Updated: Nov 19
Cord team rider Lucy Campbell has had a busy year on the contest scene. She started out in Morocco back in February at the Rip Curl Pro Search Taghazout Bay, headed out to El Salvador in May to represent Team GB in the 2023 ISA World Games in El Salvador, and then started a run of Women’s Qualifying Series contests through Europe, all with a quiver of Cord surfboards under her feet. She’s currently sitting at a super respectable 18th position in the 2023/24 European Women's QS rankings.
The surfboards that Lucy surfs for business and pleasure, in contests and free surfs, have been developed over many years and are the result of her on-going working relationship with shaper Markie Lascelles. With a contest schedule that demands so much travelling, having a compact quiver of dependable shapes that perform in a variety of conditions is essential. Here’s Markie and Lucy’s take on how they worked together to develop her contest quiver for the 2023 season.
What boards have you got in your contest quiver this year, Lucy?
Lucy: The main two boards that I’ve been riding this year are, an epoxy version of the stubby with a slightly more pulled in outline, and a 5'10" thumb tail performance model that we’ll be releasing soon.
Markie, how have Lucy’s boards been tailored to her as a surfer and the demands of travelling and competing?
Markie: We’ve refined Lucy’s boards over the years to deal with the different variety of breaks she surfs but to always give her the same sturdy, sparky feeling under foot. Some of the design elements that I use to maintain a recognisable feeling for her are similar rocker lines, wide points or volume displacement.
And how do you work with Markie to optimise the surfboards that you ride both in contests and when free-surfing?
Lucy: We’ve done a fair bit tweaking over the past few seasons, trying different tail widths or rail thicknesses. If something’s feeling a bit off I'll take a board to Markie and tell him what I love about it, but also what doesn’t feel so good i.e. I love how it accelerates on rail but feel it’s a little too slidey through turns and I loose speed going into the next move. He’ll know what adjustments to make… ooor sometimes I just need to work on my technique!
How have Lucy’s boards developed from when you first started shaping her surfboards?
Markie: I feel like we’ve worked on her tail rocker and width mostly. That’s culminated in her current round tail model that seems to be the magic one. It’s been a case of just refining things all the time - we’ve really worked a lot on her good wave boards
What is it that you need from these boards, Lucy?
Lucy: The epoxy is a super light shape (you could probably lift it with your pinky finger) that we’ve developed to go in the smallest, weakest waves possible. The European leg of the Qualifying Series falls in summer time so you’ve go to be ready to surf a heat in ankle-to-knee high onshore wind swell. The judges are looking for something a little exciting and so speed is your friend! I love this board during summer at home for anything up to shoulder high - its so fast and fun, it’s basically all I ride!
The thumbtail is my go-to for anything that’s steep and in the head high plus range, so it’s a really good winter board. That being said, we had a fair few chunky, stormy swells roll in though this years comp season so I’ve reached for it a few times. This shape has amazing hold and control through bottom turns and carves but still feels fun and has good release in the lip.
How do you choose which board to surf when – is it down to conditions on the day or does consistency/familiarity with a board come into play, or gut instinct?
Lucy: It’s definitely a mixture of all of those factors - the conditions on the day, what’s been feeling good in similar size and power of waves, and which surfboard I’m feeling the most confident with or having the most fun on.
Markie, How has working with Lucy to shape her surfboards filtered through and influenced what Cord offers to customers seeking a custom board or in its stock models?
Markie: Lucy’s one of the very best in her division so she demands a lot from her boards, and in turn that helps me to really drive them forward. She’s one of my more vocal team riders and her feedback helps so much, so I can make those subtle tweaks to get our models really dialled in and optimised.
If you're looking for a high performance shortboard to see you right for the more powerful swells of the next few months, then get in touch to talk through your requirements with Markie. Alternatively, for any groms or good, light-weight surfers out there, we've currently got a couple of Lucy's boards in the second hand rack at our St Agnes showroom waiting for their next chapter.