Monday, September 28, 2009

Blue Wednesday

I'm not a demanding husband. I know how this sounds--defensive, unscrupulous, smarmy. But it's true. I love my wife and want to see her wave-shredding skills showcased on the best board possible.
This is why certain measures were taken a few weeks ago. Measures that would usher her into a new realm of wave-riding delights. Measures that she might resist at first but, ultimately, be welcomed as liberating.
Measures that would ensure the retirement of her beloved 8'0.
Not her beloved 8'0
You see, my lovely wife is a God-awful surfboard customer. She has ordered an average of one board every 3.33 years in the ten years we have known each other. Not bad for the recreational surfer, but pitiable for someone married to a dude who spends 20+ hours a week up to his nipples in foam dust.
And none of her orders stick. Here's the rundown.
Board: 80's style swallowtail thruster.
Purpose: commissioned for trip to mainland Mexico.
Report: two sessions at El Rancho. Loved it. Sold it the day after we got back.
Source of Dissatisfaction: color was 'too green.'

Board: 8'0 mini longboard.
Purpose: to replace older 8'0 mini longboard (at shaper's insistence).
Report: who knows? Someone picking up another board from the house loved hers, so she sold it on the spot.
Source of Dissatisfaction: none. "He was nice," she said of the gentleman who bought it.

Board: Contemporary quad shortboard.
Purpose: to replace her long-sold 80's swallowtail thruster (see above).
Report: fun .
Source of Dissatisfaction: pregnancy.

This is why, several weeks ago, measures were taken. A board was shaped, then glassed. It was presented (gently!) to my loving wife after a Bud Light and a glass of local zinfandel (her favorite combo). It was received with a sigh and a certain flattening of the lips. These were interpreted as signs of success.
So far, so good.
It currently rests, unmolested, in the upstairs bedroom (we have limited surfboard storage space). Curing. Waiting. Avoiding inspection by two-year-old hands. Keeping a low profile.
We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glasser's Choice

The exhilaration in making a shortboard lies in the imagination—wondering what lines the board will be asked to draw, what spaces on the wave-map it will be asked to fill.
The shortboard, the thing of it, is a tool. A vessel. It gains us access to something else.
Shaping longboards, for me, is a different experience. The joy in making them comes from the thing itself. Witnessing its taking-of-form—its process is its own end. Not that the lines of a shortboard aren’t beautiful, or that shaping a longboard doesn’t stimlate the imagination. The bend of a nose rocker or the curve of a rounded pintail can absolutely shorten the breath, and walking down the length of a longboard rail is as close to shaking hands with Velzy as I’ll ever get.
But when people are in my shop and there’s a longboard on the racks, they can’t keep their hands off of it.

And sometimes I can’t get my hands off of them when they come back from Leslie’s shop.

This one's got some bells and whistles--blue high density foam stringer, red cedar sticks, opaque pigment volan deck patch, glass leash loop, and some sweet resin deck lines from the hands of La Meistra.
Poplar and bloodwood fin, and some resin tip-nips to keep things real at the nose and rear.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Surf Movie Tonight!

Just a reminder to head on down to the Toad 'N the Hole Pub in Santa Rosa's Railroad Square tonight sometime in the seven o'clock hour. Live music, surf movie, special guest Longboard Vineyards, and a trivia contest with prizes--you may even score a brand new wetsuit.
Toad 'N The Hole welcomes surf enthusiasts of any age, has some stellar brews on tap, and is located at 116 5th street. Try the veal, it's great!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Egg Man Cometh Back

Food is the ultimate indicator of seasonal change. Forget the sizeable NW swell showing on the buoys, the cool inland temperatures, or rain over the weekend, the true proof that summer has faded into memory lies in a forensic comparison between friday night's meal (tri-tip, grilled on the deck while wearing flip-flops) and saturday night's meal (jambalaya, slow-cooked in the crock pot while wearing socks for the first time since April).
The first, a celebration of warmth. The second, an attempt to regain it through cajun sausage.
Speaking of food, local shorter-board shred enthusiast Paul is on the fast track to a free sandwich*. His new 7'0 egg is designed to get the job done when the 6'4 is approaching maxed-out status.
Red cedar is good for stringers, fiberglass Rainbow foils are good for fins, and glassjobs by Leslie are good for shaped foam blanks.
If the pics look dark, that's because it was--summer's over, people.
*The HHGSC (HeadHighGlassySandwichClub) offers a free sandwich** from Traverso's, a Santa Rosa tradition for four generations, for customers who reach a certain number of board orders. In order to stave off a run on new orders, I won't give the exact number, though it's between five and seven.
**Sandwich includes one (non-alcoholic) drink, but no chips, as chips are ridiculous.
Speaking of Santa Rosa traditions, come on out to Toad 'N The Hole Pub this Thursday for Surf Movie Night. This week features live music from Chris Lods and the Friends, an insanely good surf movie, and a trivia contest with a wetsuit giveaway. Nuts!
Festivities begin at 7:30, but I recommend showing up a bit early to soak up some of the atmosphere/plant it at a table for maximum enjoyment.
All ages welcome, so bring the kids.
If you don't have kids, bring a friend who knows a lot of surf trivia. We're talking free wetsuit, here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer Curves

Double wing quad fish in recycled EPS for SF waveriding enthusiast Kevin.
Shaping EPS allows me to bust out specialty hi-tec tools, like a paint stick with sandpaper glued to it.
Who was it that said that you had to lock your car doors in Vermont in early September for fear of finding your passenger seat filled with squash?
Calvin Coolidge? Robert Frost? Bernie Sanders?
I'm currently having a similar vegetable situation inches from the shaping shop. The pepper plants have reached epic production levels, and I can't ask my family to eat any more. Thinking about handing over a pepper or two with each board order (for a limited time).
Bell curves are nice to look at.
Eat local food, drink local beer, support your local shapers and glassers.