All posts by steven

karen: bookkeeper extraordinaire, bar master, and certified herbalist steve: tattooist since 1989, board shaper since 2002


Well it’s been some time since I’ve posted. Life has been busy and there have been many changes. Thankfully, I am still getting to the coast and shaping on a fairly regular basis. I have moved production in to the capable hands of Custom Surf Glass/Gordon and Smith in San Diego. I was fortunate enough to be surf regularly with Larry Gordon when he was still alive and hitting Tourmaline most mornings. Through him, I met his daughter Debbie, and when she and her brother Eric pulled back in all of the licensing world wide, and began the journey of rebuilding G&S into a top notch custom surfboard entity once again, I felt like it would be a good place to be. The fact that my trips to San Diego also include working shifts in Pacific Beach at The King’s Head Tattoo, encouraged me to streamline all of my work into one neighborhood. And having the Canyon available each morning was icing on the cake.

You can find my boards at Bird’s Surf Shed, Mitch’s North, and Greg Surf Company in Osaka.

I’m still tattooing full time (more or less) at Designs by Dana in Cincinnati/Covington when I am in town and also selling cool guitars on at Queen City Guitar.

I’m just going to throw down a mess of images from my recent trips. Thanks for looking, and don’t be afraid to holler at me.

HPH hydrodynamic planing hull

Sk8 Supply is Debbie Gordon’s skateboard supply house. Cool vintage and vintage style goods.


Stoked to have some redfin style boards produced by the originators!

That’s where I want to be.

Tools of the trade. Well, one of them.

Tool of another trade.

Thanks for looking. Have a good one.


This past week I had the privilege of witnessing some of the best craftsmen in the surfboard industry practice their skills up on “the hill”. I feel very fortunate to get a glimpse into this world that is completely invisible to most. One of these craftsmen was Sam Cody. A veteran color guy, both resin and airbrush, Sam has worked for some of the greatest labels in surfing.

I completed a shape that a good client of mine requested and was very stoked that he decided to splurge for one of Sam’s “falsa” jobs. Not even remotely cheap, but you have to see one to believe it. Seriously, he recently did some falsa stringers in a board for Jim Phillips that even the veteran sander at Bing didn’t recognise for a good portion of the job, and this is a guys that knows! Here is the man at work and just a taste of the beginning of the project.

Sam not only makes it look like a traditional balsa glue up, but on this particular board, he decided on making it look like high quality, carefully chosen lumber. His skill and attention to detail is unsurpassed and often underappreciated. 



  I’m very sad today. I got a call from an old friend informing me that Larry Gordon had passed on New Years day. I had the great honor and privilege to surf with Larry on a regular basis over the years.  When I was just learning to surf, Larry was there, usually with a smile and quiet word of tolerance, if not encouragement. When I was learning to shape, Larry was there, with a smile and a quiet word of tolerance, and encouragement. When I would show up at Tourmaline with a fresh  board, still in plastic, to deliver, his sole piece of advice was “more color!”. I’ve heeded that advice, along with every other nugget of wisdom he was so generous to pass along. So the next time I show up with a board to deliver, I will probably hear the echo of “more color!” and head out to pumphouse and catch more waves than I deserve, because I used to sit next to Larry, and nobody new that place like he did, and I paid attention.