Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sneak Peek

People ask me all the time. They write or email or call and say, hey HeadHigh, you’re a handshaper (sometimes they say ‘boutique shaper,’ or, ‘small-batch shaper,’ or, ‘dude who needs to work on his calf muscles’) how can you possibly put your boards through the same paces as one of the Big Guys like Al Preisendorfer, or Matt Carper? How much of your budget is allocated for research and development? How do you achieve perfection without a stable of fourteen-year-old boys offering fourteen-year-old feedback about the radness of your boards?

Sometimes I’ll address these missives by extolling the virtues of the one-off shape, the uniqueness of a board that’s been created for exactly this place in space in time, for a surfer’s homebreak, their wetsuit thickness, their shoe size, and what a combo swell does to their sandbars. Sometimes, if I’ve had a Bud Light Lime or two (don’t ask), I’ll pontificate upon the energy that is passed from the hands to the shape—to the rails, the rocker, the foil. The electricity of skin on foam, the life of the thing.

Sometimes, however, the inquisitor is left unsatisfied. They want more—proof, equations, science. Code on a clipboard. In these rare instances I lift the curtain a bit and allow a peek—a brief sniff, if you will—into the inner workings, the hidden workings, the underground workings of the entire HHG operation. The kinds of workings that require a hard hat and a one piece zip-front jumpsuit. The kinds of workings that demand humorlessness and a square jawline set at a certain angle. The kinds of workings that can only be fulfilled by one man: Juaquin de Largo.

Every board that comes out of my shop has been subjected to Juaquin’s Rigorous 3-Point Inspection Process of Inspection. In the name of full disclosure, I now part the curtain and allow you a glimpse into the process as Juaquin takes our new model, The Heater, through the painstaking Process of Inspection. This is a special day.

1.Does it Float? You don’t hear too much about this factor from the Big Guys, but it’s pretty important. As you can see, Juaquin devotes an indescribable intensity (and impressive flexibility!) to this Inspection Point.

2. How Does it Look From This Angle? Most of the Big Guys neglect this Inspection Point entirely, but it’s crucial. Juaquin studies the fresh board from AT LEAST two different angles, both formally AND casually (pictured).

3. Is it Facebook Profile Worthy? The most recent addition to the Rigorous 3-Point Inspection Process of Inspection (remember, HHG was carving out boards long before Al Gore even considered inventing the Interwebs). Self-shots involving the board are taken from two angles: the head-on (pictured), and the overhead. The head-on is specifically designed to remove the Creeper Factor from the profile imaging process, and is favored by men of a certain age. The overhead shot is tested for maximum lip poutiness and studied nonchalance, usually employed by teenage girls and those who want to look like teenage girls.
I hope you have enjoyed this behind-the-scenes peek into our commitment to serving. We are also committed to safety, as evidenced by Juaquin de Largo’s shiny hat. We are also pretty committed to local zinfandel, so that’s three things.


pranaglider said...

You had me at your commitment to local zinfandel. Good stuff!

dwphotog said...

Jamie. Is the facebook inspection new? Because back when I got my board I posted a pic and wasn't poked or anything.

HeadHighGlassy said...

Yes, McL, the Facebook inspection is new. We like to keep things current down here!
As for the lack of poking, might have to do some reflecting on that one.
Hope all is well in the chilly north.