Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday surf session...

This year we were treated to nice little swell for the Holidays. I got the opportunity to share some waves with my grandson and my step-daughter's boyfriend. The beautiful weather was just the frosting on the cake. I hope you have a wonderful Holiday season with your friends and family. -tp

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Need for Speed....

I'm pretty excited about this new iteration of the Nova Speedster. This particular board has the same rocker as Chris' blue Speedster, but with a slightly fuller outline and extra thickness to accommodate my weight and age.
Dimensions are 9'6"  17-1/2" x 23" x 14" 3-1/4". I had the opportunity to surf it recently in chest-high waves, which is really at the lower end of the wave-range for the Speedster. Normally, this board wouldn't come out until wave size hit shoulder-high or better, but you all now how it goes with new boards. 
I had a hard time shooting photos of this board because of the stellar polish job provided my master sander-polisher James at the shop. Anyway, this board is fast, as in blazing fast. I managed to blow by the SUPer who dropped in on me on my first wave. But, after "sharing" a couple of more waves, I decided to call it a sesh. (I hate it when a wave drought ends with a swell on the weekend. Waaay too much desperation in the water.) This session left me very excited about the promise of this board's performance in better waves,
When ordering the blank for this board, I chose a T-Band of two 1/8" basswood stringers. Glued side-to-side with opposing grain, this t-band adds a little more structural strength to the shape. I selected red glue color for aesthetic reasons, knowing that I would be using a red pinline on the deck. My glasser thought a dual pinline would look really nice, so we added the blue. Lamination was done with light-yellow opaque

resin on bottom and rails, with double 6oz cloth on deck and single 6oz cloth on bottom. Finished off with the superior gloss and polish already mentioned, the board looks as good as it performs. For fins I chose a 7" Smith/Parrish full-base center fin, with a set of 4" LB side-bites, all from True Ames.
Wanting more hold, I opted for the larger SBs, and then dropped the depth of the center fin down from my usual 7.5" to 7" in an effort to maintain the same total fin area. Price for this board, including fins, is $872 + tax.

WARNING: Geeky Shaper Talk   The key to this board's performance is choice of blank selected to build it. When building a board, the shaper selects a blank that already has a bottom rocker curve that is close to the intended rocker of the finished board. This not only saves time, but helps to increase consistency of rocker between similar shapes.  Digging through an old Clark Foam Blank Catalogue I found a blank (9-8S) with rocker very close to the rocker I wanted for the Nova. Then I asked the guys at US Blanks, who have all of the old Clark Foam rockers, to apply this rocker curve to a newer blank, the USB 9-9B. After skinning the blank and shaping thickness and foil, I found that I only had to make minor rocker adjustments at nose and tail to get what I was looking for. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Chris' Nova Speedster...

Customer Chris drove all day from San Francisco/Ocean Beach to pick up his new Nova Speedster.
The Nova Speedster is what some would call a longboard semi-gun. It features a pulled-in nose (17") and pulled-in tail (13-1/2"). Width at wide-point is 22-3/4". The board is 3-1/4" thick along the stringer, but the deck is crowned to maintain thinner rails. The bottom has a tucked rail edge, with low rocker throughout, slight belly in the nose, flat in the middle and moderate tail-V peaking in front of the 2+1 fin array. All the essential ingredients for pure speed in waves of consequence.
YIKES! SF Ocean Beach Winter - Photo N. Lawrence
A longboard semi-gun is not a board you'd find on the rack at your local surf shop. Contact me if you feel "the need for speed".

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Nova for Winter 2013-14...

This is my next Nova Speedster winter demo board. At this stage it has been hot-coated and sanded, and is waiting for red pinline and gloss coat.

The Nova Speedster model is designed to be surfed off the tail, in larger, more powerful surf. Overall rocker is flatter than the standard Nova for speed and faster paddling. I borrowed the rockers from the old Clark Foam 9-8S blank, and had them applied to a US Blanks 9-9B. I also used a double 1/8" basswood T-Band stringer for added strength. I've chosen a 7" Parrish center fin from True Ames, with the new 4" TA Side-bites, all in red (of course!). The 4" SB will provide plenty of drive and hold. Dimensions are 17" x 23" x 14" 3-1/4" thick with medium, tucked rails. I kept the bottom very straightforward, with slight convex in nose, flat middle and V through the tail. No concaves to slow water flow.

A slightly more narrow version, which is headed for the wintertime waves at San Francisico's Ocean Beach, is being picked up tomorrow. I'll post some photos in a couple of days.

 Its December 5th, is your winter longboard ready?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Will this board work for me?"


