Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From the notebooks: Spring

From the notebooks.
Shaping in Spring:
The deeper into spring, the weirder the boards: long, wide, fat boards that catch everything. Short, wide, fat boards that catch almost everything. Medium, wide, fat boards that fit perfectly between short-period windswell troughs. Many ways to skin the grumpy, uncooperative, foggy cat of spring.
Take that, Spring!
8'4" Spring Shred Stick
Parenting in Spring:
My kids now think I'm effing with them at bedtime. "How could it be?" They plead, pointing out the window. "It's still light outside!" And they're correct, but it's also 8pm and bedtime and daddy needs a Manhattan, so off they go. Take that, Spring!
2+1. All fiberglass fins, because I care
Holidays in Spring. As a Jew, I had no idea Easter (or as I'm calling it now, Spring Christmas) was really a thing. Well, it's a thing. A giant rabbit sneaks into your house at night, eats carrots, then leaves eggs. In the morning, your kids demand candy and fake tattoos and stomprockets and a jumpy house. What? Whatever, spring!
Red is the fastest and shreddiest of all surfboard tints--perfect for Spring.
Allergies in Spring. My head feels like it's filled with soft cheese and I'm itchier than an Indonesian dog. Plus, there's no sympathy. "Allergies?" people ask. "Me too! My eyes are super itchy today!" and I'm like, "whatever, ass, have you ever been hospitalized because of this shit? I have!"
Bite me, Spring!
Spring's not all bad, though. You don't have to wear socks as much, and it's a step closer to fall, so there's that.
The above Broadsword is for SF LadyShredder Sarah, who already took a California coastal roadtrip with it, dinged it, scored some insane waves on it, received many compliments about it, and saw an elephant seal. Take that, Spring!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Clover PR

6'6 Clover PR (Pocket Rocket) for Four-Fingered Sam on the Central Coast.
Question: Does Sam have only four fingers?
Answer: No, he has ten fingers, total.
Question: What criteria does a Clover have to meet to achieve a "PR" designation?
Answer: Absolutely none! Actually, this one's a bit pulled in. The Clover is no mushbuster.
My shop's a total freaking mess right now, as we just got back from Joshua Tree.
Question: Is Joshua Tree a good spot to reclaim the last dwindling tendrils of your youth?
Answer: No. No it's not. Much has changed since my last visit to the Mojave when I laughed with insouciance at steep, traditional climbs and wore shorts with 6" inseams. Fifteen years later I felt slower, more terrified,  and both hairier and less hairy at the same time. Don't think about that one for too long.
Question: What beverage pairs well with a Clover PR?
Answer: Awaken's Real Aloe Vera drink featuring wheatgrass and the 'ancient healing' properties of aloe vera pulp.
Just kidding! You're gonna wash this classic shred sled down with a classic single malt--the no frills, always delivers, smoky-sweet goodness of Highland Park 12. No bells and whistles on this traditional single malt scotch, just layers of liquid gold sliding down your gullet.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Good Wood: Anatomy of a Noseblock

Noseblocks always seem like a great idea--they're crafty, look bitchin, and offer some protection in ding-prone locations. About halfway through the process, however, I start thinking about the stuff I could be doing during the time it takes me to shape a noseblock: Eating. Parenting. Adding an addition to my house. Surfing through Central and South America. Going on tour with Phish (does Phish still tour? Are they even still a band? Christ, I'm out of touch...).
Rich Harbour claims it takes him a day to add nose and tailblocks. For me, this latest block was a full on cross-continental effort. Here's glimpse into the 11-step proces:
1. Fly to Connecticut for the holidays with the family and enough sweet, sweet sleep-inducing Benadryl to sedate an invading Mongol army.
2. Discover, way too late, that for roughly 40% of children, sweet, sweet sleep-inducing Benadryl actually causes unsweet, unsweet mania and hyperactivity. Oops!
3. Contemplate airplane defenestration.
4. Arrive. Open Zinfandel. Head to my pop's wood shop and poke around for some rad bits and pieces. 5. Have him cut 'em. Dude's still got it!
6. Transport wood back home to Northern California, and glue up.
7. Cut off nose of a freshly-shaped surfboard. This step does not leave a margin for error, but does make me breathe erratically.
8. Spend a ridiculous amount of time making sure the cut lines up perfectly with the block
9. Resin-glue that mofo in place and tape.
 10. Turn on power sander. After a series of frustrations, miracles, euphorias, sandpapers, invectives, muscle relaxants, prayers, beers, existential questions, and increasing self doubts, stand back and admire.
11. Puffed with pride, invite lovely spouse to gaze wonderingly upon your creation, to which she will respond, after the briefest of expressionless glances, "your dog threw up on the couch again."
There you have it!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Dog Days of Winter


In his poem No Possum, No Soup, No Taters, Wallace Stevens writes, “it is deep January. The sky is hard. The stalks are firmly rooted in ice.”
The poem title leads one to believe it probably doesn't get much better from there.
Sorry, bro!
Excepting the worst drought California has ever experienced—and it’s seen some doozies—this year so far has seen lots of metaphorical possum, soup, and taters.
The first of January saw Mario’s new 6'4 looking like this:
 While I was in Southern Baja doing this:
Then back home to Sonoma County where the shit got fifty shades of shreddy and looked like this for a solid week:
Then Mario’s board suddenly looked like this: 
And this:
And this! And, again, our pots were full o' possum.
Clearly, we need rain. Shakespeare's no Punxsatawny Phil, but it would be great if February goes something like  act five, scene four of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, when Don Pedro greets Benedick with, “what’s the matter, That you have such a February face, So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”
We'll take some of that.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Very HHG Jewishy Christmas in New England

Shaped, Glassed, Wrapped in Northern California.

