Monday, March 6, 2017

Updates, Changes, spiders, Hotcakes

Heya surfboard and surfboard-riding enthusiasts, much has changed since the last HHG blog entry. Here are a few highlights:
1. Northern California went from being in the worst drought in history to experiencing the largest seasonal rainfall in the state's history. Nice!
2.  Team HHG moved across town. The kids can now run feral and I no longer have to worry about the homeless guy pooping on my front doorstep twice a week with impressive regularity and precision. Nice!
3. I built a new shop. It looks like this:
It took me a long time. One morning, I got bit by a Black Widow spider in the same spot on my leg where I was bit by a Brown Recluse spider in 1991. Another morning, I tried to do the shingling myself. It took me six hours to get a row down. I called Javier and he finished the whole thing in about forty-five minutes, stopping only once to point out that he could carry two bundles of shingles up a ladder while I struggled with one. Nice!
4. I finally caught up on orders that were postponed due to the move, which gave me some moments to refigure some templates and designs, especially the midlengths which are, and have always been, staples of the thinking person's North-of-the-Bridge quiver. The chief result is that I boiled down my six different midlength designs (too much!) into just two platforms: the Valiant, and the Mini Flying Beard (or MFB, or Mini Beard, or Beardlet, Peach Fuzz, or Baby Beard, according to those who ride them). The Valiant is a widepoint-forward speed egg with a sleek profile, rails, and foil. I've shaped them in lengths from 6'0 to 8'0 (Midlengths longer than 8'0 fall into the Broadsword category) with customizable dimensions, in any fin configuration one can imagine, and with a all 'round beachbreak/pointbreak rocker that can be tweaked per customer/shred spot. Here's a 7'2 Valiant:
The Mini Beard is a cruisy, full-nosed, scaled-down log meant for fun in non-life-threatening conditions. Like the Valiant, the full array of fin configurations can--and should be!--explored. I've been shaping them from 6'0-8'0. Here's a 6'6:
5. Another new model: the Hotcake, a widepoint-aft midlength that really likes a bonzer setup--either three or five-fin configurations. The Hotcake really likes the rider to hang out on the tail and lock into trim. This is a great shorter board for a longboarder in the 8ft. range, or a good longboard at 7ft and up for those smaller or high-tide pointbreak days. I like mine on surf trips when my arms are blown out in the afternoon but I want to paddle out at sunset just to grab a few more...Hotcake!
Glasson kelpy bonzers:
OK, that's enough change for one post. If it takes eight more months for me to update this, and you're itching for more surfboard porn, feel free to check out my Instagram here.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Pink Lady

This was the last board to come through my West End shop. Fitting that it was for Jay, who's earned more than a few sandwiches over the years.
7'0 Lady model, a beachbreak-specific midlength that borrows equally from school of displacement and the school of planing.
Jay's super arty, so he painted her up, faded-red-t-shirt style. Here she is waiting in line for her hard candy shell:
 Stoked pickup stoke!
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Flexie Fin.
Flexie Fin who?

Also, this is how my dog sits--back half like a roast chicken.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Of Beginnings, Endings, Numbers, and Wall-toWall Shag

Although all oceanic waves (deep water, shallow water, tsunami, standing...etc) are somewhat unique dynamic forces, a mathematical equation exists for each. Like all things, they can be reduced to ones and zeroes. Here's a well-shaped binary set on the horizon.
A well-shaped surfboard starts with code. Its ones and zeroes seek function with the individual wave's ones and zeroes. The product should equal fun.
I prefer shapes to numbers. These curves are the starting point for every surfboard.
Our human predilection for reduction commands us to simplify the complex curves into a simple one. In this case, surfboard reduced to single-dimensional plank of wood.
Our human predilection for extension commands us add complexity and dimension to the simple curves. In this case, surfboard carved into multi-dimensional slab of foam.
And, as we're talking human nature here, we make the thing into art. Can't help it--that's what we do, and we're the only creatures born to do it.
From complex to simple to complex again. Reduction and expansion. Numbers and curves. Ocean to mathematics to art right back into the ocean. The wheel spins.
Speaking of art, we replaced this carpet soon after the shot was taken.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle J

I'm not going to lie to you, friends--things have been a little nuts lately.
First, we moved. Deep into the 'burbs. How deep? So deep that I, who's natural compass is as fine-tuned as a Russian spy satellite, have a difficult time making my way out of our 'circle' in the morning (all the street names end in 'circle'),.Or evening. It's like Groundhog Day, only on a five-minute loop.
The good news is that my kids love it. They only come inside at night, like turkeys. Also, like turkeys, they spend most of their days barefoot, pecking at each other and not paying particular heed to car traffic (which is, granted, mostly minivans trying to find their way off our circle).
The better news is that my new shop will be up and running soon, so very soon I can catch up on backorders and stop turning away nice folks who are interested in custom boards.
Speaking of boards, this one's for sale at SEALS Watersports here in Santa Rosa. It's my take on a 90s hi-pro longboard (rocker, volume), but with a bit beefier of a glass job than its predecessors, which tended to be as fragile as a polar ice cap with a Republican-dominated congress in office.
Excellent for our steeper beachbreak at any size, or pointbreaks at lower tides or when things start to pick up.
 Looks like a baby square tail, but it's actually a rounded pin being swallowed by the lush, deep, slightly umami-smelling, 1980s-era shag carpeting of my new living room. Don't get too used to it--wood floors are on the way!
This thing's got enough finboxes to keep even the most OCD tinkerer (me!) busy for a long while.
Go feel her up at SEALS if you have a few moments. Ask for Zeke--he's huge and could crush you, AND he's got a mess of kids, including a newborn, so be super nice.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Color Purplish

Twin-fin fish
Single Wing
Good for any occasion

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pret a Lambeau

(UPDATE: SOLD) 7'0 Clover for Zeke's shop--SEALS Watersports--conveniently situated one block from In 'N Out and less than fifty steps from Romelli Bail Bonds. Today could be your day to post bail, grab a new sled, order a Flying Dutchman off the secret menu (suck it, gluten!), then head to the coast to BLAST!!!! some of this swell that's still pumping with the rabidity of a Brazilian teenager's slender fist after landing an air reverse.
Clovers currently hold the title as my most-shaped all 'rounder for Northcoast surf. Will they allow you to sit out the back and compete with SUPpers for thigh-high Bo%*@as peelers? Nope, that's what a single fin log is for. I recommend the Bohemian.
Will they allow you to snap an over-vertical reo to grabless icepick 360 out into the flats? Hell no. You're a grownup, for chrissakes. If that's your ambition, you should put the Internet down and make yourself a nice salad, do some light stretching, and start a journal.
Besides, that move's not even a real thing--it's just a combination of words I don't understand from the last five years of Vans US Open webcasts.

This Clover will, however, take you where you need to go when you need to go there. Midlengths, which are enjoying a bit of a moment right now, can get the job done from waist high to anything over waist high you care to paddle into.
This one's a 2+1. And shiny.  And foiled out to feel lively under the feet and let the water know who's boss.