It's a 6'2" DHD Joel Parkinson thruster I picked up in 2002 off the used rack at Surf Ride Oceanside and has been magic in the water for me. I've flirted with the idea of bringing it up here but it just seems to work so well down there and I don't want to pay for any board fees. It's had its nose bent to the point of breaking and it's the only board I've decisively snapped.
About four weeks ago, I started looking for a replacement board for my 6'1" Merrick Flyer from 2005. I saw a DHD in Surf Ride Solana Beach but the dimensions were off just a tiny bit. I tend to prefer 6'1"x18.25"x2.25" with slight room for overage and this board had everything right except for the width, which was 18.125", yes just an eighth of an inch off! I spent ten minutes hemming and hawing before bidding it adieu.
I had another brief emotional relationship with a Xanadu 6'1" at the Oceanside Surf Ride and a minor flirtation with a magic-markered up Merrick but ended up coming back for the DHD. Darren Handley is an Aussie shaper and I'd not heard much about him here in the States. I knew one of his boards was magical for me and that he'd shaped for the Coolie boys off and on but that was the extent of my knowledge.
Here are some pics of the board:
Yes, it rides well. I had a little bit of a hard time adjusting to it as I was used to my Merrick. This thing has more rocker and does not do well in fatter, high tide waves as a result. I also had a hard time adjusting it to my frontside, but backside I immediately noticed my turns were sharper. I still haven't gotten it wired on my frontside but that is not all of the boards fault as I am changing up my surfing from a takeoff->pump, pump, pump-> smash it and fall style to a takeoff->top to bottom, top to bottom, link turns-> smash it and fall.
With two variables in play it's hard to draw conclusions. Stay tuned...