Monday, 30 July 2012

pick up the planer..

This little run of summer waves and weather has given me the first proper chance to run my newest log through it's paces. It's a 9'4 "mod log" from the last batch of boards Randall shaped before hanging up his planer indefinately last year. I loved the look of it when Neil showed it to me and wished i'd had the cash and the space in the shed to buy it then so when it popped up for sale on magic seaweed i wasn't about to make the same mistake twice!

Template wise it's pretty much what a lot of people have been moving towards recently, less Nuuhiwa noserider and more Hot Generation/ Magic Sam with a greenough fin, thin pinched rails, widepoint pulled back a little, plenty of roll out into the rails and only a shallow nose concave. The nose is fairly narrow at 17 3/4 and the tail is wide at 16 1/4. Despite being 23 wide and 3 in the center there's not a great deal of foam in there. It's similar to the boards Dane Peterson has been riding recently or Chonoski's "involvement" Mctavish's

It's not really a "saunton board" being designed for waves with a little more zip but like most boards with a wide point back of center, as long as there is a steepish pocket to tuck into there's plenty of scope to get piggies dangling. Off the tail it's whippy in a pivoty way and it's got a nice responsive lively feel despite it's volan glass. In fact my only negative so far would be that it paddles really slowly although i'm not entirely sure why as it's fast in trim.

It's a crying shame Randall is no longer making boards, his logs are great and he makes a great mini-simmons too. His templates are spot on and the boards are beautifully finished with some very neat creative touches. Mine has a carbon fibre cloth asymmetric tail patch for example!

I think everyone i've known to ride one of his shapes has rated it and there are more than a few people who would like to get a board off him if he can ever be persuaded to pick up a planer again. In a way it's a little bit pointless posting a detailed review since none of you can currently order a board off him so perhaps this can form another little prick at his concious that his skills are prized over here and an occasional trip to the shaping bay wouldn't be such a bad thing!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

'sup jake?!

clickety          click

life is just swell!

Sunshine, waves, smiley faces, people and traffic everywhere and putsborough charging £7 to park,  it IS summer!

 A couple of bits of local news to share.
The Nineplus shop in the village now has some Bings in the racks to salivate over, along with their own logs and a couple of Takayama's. Bing himself is coming over to the UK and will be doing stuff with Nine plus and the Surfing museum over the weekend of the 16th September so stay tuned for more details of that.

Braunton also has a new surf shop! The Board Barn has moved from chivenor to the old spa shop next door to surfed out (bet glen is stoked!) in the centre of the village. Yet another place to mooch when it inevitably starts raining again!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

extra pickle?

So back from Portugal after some much needed sunshine, shellfish, red wine but few waves and surprise surprise it's howling windy and raining and freezing. Time to start planning another escape i think!

The Tyler Warren piece in drift ended up being chopped up a little to fit the feature space available so i thought i'd post the unabridged version here. Nothing earth shattering extra but a few more of his views on stuff, perhaps a little bit more poignant now given the recent sad news about Terry Martin!

Tyler Warren's star burns ever brighter, his name on more people's lips, his images on more and more pages for his surfing, his shaping and his artwork.  Yet he pilots a serene and steady course through the hype, letting his actions speak louder than words with a quiet assurance rare in this time of endless self promotion and internet scenemaking.

Growing up in Dana Point, away from the million dollar yachts of Newport and the plastic personalities of mtv's real OC, he cut his teeth on the logging waves of Doheny and San O, part of the first generation of surfers growing up with the trailblazing of Tudor to follow. By high school he had graduated from heavy logs to Salt Creek and a little bit of everything else as well.

On a single fin, his style brings much of his early hero Tudor to mind, precise technical footwork and noseriding disguised in a smooth fluid style belying the difficulty within and yet there is more, a timeless bent knee trim and speed lines with economy of movement that smacks of Phil Edwards and earlier times. There may be influences but mixed together they give a silhouette that is all his own.

That same smooth speed is transferred when he steps on shorter equipment. As one of the most visible proponents of the Hynd inspired second coming of the fish a few years ago, many contend that his surfing on the two or four fin fish platform is as artful as you will see anywhere. In truth he has developed into perhaps one of the most gifted "all boards" surfers on the planet, something the forthcoming "Tyler Warren experiments" film will no doubt confirm.

On dry land, Tyler is distinct from the surfer stereotype, inspired by 50's americana with a vintage look that once again harks back to the innocence of the endless summer and before. Clean lines and good design. He's well travelled but just as likely to be home working on his new house or hanging with his girl Taylor or in his studio working on his latest art project.

Fresh from his victory at Joel Tudor's duct tape contest in Spain and preparing for his latest art show in Hawaii, we caught up with him at home in Dana...

Whats your earliest surfing memory?

I grew up around the ocean, I can remember my uncle or dad taking me out tandem on a boogie board at salt creek and taking some free fall drops down the face.  I would go body surf and body board a lot with my brother  in newport and laguna growing up.  Then next I remember my 8th or 9th birthday my dad came in with a Big black trash bag covered thing, It was a late 70's/early 80's Bruce Jones channel bottom twin fin. I began surfing at Doheny when I was about 8 or 9.    

