Machado and his Stubs - Photo: Gilley

Machado and his Stubs – Photo: Gilley

The story of a mistake made at the Channel Islands surfboard factory at the beginning of the 21st century created the first stub! When one of the workers there (who shall remain nameless) punched the wrong numbers into a computerized shaping machine, entering 5’2″ x 19 ¾” x 2 ¾” instead of 6’2″ x 19 ¾” x 2 ¾”. This rendered a wide, stubby, disk-like thing in the place of a more normal looking shortboard. The weird-looking board sat around the C.I. factory as an outcast until two people stumbled across it: Tom Curren, who recognized a potentially great learning board for his kids, and Rob Machado…who became intrigued with the idea of riding it himself.

This single-finned board, later dubbed the MSF, not only worked, but became Rob’s one-size-fits-all California board. More importantly, the board opened up a new, inspiring path for Machado in surfboard design, which led directly to The Biscuit—a top selling board for Channel Islands. But Rob didn’t stop there. With an open mind and the goal of finding a board that worked well in the most varied conditions, Machado even went so far as testing stubs in maxing Indo conditions. He eventually arrived at a three-finned hybrid stub/shortboard. It was a wider, shorter, thicker board that worked in diverse situations, flew through sections, and could turn on a dime. It combined rocker theories from the past with modern outlines and contours, and, in essence, possessed the function of a fish with greatly increased turning ability. This was a board that not only worked in small beachbreaks and mushy, high-tide points, but, as Rob found out in perfect, steep Indo barrels as well.

Hava a look at this beautiful video showing Rob on Hawaii: