Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good for All Occasions

Performance foil.

Why pair Old Pulteney with this fresh surfing board?
Thanks for asking.
The OP 12yr is a classic, no-nonsense, workingman's scotch with a surprising complexity: honey, peat and spice, and a saltwatery briney finish that grabs you by the heavy canvas pants and exclaims, "this goddamn scotch received its character from the ocean. So should you. Just like this goddamn 7'6 egg with a performance foil and a 2+1 fin setup. Good for all occasions."
That's why.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Triple Wood

Spring Daylight Savings asks for us to ditch the minutes between 2:01am and 2:59am once a year. Good riddance.
Know what I'd be doing with that hour? Getting kicked in the junk by a sleeping three-year-old on one side of me, while trying not to wake the sleeping five-year-old on the other side of me--one numb arm pinned under each tender head so they won't wake up and start telling me about how many peanuts an elephant can eat in an hour, or why the letter C and the letter K can make the same sound, or how mint frozen yogurt makes their skin itch, or how they LOVE UMBRELLAS! Crucial morning discourse.

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, surfboards. This triple stringer (balsa center with cedar offsets) is getting a crazy ass glass job and will not appear like this when finished. Although I'm not the biggest fan of shaping room shots, this will look like a totally different board when it comes back from the glasser, and there's something classic and about dark wood on crisp foam that needs to be celebrated.
Shaping triple stringers always guarantees my seat on the I'm Never Going to do This Again Train, as I spend more time tuning the sticks than I do with shaping some entire surfboards. Like, an obscene amount of time that I'm embarrassed to share with you. An exercise in precision and patience, sturm und drang (though listening to an audio of the excellent Jeffrey Eugenides novel The Marriage Plot took some of the sting out).
Cedar and balsa matching tailblock really tie the board together.
Then, immediately after the last (gentle!) pass of the sanding screen, all toils are forgotten.
Like that moment in the wee hours of the morning when you hear footsteps on the bedroom floor, then sense a 36" high body standing close to your prone form. Holding a pink blanket. Staring.
And even though the night before you were trapped on your back, fully awake, arms pinned to your sides, and you swore to your sleep-deprived self you'd never again let one of your kids into the bed with you, you feel a surge of joy.
And just as you welcome the warm, living body of your child under the covers, you welcome the moment when a customer says, "I was thinking about a triple stringer..." and the side of your brain responsible for schedules and timetables and dollars-per-hour and all that shit absolutely screams no!
Then the other part--the part that embraces your warm, semi-sleeping child under the covers with a smile and a nuzzle--says yes. It says, of course. And it says, I love this.
What single malt would I pair this with this surfboard? Obviously, Laphroaig Triple Wood. The distillation spends some time in standard American Oak, then moves onto a quarter cask (smaller casks make the whisky interact more with the wood), then, finally, oloroso sherry casks for some rich fruit flavors. The result? The brooding peaty bulldog of standard Laphroaig is kept in check by the spiked collar of blackcurrant and berries. Smoke tempered by sherry. Savory tempered by sweet. Sleep tempered by joy. Wood tempered by foam. The plot of marriages. I love this.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Obstacle and Opportunity

It's been a week of obstacle and opportunity.
Obstacle: a, um, dude I know ran out of deodorant.
Opportunity: there, on the kitchen sink, sat the deodorant of his Special Lady Friend. It smelled like cucumber and sea breeze. He wanted to smell like cucumber and sea breeze. Permissions were granted, the obstacle was overcome*, gentle vegetal effluvia calmed the gentleman in question as he attended to his vocation.
Obstacle: this lovely MiniSims, bound for the racks at a retail surf venue, received an aesthetic blemish at some point during the construction process, rendering it unbound for the retail surf venue.
Opportunity: It's for sale!
Stats: 5'6x 21.5x 2.75. Convex to concave bottom, marine ply keels, S-deck with some serious foil in the nose, rails, and tail. A shred-ready wave-catching gnar machine.
Feel free to make an offer, though I won't subtract dollars for the blemish--you lived with them in high school, you can certainly live with one on the deck of your surfboard.
Looks more avocadoey and less limey in the real world.
In the spirit of wine country pretention, I recommend pairing this new surfboard with a dram of Bruichladdich 10yr old single malt scotch.
Why? They're both classic expressions crafted in the old style. However, far from relics, they offer saucy surprise after saucy surprise. In the case of the MiniSims, it's blazing speed and maneuverability. For the Bruichladdich, it's caramel, toffee, and...who's that knocking at the back door?...our old friend Mr. A Hint of Fudge and Brine.
Both offer smooth salty goodness. Another opportunity!
*interestingly, even though used sparingly and just once, the proffered object made this guy's armpits itch for a full week.