Wood selection by Sam Cody.
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.
Back when I first started surfing, I found myself at Tourmaline Canyon in San Diego. One of the first people to actually talk to me was Black Mac. Those who knew Mac would not find this surprising, but that’s another story. Well, I became friends with Mac and shared many great surf sessions with him over the years before his passing. One of the things I remember, and use every time I surf, was Mac’s knowledge of the ocean, swells in particular. Sitting in the line up, Mac would often expound on the mix of swells on any given day and impart the ability to differentiate one form another within the mix. More than once, when a big south was called, but wasn’t really showing at the beach, Mac would point to the horizon and sure enough, you could see the waves marching past on their trip to more northern landfalls.
Today as I sat in the lineup, I noticed a pattern amid the windswell slop and decided to paddle a bit farther out, over a bit of structure, and wait for an occasional set that seemed to be a little taste of the south that is filling in tomorrow. Within a few minutes, I was on a nice left, larger than average for today, rollercoastering around a few sections, and thinking of my old friend Mac. Miss you buddy.
Feels great to be back in the shaping room. Finished this EDB up for Kevin yesterday.
Thanks to all the folks that make this possible for me.
I’m going to be in the area for the foreseeable future, making occasional trips back to the homestead.
this is a new EDB variant that I shaped with Sunset Cliffs in mind, particularly North Garbage. Consider the paddle out to the line up. It sure is nice to have something that glides. Once you’re out though, it’s nice to be on something other than a log to take advantage of the quality of the surf. And remember the feeling of hearing “OUTSIDE” and knowing that you have to cover some ground, FAST. I feel this is the perfect combination of traits for the Cliffs. I could envision catching anything from knee high inside sliders in the summer, to outside double overhead bombers on this thing. Can’t wait to try it out. Available soon at Bird’s.
“Surfing is like making love: It always feels good, no matter how many times you’ve done it.”
“Well, Stu, I’ll tell you: Surfing’s not a sport, it’s a way of life. It’s no hobby. It’s a way of looking at that wave and saying, ‘Hey, bud, let’s party!'”
Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times at Ridgemont High