I get asked this question a lot by new and /or inexperienced surfers when I advertise a shortboard or fun shape for sale. The single most important performance consideration for a beginning surfer is the ability to catch waves, period. The more waves you catch, the quicker you'll learn the basics and the quicker your skill level will progress. Start with the biggest board you can afford, and realize that this will not be your last surfboard. (remember, walk before you run) Most surfers who start with a shortboard soon realize how difficult the sport is and give up in frustration. Their shortboard is usually the first and the last surfboard they own. They soon discover that its not much fun watching other people catch waves. And, while its true that traditional, single-fin longboards are less responsive then shorter shapes, a solid 2+1 modern longboard can be quite responsive. What's more, they have such a broad performance range, that surfers at any level of experience can enjoy them. A reasonable shape progression would be LB, mid-size board (9'-7') egg (roundnose) or hybrid (pointy nose), and then shortboard or shortboard alternative, e.g. fish, mini-egg, etc. How fast you work your way through this progression depends upon how often you surf, your athletic ability, your age and your level of commitment. 
As you grow as a surfer you will learn that certain wave conditions lend themselves to certain surfboard shapes. Nothing better than a longboard for waist-high or smaller waves. Shorter boards work better in faster/bigger waves. If you surf where most surfers are on longboards, you'll never get a wave to yourself on a shortboard. Just the opposite is true if you ride a LB at a SB break. Most surfers have more than one board or a "quiver" for this very reason. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mini-Widget deja vu...

Customer Jordan liked the butterscotch 5-4 MW so much that he ordered one just like it...well, almost. He asked me to reduce the length to 5-2 and went with FCS Fusion boxes instead of Futures.
Here's the "pick-up day" photo

Friday, November 8, 2013

5-2 Mini-Widget gets glossy...

Like most exceptional surfboard sanders/polishers, James, at Lucke Glassing, likes to do his own gloss coats. Here he is applying a gloss coat to customer Jordan's 5-2 Mini-Widget

Nice and glossy...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mini-Widget II for Gordon...

Here's Gordon wth his new 5-6 Mini-Widget II
The Mini-Widget II has all the Mini-Simmons characteristics of the original Mini-Widget, but has the nose pulled in making it a little more user-friendly in larger, steeper waves. 
Dimensions are 5-6, 17-1/2" x 22-3/8" x 18-3/8"  2-5/8" Deck has plenty of crown which keeps the rails standard shortboard thickness. Five FCS Fusion boxes give Gordon plenty of opportunities to experiment with fin configurations. 

The Mini-Widget II is an excellent choice for the better waves of winter, and gives the rider quite an edge in paddling power when competing for waves with weekend crowds. Give me a call and let's start talking about your new Mini-Widget. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Mini-Widget II is born...

I think this shape provides an insight into the benefits of ordering a custom surfboard. Early this past Sept., new customer, Gordon B., saw the ad for my 5-4 Mini-Widget on Craigslist, and after a long discussion via emails, he arranged to take it for a couple of weeks as a demo. When he returned it, he reported really liking the shape’s performance in small, mushy surf, but wanted to make a couple of tweaks to the design. First, he wanted to add a couple of inches in length to gain a little more paddling power, and then he wanted to pull in the nose a bit so that it would be less likely to catch in the wave face on steep drops. The rocker was tweaked just slightly at both ends to accommodate the added length, but the belly-to-flat-to-concave bottom was left unchanged, as was the outline of the back-half of the board. This is what we came up with:
Dims: 5'6"  17-1/2" x 22-1/2" x 18-3/8"  2-5/8"

The end result I’m now calling the Mini-Widget II, and it’s aimed at those surfers who enjoy the fast planing, skatey feel of the mini-Simmons style grovel board, but want to surf more vertically, especially as wave conditions improve.  This board will be fitted with 5 FCS boxes to provide plenty of fin options.

Got a shape you want in mind? Send me a text, email, or give me a call and lets get started!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mini-Widget rider review...

Here's Justin with his new 5-1 Mini-Widget

This is what he said after his first session a couple of weeks ago:
"I took the mini-widget out today at the point and had a blast!  The waves weren't great, but the mini-widget shined.  I got quite few set waves (waist - maybe chest high) and the thing flew like a bat out of hell.  The way you pulled in the tail with the wing is awesome.  I had another mini simmons with a much wider tail and found it difficult to get it to do quick directional changes.  No such issue with the mini widget.  Turns were effortless and smooth.

The board also performed really well on the smaller waves too (knee high or so).  I'm a goofy foot, and have always found surfing small rights on a short board to be a pain - I'd rather just trim on a longboard.  The mini-widget had all of the glide I like from a longboard in small waves but I could still do turns and get in a few little floaters."

