About 50 years ago I bought my first surfboard from the Montgomery-Ward catalog with money from my paper route. It was a bright red pin-tail that was so big I couldn't get my arm around it. That was the beginning of my love for surfing. Growing up on the Oregon Coast you had to love surfing to endure the cold water. The water temperature felt just a little warmer than freezing and we did it without the comfort of a wet suit.
In 1967 I started making surfboards. I knew, as a surfer, what I wanted and was able to create a board that was fine tuned to the way I surfed. I was a sophomore at Seaside High School in Oregon when I made my first Surfboard. I bought an old 10’ board, ripped the glass off, and reshaped it to a short board. I’ve enjoyed making boards for the last 42 years. Truthfully, I’ve been obsessed with making boards. By shaping my own boards I’ve had the ability to see and, better yet, feel how a board should be shaped. With all the options of styles, shapes, rocker, rails, and fins we have an incredible amount of choices. The surfboard evolution has been an amazing development. Now we’ve even gone back to thinking those retro fish were sure fun, fast, effective little boards. The thought of a little less entry rocker, a little more foam forward so you can enjoy a weekend outing with your board sure makes sense. Well the evolution still rages on with boards for airs, tow-in boards, stand up boards and lots of new ideas. Surfers are becoming more aware and concerned about our impact on the environment. We’re making great strides to find new directions, new materials that are renewable, sustainable natural resources.
I’ve been a carpenter most of my adult life. When I read Surfers Path, “Riding Wood - Special Issue”, and saw the wood boards, my life and the love of making boards changed forever. I literally left Powell's Books with the magazine in my hand and went to the lumberyard, got some cedar and headed home. The smell of the cedar brought me back to my youth when I used to run around my grandfathers shingle mill in Arch Cape Oregon. The Mill was built in the mid-1940’s about ½ mile from the beach.
The Northwest Indians called the cedar tree the “tree of life”. When I’m building cedar surfboards I know they were right. It’s the first step to a better, cleaner life for our planet. The look and feel of these boards is beyond any previous experience. It’s as though they have a life of their own.
The Hawaiians gave great reverence and respect to the wood used in making their boards. I’m sure they felt the power, the life, the innate spirit in the wood as they rode the waves.
Now you have a chance to own a piece of the past that’s leading us into the future. A surfboard that’s a piece of art and an heirloom that’s as individual as the owner…something to be enjoyed and handed down to your children.
Winter will be spent working diligently on R&D in Mexico (ya)! Call now, or send me an e-mail (email@example.com) to discuss your purchase.
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