Unwrapped, Jumped On in New England.

Intracontinentally stoked.

This year's  Headhighglassy Kind-of-Jewish Christmas in New England Tour saw much family, much stoke, a few alarmingly underheated homes, rain, snow, high winds, freezing temps, freezing rain, freezing snow, and enough fine bourbon to fill every bathtub in the fine state of Kentucky. The highlight was my eleven-year-old niece's first custom shred stick, ready to rip NC waves with the unfiltered stoke of an eighty-pound ten-year-old girl.
Of course, back home the local beachbreak has been pumping. The weather, according to the local paper, has been 'epic' both at the beach and inland. The sandbars, previously as unruly as a cowlick, have smoothed into shape.
Still, it's nice to be swathed in down and wool, drinking steaming mugs of hot tea while the gray light outside fades and my girls gorge themselves on My Little Ponies, which Santalah Clausenberg knew would keep four and six-year-old girls occupied for hours without interruption--long enough for the grownups to pull another tiny dog onto our laps and sample some more fine bourbon.
I took a brief hiatus from shaping in late 2013 to work on some other stuff, including my website, which can be found right here.  I still don't know how to feel about it, but it was time and makes things a bit more simple, and what could be better than simple?
Other highlights include talking to tiny dogs in New York accents, storing perishables in cars (!) when there's no more room in the fridge, complete Rainbow Loom takeover, debating the current existence of Megaladon with a fourth grader, catching my seventy-year-old parents grabbing each others' asses in the kitchen, and watching kids fall over in snow. Doesn't get much better than that.
Anyway, here's some more pics of an 8'0 Broadsword in some snow.
 Happy New Year!





Thursday, November 21, 2013

All Clear


Cha-Ching! Paul gets to cash in his Sandwich Club Card with the receipt of this sleek 6'0 double-wing MiniSimmons. It's got a slight arc tail, a cedar stringer that made my shop smell like barbecue for a few days, and is super shiny.
If I had just aquired my sixth board, I'd go for a General Washington: an off-the-menu #98 with fried chicken substitited for halal chicken on Ike's own (non roof-of-the-mouth-destroying) dutch crunch. Good lord!
I hope Paul doesn't order a Lizzy's Lips (halal chicken, italian dressing, pepperjack). Not because the of the sandwich, which sounds awesome, but because Lizzy is my sister's name and that would be weird.
This board can be ridden as a four fin or three fin. I recommend pairing it with some waves, a little wax to make your feet stick to the board, and a nice dram of Templeton Rye. Even though it's from Iowa and not upstate NY, this is one hell of a whiskey. Honey and vanilla give way to crisp mint and wintergreen. Makes me wonder why I used to waste valuable drinking time mixing in vermouth and bitters. Perfect on a cold night, a warm night, a mild night, or during a hockey game. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

6'4 Clover: All Hallows' Edition

How did the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, a necessary practice for warding off ghosts and evil spirits, morph into modern day Halloween?
Beats me, but I do know this: my girls have been in an H-day fervor for the last week, blasting through so many princess-with-wings variations that my living room looks like the Disney Corporation mid orgy with an Oregon wiccan solstice festival. A whole new world!
Halloween, believe it or not, can also be a time for reflection as we wave goodbye to summer and hesitatingly hold the door open the door as winter, sad boots and all, trudges in.
This 6'4 Clover for local shred artist and rad dad Lucas has enough volume for summer, but enough rocker and fin snap to carry him into the more light-challenged months ahead.
True Story: I'd been shaping this model for over a year when Lucas ordered his. Deep in a creative fervor, I had coined the shape the 'widepoint-forward pulled-tail egg'. Lucas was cool with that, and only asked that a include his graphic with daughter's name, Clover, on the deck of the board.
It was referred to as the Clover Board at the glasser (Patrick at Northern Light, who did a bang-up job, as usual), and then again by board fondlers when they saw it in my shop. It stuck.

Here, local shredmaster and two-wheeler enthusiast Joey tries to get a little fresh with Lucas' new board. The golden light and his long shadow are clearly mid summer, the venue clearly the Toad in the Hole pub. Fresh new stick, long sun-drenched days, and a few pints of Lagunitas IPA (also handmade in Sonoma County!). Not a bad way to be.
ps--see that unbelievable two-tone '68 bus in the background? Mine's the '06 minivan parked to its left...