Monday, October 15, 2012

Boards Aplenty in Del Mar

Hard to believe a week has already passed since the International Surfboard Show in Del Mar last weekend.  It was a great event, following up last year's Sacred Craft edition. There is so much to see at these events and, although I had two days to take it all in this year, I sit back now and think of so many things I wished I had done while I was there. Next year.

What I did see were lots and lots of beautiful surfboards. Some being shaped, some for wall hanging, and some (lots, in fact) for surfing. The show is all expo but features work primarily from artists and shapers (these craftsmen of course create their own form of art). Regardless of whether form or function is your thing, there was eye candy everywhere you looked. 

You heard it here first: Paipo boards
will be the next hand planes

I want to be in that surfboard

This one too.

Leopard skinned Asym -- sweet!

Best of Show by Meyerhoffer

Pat Rawson and Mark Richards in the shaping booth
For shapers and fans of surfboard design, this year's shaper honoree was Mark Richards, the 4x world champion from New South Wales, Australia. Richards is unique in that he is only one of two world champions to have shaped his own equipment. This feat and his world championship run of 1979-1982 were both unprecedented. As a result, six shapers ranging from Taz Yassine, a 16 year old from the Canary Islands to world famous Pat Rawson from Hawaii came out to pay their respects by shaping an MR classic from the famous Free Ride era: a winged, swallow tail twin fin. Watching a shaper transform a raw blank into a finely crafted surfboard with a variety of hand tools, power tools, and abrasives is a sight to be seen. They only have 90 minutes which, given how highly engineered these boards are, isn't a lot of time. Nevertheless, their work is a lesson in craftsmanship. 

A special treat was the surfboards on display from the Longboard Collector's Club. As you can imagine, these guys are passionate about surfboards and preserving their unique history. I had a great time talking with some of them and learning about their approach to restoration, which will help me with the surfboards I'm restoring.

Check out that curved stringer.
Looks like Bing was channeling
Frank Lloyd Wright on this gem.
A Da Cat and a signed Velzy Jacobs - both cherry.

I also enjoyed bringing my own surfboard this year and logged some serious water time, including a session at a little known spot the locals call "San-O" or San Onofre. I don't understand why it isn't better known, particularly as it's next to the biggest set of boobs in the the world. 

Mahalo Uncle Greg for the State Park pass!

Until next time, may your waves be head high and glassy.