Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pig in a Shiny Blanket

The widepoint aft, narrow-nosed, rolled-bottom Pig got its name from cowboyin' enthusiast Dale Velzy, who likened its image to that of a pig when viewed from horseback. It's a time-enduring design, and a valid approach to Northcoast surfing.
Unlike the coastline south of Point Conception, the water up here goes from very deep to very shallow without much inbetween. Longboard design elements tend to focus more on controlling speed rather than generating it, especially during the takeoff and bottom turn, and the Pig does this quite well.
It's pulled-in nose adds some curve to the planshape, and fits into a steep curl more decisively. The rear widepoint is an excellent command center, and, in addition to getting into the wave earlier, sets an authoritative line when combined with the 'D' fin and bottom curves.
This particular model is the product of an ongoing effort with Leslie to squeeze the square peg of the design into the round hole of our Northcoast waves. She wrapped this pig into a classy volan blanket, glassed on the fin so skillfully foiled by the good folks at Rainbow Fin Co., lay down a matching resin deck pinline, then polished her up good.
Speaking of coasts, I'm on the east one right now. Did you know that sometimes in New England you have to use your car's A/C at night? I shit you not.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Smoked Egg

Hola Amigos, the next few weeks find my lovely family and me participating in our annual Screw-Up-Our-Kids'-Sleep-Schedules tour of the East Coast. Overall, things aren't much different over here. They have things called 'bagels,' that are really good. They also have something called 'humidity,' which is really bad. It is indeed a land of balance.
The greatest thing the EC is offering me right now is an air-conditioned room with 42" flatscreen upon which to watch World Cup soccer. Does it get any better? No need to respond.
What it doesn't have is my computer, with its HeadHighGlassy-ready gigabytes of fresh board porn. However, BrotherFromAnothaMutha Fred fired off these snaps of his new 7' something egg, which I pass on to you. Fressshhh!
Fatty always groans when she sees 'smoke tint' on an order card. 'Blah,' she says. 'Boring. Talk them into red.'

She always smiles when I pick them up, though.
When pressed, she can be made to admit that smoke tints are pretty bitchin'. This is all part of our process.

Check out those laps!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lines Carved in Late Spring

Aloha Amigos, as we all know, spring is a time of change. Up here NOTB, the fierce Gulf of Alaska swells, exhausted from battering our shores, stagger back north to rest and reload. Our surf attention shifts to the south and, as our inland valleys heat up, fog grips our coastline. The winds are ceaseless, tearing in from the sea with the force and aggression of a pissed-off lover. It’s no coincidence the Furies in Roman Mythogy—the three goddesses of vengeance—appeared as a punishing, relentless wind that was born of the ocean. Even William Wordsworth (1770-1850), naturey-ist of Romantic poets, mentions the wind in his Lines Written in Early Spring:
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
Scholars seem to argue that this line is evidence that, to Wordsworth, nature has the capacity to feel, not just be. It experiences pleasure as it welcomes this most welcome season.
Surfers would probably call bullshit. The last two lines show the speaker forcing himself to understand pleasure, and they follow the word breezy. Clearly, Wordsworth’s spring finds him in a constant state of reminding himself, amidst spring’s furious winds, that the season is indeed lovely, that his allergies will clear up pronto, and it won’t be too long before things turn offshore, the water temp creeps up a few degrees, and glassy barrels abound like so much low-hanging fruit.
A bit much? Perhaps, but Wordsworth did spend a lot of time on the south east coast of England, and there isn’t any evidence to support that he didn’t select a surf-friendly wave-sled from among the planks of a wrecked steamship and shred some coldwater peelers…
Speaking of wavesleds!
8’6 cedar stringered Broadsword for Ft. Bragg George. George is a big guy, and I like shaping boards for big guys—they know what they want, and they can kick my ass. A winning combo that keeps me on my toes.
This is the smaller (8’0), blonder cousin to George’s board. It’s headed to Hawai’i after a brief tour of our chilly waters. Wish I was, too…
There is a family resemblance in the hindquarters.
Hopefully, you're finding wind-protected nooks to practice your craft. Take comfort in knowing that the furies will eventually loose their grip, the sands will turn their collective faces to the sun as they warm, and these winds, too, shall pass.