Well, the Fall trip is done. The factories have been at or beyond capacity for at least a year. Covid seems to have revved up demand for , among other things; liquor, guitars, and surfboards.
I did not have the good fortune to know, until well into my trip, if I would even have use of a shaping bay, and more importantly, space in the factories production schedule. Over the summer, everyone I spoke to or heard about, was way behind schedule. Not a little backed up either. Folks were from dozens to hundreds of boards behind. A lot of things added up to cause the surge in demand, but the bottom line was that I had no guarantee of getting any boards through when I left for my trip, which had been planned since Spring.
Fortunately, the good folks at G&S/Custom Surf Glass, Debbie, Eric, etc. shoehorned me into their busy schedule, and I was able to a few shifts a week of open shaping bay time. Unfortunately, it was not enough, during my limited time in San Diego, to get nearly as many boards through as I wanted to. I have a list of patient and loyal surfers who have hung with me through the Covid era, but the first three contacts filled up my planned available time. Add in another friendly order from Greg Surf Company in Osaka (thank you Masa), and another friend or two, and I was busier than a dog scratchin’ fleas.
I apologize to those on my list, who I was not able to take care of, but another trip is in the works for the near future, and I will be contacting everyone again soon. With luck, I will be able to plan sufficient time to get everything done. In the meantime, we’re doing our thing here in Newport, enjoying the season, family, and friends.
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.
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.
Beautiful grey and pink 50/50 resin color, resin leash loop, single box, gloss and polish. 100% produced by hand up on the hill. You can catch a BUNCH of waves with this one!
The bottom starts with some belly for nice soft, anti-pearl entry, then flows to a single concave through the middle, blending to a generous double concave out the back. Glide through the winter!