Designed in collaboration with friend and Aussie hell man Noah Lane, The Ark was born as an ode to the stylish twin fin riders of then and now. Created with Noah’s favourite Irish slabs in mind, the Ark will fly in anything from 2-6ft, and a step-up version is also available if you’re keen to ride up to 12ft+, too.
Focusing on paddle power and optimum speed, the Twin Fin setup and the 4-channel pin tail coupled with a bit of extra volume under chest and a lower rocker line gets you into waves earlier and racing down the line faster.
Check out the interview below with team rider Noah to learn more about the origins of the much loved Ark, the waves it was built for and the ideas behind the set-up.
Who’s idea was it to create this shape originally?
It was a collaborative idea. Markie and I were influenced by the work between Torren Martyn and Simon Jones [Morning of the Earth Surfboards], a shaper that I find really inspiring from Australia. We wanted to make boards like the ones that Torren was using but make them for the waves here [in Ireland/ the UK].
What were the main aspects of shape and design that you wanted included in the Ark model?
The design originally came from that idea, and the main aspect and design were based around medium performance slabs here [in Ireland], which are best up to 8ft. It was about trying to paddle really fast into waves then go really fast in a straight line trying to get tubed.
Was there a particular wave you had in mind for the Ark?
There are two particular waves close to where I live that are both fast left hand reef breaks and the board was meant for them.
What did you want the board to be able to do?
Paddle really easily, hold well and go really fast. We made the nose a fair bit fuller so it was easier to paddle and the channels and twin fins both added to the speed and hold element.
How does it compare to your other Cord models?
It’s a pretty purpose built model for the waves I have talked about, but it’s been surprising to see how much other people have taken to it and how well it’s worked in all kinds of conditions, even though it was originally designed with just one wave in mind.
What is it that you like about surfing twin fins?
I grew up surfing pretty standard three fin thruster shortboards, so moving onto twin fins and slightly different boards just creates a new challenge on the wave you’re riding; you need to approach the wave differently, think about how you’re surfing a bit more. It’s a nice way to refresh something you do all the time.
Which fins have you found work best in this model and why?
The fins I use are from Deflow, a Spanish brand. They are really nice guys and they make a twin fin model that’s a medium upright twin fin made from fibreglass. It’s really stiff and subtle. It’s not weird or different, it just works really well with that board.
Do you have any plans to develop this model further, or will you guys start on a new design project?
It kind of depends on what Markie wants to do really, at the end of the day he makes them! I think the Ark model is pretty locked in now. He’s got it dialled to do exactly what it says on the tin. It’s nice having a relationship with someone where you can give them honest feedback and they take it on board. It means we get to a better place with the end result. We are constantly chatting about different ideas and if something springs to mind then Markie will channel that into a beautiful board. It’s a great relationship and hopefully it continues long into the future!
Head shaper Markie’s notes on the origins of the Ark:
When did the idea for the Ark model come about and how did it develop?
It was around Autumn 2017. Noah and I were chatting boards and starting to get amped for the winter swells. We had a very trusty 6’4’’ template we had been running for a few winters. It was a fairly standard step up which was Noah's go-to. However, as is normal with surfboards, we always ask each other the question; "What else can we do?”.
Around that time Torren Marten had released an edit, from Nias I think, which both me and Noah had been frothing on. We had also starting talking about channel bottom twinnies and how they would work in bigger stuff. I had already been surfing a lot of different twins for a while but hadn’t made myself a step up or longer Twin just yet. I had just stuck to the standard small wave designs. We decided we would head in that direction for winter 17/18.
Did you always have Noah in mind as your right hand man?
I was going to make myself one to test out, then make the tweaks and send the next one to Noah. That was until a phone call from Ireland, saying swell was on the way and filming was about commence for "Beyond The Noise”. I rushed The Ark through the factory (so much so that the original got the wrong logos!) and got it under the feet of Noah. It was thrown through a few big kegs and captured by Andrew Kaineder for "Beyond the Noise".
How did the board develop from the beginning stages to the final design?
A few months passed and we picked up Carve Magazine. Seeing Noah on the cover in a huge emerald cavern on his new Ark really reinforced our thinking that we were starting to get this design dialled in.
Since then we have made some subtle tweaks to the board and we are really, really happy with where it is now. It’s a mainstay in our quiver, and in many other people's too!
To check out the Ark and order one for yourself click here.