Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Jason, who's getting dangerously close to a full sandwich card, wanted a replacement for his beloved 7'2 step up for OBSF that buckled during a now-infamous run of swell this past winter.
Since it was shaped in a different decade on another continent, I felt no moral trepidation about lifting the template, which was pretty heavily Parrish influenced.
Rocker, foil, fins are all no-nonsense OB.
Triple pinlines to give him something to look at while he's walking fifteen blocks back up The Beach to find his car.
Next to the Original
Jason's a marine biology nerd, and like nerds the world 'round, wanted to incorporate some sort of nerdiness into his board aesthetic.
This one mimics the concept of counter shading, a form of camouflage in which an animal's pigmentation is darker on the top than on the bottom. Hence the lovely blue steel 'reverse wrap' resin tiny by Tony Mikus.
Counter-shaded marine dwellers are hard to spot from above, as they blend in with the darker ocean floor, and hard to spot from below, as they blend with the lighter surface.
This penguin diagram nicely illustrates the principle.
 Counter shading didn't work out so well for these anchovies.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Of Thrusters, Mini-Simmons, and Questionable Single-Parenting Practices

Fresh foam for Northcoast shredders M and K, whose boards managed to be shaped and glassed during a particularly unhinged chapter in my life that was the product of the lovely Mrs. HHG frolicking in London for two weeks with her mom.
It's not that single parenting is hard the way that coal mining or dairy farming or building a railroad is hard, but here’s the deal: it comes at the expense of every other thing in your life.
Free time? Nope.
Food? Hope you like shoving a cold hotdog-covered-in-applesauce into your mouth while you hover over the sink.
Culture? Only if your idea of culture is falling asleep on the couch four minutes into an old Arrested Development episode, then waking up two hours later because your laptop is burning into your chest with the heat of a thousand suns. And you're drooling.
Let's say your life is a balloon ride, and all your wonderful non-parenting pursuits (surfing, making surfboards, gardening, scanning ebay for an exact replica of a shirt an old girlfriend gave you that you wore until it was shredded, enjoying the occasional dram of Ardbeg Uigeadail you’ve managed to hide from your peers for the last month) are sandbags hanging over the rail of the balloon basket. There will come a moment—usually within the first twenty-four hours of single parenting—when first one, then suddenly all of those sandbags must be cut free. 
K's 6'0.
The remnants of your former life drop unceremoniously to the ground so that the balloon may stay aloft. You don’t really have any control of where you’re going (though, at some point, you’ll probably end up at the pony rides at Howarth Park), but you have momentum and you’re all aboard and as long as you have some instant Mac&Cheese and popsicles you should make it just fine.
Also, for some reason, there's a lot more nudity when your significant other is out of town. You get out of the shower, almost put on pants, then think, nah.  I know what you're thinking: doesn’t you walking around the house naked look like a sad, hairy snowman?
To which I reply, no, thank you very much. Snowmen wear ties. 
M's 5'7

Maybe a bit of an overshare for a surfblog, but I’m on allergy meds and my head feels like it’s filled with something soft.
Let’s check back in with the surfboards.

From my incomplete family to M and K’s newly completed one: his and her shred sleds in matching green hues with deep, dark, chocolaty cedar stringers.
K’s is pure thruster bliss with top-and-bottom resin abstract by Tony Mikus at Almar Glass Works.
M’s 5’7 mini-Simmons features a green resin wrap with Braztafarian resin pinlines.

M and K are our surfy Northcoast version of Sonny and Cher, only with more dreadlocks and natural-fibered clothing. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

La Mango Lady Sans Merci

This lovely, full-board Mango Lady is for sale. Never ridden, waxed, or had popsicle dripped onto it by  four and six year-olds while using the deck as a Barbie Beach Party venue.
*update. SOLD to JD from ML, bicycle enthusiast, repeat customer, and proud shredder of the BOB*

Why is it for sale? Well, my friends, it's complicated. Delicate. Thorny.
You see, sometimes a wild hare (rarely. Unjudiciously) lends me its soft, downy ear. Often, this hare indulges in a dram of scotch. Often, it requests another.
In this particular instance,  Kilchoman's amazing Machir Bay expression proved the persuasive element.

In my lusty single malt rapture--nay, my pure Islay-inspired exaltation--this surfboard presented itself to me as a singular vision. Unseen hands guided me to the Blank Storage Area (staircase to the upstairs bedrooms).  A chock of raw foam urged itself into my hands (first one I saw), and led me to my shaping bay. The hour was late. Family members slept. For some reason my dog was invited into the proceedings, happily plunked in a pile of foam dust. Tongue out. Enthralled.

What happened next I cannot be sure. Much like the narrator from Keats' La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1819), I entered a liminal state, a diaphanous, filmy, place that ethnographer Arnold van Gennep would qualify as betwixt and between--neither of this world nor of another. Much like Keats' narrator I, too, emerged in the half dawn with only a fleeting series of images from the experience--planer on foam, plane on wood, ecstatic dog licking my leg as I moved from nose to tail and back again.
Suffice to say, fresh life--gasping, trembling, joyous--was coaxed into form during a gauzy, limitless session that lasted well into the wee hours (things get a little hazy at this point). Then, I emerged. Swaddled in foam dust, iPod drained (and, apparently, stuck on Chapter 27 of Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens for reasons that have yet to reveal themselves to me). The resultant form was the Mango Lady Sans Merci.

Actually, it was more like a white lady, but I don't think I can call it that in a blog post.
Onto the specs!
La Mango Lady Sans Merci stands at 7'4, and is 22" wide and 2 7/8" thick. She features my Lady rocker, a gentle, sexy curve that prioritizes swoop-and-glide over rip-and-shred. Bottom contour is a dollop of belly under the nose to the front foot, then a panel vee off the tail. Rails are medium round and sharp in the rear 1/3rd. Cedar stringer. She can be ridden as a single or as a 2+1, and comes with fiberglass sidebites and a fiberglass center fin (TK Flex by Rainbow Fin Co.). You should consider the Mango Lady if you're looking for something to ride when the waves are waist-to-huge, like accelerating out of turns, and want to know what it feels like to be a hot knife slicing through a cool stick of butter.
Full board tint by the nice guys at Almar Surf Works, sanded finish (faster! Less slippery under the hands!), strong-and-lively glass job that's built to last.
First $580 takes it (plus tax, I'm legit). That's cheap, but whatever.
If you act presently, I will include a free mountaineering-grade through-the-box leash loop for your leggie. The only way this thing could fail is if someone were to take a hacksaw to it. Even then, it should still hold up to a good tombstone or two.
Email me at HeadHighGlassy@gmail.com if interested.
Swell in the water. Just saying.