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Surfboard of the Week: Transformer from Eric Arakawa


Hayato Sakamoto test riding a Transformer shaped by Eric Arakawa

Eric Arakawa is a shaper for Hawaiian Island Creations. He’s been living, surfing, and shaping on the North Shore of Oahu pretty much forever.

His boards are all pretty clean simple shapes that focus more on the fundamentals of surfing physics than modern design features (like negative edges, side cuts, carbon patches, etc…)

His Transformer surfboard is one of my favorite shapes to use, especially when surfing Ala Moana or Diamond Head on the south shore.

transformer hic eric arakawa surfboard
A few views of the Transformer. Bottom one is from

The shape is actually the fusion of two other shapes; the GX and the Superskate, which are both really fun boards in their own rights, but the Transformer takes all the best elements of those two and isn’t really wanting for anything.

It’s meant to be surfed a few inches shorter than your normal shortboard, but even surfed micro, it still has a ton of wave catching ability and a decent amount of paddle power. Its main strengths are its high mobility for performance manuevers and its ridiculous friggin’ speed. The Transformer is a board that really loves small nippy rail to rail movements to draw out acceleration down the line. This combined with its smaller size make it a great shape to practice your punts. 

hic surfboards matahi drollet surfing arakawa transformer teahupoo
Matahi Drollet surfing on a positively tiny 5’2 Transformer at Teahupoo.

The Transformer was not built for especially big waves, but I personally feel like it handles nicely even when things go a fair amount over head. See photo below and above for proof of this.

Single to double concave out the back. Rocker is medium overall; a bit flatter in the tail. Rails are full, so you don’t have to worry about losing your line when you bury your weight on them (good for tossing spray as well.)

matahi drollet hic surfboards eric arakawa teahupoo
Another shot of Matahi on his 5’2 Tranny at Chopes.

Super fun shape for small waves, biggish waves (or real big apparently if you can handle the air drops and the speed,) practicing aerials, groveling, surfing good waves, crappy waves, and just about anything else you can surf.

Great shape to travel with. The Transformer, from Eric Arakawa and HIC Surfboards