The Kalapana model, was named by Cliff Kapono after a small surf town on the Big Island that was buried in lava. In 1986 the Kilauea lava flow from the Kūpaʻianahā vent destroyed and partly buried most of the town, as well as changed/destroyed the perfect reefs of a few of the Big Islands best waves.
The Kalapana is an old design, that has been reborn into a new model for the 2014/2015 season.
I first started shaping these "down the line" single-fins as a teenager. I wouldn't say it was really a board that was "designed" to do anything specific, other than hold an edge in a variety of waves, and travel in a straight-line really quick. There really wasn't much planning put into shaping them at first, the rocker was just whatever the natural rocker from the old CLARKFOAM blanks i was shaping out of at the time had in them. I'm not sure if i even measured rocker in those days- it was more about making the thing symmetrical, and eyeballing the bottom curve, hoping it would go ok once it hit the water.
Its been about 9 years since I had really focused on making a fun little single fin like this. With the encouragement and inspiration by a few close friends asking for something with the "Uni-fin" setup, I began to rehash the design, and revisit it in a more methodical way than i had before. I began making a few here and there- mostly just fun boards to hand shape out of salvage blanks, miscuts off the machine and things like that.
It wasn't until a few months ago, intending to shape one for myself, I requested to have 5 futures boxes installed, but ended up ultimately deciding that my good friend Cliff Kapono might enjoy it. Brian King laminated it- a multi color resin/hotcoat job that ended up looking a lot like hot lava. Cliff, being from Big Island, seemed to be really into it. I sent it over to California where he's been going to school, and he seemed to immediately put it through the paces- all sorts of waves, all sorts of conditions. He took it to all over the islands, up and down the west coast, mexico, and tahiti. Within a few months, his hot lava "pele" inspired board had more mileage than most people do over a few years.
The Kalapana goes really well, as a thruster, quad and even single fin. its got a more beveled, turned-down rail that was popular on boards dating from the late seventies to early eighties. Its beak-nosed, and high volume, but very tapered on the edges, allowing it to cut through water and hold its line very well. Most of the Single Fin's i've been shaping using this template come with a classic 6 channel bottom, feeding water out the tail.