Catching Up With Purcho

We recently caught up with our good friend and co-founder of Rhythm, Neal Purchase Jr, to pick up a special order of Stingfish Duos for our boutique selection of boards—available online and at our James St, Flagship Store. We thought it would be a good time to sit down with the man, see what he has been up to plus get a rundown on the boards and the inspiration behind them.

Hey Purcho, we know you're a busy man, so thanks for taking some time out for us! What have you been up to since COVID-19 hit?
We have just moved down the coast to Lennox Head, it’s a big process moving the family home. It was great to get rid of all of the junk we have been hoarding and start with a new clean slate. There has also been a lot of waves around so I’ve managed to get quite a few nice sessions in between moving and shaping. When the Covid-19 pandemic started to set in, I was hoping to have a bit of time off, but orders came flooding in, probably due to the job seeker/keeper. I’ve noticed its been extremely busy in the surf. It's been hard keeping up. I was planning on recording some music and working on a few prints and silhouettes with Jake Byrne... But no can-doey at the moment.

You’ve made us a 5`10 Stingfish, 6`6 Stinger Duo and 6`10 Stinger Duo. Tell us about these boards.
I had been thinking about a Stinger with a channel flute on the rail for a while to add more bite and control through turns. So I made a San Diego styled fish using an existing template made for small waves and narrowed the tail to 8 1/2” wide, cut in the Sting and it felt great instantly. Definitely more sensitivity, hold and a tighter arc in turns. This is the same as the 5’10 I made for Rhythm, excellent in 1 -5 feet waves. It felt so good I tried a Duo version—keeping the width to where the fins engage and then narrowing the tail for hold etc. I also made a smaller set of fins to compliment the narrower tail. After a couple of beach tweaks on the fins, the Duo felt like it has moved to another level in performance— double stoked! The 6’6 is a semi step up for good waves and the 6’10 moves into a Mid Length area working good in small point waves or beachies and lightning up in the solid stuff too.

What was the evolution to get to this design, where did the original inspiration come from?
I often go to sleep thinking about the surf that day and what feelings I’d like to adapt. The Stinger is an obvious Aipa influence and taking the rail volume down with a channel has been done before by guys like Tony Bear and MP etc.

What waves/conditions best complement the different Duo designs?
The original Duos were a cross between a Single Fin and Twin Fin design, but probably felt more like a Single Fin and liked similar conditions—good waves or even smaller waves just with a bit of punch. These Stage 2 Duos are at 7” up x 7” across and moving into the Twin fin feel, but super smooth and work in pretty much anything. The Stingfish keel is really lively and a small wave performer.

What is the benefit of the unique fin setup (duel single) and its placement?
The Duo has a unique smooth yet turbo like feeling. No cavitation and pivots more than a thruster. It can be surfed in a classic or performance style. I like "classic performance" as a description. They sit high in the face and love a bit of power.

The evolving Duo design looks like it’s been your everyday board for a few years now. Do you see this changing anytime soon?
Yeah, I’m constantly evolving, I would never have guessed I’d be riding these Duo Stingers even a year ago. I surf the Stage 2 Duos every day, they work well in most conditions.

If someone is on the fence as to whether they are going to invest in a Duo for the first time… what would you say to them?
Umm gee, they are obviously wanting one because they’ve done a bit of research and are looking for a unique practical board that feels like nothing else.