Back in 2013, the crew at Bataleon Snowboards got to know legendary San Clemente surf shaper Bill Stewart after wandering into his shop post Trestles surf session. That chance meeting later led to beers and the discovery of a prototype snowboard in Stewart's home man cave that he had hand-crafted in 1981 but shelved after a frustrating first attempt to ride it at Big Bear. The board featured a strikingly similar profile to Bataleon's 3BT, or Triple Base Technology, which divides the nose and tail into three sections—a flat center base, and up-turned sidebases on either side of the center.
Inspired by Stewart's design, Bataleon produced the Camel Toe Stewart in 2014, a set-back powder deck featuring Stewart's original board on the topsheet and base graphic.
This year, Bataleon and Stewart continued the collab, but with Stewart shaping a surfboard featuring TBT in the nose and the new 2015-2016 Camel Toe snowboard graphic.
The first-ever CamelToe x Stewart surfboard with 3BT is crafted with a half-crescent tail in a flat profile that releases into double concave in the middle of the board, aimed at increasing speed. Next, the profile progresses to single concave, to make paddling easier, before ending in 3BT that lifts the rails and reportedly makes for a more forgiving ride on both sides of the board.
After 50 years of surf shaping Stewart calls the board, "the most complicated shape, I have ever done."
We had a chance to test the 5’8″ in Encinitas and it paddles really well for the short profile. Surfing it as a thruster, even without a pad this summer groveler was easy to pump and slice smaller turns but felt a little sluggish when trying to get vertical on the lip. The TBT in the nose delivered the forgiving feel as promised and made it an all around playful board on mushy waves. When it comes to the look, the interdimensional graphic really made this strange ship standout, which you may or may not think is a good thing, and had friends in the water calling it out from a good half-mile away as we walked down the beach. Either way, it made us work less for those smaller waves, and helped beat the sections for some longer rides when there wasn’t much to work with for a traditional short board.
More details and how to order one over at Bataleons' new summer website: bataleon.com.