The "HK" Hex Key / Birth and development of a new design.

Bit of history.

The Alfred Hitchcock is one of my best selling "groveler-small wave designs I designed during my stint as shaper/designer for Windigo Surfboards. They have gone on trying to replicate what I designed for them. Cheap, poorly designed imitations missing all the key design cues that made them work. Enough about that embarrassment. That board was designed in '2011. Sold a lot of them and continues to sell well. I’ve gone back to developing my own brand (BSD).

Some asked for a more performance version of the Hitchcock. This got me into developing a new model. Here it is.

The “HK” or the Hex Key. Based off the original Hitchcock template, narrowed all the way around.

5’6" x 17.0" x 20.5" x 17.5" 2.37" Blank made by myself and Hand-shaped.

The Hitchcock is a small wave beast. Works great on mushy slopey waves, yet has trouble with steeper waves with the wider nose. So I increased the rocker in both the nose and tail,and foiled the nose and tail thinner. Taking some design cues from other more parallel boards but not as drastically straight, I kept it a little curvier.

Curvy means turney.

Keeping with the geometric theme, I left the bottom lower rail beveled (Ben Aipa influence) and left nose and tail kinda beveled as well. The board also has some rail channels to stiffen rail. (Love Handles).

Besides the obvious outline change, this board will feature my “Torsion Drive” Stringer system. Based on Torsional flex, the split stringer ends directly under the riders rear foot. This enables it to flex from rail to rail. Not only does this produce forward drive, it also allows the stringerless last bit of the tail to flex during turns.

More info. here,–torsion-drive-stringers.html

The bottom contours are similar to the Hitchcock. shallow centre concave to double with a fair amount of Vee to allow the wider tail to go on rail. (turning). Board also has a Bi-plane to Tri-plane hull design added in there as well. Pretty complex bottom.

This featured board is a Poly blank, yet will be glassed with Epoxy. Not to sure about fin set-up yet. I really want to make it a Tri-fin design and minimize fin boxes to allow tail to fully flex. We’ll see. Board will be available in many different options. This is the prototype.

"The Hitchcock is a small wave beast. Works great on mushy slopey waves, yet has trouble with steeper waves with the wider nose. So I increased the rocker in both the nose and tail,and foiled the nose and tail thinner. 

Barry I’m wishing you nothing but the best of luck on your venture. And as you no doubt know this idea IS the bomb for small flat faced mushy stuff, for guys that don’t own a LB.

Now the point,  my test rider (“boy”)" was forced" out in some crummy surf last week (by Popz) as there was a ripper out on a “mini Sim”.

First time I got to see the proto type in action. My God! I’ll leave it there. 

So yesterday with alot more swell, does “boy” dig thru his quiver? Hell no! Callls me bitching "popz we need more nose rocker.

Love your stuff brother and keep on keepin’ on.

Interesting design concept Mr. Snyder…

Rocker shot?

This is the best I have.

Will take more shots this week when I get back to the shop.

It is laminated.

Hot Coats and sand by mid-week.

Cool Barry, this is why I enjoy coming to this site. Pure stoke reading your design description.

@ Mr. Snyder,

I am not in the mood for arguing with the Sways tech haters, experts or shamans.  See PM.


Stone, thanks for the encouragement and insight.

I appreciate the knowedge of physics and design concepts.

I just really want to expand what I already know of surf design.

Progression, refinement, innovation.

Well, she’s all glassed up.

Apex Epoxy pn Poly blank.

Feels strong!

Hot Coat and a sand job and it’s ready to Rock N Roll!

Looks really great, enjoyed looking through the galleries on your site. The widow was one of my fav’s, bet that one regrets walking through your workshop lol.


Am I imagining things, or is the weave on the bottom on a bias?

That looks fantastic. I ride a similar board, 5’4", tail at 17.25", 20.75" wide, 15.5" nose, diamond tail, blocky flipped up nose. Except mine has all the problems you probably fixed. Love the “science project” lam as well. Mine could use some v at least, but I’d mess up such a complex bottom like you’ve described. Awesome blank too.

Great work Barry. I was stunned when my I first surfed my JD 5’4". Totally replaces the longboard, in that it can catch the fattest sloppiest tiny waves, but once you’re up it turns about 11 million times better, fast n free. I find being so short, that in small sucky waves it goes insane too, fast, free and loose as a goose. Oh, and it’s about 11 million times easier to carry down the beach haha.

Well, here she is.

All done.

Waiting for test drivers.

5’8" x 20.75" x 2.38"

Torsion Drive split stringer.

Flexy, stringerless tail section.

Rail channels.

Poly blank glassed with Apex Epoxy.

awesome board!

the lams are very cool too

As an engineer, to me that board is functional art. Great work.
Need to start seeing some of those boards in Hawaii;)

very nice work Barry!

I like the stringer glue up, be interested to hear how that goes. I surfed my version of a similar concept the other day and it was fun and caught waves really easy but was a bit hard to turn for my liking so adding a bigger double concave in the tail may help, and making it shorter… Im 70kg and a 5’5" with the outline below felt too big too so going to try 5’2" or 3" with a thinner nose section, I think because the nose is so wide you can afford to foil it down really thin to keep the swing weight down, yours looks like it holds a bit of foam still? 


Very nice Mr. Snyder.

The colors and paterns remind me a bit of a yelllow jacket or hornet.

Awsome barry, I must say after riding the alfread model, I wish I was in cali. so I could test drive that bueaty! But at least I have mine for now. thanks so much Barry!!

Nocean, more double concave probably won’t help it turn any better.

Double concaver creates lift, and channel the water between fins.

How wide is that tail?

The wider the tail, the more pressure is required to get that board to go on rail.(Turning).

So what will help that board turn?


In theory, the wider the tail,

The more leverage needed.

Bigger the foot,

more leverage.

Yes, bigger is better!

This is where most shapers get it all wrong.

Big wide tails with single concaves refuse to turn well.

This is an often over-looked design aspect.

That is why I feel all these Mini-Simms are just good for what I call Horizontal surfing.

Not much turning going on.

With all these wider tails, Vee is the key!

Catfish’s board pictured above will out-turn most any Mini-Simmons out there.

The diamond tail also shortens the rail line.

That also aids in the turning process.

Yep good points , thanks for that. Your right about the Mini Simms thing, i found them very limiting especially in our surf conditions here:)

Tail on the one above is 16" at the 1ft mark from tail, it has a slight hip where i pulled the tail in just behind the leading fins so that helps turning. I will look at pulling the outline in a little at the back end without the hip and try the vee you mentioned on the next one maybe with a diamond tail, thanks for the advice.