Arakawa Holy Moli Surfboard Review
The Holy Moli by legendary Hawaiian shaper Eric Arakawa is a performance hybrid that blends the hold and maneuverability of a step up with the paddle power and glide of a mid-length. The Holy Moli excels in anything from waist-high mush to overhead juice. It's the type of surfboard that is nearly impossible to get off once you start riding it. I am here to tell you why this is a worthy addition to any quiver.
History of Arakawa Surfboards
Eric Arakawa is a shaper who needs no introduction. Born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Eric cut his teeth in surfboard shaping with access to some of the best waves and surfers on the planet. Since shaping his first board at the age of 14, Eric has shaped for over 10 World Champions, including Andy Irons and Derek Ho. If you would like to learn more about Arakawa, take a look at this Interview with Eric Arakawa we did a few years back.
Eric Arakawa is probably most well known for his rounded pin step-ups with clean rockers, which excel in fitting the curvature of Hawaii’s steep and powerful waves. Funny enough, the board I am reviewing isn’t a step up or even a shortboard, for that matter. Many would refer to it as a mid-length or, dare I say, funboard. However, this isn’t your typical #vanlife soul surfer single fin. This performance hybrid is meant to glide in small surf and give you the confidence to turn and go when the waves get serious. I introduce to you the Holy Moli.
Arakawa Holy Moli
The Holy Moli is actually the brainchild of Eric’s son Sean. Sean was riding another model called the Avis, a mini longboard, and was pushing the board’s limits in the large winter surf in Hawaii. He wanted less board to swing around and more hold, so Arakawa narrowed up the nose and added a rounded pin tail. The result was a board that still cruised in less than stellar surf but came alive in hollow and powerful waves.
The outline resembles Arakawa’s popular Round Pin (RP) but with added width from nose to tail. The overall rocker is relatively flat, making this board paddle and catch waves easily. There is a little flip in the nose to handle steep drops and a little flip in the tail of the board, which allows it to turn on a dime. The bottom contour is a single concave with a vee out the tail. This allows the board to fly down the line while also being able to get on rail quickly.
I would recommend getting the Holy Moli in the traditional PU construction. Eric’s glass jobs are amazing, and a 6oz glass job is the way to go. The heavier glass job allows the board to get into waves and cut through chop on the windiest of days. Furthermore, it makes the board more durable. Case and point, this Spring, I slipped on a rock like those cartoon characters who slip on a banana peel. My surfboard impacted so hard on the rocks that I thought it would be destroyed. Other than one small crack on the rail, the board was unfazed!
In my opinion, the best part about the Holy Moli is its versatility. Depending on the dimensions you order will dictate the performance. I am lucky enough to have access to two different Holy Molis. My board is a 6’8” x 20.5” x 2.75”. Under the arm, it looks more “shortboardy” than a mid-length. The rails are pretty knifey, and the tail is thin. These two characteristics work well when the waves are good. Compared to my smaller shortboards, the added length and volume in my 6’8 Holy Moli allow me to get in early and navigate a crowded lineup. However, the board is small enough to surf well on rail and go vertical. When the waves get small and gutless, it’s not my first choice, but it still works well.
My brother also has a Holy Moli that I ride on occasion. His board is 7’4” x 21.5” x 3”, and the rails feel a bit fuller. It paddles well and catches waves like a log. I have taken it out on waist-high days with little to no power and had a blast. It is more of a cruiser, but it goes to show the different types of waves and surfers this board can work with.
Both the 6’8” and 7’4” Holy Molis I ride are set up as thrusters. If I were to order a custom, I would opt for the 5-fin option because I could see a quad being really fun. I usually use Large fins on my shortboards but have been using Medium NVS Thrusters in the 6’8” and love it!
I played around with a Twin + 1 but wasn’t a huge fan. I don’t think the bottom contours of the surfboard were designed for a twin fin set. However, I have seen a new Arakawa board called the Mysto, which is essentially a Holy Moli twin fin with channels and wings. There isn’t a release date for the public, but it looks interesting.
I am so happy I added an Eric Arakawa Holy Moli to my quiver. I was initially hesitant to get a “mid-length,” but it turned out to be a great purchase. It’s the perfect board for a shortboarder looking for a board that can catch waves early and still rips. It’s also an excellent option for bigger/older surfers who may be phasing out their high-performance boards but still want to surf good waves. Overall, it’s a great board made by a reputable shaper suitable for various waves and abilities.
If you don't see the Holy Moli in stock, give us a call, and we may have some on the way or we can get a special order going. If you’d like to connect with our team, drop a comment below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888-546-6176.