Pat Rawson, Mo Freitas

Pat Rawson joins Paddlewoo to discuss SUP design, Mo Freitas and the future of the sport…

Erik Antonson
Erik Antonson
June 16, 2015



Pat Rawson (http://www.patrawsonsurfboards.com is an icon in the sport of surfing.  In the 80’s he revolutionized big wave surfing in Hawaii.  He shaped the board that Tom Carroll did the snap heard round the world on at pipe that was commemorated  last year at the Heritage heat at the Pipe Masters.  At one point, three-quarters of the top 16 tour surfers were riding Rawson’s shapes.

Pat has started to use his talents to change the landscape of SUP surfing.  He is doing this through his protege, Mo Freitas, and Focus SUP (  We circled up with Pat to chat about the direction of design for SUP boards, how far the sport can go, Mo Freitas and his impact on SUP surfing and construction materials.

  • In the comments below let us know what you are riding right now and what you think of the board.  Can you go smaller?  What would you like to see board makers focusing on?



This podcast is brought to you by Blue Zone SUP.

Blue Zone SUP offers all-inclusive standup paddle surfing camps in Nosara, Costa Rica.  You can read all about the camp in the latest issue of Standup Paddle Magazine and videos frequently on  Email for camp dates.

Show notes:

  • 1:30 – What PADDLEWOO is all about
  • 4:00 – Pat talks about early Hawaii days, the thruster, Japan up to shaping Mo’s first board
  • 9:15 – Pat shaped his first SUP for Mo Freitas.  Talks design and process of Mo’s boards
  • 10:40 – Advantages of machine shaping for SUP
  • 11:00 – Feedback process with Mo
  • 12:30 – Talks Kai Lenny
  • 14:10 – Mo’s board dimensions – 70 Liters, 23.5 inches wide, Mo weighs 175lbs.
  • 17:30 – Mo Freitas, Focus SUP production board coming this year
  • 18:40 – Commonalities of surfing icons
  • 19:30 – Rockers, rails and fin setup
  • 25:00 – impact on SUP on the lineup.  Mo getting waves at pipe
  • 27:40 – Shorter surfboards in Hawaii, thrusters, redesigning the clark foam blank for shortboards
  • 29:20 – Body Glove plug, Facebook, instagram, doing small production boards for kids
  • 30:10 – SUPs in big surf.  Advantages.
  • 32:20 – Ryan Rawson and Makua Rothman, Billabong Big Wave Award from Jaws.
  • 35:00 – Pattern recognition.
  • 36:40 – Rocket tails on SUPs.  90% of Pat’s SUPs are the rocket tail.  Big surf, round pins
  • 37:50 – Concaves, bottom design, Mo surfs while he is paddling, rail to rail
  • 38:50 – Shaping: Art vs. Science
  • 39:40 – Machine shaping SUPs, Shape 3D
  • 40:20 – Music, people
  • 42:20 – Do surfers know what they want in a board?
  • 43:55 – “You don’t know if it will work until you ride it.”
  • 46:00 – Noses, width, best selling design at Focus
  • 47:00 – What trends does Pat see?  Will SUP head Shorter?
  • 48:40 – Construction, Foam, Glass.  Mo’s boards are under 10Lbs.
  • 53:00 – Legality of SUP, arrests in Cali
  • 53:50 – Attitudes in surfing, SUPs humbling ability
  • 54:50 – Surf Church, spirituality

 “Some guys try to over-egg the omelette.”  – Pat Rawson


One Comment

  • stephen bleck

    Really enjoy the knowledge. Just bought a 7’10 rawson downsizing from an 8’5 starboard at 105 liters. A true surfboard and rides half the size of my starboard! Just very humbling even at 97 liters to learn how not to fall every few minutes.
    I live in Ventura, not a huge SUP seen, a few good guys in Oxnard, but not getting barked at too much which is nice.

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