Thursday, July 24, 2008

Brometheus Unbound

The myth of Prometheus features a crafty Prometheus fashioning humankind out of clay, then stealing fire from the gods to animate his work.
The Gods were, understandably, unstoked.
The subtitle of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is 'The Modern Prometheus.' Frankenstein refers to the name of the doctor who steals fire (electricity) to animate his own creation--a manlike figure cobbled together from the parts of dead folks.
The creature has no name, and is abandoned by its creator, a freaked-out Dr. Frankenstein, upon its 'birth.'
The nameless monster starts off its life as a knowledge-seeking innocent, only to be taught evil, mistrust, and general bad behavior by some countrified English d-bags.

The Frankenfish, which has been enjoying a nice run up here on the Northcoast, is a Frankensteinian mashup of several different design elements.

However, unlike Dr. Frankenstein's creation, the board's lines are blended without all those pesky suture marks around the neck area.
Second, all who see it do not shriek in fear and cover the eyes of nearby children.
Finally, instead of being tormented by a damned dirty population of pastoral English peasants, Frankenfishes have been nurtured, coaxed, allowed to fully cure as suggested by Fatty, and shown goodness by their owners (who have heroically resisted the urge to open Red Tail Ales with their fins) in the form of waves, waves, waves.

This sub-eight-foot Frankenfish is for local hellman GayVader, who is neither gay, nor Vader--not that there is anything wrong with being either. It features a sky blue bottom tint and a 'one-drop' blue deck tint.
Five finboxes for maximum Franken-ness, double concaves for turbo boostage, and a blue resin pinline to tie it all together.

PS: If this blog entry looks at all weird to you, it's because I am writing from the East Coast, and things here are different. Examples:
1. The air is wet, giving me an unwelcome Jewfro and making it difficult to go more than two hours without a shower.
2. People use 'wicked' as an adverb, as in, 'it's wicked hot today, but it was wicked hotter yesterday.'
3, 4, 5. There are insects at the beach, people sport clothes and cars with names of colleges on them, and Dunkin' Donuts (sic) offers 'muffins,' which are really just donuts in muffin form.
6. Bring on the warm-water peelers!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Aquisitions and Mergers

Scientists, teenagers, horticulturists, surfers--it's in their nature to merge. To see connections between two unlike things and make them like.
Sonoma County has a long history of slapping two unlike things together with impressive results. In the 1860s, European vineyards succumbed to the damned dirty phylloxera louse, a sap-sucking insect that snacks on grapevine roots. An estimated 80% of The Old Country's wine vineyards were destroyed, and the rest were looking pretty shabby.
The solution? Graft North American rootstock (phylloxera resistant!) to European grape vines (delicious!), and enjoy.
Closer to home, local horticulturist Luther Burbank, who made a tidy sum selling his hybrid legume, which later became known as the Russet Potato (from which McDonald's fries are, um, 'made'), carved a career out of crossbreeding plants. He is credited with over 800 new strains of plants, including the plumcot (plum crossed with apricot, also marketed as pluot), and the contradictorily-named white blackberry.
His contemporaries in the sciences panned him for being 'unscientific,' and 'unmethodical.' He extended to them the proverbial finger as he continued grafting, hybridizing, supporting education and social causes, and marrying local lovelies. I love it when a local guy sticks it to the academy!

This is where Luther Burbank lived, loved, and grafted the hell out of things.

Working with North of the Bridge surfers has allowed me to try my own hand at hybridization. Local shredders who want the glide of the single fin combined with the vertical possibilities of a Thruster. Big fellas who want the float of a longboard melded with the turning ability of a shortboard. Noseriding templates grafted onto fish tails. Potato chip rockers merged with egg planshapes. Crazy fin combos, rail shapes, bottom contours, and foils all thrown into the mix to produce something new. Something different. Something unique and special for the surfer, the shaper, and our local waves. Like the pluot, only with less likelihood of being annihilated by deer.
This week saw a couple of mergers head up to the Fattyshack. One, for a local legend, saw an eggy planshape blended with a pulled-in nose and a fishy tail for maximum float, snap, and carvability. Five fin boxes create more possibilities for fun than a backpacker hostel in Reykjavik.

7'11" of spiciness.

Next up was a 6'1" Achy-Breaky Board (ABB) for student-turned-hellman Ben. Ben likes reading German Idealist writer Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and flashing come hither looks at large waves. He will be riding this ABB starting next fall at UCSD, where he can practice both aforementioned diversions to excess.

You see, the Achy-Breaky board is all business up front.
However, in the back, there's a party going on, and Ben is definitely on the guest list.

The board's name is derived from original Achy-Breaker Billy Ray Cyrus who, although didn't quite invent this hybrid of hairstyles, certainly took it to new places.

Keep Rockin' Billy Ray!

I know it's problematic to use the word 'break' in a model name, but I'll take a page from Luther Burbank and one from Billy Ray Cyrus and forge on, undaunted.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

There Will Be Blood. Again.

I apologize for the last post. I was excited about the board, and didn't take into consideration my talented (and quite attractive) glasser Leslie, who may have perused HeadHighGlassy, glass of zinfandel in hand, just last evening. I failed to imagine what her reaction would be (especially after having consumed said glass of local vino) upon seeing one of her masterly creations defiled under the artificial lights of my kitchen.
I also failed to imagine an irate phone call, followed by an equally hair-raising series of emails highlighting my shortcomings in areas of taste, aesthetic judgment, and moral obligation.
I stand corrected, and offer these shots as an apology to Fatty (whose name is to be taken ironically, as she is as svelte as a Kenyan distance runner), taken this afternoon at the local beachie minutes before fins were installed, wax was applied, and stoke-o-meter readings went through the roof.

Fin setup dujour: twins and a trailer. Serious fun.

Folks in the water discussed the board's color. Popular choices incuded purple, brown, and black. These were all wrong.

Here, the board overlooks its immediate fate--a rare windless afternoon on the north coast, shoulder high sets, warm air temps and, oddly, a lot of surfers in the water at 2pm on a Wednesday.

Don't these people have jobs?

Monday, July 7, 2008

There Will be Blood-Red Tint

Sometimes I gets to keep one.

Fin possibilities

Hard to get a good indoor pic if a blood tint.

Shine on you crazy round tail.