Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Color Purplish

Twin-fin fish
Single Wing
Good for any occasion

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pret a Lambeau

(UPDATE: SOLD) 7'0 Clover for Zeke's shop--SEALS Watersports--conveniently situated one block from In 'N Out and less than fifty steps from Romelli Bail Bonds. Today could be your day to post bail, grab a new sled, order a Flying Dutchman off the secret menu (suck it, gluten!), then head to the coast to BLAST!!!! some of this swell that's still pumping with the rabidity of a Brazilian teenager's slender fist after landing an air reverse.
Clovers currently hold the title as my most-shaped all 'rounder for Northcoast surf. Will they allow you to sit out the back and compete with SUPpers for thigh-high Bo%*@as peelers? Nope, that's what a single fin log is for. I recommend the Bohemian.
Will they allow you to snap an over-vertical reo to grabless icepick 360 out into the flats? Hell no. You're a grownup, for chrissakes. If that's your ambition, you should put the Internet down and make yourself a nice salad, do some light stretching, and start a journal.
Besides, that move's not even a real thing--it's just a combination of words I don't understand from the last five years of Vans US Open webcasts.

This Clover will, however, take you where you need to go when you need to go there. Midlengths, which are enjoying a bit of a moment right now, can get the job done from waist high to anything over waist high you care to paddle into.
This one's a 2+1. And shiny.  And foiled out to feel lively under the feet and let the water know who's boss.

Friday, November 20, 2015


I like it when they go from this:

To this.

Rebecca's popsicle-icious Mini Glider for shredding OB waves in the fall and beyond.
This is an 8'6. What separates a Mini Glider from a standard longboard? Well, these mofos are designed for speed. With a well thought and executed rail shape/bottom contour, a single fin (flexie) is all that's necessary for control and stability.
Fast and stable for getting into tight situations, then getting the hell out of them.
Here's Rebecca handling a tight situation this morning in Nicaragua.
Recommended pairing: color-coordinated homemade popsicles. A couple of these after a solid shred sesh, and you'll have harnessed the stoke of your ten-year-old self on that summer vacation when you didn't wear shoes for what seemed like a month and drank from the hose for most of your meals.
Or pair with a couple of these if you want to harness the stoke of your sixteen-year-old self on that summer vacation when you didn't wear shoes for what seemed like a month and got to second base with Jen Gibby.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Of Fire, Rain, Praying Manti, and Bitchin' Quads

Strange things are afoot in Sonoma County, friends. Portentous omens. Unsound eventualities. Weird shit.
Example 1: fire. And rain. In the same week. In September. For those familiar with the climate of Northern California, or familiar with our four-year drought, it's strange.
Example 2: I left my house last week, as I do on just about every day that I've lived there (once, I was super sick and didn't leave the house for a week. Another time, I shaped surfboards straight through for three days while my family was in Yosemite without me). Something on the sidewalk drew my eye. I had to inspect: a humungous praying mantis.
I'll refer to her as 'she', but really, I have no idea. As I squatted down (no small feat for someone with knees like mine) she moved her head to watch. I leaned to one side. She moved her head to follow. I leaned to the other. She did the same. It was a strange feeling to be connecting with an insect. To experience her cognitive powers. She was watching me. I held out my hand and she slowly crawled onto it.
I called my girls over, and we all checked her out. She took turns looking at each of our faces. She didn't move into an offensive or defensive position. I held her close to the ground, but she made no motions to escape. We were in each other's thrall for a solid three minutes, which to six-and-eight year olds may as well be an entire day.
Then I dropped her to the sidewalk and we squashed her with a satisfying crunch.
Just kidding! We put her in the garden in the backyard.
As you know, in these trying times we seek out the constants. The dependable. The comfortable. The fresh baguette in these most carbo-free of paleo days. The pull of the moon and the splatter of stars. The tilt of the earth as we enter our autumnal solstice and the deep gold evenings of a Northern California fall. The waves that grace our rocky shoreline without thought, and without cease.
Shredders, like nonshredders, need the comfort of routine--to pull into parking lots in the chilly pre dawn, stamp our feet, squint toward the ocean, wrap our hands around a hot drink. We need to check, check, check the buoy readings at work all day, then finally make the call, drive to the coast, and marvel at the feel of the ocean around us, the sudden calming of the mind as the light turns pink.
And surfboards need to be made for this. Not only the shredding, for we come for the shredding, but for the everything else, too.
This particular instrument of engagement is currently being schralped by new homeowner, corduroy enthusiast (I'm guessing here, but he seems the type), and bicoastal (if you regard San Diego and Sonoma as two different coasts, which I do) surfboard enthusiast, Eric.
Lovely two-tone resin tint by the good folks at Almar, led by their affable, mustachioed capitan, in Santa Cruz.
Still life with dog-scratched wood floor, dog-haired Persian rug.
I believe it to be a 6'4" Clover.
Glass-on wood fins are just as satisfying to foil as they are to lean into a hefty bottom turn with.
Nota Bene, blog enthusiasts: while never exactly 'prolific', these blog pages were updated with some regularity. Not anymore! These days I'm stretched thinner than an ironic t-shirt at a hipster convention, and something's got to go. The good news is that it's not Princess Dress-up Time with my girls. The bad news is that the board porn might be a little light this fall.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Blue Tuesday

