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, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.