As the naughties grind towards their inevitable close, the time has come to take stock of the decade and consider the progression of surfing since 2000.
Surf Culture has blossomed and grown strong since the millennium. What better way to chart this development than through the progression of Teen Choice Award board design?
2000: The stock-standard thruster has been finely-tuned into a high performance machine via two decades of collaboration between Al Merrick and the world's best surfers: Tom Curren and Kelly Slater. Hardcore surfers like Britney Spears are ordering their Teen Choice Award boards at 6'0" x 18.25" x 2.25". Not visible: Britney's soon-to-develop cheeto-rich hips, and the vestigial Merrick hip present in the back third of this high- performance template.
2001: The Teen Choice Awards soldier on, despite the recent tragedies of Septemeber 11th. Event promoters are rumored to remark, "The Teen Choice Awards are America: and like our great nation, they are worth dying for." Driven by nostalgia, award board design alludes to the halcyon days of 1980s, when Curren was king and Ronald Reagen benevolently watched over us all. Gwen Stefani invokes the flag of our great nation in her choice of bikini top and belt; her award board features a flatter rocker, fuller rail, and slight swallow tail.
2002: Influenced by the recent dominance of blond Hawaiian powerhouse Andy Irons, Britney Spears' award board features a Hawaiian flower print, an Eric Arakawa inspired single-to-double concave and a slightly gunnier outline, with less volume present in the nose. Still recovering from her devastating break-up with Justin Timberlake, Britney adds two inches to her standard award board to help with paddling and stability through backside bottom turns.
2003: As Kelly Slater returns to form and challenges Andy Irons for the world title, Hollywood is once again smitten with low-volume rocker chips. Dominant douche-riders like Ashton Kutcher go as small as 5'9" x 17" x 1.75" in an attempt to slipstream a little of Kelly's magic slipper mojo. By all accounts, the lack of volume in award board equipment challenges most top Teen Choice Award recepients.
2004: Thin is in. Influenced by celebutards Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, thickness stays under 2 inches on most award boards, but length is increased by at least 4 inches on average. Swallow tails make a comeback, as Ms. Hilton notes that the term "swallowtail" sounds "so hot," as opposed to the term "square tail." Their lifelong friendship strained by working relations on The Simple Life, Ms. Ritchie is rumored to in fact call Ms. Hilton "a dirty swallowtail" in the wake of Ms. Hilton's sex tape.
2005: In the wake of the shut-down of Clark Foam, many core celebrities begin experimenting with alternative epoxy construction in their award boards. Rachel McAdams finds success via a stringerless, parabolic-railed epoxy composite with FCS fin system. Due to security concerns, fins are not included in Teen Choice Award boards.
2006: In a return to the elegance and restraint of old-Hollywood, key new performers such as Rihanna opt to leave swallowtails behind and embrace square tails. Computer-shaping machines allow celebrities like Rihanna to duplicate magic boards, like the Tex-Mex 6'1" pictured above. After a flood of complaints, fins are again included on award boards. Little does Rihanna know... finless will be hip soon enough.
2007: The green trend begins in earnest, spurring environmentally conscious young celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron to change the design of their award boards. Both Ms. Hudgens and Mr. Efron choose to ride highly toxic polyurethane-based equipment. However, they note that inspired by "An Inconvenient Truth," they have opted to use green rails on their award boards.
2008: As surf culture becomes ever-more environmentally conscious, core performers like The Jonas Brothers opt for wood-based award boards. The Jonas Brothers, inspired by craftsman/shaper Danny Hess, rely on perimeter-framed cork and poplar with wood-skinned decks. In a tip of the hat to Tom Curren and Tom Carroll, award boards feature the acronym TC instead of Teen Choice.
2009: Green and Retro are in. Despite their glamor and beauty, core "it" girls like Megan Fox choose down-to-earth user-friendly designs. Ms. Fox's award board features a traditional fish template inspired by the work of Skip Frye. For the first time in Teen Choice history, twin fins push aside thrusters as the fin set-up of choice. In order to preserve the environment for future generations, all award boards are painted green.