If you love to ride a shortboard and don't want to ride a longboard on small days, you need a Mini-Widget. I have a 5-4x22-3/8"x2-3/8" MW available for you to demo. Just give me a call  805-856-8554

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Kirt 's new 8-0 Kingfish...

Kirt liked his 8-0 Kingfish so much that he ordered a second one with some minor tweaks.

Kirt had me change the colors and add 1/4" more tail rocker in the last 12" of the tail. Otherwise, same outline and same rails. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Mini-Widget for Justin...

Just finished a 5-1 Mini-Widget for Customer Justin. Justin noticed the 5-4 MW I have for sale and asked for one just a bit smaller.

Board will glassed with two layers of S-cloth on deck to help combat those dreaded heel-dents. Fin setup will be quad Futures with FCS plugs in center fin position. Justin will have multiple fin config options!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

The drought finally ended....

I never thought I'd see the day when waist-high sets would be frothed over like it was "4-to-6-and-glassy".  But, that was the vibe in the water this past Labor Day Weekend when my local point came alive with consistent waist-high sets after 4+ weeks of ankle-slappers. Here's yours truly enjoying my new 10-0 Classic in the conditions it was designed for.
A 9-8 version of this Classic will be polished-out tomorrow and ready for some lucky customer. Come by the shop in Camarillo, CA and have a look. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

New fish for Sam...

Here's the new custom 5-10 fish kneeboard I built for local kneeboarder Sam. If the outline looks "classic", well...that's because it has an impressive pedigree.

Sam had a 5-8 fish kneeboard that was built for him several years ago by hull maestro, Greg Liddle. That board was a copy of a Steve Lis fish kneeboard. Sam brought the 5-8 fish to me, and asked for a similar shape, but longer and thicker. Measurements were taken, templates drawn and fin placement scrutinized. Sam chose the Hobie Fish template from my friends at True Ames Fins. The glass-on fins are asymetrically foiled and were set with just a slight toe-in, adding a little modern touch to this otherwise traditional shape. But the fun part of this build was Sam's direct participation. He was there when I took the rocker measurements, and helped me template the original board. Once I had the blank, Sam watched the whole 4 hr shaping process, and gave me input on what he liked and what he wanted changed, as in "hey Sam, feel these rails and tell me if you want a little more taken off". Shaping a custom surfboard should be a collaboration between shaper and surfer, and I encourage all my customers to participate in the process.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More T-Belly slidin'...this time in Peru

James, one of my customers from Nor Cal, was kind enough to send me this POV video of him enjoying a loooong left at Puerto Chicama, Peru.

Here's the T-Belly he's riding

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Late summer noserider, Part 2...

Finally picked up my new 10-0 Classic. Just the ticket for those small days at the Point. Dims are 18-3/4"x23-1/2"x15-3/4"   3-1/4" thick.

This board has the typical "Classic Model" features: half-length, blended nose-concave, moderate tail-"V", low entry rocker and slight flip in tail rocker.

I usually do the traditional "eggy" 50/50 rail on the Classic, but this time I went with a more modern 60/40 tucked rail. That tucked edge provides good water release for a slippier" ride.

That fin is the new Slick Regulator by True Ames. Every new board deserves a new fin!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

In progress...

I've got several orders at different stages of glassing. This is a 5-10 Fish kneeboard for Sam.
I really like the glassed-on bamboo fins. Sam was able to watch his board being shaped, so we were really able to custom fit this shape. I really enjoy having customers give me input as I shape their board.
Next is the 8-0 Kingfish for Kirt. 
It's getting one of Kirt's wild color designs so there's not much to see at this point.
Finally, a 9-8 Classic for some lucky customer, yet to be named.  
Deck will stay clear with a red pinline, which should really pop against the Ice Blue resin tint. Isn't this the board you've always wanted? It'll be ready to wax up in about a week, so call me today 805-856-8554

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

T-Belly slidin' in the Pacific Northwest...

This is what summertime looks like on the 49th Parallel, 100 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. I shaped this T-Belly last January for John who lives in Northern Washington. I always enjoy seeing photos of my customer buddies riding my shapes. Thanks for sharing John!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kingfish Deja Vu...

Kirt loves his 8-0 Kingfish so much that he ordered a second just like it...well, almost.

Same eps/epoxy with S-glass lamination. We tweaked the tail rocker a bit and changed the colors (but not the pattern). Board replication is where computer-based shaping really shines. Kirt's original Kingfish was hand-shaped, so I had to spend a couple of hours "blueprinting" it. Duplicating the rails is the most difficult, and then comes rocker. It only takes a few minutes to tweak a board file, and once done, it can be used to cut one or a hundred duplicates.