Spring's a season of vexation.  On one hand, things warm up outside and we can all stop wearing socks. On the other hand, there's the itching. Oh, the itching!
Surf-wise, we're also on the opposite end of the shred stick from Fall. The wave period drops lower than a limbo bar at a gymnasts bat mitzvah party, and the onshore wind speed climbs higher than my grandpa's WWII khakis.
In his poem The Enkindled, subtleperv D.H. Lawrence writes of spring,

                                   THIS spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
                                   Wild puffing of emerald tress, and flame-filled bushes.

I get the 'bursting' part. The 'bonfires green' makes sense, perhaps, to those living outside drought-plagued California (more like, 'bonfires banned because of severe fire hazard'). The only wild puffing I've seen is from my eyes, which I desperately want to scratch with the force of a thousand fingertips. Oh, the itching!
We'll chalk up that last part, "flame-filled bushes" to some typical D.H. Lawrence stuff, which could be boring or gross, depending.
The best remedy, as far as I can tell, for spring's one-two sucker punch to the histamines is a new surfboard.
This one's Cat's:

9'5", 2+1 Bronson, which is crazy fun all around shred sled with a pleasing combination of curves and flats that can handle a vast swath of Northern California conditions. Which is what we see in Spring. For example, this week's forecast calls for everything from 2-3 foot swell to 2-3 times overhead. Spring!
The engine room features some serious edges complemented by patriotic-hued fiberglass fins. The center fin's a flexie, so it wants to snaaaaaap! out of turns.
This is the part of the board where some shit happens
Spring's blows are lessened a bit by a new, blue shred sled. Couple that with some Port Charlotte "Islay Barley" release, and you should be set until Fall, of which D.H. Lawrence writes,

                                                        I go slowly,
                                                As under the hairy belly of a great black bear.
What's with that guy?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Mini Beard

The Flying Beard is my beachbreak-tuned longboard model.
This Mini Beard its smaller, skinnier, scrappier little brother.
Can I use the word 'skinny' to describe a 6'0 that's 21" wide? You're damn right I can--I made it, so I can use whatever words I want. Here are some more: shred, rip, stab, punch, Claritin, zinfandel, Adventure Time, sriracha.
In a few more words, this is not at all a mushbusting mini-longboard cruiser for fat, high-tide dribblers--it's light and thin and designed for steeper waves with some push.
The Engine Room: the 2+1 with flexie fin provides a center pivot point for a really locked-in, flow-y style, while the quad setup is fast, free, and full of bucking-bronco punch.
I like both.
Black-and-white photos because art.
Also, Easter+two little girls=the inside of my house looking like the inside of a rainbow's bathroom after two-dollar burrito night, so my eyes could use the rest.
If you have to buy stuff, go local.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Of Zeus, NPR, and New-Model Shredding