Who influenced you growing up? do you think the quieter beach town vibe in Dana Point shaped you compared to growing up in the more glitz of Newport or the "extreme" party capital that is Huntingdon?

Yeah for sure.. Dana Point is mostly a quiet town with a lot of working class surfers.  A place where you could focus on your surfing more.

Who inspires you now?

Terry Martin, Joel Tudor, Tom Curren, My Uncle Kenton, and any one that is doing what they love.

Do you see yourself as a pro surfer or an artist who surfs?

I dont really like to use the word pro surfer.. I am a creative person that surfs, shapes, and does art.

What's exciting you in surfing right now?

Surfing in general, good uncrowded waves.  Shaping boards and riding them is always exciting and fun.

A long time Hobie team rider and working part time in and around the factory through his youth it was perhaps inevitable that Tyler would be tempted to pick up a planer. Mentored by head Hobie shaper, Terry Martin, Tyler's shapes are very well regarded and becoming highly sought after. While he is best known for his "bar of soap" take on the simmons planing hull that is just of the templates he has been developing.

where does shaping fit for you, is it something you see as taking up more of your time in the future? Do you consider your boards to be art pieces and an extension of your work in other media?

Shaping is something I have just naturally gotten into over the years.  It is a time consuming craft but it is rewarding.  I want to make functional boards that can be ridden, all types of boards from different eras and put my own twist on them..
Every era has its gems, and with modern rails and thickness you cant go wrong. I think surfboards are meant to be ridden...  Some look nicer then others and some clients want the more elaborate stuff.

terry martin is fairly unknown outside california despite being of the same generation of lots of big name 60's shapers, tell us about him and his influence on you?

Terry is a legend but the average person would not know who he is.  He is underground in a way but in Dana Point and San Clemente he is the man.  Most good shapers have heard of him.. He has been shaping since the 50's and has been cranking boards out ever since.

whats in your day to day quiver, do you have a favorite board?

I usually have a log and a twin fin in the van... The sizes and dimensions vary.  Lately I have been enjoying the first nose rider I made myself. Its 9'6'' and a good time.

what do you like as far as longboard shapes go?

I grew up riding all sorts of boards concave, v, channels curvy and straight templates.  They all serve a purpose.  I still ride all types of shapes thats what keeps it interesting.

recently you've made a few 50's inspired malibu chip style boards, what drew you to that shape and how are they to ride?

Now that I think about it.. My first custom board I ordered when I was about 12 came out looking like a Phil Edwards style board, though I didn't know who that was at the time... it just came out that way.. I asked for a 3 stringer, tail block, and a nose with a slight point, the nose came out much more pointy then I expected but I wrode it any ways.  Then when I rode for weber I got a board that had a similar look called a "professional" Both those boards had no concave.  
I grew up surfing with my friend Kio who has a 50's style clothing brand and he's always ridden Mike Marshall boards that looked like Malibu chips.. So that board came from all those influences.

What made you shape the first bar of soap? Have you refined them since?

Richard Kenvin let me borrow "Casper" the first mini simmons him and Joe Bauguess made.  I took it to northern baja and loved it at this slopey point wave. It was 6'0'' eps and about 23" wide.  That is the board that started the mini simmons revolution.  Then he started to make them smaller, and I saw a 5'0'' he made and fell in love with it. I was like "thats what I want!" I did some art for him and never got the board, but they kept popping into my life. RT (Ryan Thomas) got one from Richard and it was the 2nd white pony also in EPS.  RT let me borrow that for a few months and I loved riding it. .. It had a wide shallow swallow tail with 2 fins.. My dad was bugging me to teach this little 9 year old girl to surf that was one of his co workers daughters. So we began meeting at doheny and I would push her in on the white pony.. She would fly down the line and even go switch.. She was super light and small. She did so well on the board that her dad wanted one for her.. I said I'd shape it... So I did. It was my 9th board and I took so much time on it and I was so stoked on how It came out that I said to myself I am going to keep this one and make her another one.  That board was what started it for me.. I rode it for about 6 months then made 3 more for an art show.. I tried different concaves and tails, I kept one of those too and fell in love with it.. That was the first proper bar of soap I guess, shape # 12. My friend said it looked like i was riding a bar of soap when i surfed it and the name stuck. I rode that board for a year or so and loved it.. I still have #9 and 12.. then people started ordering them..

Is style important to you? What makes good style?

The more you do something the more you develop your style.  Smooth and Powerful Style has always appealed to me

You recently signed with Billabong, do you think we are starting to see the big companies become more aware and interested in the marketing potential of the logging/ alternative board scene? will that be a good or bad thing?

I guess surfing is just going in that direction in general... More and more people are riding quads, twin fins and stuff like that.  Its not a bad thing if a corporate company wants to help support what you love.

is competition longboarding relevant at all now?

I think the contest Joel Tudor/Vans is doing a good job keeping logging relevant.

what else do you spend your time doing?

Hanging out with my girlfriend, working on my house I just got.

