Aloha Is Where You Find It

Gerry Lopez, master of style and grace, was in town to check up on his line of SUP boards that Surftech is producing.

The crew called to see if I wanted join them up the coast for a demo session on the boards. The waves were small but clean and a lot of aloha was shared.

Afterwards we ended up at our house to talk story. It was nice to catch up and share the things we have in common. Ben and Sam were fascinated with the stories shared. Being a fellow goofy foot, Gerry took to Ben. He now has him convinced that all the best waves in the world are lefts! Who could argue with his point of view?

And it is his point of view that makes him such a good role model for young and old. In addition to the images of him on waves, his written word and ability to tell a story stand out. A good example is his recent book, Surf Is Where You Find It. Check it out.


Delivery Day is a Good Day

When the truck backs up and the fresh foam gets unloaded, it's a relief that in this crazy world some things are still on track. US Blanks has followed the Clark Foam formula for service and quality, and they deliver the best products in polyurethane and EPS.

Here Ernie gives the thumbs up to another batch of first quality blanks. Now get to work Ward.


Yak, Yak, Yak II

Following up on a good thing, I got together with Rick Starr and Murky Waters to produce the Salsa.

Rick and I designed the plug. Then the folks at Murky Waters made the mold and now build this very popular International Class wave kayak. This boat has sported an impressive record in competitions around the world.

It's cool to see how some projects lead you into new and uncharted waters.


Yak, Yak, Yak

Meet Dennis Judson, owner of Adventure Sports, aquanaut extraordinaire, and lover of all things racy and red. He also possesses the power of persuasion, so much so that he and his cohort Rick Starr talked me into building them a couple of wave riding kayaks from scratch.

But wait before we go further, I know, I hear the murmurs. Yes, there were a few cries of blasphemy from my homo erectis wave riding brethren. And even calls of "why are you doing that?" Well simply put, because I can, and I love taking on projects of design and construction of watercraft for riding waves.

So let's see what it took to to get this project off the ground. First off I lofted out some curves for the profile and outline. Then I used the curves to hotwire out this blank. From there I shaped out what the boats would look like.

After the shapes were done I prepped the foam with mold release and vacuum bagged the skins on. The bottoms were sheet foam and the decks were this cool honeycomb matting.

Master Glasser Tony Mikus did the outer lamination which was then polished out.

With cockpits cut open it was now time to let the genie out of the bottle (ie, pull the foam out). After that, the combing went on and we were approaching launch day.

A crystal clear day greeted the christening. And I have to admit that the boats looked awesome. But the burning question for me was "how would they work?"

Mother nature provided a perfect test track. And with waves like this, all I have to say is whatever "floats your boat", get out there and have fun!

As for how the boats went, it was all thumbs up. But our story doesn't end there. Next post I'll explain where all this is going.


Jim's Red Rockets

If you surf up and around Half Moon Bay and Ocean Beach, chances are you've seen Jim out flying on one of his red boards. Jim logs heaps of water time and has a knack for finding the best peak on any given day.

This batch of boards covers a good range. The top board is a quad fin, middle board is a full biscuit type shape, and bottom board is the every day go to thruster.


Headman II

Mark brought in a vintage Trestle Special that he had beautifully restored. Rumor had it that it was one of Owl Chapman's personal North Shore boards since it said "Headman" on the board. Mark loved the board but at just barely 21" wide it was narrow for the waves he likes to ride. We decided to copy the board as much as possible but to bump the width out to 22". This added a lot more overall curve to the outline of the board.

The guys at Handcrafted did a nice Volan coke bottle green lamination. Mark is a crafty, hands on guy and did the great polish job himself.

I've said it before but I really dig the racy triple stringer longboards. Not only for their looks but because I like how they ride in the bigger surf.


Photography Student Gone Wild

Brooks Institute student Derek Bahn grabbed Nate's new twinzer before he could put wax on it and clicked off a few shots.

Obviously this cat is getting a good education in studio lighting and effects. Check out his site at www.dbahnphotography.com.

Nate has always liked loose, busy, handpainted designs. It's fun doing his boards because when it comes to the color work, it's rough sketches on paper and he always says, "Yeah, that's it, go for it. Do something wild."


White Rider

Matt wanted a classic mid 70's single fin for cruising Ocean Beach. And at 260 lbs, he wanted to make sure we put in enough volume. The result: 7'4" x 21 1/4" x 3 1/8". Matt envisioned a black and white color scheme, white pigment lamination with black logos and pinlines.

Mid flight through the shaped blank, Matt called asking if we could incorporate some bonzer side runners. I thought it was a good idea so I added a little double barrel concave through the vee in the back half of the board.

The boys at Handcrafted did another great job. The gloss and polish really reflects the quality and attention to detail they put into their work.