first stock board in a while; 7’2″ hillbilly hull, us blanks green density. Holler at me or see it at birD’s when it’s built.
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.
10’0″x23 1/4″x3 3/8″ EDB/glider
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!
I have had the great pleasure of working at Avalon Tattoo in Pacific Beach for the past eighteen years. During that time I have made my home both here and Cincinnati where I work at Designs by Dana. The beauty of this setup is that I get to shape the surfboards I love as opposed to the surfboards I think will sell. In effect, this has allowed me to develop my model lines as I pleased. I am proud of the result and very gratified at the number of people that enjoy my shapes and the style of surfing that they encourage. I’ve always said when it comes to surfing styles, some people like to waltz, some people like to slam dance. I believe my shapes foster a style somewhere in between, a style dictated by finding the sweet spot on each wave and letting the wave do the work for you. Tuning in, so to speak, with the natural energy on tap in each wave.
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.