? No, but I saw this video while I lived in Australia where Derek Hynd collaborated with a classical musician to soundtrack finless surfing sessions (Musica Surfica). We got stoked and took the fins off my retro fish and gave it a try. I wasn’t until I got back to Sandbridge this summer that I rode the Tuna. This is how I would break down riding it: You apply everything you’ve ever learned about surfing, but it translates in a completely different way. It’s like, you know how to ride a bike, but have you ever rode a bike on ice with no treads? That completely different feeling is what stokes me most about riding it – to get a new feeling out of riding a wave is absolutely addictive. How stoked are you to be a member of The Seaglass Project team? I’m excited because finless surfing seems like it’s hit the ground and taking off. It’s exciting to be a part of something really new; to be able to offer design input and to see where The Seaglass Project will go in the future is pretty cool. I saw that you rode the Tuna in San Diego. How were the waves? The first few days were pretty fun – a leftover northwest/southwest combo swell in the chest- to shoulder-high range. I rode the Tuna when it was a little bit smaller in Imperial Beach, and it was surprisingly fun because it was a lot better than it looked from the beach.My two friends I surfed with were really curious about it. Before we hit the water, they were like “There’s no way you can surf that thing!” But in the water, they were tripping out about how much speed I was getting on it! What else did you do out there? We went to Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert. It was just me and Scoville hiking around, taking in the sights and enjoying the solitude of it all. It’s so quiet and at night there was a meteor shower and probably the most stars I’ve ever seen. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.