Thomas began exploring new surfboard concepts in 2000, it was the start of a journey that would take him around the world connecting with some of most influential shapers and surfers. Today, Meyerhoffer has a dedicated following from around the world and was recently featured in Surfers Blood, Patrick trefz award winning film. His new 2PRT surfboard system launching soon.
Surfboard design is driven by the demands of performance. The better a board performs, the more intense the sensation of surfing becomes. As such, emotion is still the heart and soul of every good surfboard. Thomas early surfboards were less concerned in function and instead focused on feeling created as an expression of the experience itself: riding the wave. Never intended for production, these concepts explored new design directions.
The Surfers Journal featured Thomas early designs in 2007. The article by Scott Hulet asked the question "How does this make you feel?" and explored if we can design surfboards that not only perform better but also expand the feeling the surfer exprience when surfing the wave.
Thomas pioneered 3D cad in shaping over the next several years which enabeled him to develop breakthrough designs such as the iconic ‘Hourglass’ Longboard. A medium he had used for many years in design development, he combined CAD with making and shaping the traditional way to reach his vision.
The distinctive outline features a negative cut along the side of the board. This radical design does away with traditionally bulky mid section of a longboard and reduces drag, enabling easy rail-to- rail transitions and a tighter turning radius.
A complex organic blend of bottom contours work to channel water efficiently through the fin, creating positive lift and hold. The drawn out flexible tail with a negative cut delivers glide and hold through sections.
This distinctive design became an hit, attracting press and a string of international design awards not seen before in surfing.
In 2009 The New York Times featured his designs in the article "Going Beyond the Waves to Reshape an Experience". However with the unexpected success came the inevitable skeptics. In the surfing world, opinions were polarized: open minded surfers embraced the boards, while others questioned the validity of the design and its commercial success.
The project gave Thomas the opportunity to extensively travel across the world and connect with some of surfing’s master craftsman, including Australian surfboard designer, Bob McTavish and Hawaiian legend Randy Rarick. The feedback would prove invaluable.
Bob, a progressive thinker himself encouraged Thomas to follow his vision, remembering he too was laughed at for his own bold innovations throughout the 1960s. Thomas found himself working at the leading-edge of surfboard design and was inspired to focus on developing his ideas further.
Invited to Barbados by Zed Layson, the well known surfer and early adopter of Thomas Longboard. After a long day of surfing Zed expressed his desire to surf “the tail” of his hourglass longboard. It became the next challenge for Thomas.
Back home in the studio he began working ever-more accurately with the computer making concepts fine tuned by hand. His output was creative and substantive, yielding a range of surfboard shapes. Both short and long.
It was Slip In a modern single fin, that received much attention and was awarded ‘Best in Show’ at the prestigious Sacred Craft surfboard exhibition an event rooted in the traditions and craft of surfboard building. Significantly, the award was recognition from surfing’s core establishment.
Santa Cruz film maker Patrick Trefz introduced Thomas to Josh Mulcoy an experienced surfer with several iconinc Surfer magazine covers as a result of his open mind exploring the boundaries of surfing. Josh took to the simplicity and glide of the Slip In and rode it extensivly during the development phase.
Thomas designed a unique fin template of the flex fin in collaboration with Future Fins. Using carbon-fiber, the base of the fin is made strong for stability that together with a profile that incorporates a natural pivot point the fin delivers maximum control and drive to match the longbord and Slip In designs.
In 2016 Thomas was featured in Surfers Blood a Movie by Patrick Trefz, the director of Thread and Idiosyncrasies. Surfers Blood tells the universal story of true individuals that share deep bloodlines connected to the sea. From Keepa Acero in rugged Basque Coast to San Francisco and the eccentric shapes of Thomas. Surfboard avant-garde curator Richard Kenvin, to 3 time Maverick's champ Darryl 'Flea' Virostko and the unexpected loss of Barney an iconic surfing artist. Available now on Red Bull TV
Patrick Trefz, Director Surfers Blood.
Meyerhoffer continues his unique evolution of the boards, gaining momentum and a following. Enjoying status at the vanguard of surfboard design, Thomas now silences his critics by allowing the surfboard to speak for itself. His beautifully functional, powerfully simple designs are now used by devotees and professional surfers alike, the world over.
Living on the coast of California, overlooking the surf, he stays close to the source of his inspiration and the international community of surfers that surrounds him. Just as the Pacific Ocean is ever changing the surfboard, by extension, holds infinite design possibilities for him. Free to challenge the limits of process and form, he is liberated: a feeling that flows through his broad design practice.