SWEET SHOT! Taking a crack at Waimea with Robin Johnston

Robert Johnston drops in on a Waimea swell. Photo by Heath Thompson
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Shaper, surfer, waterman Robin Johnston of RJ Surfboard designs grew up on the North Shore of Oahu.  He credits his mother with teaching him how to surf and proudly proclaims she is still surfing today.

Robin Johnston Waimea sup surf
Board shaper, Robin Johnston drops in on ‘yesterday’s leftovers’ on Waimea Bay, North Shore Oahu. Photo by: Heath Thompson

Robin Johnston:  Some History

At age 13, Robin entered the competitive surfing bracket and became the Hawaiian Men’s amateur champion for several years.  He also competed on the WQS World Tour.  Robin went on to be ranked in the Top 5 in the Standup World Tour in 2010, 2011 and 2012.  He’s surfed, sup surfed around the globe, competing and free surfing in over seventeen countries.  He says his knowledge of surfing and surfboard design has evolved from these experiences.

Winter Swells and Motivation

In a winter swell from a few years back, Robin had the chance to get out at Waimea with cameraman Heath Thompson.  He says, the swell had been even bigger the day before, but Heath was keen on checking out the leftovers.  Robin’s initial response was, “It looks smaller today. Maybe not even worth it.”  But Heath persisted, “C’mon bra!  Let’s just go out and see maybe if there’s still some sets.”

He was right.

Robin Johnston Heath ThompsonWaimea sup surf2
Robin tells us of this shot, “Caio Vas actually took off behind the peak on this very same wave but had to straighten out because he was to deep. It was his first time out at Waimea so he was learning the positioning.” Photo by: Heath Thompson

RJ Surfboards:  an eco conscious design

Robin is riding his own design, an 8’10” x 26″ x 4″ with Carbonerro paddle.  His boards are distinctive in both style and shape.  And now, Robin is offering a new eco-conscious construction for his boards (both surf and sup) which include the Marko EPS foam made partially from recylced EPS and is the best on the market with it’s excellent bead fusion.  He also uses an Entropy epoxy resin made with bio based material including pine oil.  Entropy Resin has less harmful byproducts and 50% less greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s to taking chances and celebrating the environment in which we play!  Aloha, Robin.




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Evelyn O’Doherty
Evelyn O'Doherty, owner & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0, worked her way up the ranks in the world of stand up paddling. A former surfer gone rogue, Evelyn stepped onto a SUP for the first time in 2009 when a plaguing neck injury kept her out of the water from surfing. Discovering the core benefits and expanded perspective on the water that stand up paddling brings, Ev immediately was hooked. She became a strong SUP racer in the North East and a year-round SUP surfer, gathering multiple top brand sponsorships including becoming a team rider for Starboard SUP and a national ambassador for Kialoa, as well as celebrating all aspects of the sport with additional brand ambassadorships including lululemon athletica, Clif Bar, Cobian, Kaenon & Indo Board. Her love of watersports and commitment to advocacy in preserving our marine environments led to a short film made with The Nature Conservancy as part of their Clean Water initiatives on Long Island, NY, called "A New Perspective". Evelyn just keeps paddling. Today, she's stepped up to take over the helm at Standup Journal after having worked for the magazine for 2 years as senior online editor. Her dedication and belief in the power of print to immerse readers in the watersports they love even if they don't have access to the water in a daily existence plus a powerful desire to spotlight the amazing people doing rad sh*t on the water is what drives her vision for Standup Journal 2.0. Evelyn welcomes the conversation about how to make the magazine benefit as many people as possible and encourages feedback, letters to the editor and communication at editor@standupjournal.com . Now, as owner/publisher for Standup Journal., Evelyn continues to live in East Hampton NY where she has daily access to the water. When the swell is working, you can find her in Montauk rattling around in her Ford Ranger surfboards hanging out the back headed for points East.