Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Otto Pilot

Otto relocated from Dusseldorf to Northern California ten years ago in pursuit of a different lifestyle. He found it, and now he cruises our coastline with the passion of a convert, his feet snug in a tube sock/Birkenstock combo.
He orders boards with a timeliness and regularity that would make a Swiss watchmaker clench his tiny fists in envy.
Our latest conversation went like this:
Me: “Hello?”
Otto: “I’m looking for zomesing to fill in z'oles.”
Me: “Z'oles?”
“Za holes!” he screeched (Otto will not be remembered for his patience). “Za holes in ze quiver!”
Once Otto quieted down, we set to the issue of the holes in his quiver, finally deciding upon z'yprofiche (the Hi-Pro Fish).
Z'yprofiche features a similar planshape to the contemporary keel, but the foil and rocker have more in common with the modern shortboard (dusty camera lens does not come with board).
A little extra curve in the tail, continuous outline, double concaves, and a quad setup should fill in z'oles nicely.
If Otto's rocking his his red jeans when he picks up the board, I'll snap some pics and post them on the blog. Wie erotisch!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The FrankenFiver Volant

Our Declaration of Independence holds certain truths to be immutable. It doesn't say much about surfboard design, which is a good thing, as mutability is a key facet to the board building process.
This seven-foot-something mutant is for NorthCoast shredhead, board mashup enthusiast, and former ponytail-sporter Brent, who wanted to combine the paddle and glide of the FrankenFish with the pocket-riding capabilities of the Cigare Volant.
The result is the FrankenFiver Volant, a Campbell Bros. inspired single-wing five finner with a few tweaks for our potent beachbreak surf.
Full board Hastings blue tint, pigment cigar band with Japanese-flag style logo inlay, gloss and polish from the talented hands of Leslie Anderson of Fatty Fiberglass.
There is nothing this lady can't do--you should try her ceviche next time you cruise by the Fattyshack!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Planes, Burros, and Automobiles

Shakespeare-enthused educator, adopter of pound animals, mountain-man-turned-Monterey-Bay-shredder, and San Francisco Giants diehard Kevin had a proposition for me when he picked up his board last month. After the requisite rail fondling and rocker sighting, he put the board gently down, cracked a fresh Tecate, and sat at my kitchen table. I knew what was coming.
“Instead of something impersonal, like cash, what do you say we work out a trade for my new sled?” he asked, smiling.
I didn’t flinch. “Nope.”
This happens quite often up here NOTB, where currency can take many shapes. So far this summer, I’ve been offered a ginormous bag of weed (declined), a live pig (declined), a to-scale hand-tooled Russian miniature train (declined), and two authentic WWI British Army helmets with a ginormous bag of weed on the side (declined).
Kevin’s smile widened. “So I guess a trip to Cabo would be out of the question?”
“Flight, car rental, hotel stay, and all food and drinks included?”
Kevin knew I was close to breaking. “First wave on my new longboard?”
(Lamination, sanding, Giants-inspired resin panels, and polish by Leslie Anderson)
So I did what any other wife-fearing, child-providing father would do in this situation: put the family on a direct flight to the grandparents and headed south with a diverse quiver, a backpack stuffed with fins, and a revitalizing lack of neoprene.
The mission was short but successful. Many waves were ridden, boards were put through their paces, smiles were in abundance, and the swell was unfailing. The only tension during our five day stay came from this over-curious mini-local:
Whether this burrito was a longboarder, a photo slut, or a Giants fan is anyone's guess, but after checking out the fresh foam, he wandered into the shade under a palapa and began eating someone's flip-flop. Way to regulate!