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.

No comments: