Thursday, 7 April 2016

Beautiful Boards!

Surfboards make me happy.  Of course I love riding them and watching good surfing is something that I never tire of, and probably never will. But just looking at surfboards gives me so much stoke, this has been true to say for thirty years now, although in recent years I find that the boards I prefer are those that are based on the classic shapes of the 60's and 70's.  While I love longboards, traditional designs and styles at least, I especially admire the boards that derive from the shapes that emerged when it all went short.  The boards of this era just lend themselves so well towards style and grace, they have enough volume to be able to glide effortlessly, carving out long and drawn out turns, all connected with a fluidity that is so lacking in modern surfing.

These are the boards that I like, and this is the style of surfing that gives me the most stoke. For while I enjoy riding all types of surfboard, as described in the previous post, I like everything that there is to like, when it comes to the array of surfboards that come from Bing, Ryan Lovelace, Christenson and so many other board makers that demonstrate  a distinct nod towards days gone past, adopting the styles, colours and sheer class of a different era, not to mention the shaping mastery and out-and-out craftsmanship that is somewhat lacking when it come to modern and more mainstream boards.

When I walk in to a good surf shop these days, I am drawn straight to the section where such boards live, better still, when I find a board shop that sells nothing but these boards, the latter are a rare entity, but they do exist.  This is funny, because as a true grom of the eighties, I have in the past, had a tendency to go for the boards that are more main stream, as ridden by my favourite surfers of the time, a theme that continued for 20 years or more of my surfing life.

Maybe it's me getting older, or possibly it is because modern boards are rapidly becoming more a kin to sporting equipment, mass produced, highly designed with cutting edge performance in mind.  The modern boards of this nature are by no means cheap, for they have price tags that often require a second glance, but I can't help but feel that they are moving towards consumer items that are intended to be used for a while, then replaced with the latest model. This might be a slightly cynical view, and I am not wholly against the modern board thing, per-say (as my previous post demonstrates).  But truth be told, I much prefer the design aesthetic and style of boards that are based more upon the classic designs.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Magic Board.

A short time ago I took ownership of what I can only describe as being a magic board. And it cost me a mere hundred and fifty pounds too.

Realising that my Donald Takayama was getting a bit too much use as my daily board, I made the decision to find something new. These days I tend to shy away from cutting edge modern design, preferring fish and long boards. But I figured what the heck, let's find out how these modern craft go.  

Being on a bit of a tight budget I set myself the challenge of finding a decent used example. After trawling the various sources of second hand boards, it didn't take too long to realise that anything that was any good was getting snapped up immediately, or else it was dramatically over priced. I began to loose my enthusiasm and looked at some of the fleet of old boards that I have with different eyes. One of those was going to have to do.

Then, just as I was going to give up the chase I found a board that was pretty much what I was looking for. I contacted the seller, made my offer and arrangements were made to collect my 5'10" Simon Anderson 5 Spark. (The story of how the purchase went down is fantastic in itself, one day I will share those shenanigans, but you couldn't make it up!).
Anyway, the board is truly fantastic, I have used it quite a lot in recent months, in a diverse range of conditions and it goes so well in anything in the under head high category of waves.  

Immediately as I took off on my first wave I realised that it was special, for it does exactly what I want it to do, moves in every direction that could wish for, feels as though it is glued to my feet and it is sooooo much fun! It has made me realise just how great modern boards are, they are designed so well to work in the conditions that they were intended for. 

Now, I have to say that I pride myself in my ability to ride boards of different shapes and styles, but I can't help but wish that I had found something like this years ago. I might even have said to my wife that had I owned a board like this when I was eighteen, I would have turned pro. This was very much a tongue-in-cheek statement, but one that illustrates the point, very well!