Tyler's girlfriend, Taylor Simpkins is the sister of underground orange county logging legend Cody Simpkins and a talented surfer in her own right. She forms the muse for many of the female images in his paintings....

Where does your artistic style come from?

Every day life, traveling, vintage illustration, my uncle, art books, and mother nature

do you think the art world pigeon holes you as a "surf artist" or do you feel you are starting to break through on your own merits as an artist, surfing not withstanding?

I'm not sure how much the real art world knows about me or my work...  I don't consider myself a surf artist, I usually don't care to much for "Surf Art".  I am a surfer that does art so it is only natural to depict the ocean.

Is acceptance into the real art world a goal for your future

I am just going to keep working and doing what I love, and hope for the best.  I would love to show my work in a proper white gallery that hangs the work for you and its properly spaced, and they have the small red dots and little pins with #'s on them,.. I always have to do that stuff and be in charge haha.  I just want the work to be represented well. I have been very fortunate with all the places that have had shows for me.

You are pretty well travelled, do you have a favorite travel story?

No horror stories thankfully.  My last trip to indo I scored some magical waves by accident.. We went to this small island for a swell, traveled for a whole day through three airports, really hung over because I had just had an art show and won a longboard contest the night before in bali.  I puked in two airports (the airports in indo are not that pleasant, wierd smells and funky bathrooms!)
We finally get there and it's boiling hot but beautiful, it felt like real island style.  People eating with their hands, kids and old women running up to us to say hello or take a picture with some surfers,  houses with no electricity or windows. After a couple hour drive we made it to the break just before dark.  The swell had not totally hit yet but it was still over head.  The guys I was with wanted it to be triple over head!
The next morning it wasn't so the stoke level was way down. I was feeling tired and out of it so I laid down for a second and the next thing I know the guys are getting ready to hop on a boat to go check a slab wave down the way.  They said it was probably not going to be good because the wind looked like it was coming up and I was feeling over it.  Then Wade (Goodall) said "I am just going to walk it." That sounded nice so I just grabbed my 5'11'' asymmetrical and headed out the door.  I had no idea what I was about to find walking around the point up the beach 1 or 2 kilometers.  
When we see what we were looking for it's huge gaping off shore tubes with no one around just a fisherman and some palm trees.  Wade puts his bag down and puts his leash on, I do the same and follow him across the sharp reef and rock. As we make our way to the water it gets sharper and sharper and we notice the 4 foot waves that are breaking right on the reef just before the deep channel.  Wade found a small out cropping and headed towards that, he looked back at me and said "fuck".  I said "you can do it, charge it!".. So he scurried across the last bit of reef and found a small key hole in the rocks between waves and jumped down in it. As he got sucked out I hurried and did the same. We got l
adventuresintrinmucky, we didn't get cut or break fins 'cos it was the sketchiest of water entries.
We paddled out about a half kilometer to the break in a channel.. Watching these crazy waves come through. The boat was already there and Dylan (Longbottom) and Laurie Towner were already out there. We were wishing we had hopped in the boat with those guys, but we had a adventure...
The wave was one of the heaviest I had surfed.. I scored a couple good ones, a solid air drop and and a backdoor tube that spit me out.. It was a great experience.  Dylan perforated his ear drum and those guys had all surfed Teahupoo and they were saying that one of the sets that came through was like a right hand version.  Only 4 of us out and a beach full of palm trees it was the real deal!

do yo have a favorite wave?
a couple :)

give us three words that define you

Creative Ocean Goer

i guess we had better name-check your sponsors....

Billabong, Hobie, Retro Spective wetsuits

whats next for you?

I am off to Hawaii next week for a art show with Andy Davis and Jeff Canham called "Back in Town" at the Greenroom gallery.  "The Experiments" is in the editing process now & we should be premiering it by fall.  

Explore more of Tyler's world at

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

all hart

I don't know much about mountain biking, but i do know barely controlled lunacy when i see it and this is worth watching if only for the commentary!

Massive bike handling skill and big balls!

Friday, 6 July 2012

a hully hull

There's something about the shape and foil of a displacment hull thats so pleasing to my eye. I think it's the way that there are no hard edges just gentle curves, whichever angle you look from, that flow into each other.

It's a deceptive kind of shape, there's a lot more going on than there first appears and they somehow feel more organic than a pointy thruster ever could.

Still doesn't really feel like summer does it, despite a few small semi clean waves this week. I'm struggling to get enthused as a result but hopeful some portugese sun and waves will restock the stoke next week!

Monday, 2 July 2012


At the risk of being controversial........ I've never quite seen the point of surf lifesaving clubs. It all seems a lot too much like a serious proper sport to me with all the effort of paddling out without the earnt fun of riding waves afterwards. In fact there never seems to be much fun involved. Of course that's probably me being curmudgeonly and cynical in my (approaching) old age.

I always thought it might be a good thing for my daughter to get involved with when she was old enough, teach her confidence in the sea etc but my limited experience so far hasn't done much to temper my initial misgivings. It's all taken very seriously and competitively even at 7 it seems and that doesn't fit with us. I'm thinking i'll just keep taking her surfing myself where i can make sure she's having fun and not worrying about how fast she can race round a flag.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...