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 around the world and was recently featured in Surfers Blood, Patrick Trefz award winning film. His new 2PRT surfboard system is 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.
BooSoo Prototype 2005
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 expriences when surfing the wave.
Legozoo model 3D Cad 2003
Thomas pioneered 3D CAD in shaping over the next several years which enabled 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 of Meyerhoffer's longboard features a negative cut along the side of the board. This radical design does away with traditionally bulky mid-section of a longboard resulting in reduced drag, 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 innovative design became an hit, attracting press and a string of international design awards not seen before in surfing.
The New York Times 2009
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 it's commercial success.
Bob McTavish and Thomas, Guethary, France 2011
As Thomas designs evolved and spread across the world he got the opportunity to travel extensively and connect with some of surfing’s master craftsmen, 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.
Thomas was invited to Barbados by Zed Layson, a well known local surfer and early adopter of the Meyerhoffer 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 and Slip In evolved out of this relationship and ongoing dialog over the next years.
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.
“I’m not going to lie, I thought there is no way in hell that things is going to work” Josh Mulcoy
Santa Cruz film maker Patrick Trefz introduced Thomas to Josh Mulcoy, an experienced surfer with several iconic 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 in collaboration with Future Fins. Using carbonfiber, the base of the fin is made strong for stability, and the natural pivot poiont in the profile leaves the tip able to flex and accellerate. The Meyerhoffer Fin delivrs maximum control and drive to match the longbord and Slip In designs.
Meyerhoffer Flex Fin, Made by Future Fins
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 Kepa Acero on the rugged Basque Coast to San Francisco and the eccentric shapes of Thomas. From surfboard avant-garde curator Richard Kenvin, to 3 time Maverick's champ Darryl 'Flea' Virostko and the unexpected loss of Shawn "Barney" Barron, an iconic surfing artist.
"I search for ways to portray different passions for the sea, and different appreciations for the sport and art of surfing."
Today Thomas continues to develop his unique surfboards, gaining momentum and a following. Enjoying status at the vanguard of surfboard design, Thomas is allowing the surfboards to speak for itself. His designs are 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.