Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Build a Board, Break a Board

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. It was the...okay, you get the point. Christ, Dickens, were readers that dense a hundred and fifty years ago?

Regardless, this dead horse beating is meant to demonstrate that I had a roller coaster of a weekend. On the one hand, I finished shaping my first surfboard. It took years, yes years, to shape. Afraid of messing up, quick to put it aside to focus on easier things, not having the right tools and a whole bunch of other excuses all made it easy to put off. Well, I finally got tired of looking at yet another project I'd started and not finished. I also realized I'd never get any good at shaping if I didn't actually shape. So I did it. Once I glass it (hopefully this part won't take 2-3 more years), I'll be really anxious to take it out and see how it works. My expectations are low but, it's a big accomplishment just the same. As a result, I got a lot of kudos and back slaps from friends and family on Saturday. Most importantly, I can now say that I am a shaper. Not a dreamer. Not a wannabe shaper. A shaper. Safe to say, I was pretty proud of myself.

Well, I guess the surf gods didn't want me to get a big head. I went surfing on Sunday and took one of my favorite boards, my 9'6" Pearson Arrow longboard. I've had it for years and it surfs great in all conditions (you can read more about this special board here). Unfortunately, the conditions were terrible on Sunday. Waves were doubling up and, when I did catch one, I had to contend with the backwash. Needless to say, decent waves were hard to come by. When I had finally had enough of not catching waves, I started moving closer to shore, hoping to catch one last wave. The waves further inside were steeper but also breaking in shallower water. I got what I wanted. I caught a wave but even with over nine feet of rail, the board never bit into the wave. Instead, it went straight down. When I surfaced, I had a bad feeling. When I swam over to to my board and flipped it over, my fears were almost realized. It didn't snap but the impact shattered, peeled and delammed the glass as well as broke one of the stringers. While I enjoy doing doing repair, this is going to be a lot of work.

If there's a silver lining in this, it's that I have a great excuse to shape another board.

Until next time, may your waves be head high and glassy (and not in 12 inches of water).