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.
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.
just dropped at birD’s surf shed, 8’5″ EDB garbage picker, and 7’3″ hillbilly hull turbo. Both of these boards were designed with the Cliffs in mind, but will work in a variety of waves. Both feature beautiful tints and “Southbay” panels/rails, the 8’5″‘s rails are fully glossed but finished in satin, the 7’3″ is fully polished.