Monday, November 26, 2007

Egg White: Gratuitous Shaping Room Shots

I once made the mistake of referring to my shaping shack as a 'studio.' My buddy Kev called me on it. Now, It's just the Shop.
Here are a few pics of a 6'10 egg in the Shop. The photo above is looking from tail to nose, the opposite below. Template is definitely hull-like with the abundance of curves, but the rocker and bottom contours are geared more toward beachbreak maneuverability. This one's going to be a 2+1 fin setup, but they're great as 4+1s, too (quad plus center box).
The egg is an essential addition to the ego (evening glass off) series, designed for late-in-the-day goodness. You're surfed out, noodle-armed, but may have one or two left in you. As the sun drops, you paddle once for a glassy peeler. You glide in effortlessly, rise up toward the lip and realize you may have the strength for a few more...

Deep in my subconsciousness lies an old crusty bastard who demands all eggs be ridden as single fins. He shakes his head in disappointment as I mark out the rail fins, then retreats to his corner of the Shop (which, incidentally, is the corner with the sixer of lukewarm Tecate). He wears tight corduroy shorts and gym socks. He has flecks of Tecate foam in his chest hair. He is displeased.
Closer to the surface, the younger student of fine-tuned shredability forces a chuckle and marks out a center box, too, just in case. The crusty bastard cracks a fresh one. He nods. He is pleased.

Here's a shot of our T-Giving setup at SanO. Not a lot happening wave-wise, but it proved to be a rich field of stoke and fun times. Snuggled deep in the hammock is my beautiful daughter, nine months old, dreaming good baby dreams. You probably can't tell from this angle, but she has some new teeth coming in on top.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Toro! Toro!

The El Toro! is strong like bull. It's frickin' heavy like bull, too--this one has a lot of volan on the top, and a lot of volan on the bottom.
Stripes are foam stain, blank is Walker, and fin is from Rainbow Fin Co. The catalog calls the fin, in an industry-rare moment of understatement, "Skeg."
The blank has a unique history: ordered in a post-Clark frenzy, arrived in NorCal almost a year later, traveled down to Santa Cruz to await machine-shaping, rescued, shaped in Sonoma County, brought back up to Mendocino County last month for glassing (where it's going to stay). Hopefully, it will see more time in the water than it did on the road.
This shot makes its butt look big, despite the slimming presence of stripes.
Supertanker skeg.
We're headed to San Onofre for Thanksgiving, so give a shout if you see a bunch of bearded NorCal dirtbags (and a baby!) drinking lukewarm Tecate and cooking a turkey on the beach.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Coke-Bottle and a Smile

Happens every year: winter dips its icy toe into our north Pacific waters, stirs it around a bit, and nods its head--it's time.
Then, much like our beleaguered president, summer speaks up and claims itself "still relevant." We get a fun blast of late-season south swell, play like dolphins for days, then put away our summer boards, still wet, with smiles on our faces.
Some among us, however, refuse to believe that it's over. These nonbelievers carefully rinse out their 4/3 (or even 3/2!) wetsuits and hang them up to dry in the waning, anemic sunlight. They pretend it's not frost they're scraping off their windshields in the morning, just excrement from some summery bug inhabiting the tree above their parking space. That it's not woodsmoke pouring forth from their neighbors' chimneys at night, just an unfortunate draft from their backyard BBQ.
And they order fishes in November.
Nathan is one of these people. Delusional. He's been known to paddle his quad fish into some serious winter surf, and then carve some serious lines. So serious, in fact, that those watching will unconsciously wish they chose their sandals instead of their Uggs. They'll check their watches and believe, just for a moment, that it's not going to get dark until 9pm, and they still have plenty of time to stop by the store to pick up some shrimp for the grill...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gun, Germs, and Steel (without the germs and steel)

Gun. The name says it all: sleek, beautiful, dangerous. Guns have shaped both American and Surf histories, and to plant your feet onto one is to play footsie with ghosts and legends.
Or maybe to plant your feet on one is to scare the shit out of yourself, loved-ones, and healthcare providers.
The Lotsa gun features a host of lotsas: lotsa rocker, lotsa curves, and lotsa balls required to ride it. In fact, I recommend riders sport at least a third ball to ride these, possibly a fourth as a 'replacement set' (for female riders, 'chutzpa' is an acceptable substitution for balls, as is the bit outdated 'moxie,' the international-flavored 'verve,' or the clinical/metaphorical 'nards'). Potential customers need a notarized note from their physician attesting to the presence of additional testes or female equivalent.

This 8'4" is designed for outer bar Ocean Beach. I have nightmares about inner bar OB, so I can't even imagine the mental fortitude required to even wax this thing, which the rider has already done. I added the wooden tailblock for spiritual sustenance, as it was blessed by a rabbi (actually, another Jewish guy on my block, but still).
The simplicity of the clear glass job with double pinlines and darts reminds of of what's really going on here: man or woman. Ocean. Extra balls or equivalent.
Hard to imagine needing it this week with all the summery-ness going on here--south swells and blue skies!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Two Egg Omelette

When Fatty's feeling saucy, she slaps her logo over mine on shop (not custom) boards. When I call her on it, she says, "Dude, it's just a pool toy."
Once I brought her a shaped blank with a light fingernail scratch on the rail, a blemish I was sure would never be visible once glassed. The order card called for a purple tint. The tide was draining, the sun was shining, and I was in a rush to drop off the board and get to the break.
She handed me a sanding screen and told me I could surf once the board was perfect.
"Dude," I tried, "it's just a pool toy." My logic, I was convinced, was ironclad.
She raised her eyebrows and gave me The Look.
I took the screen and went to work.
I love Fatty.
Anyhoo, these shop eggs (both 6') are a little more svelte than traditional eggs, with widepoints around 20.5" to keep things real in beachbreak surf. There's some junk under the hood, too (does that even make sense?), so they're snappy and responsive. Not your father's egg (unless your father has a contemporary egg that gets the job done). Spiral Vee bottoms and crisp edges.
The yellow tint gets the Pez-tinted quad fins by Rainbow Fin Co.
Looks like Easter.
The light blue tint (Fatty calls the bottom color 'lighter than ice') features a single wing and a 2+1 setup. Glide of a single fin with the snap of a tri fin. If you squint just right, the butterfly patch makes itself available to you. If you squint even harder, I've been told, Dick Cheney's visage appears, as if from a dream. Maybe it's just the polish job, but his glistening pate does look better in blue...