Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Makes a Board Unique? You Do!

This blog is about surfboards.  To be specific, unique surfboards.  What’s “unique” you might ask.  While a Velzy Pig or a Noll/Dora da Cat are definitely unique, I’m thinking more in terms of the boards we have that are special to surfers who don’t collect for a living.  That’s not to say I don’t collect; I do.  And I’m sure if you’re reading this, you have a collection, or quiver, of surfboards.  My boards are definitely unique.  I remember when and where I got them, how much I paid for them, and all the places I’ve surfed them.  For example, I have a 6’5” Town & Country rounded pin thruster, my first board ever.  My Dad bought it for me when he brought me to Oahu on a business trip in 1986.  I also have a 9’6” Pearson Arrow, a board I bought the same day my then fiancée bought her wedding dress in 2000.  It’s also the first board I ever hung ten on.  I’m sure you have similar boards and experiences that make them truly unique.  The first board you ever shaped, the first board you ever got barreled on, the board you took to Mexico or Hawaii and had the best trip or session ever.  These are unique boards and should be celebrated.  Even if your board was machine shaped or shipped in a container from a factory overseas, the experiences you’ve had surfing with it make it unique.  Of course, in this day and age, if it was custom shaped, from start to finish, it’s even more unique.  It’s cliché, but a surfboard is a work of art, a one-of-a-kind creation, whether it’s sculpted by a master craftsman or a kid in his garage.

That’s why it pained me to see Jadson Andre, a Brazilian surfer in the ASP Top 44, beat his board repeatedly with the sole intention of breaking it in half at the US Open at Huntington Beach in August (click here and fast forward to 1:15).  He was obviously frustrated and as a sponsored pro gets more free boards than most of us will see in a lifetime.  But what a waste.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure he’s a really nice guy.  I also realize it’s an ASP event and this is his livelihood and there are points and dollars involved and he’s a fierce competitor, etc.  Nevertheless, what I and probably lots and lots of other surfers or fans of surfing saw was someone who took what he has for granted.  Think how many kids around the world who can’t afford a surfboard.  Think how much they would love to have one of his old, unwanted boards.  Yet here he is – someone who gets paid to surf everyday – laser focused on breaking his board in a fit of rage.  What a shame. 

So, let this blog be about appreciating the surfboards we have and celebrating how and why we think they are unique.  Many of my future posts will highlight one of the boards I have acquired over the years and why I think it’s unique.  If you have a unique board you want to share, respond and tell me and other readers why it’s special to you.  Until next time, may your waves be head high and glassy.