Zeus was a tricky, horny trickster. One time he appeared to Leda in the form of a swan, snuck into her bed, and did some stuff so that later she laid some eggs.
Interestingly, her husband was also in bed doing stuff that particular evening, so when the twin boys hatched from their eggs, they were considered part divine, part mortal.
Leda called them Castor and Pollux, which probably sounded better with a Greek accent. They were transformed into the constellation Gemini so they could always be together.
What does this have to do with surfing? Technically, nothing.
But late last night in my shop as the dust swirled and lines were drawn, I was thinking about the twin fundamentals of our sport--the Trim and the Glide. The Castor and Pollux of our sport. Inseparable, immortal, they shine down on us from a surfy heavens.
Hopefully, their bastard stepsister (Helen of Troy) will shine down as well: the Shred.
It's not often we get an action image with my logo on it. Not because my clientele aren't continuously schralping hot curls--they are!--but because they tend to seek out the foggy, the remote, the mysto spookzones that tend to discourage photography. This ain't SoCal.
However, sometimes the skies clear and the swell lines up and local stokemeisters like Chris (pictured above and below) get an itch to sample a not-quite-Northcoast spot that sees the occasional telephoto on the beach.
Chris is shredding this week's featured board: the NPR.
The NPR is an offshoot of the Clover, which is a great head-highish and under shred machine. Last winter I shaped myself a more streamlined version for larger waves that featured a slightly different rocker profile, adjusted thickness flow, and a modified bottom contour. It was dubbed the Clover PR, for Pocket Rocket.
Not the best model name, for sure, but I didn't have time to come up with a better one. The surf was crackin!
It looked like this:
I dug it. A few folks tried it out, then ordered their own. A few tweaks later, and a few more folks ordered them until a bunch were ordering them and it deserved its own name. The NPR, or Northcoast Pocket Rocket, is a full-volumed aquatic fun machine designed for waves that are on the head high to well overhead range. They've been ridden with everything from one to five fins. I like mine as a quad, but that's just me.
When local shredder Chris ordered his, he went full Glasser's Choice on it, and we handed it off to Patrick at Northern Light, who did a bang-up job making it look right.
Brown opaque bottom wrap and a lovely robin's-egg-blue deck tint. Classic!
After the maiden session. Not heel dents on the deck, just a stoked-out wax job by someone who couldn't wait to get in the water and do this:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Urban Legend

PitBoss for local shredder, climber, surf instructor, paramedic, public intellectual, and twelve-pack ab muscle enthusiast, Urban.
Urban's glassing order card said, "Earth tones. Glasser's choice," and this is what the fine folks at Almar Surf Works came up with.
Urban picked up a new board and declared his love to a long-time lady friend around the same time. It was a big week for the guy.
The PitBoss is not meant for small waves.
Or medium waves, really.
Any surfboard with more than one leash plug should give one pause.
This one's seven feet long, and features all the goods that one needs for Waves of Increased Consequence on the Northcoast: a little extra foam under the chest for our ridiculous paddle-outs when there's a jump in the buoys. Foam forward also gives the board a nice momentum when driving down the line--almost a 'pulling' feeling with the right bottom contour. Finally, it's nice to be able, while paddling out, to raise your chest up a little higher so that you can scan the foggy horizon for dark lines marching toward your suddenly tiny, suddenly cold, suddenly lonely body, floating at sea, hoping for a gift from the surf gods that could suddenly change everything.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Axe Handling

In his poem Axe Handles, California poet Gary Snyder (whose intimate 70th birthday party I crashed and got loaded on sake because he was in love with my at-the-time girlfriend) helps his son make a new handle for an axe head that was lying around.
The tool to do this? An axe.
The complete axe shapes the new handle, and also serves as a model for the tool he's making.
He recalls Ezra Pound, who wrote, "when making an axe handle/the pattern is not far off."
True that.

Because he's Gary Snyder, he muses on the moment, concluding: "Pound was an axe...I am an axe, And my son a handle, soon to be shaping again, model and tool, craft of culture, how we go on."
Ezra Pound shaped him, he is shaping his son, his son will--in turn--shape his own children. This is how we craft culture--modeling ourselves to future generations. In doing so, we get a cool axe to make more shit with.
Perhaps the zen-like purity of making an axe handle with your child is a bit clouded by the mini-me narcissism of the poem's central message, but it's nice to think about during the more challenging moments of parenthood.
For instance: on Friday, my five-year-old drew a (remarkably accurate...I think mirrors were involved) likeness of special ladyparts on the living-room wall. In Sharpie.
After the initial shock, then a brief period of inquiry, then an accompanying period of overthink followed by a web search, we removed the offending image together with toothpaste (thanks, Google!).
At one point I looked down at my youngest child, her sweet, sausagey, cherubic fingers busily scrubbing genital graffiti off our wall with Crest Whitening, and thought, "what the fuck?"
It was later I recalled Snyder and Pound and found some comfort.

Also finding comfort in the craft of culture this week is Rick.
Rick ordered up an 11ft, Skip-Frye inspired Glider. Although I didn't have the original item in front of me, I did have a handsome interpretation by Larry Mabile, which I used as a model. Frye to Mabile to my own hands. I am still very much an axe handle, but these masters before me are most certainly axes.
Also an axe is Rick, evidenced here passing on some new-board stoke and first-waxing tips to the next generation of surf shredders, led by his grandson.
This is how we go on.