New Ride

Ooohhhh yeaahhhh!  Finished my first hand shaped foam board yesterday.  A whole lot of sweat, fiberglass dust in the eye, and toxic fumes…but well worth it.  It was so much fun to make and I learned a lot through the process.  I wanted to go pretty simple on my first one…used a fish blank and put together a template and got to work.

I had been riding this single fin from Kauai shaper Topper Driggs.  It had a big wide squash tail and the most volume of any shortboard I had ever ridden.  Was like 3 inches thick at least, and has these sloped down super low hard rails.  Completely unique stringerless epoxy that rode absolutely insane once you could figure it out.  You could take off and ride way up front so long as you didn’t turn…it you wanted to turn you had to be all the way back on the tail, but then you could throw the tail if you wanted…well if it weren’t for the 12 inch skeg normally in it.  Anyway, that board was a bit of the inspiration for my own.  I figured if you can combine all those weird design elements to create something special then whatever I put together should be equally unique.

Well I watched a ton of videos to try and get some ideas and see what people were doing.  First I went through my personal collection checking out Litmus, Glass Love, Musica Surfica, Single Fin Yellow, and others that had little shaping parts.  Then depending on where I was in the process I’d look up in YouTube or Google glassing a board, installing Futures, etc etc.  There is a ton of good stuff online.

Picking up the blank with tools in hand I reflected on all I had learned from the internet, like how to mow foam from Abe Toke and  how to laminate the board from Kimo Greene so yeah, you can say I had some good help.

I wanted to make a super wide squash like the Topper board I had been riding, but then half way through I figured I’d try something a bit different and throw a little mini bat in there.  Figure it might act similarly to a swallow or allow it to go rail to rail a bit easier…I don’t know.  Just wanted to do something different.

First time to make a board from start to finish and so it’s inevitable that you are going to have some funky blunders.  I wanted to put in five skegs so I could switch it up from a thruster to a quad to a twinnie to a thruster with small center fin….you know, make it as versatile as possible so I can learn what works and doesn’t etc.  As you can see I messed up the right inside skeg on the quad set-up.  It turned out ok…I filled it with resin and it ended up sinking a bit so it may not be a perfect 4 degree cant, but I actually think it gives it a bit more drive.

Putting my own logos on the board was one of my favorite parts.  I always liked really clean boards, all white, the kind Curren, Lynch, or Hynd would ride.  Actually Lynch had a sick all yellow one in the sequence I’m thinking of, but still, same concept.  Logo free.  I also love photography and imagery and so I landed somewhere in the middle.  I had some images that I had been thinking about over the past years and felt my first real board would be the perfect canvas for them.  One of them is the Aloha Brahdda from Ando and Friends.  He just makes me happy every time I see him.  The others go way back.  The one I placed on the bottom near the skegs is a drawing my mother did of me when I was in her belly.  Riding a dragon and as she says ‘achieving willing submission, obedience, and all that power’.  I thought it to be very fitting for our act of taming the wild beast that is the ocean, and namely Ocean Beach.

The main logo on the deck is a family logo.  When I was growing up my parents had big medallions with that logo and all the kids had little ones.  We would only wear them on special occasions.  The dove is from an old Russian Orthodox book that my grandfather gave to my mother.  He passed away when I was 6 or so.  It is the symbol of the holy spirit, which she has explained is the same in theology as the principle within our world of divine Grace which translates to…are you ready…enlightenment, freedom, truth, goodness, beauty and redemption.  How amazing is that!!  I actually wasn’t aware of all of that until I showed my finished creation to her and she gave me the back story, which made me appreciate it even more.  I’m certainly not religious, per se, well I guess I am about some things, but being that my grandfather was an Episcopalian priest and I was baptized Russian Orthodox and my mother was his youngest and most rebellious daughter I’ve got the concepts of ritual and connectedness in there somewhere while also being exposed to all kinds of belief systems.

Speaking in religious terms, I took it to my own brand of church and christened it down south yesterday at a spot that was protected from the south winds and was sunny with a cool fog bank just sitting on the surrounding mountains and about a mile offshore.  It was only about chest high on sets, but I got one of my best lefts on my new board at this particular spot.  I got a really fun right and nearly bust the fins out on a lay back which I didn’t make, but it still felt good.  I rode it as a quad and it was super fast and really responsive.  I surfed for nearly three hours and still feeling it out, of course, but it was so exciting to not only wax a new board, that I made, but to escape the fog and wind and get some nice little shapely fun ones to test it out on.  I’ve already got a bunch of ideas for my next few.  I’m going to take a break though and enjoy this one.  Can’t wait to ride it at big Nori Rolls out front.  I’m hooked!  See you in Church!

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