Monday, October 26, 2009


Ever since the first zygote divided into two separate embryos, humans have reserved special places in their rites and mythologies for twins.
The Igbo peoples of Nigeria saw twins as a curse, and would sacrifice them to the forest (as detailed in Chinua Achebe’s excellent novel Things Fall Apart).
The Navajo
honor twins as descendants of the twin gods of sun and moon, believing that they will help restore order to the chaos of the world.
Americans like to stick a fake goatee on one of them and call them Evil.
Dr. Spock’s evil twin showed up in 1967, sporting the trademark Evil-Twin Beard.
Cartman's evil twin broke social boundaries, becoming the first elementary school kid with an Evil-Twin Beard to go prime time.
Surfers have our own preoccupacy with twins--twin fins, twin pins, Twinzers, the Hobgoods. Even our own Leslie Anderson isn't immune to their thrall, as evidenced by a pair of longboards that recently left her shop.
Jason's diamond tail log with 3/4" red cedar stringer seems to have shared some embryonic developing time with its twin below, blogged about here:
Both were shaped by hand in Sonoma county with smaller Northcoast waves in mind . Both feature single fin goodness, volan glasswork, and resin art by Leslie.
But what is perhaps most intriguing about twins is how they differ--which one is more popular with the ladies, which one is more fearless in the hockey rink, which one dances with their tongue out.
The differences in the above boards are equally intriguing—the bigass cedar stringer vs. the high density foam one, the diamond tail vs. the rounded pin, the clean shaven vs. the goateed one (one of these is not actually a design feature).
Although some may see one of the above boards as an evil incarnation of the other, I prefer the Navajo interpretation that twins are two parts of the same whole. That they, together, can separate the good from the evil, and order where before existed only chaos.
Or at least score us some waves when it’s head high or under.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Green Machine

Back in college, the dorm affectionately referred to as KW (Keyes-Wasserman) was comprised of single occupancy rooms only. In college, single occupancy rooms exist for two reasons:
1. Occupant is seeking a tranquil venue for contemplation and study.
2. Occupant is seeking a tranquil venue for getting it on.
Both make sense to me.
So much so that when identically-initialed SF shred enthusiast KW expressed interest in a board, I waved all aspects of my formal vetting process (hazily-framed inquiries regarding beer and pornography preferences) and got to it.
The product, a double-wing quad fish, speaks to Kevin's interest in a more sustainable surfboard (100% recycled EPS foam, epoxy resin, bamboo fins) and my Atlantic Coast nostalgia. Either way, this floating venue will provide a platform for both contemplation and getting it on, surf-wise.
On a side note of appreciation, I'd like to point out that there are very few glassers out there highly skilled in EPS/epoxy applications. There are fewer still (in fact, I can't think of any offhand) who are masterful enough to tint--that's right, not opaque, but tint--over EPS foam. There are perhaps a handful of people in the world who would tint a shaped EPS blank, sand it, double pinline it with resin, create a custom matching resin logo, then gloss and polish it.
Did I mention Leslie also gardens, breeds reptiles, and plays a mean guitar?
101 bambo quads keep boards snappy and happy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Long Board and a Short Sentence

Like most of us, Ted’s aquatic aesthetic mirrors his terrestrial one. In the water, his lines are clean, sparse. His movements always seek the economical. I once saw him track so high on a wave that it seemed reckless, but his fin trail was a thing of beauty—a lazer-straight scratch etched into an impossibly steep wall.
On land, Ted has brought the voicemail board order to a similar artform. His messages are so spare that they, too, flirt with recklessness. How else could you interpret his first voicemail order?
Or this single-syllabic beauty from a few years ago:
This gem came in last year, wide-open in its interpretational range:
Sometimes Ted’s voice seems disguised, as if trying to limit the actual breath he's expending.
Thankfully Ted opened up a bit with last week’s message. Compared to the others, it seemed more Tom Robbins than Ernest Hemingway.
“Hi Pro-Log. Styro.”
Still, I had to admire the effort. Beside the abbreviations for 'performance' and 'longboard,' he substituted ‘EPS’ for ‘styro,’ saving himself a syllable.