Friday, October 22, 2010

Style and the Documentation thereof.

With Southern California’s once emerging surf 
subculture now seemingly well past the point of 
complete saturation, it’s tempting to take a nostalgic 
look back to those simpler one-fin times of the late 
1950’s and early 60’s at surf Meccas such as Malibu 
and San Onofre. 
Los Angeles-based clothing designer Kio Inagaki is 
especially fascinated with this time period because 
of its “refined style and uniqueness—a time before 
all the mass-production and commercialism, when 
surfers were riding their locally shaped boards and 
wearing clothes made in the USA.” Inagaki’s Yellow 
Rat label is inspired by clothing worn by early 
members of the WindAnSea Surf Club along with 
legendary surfers Phil Edwards and Lance Carson. 
Speaking of Edwards and Carson, their surfboards 
are on display at the Surfing Heritage Foundation 
in San Clemente--which houses over 150 surfboards 
and serves to illustrate the evolution of surfboard 
design. The collection contains Simmons, Quiggs, 
Kivlins, Velzys, Brewers and includes boards ridden 
by the likes of Gerry Lopez, Duke Kahanamoku and 
numerous other legends of the sport. Also on display 
is a shaping shack built with wood from the late 
Dale Velzy’s old fence. It’s filled with Velzy’s tools 
and a balsa blank rough shaped by him. 
Up and coming San Clemente-based shaper Donald 
Brink recently visited Velzy’s shaping shack where 
he felt an “incredible appreciation for [Velzy’s] 
dedication to custom-built wooden boards—it was 
so much more of a labor of love back in those days.” 
Brink’s appreciation also stems from his personal 
experience shaping balsa wood surf craft inspired 
by the finless hot curl boards from the early ‘50’s. 
For his Revolver label, Brink looks at retro concepts 
for inspiration and builds user-friendly boards for the 
modern surfer. “There is definitely a trend right now 
where people are riding classic and retro boards 
without shame. You can go down to San Onofre 
today and watch kids drawing elegant lines with the 
class and style of the forefathers of surfing.” 
One such forefather is Walter Viszolay from Laguna 
Beach who started surfing in 1961, and now at 61 
years old, still shapes and rides his own wooden 
longboards. “Being a surfer back then when not 
many people were doing it was really special. Things 
have changed now, but I still manage to find places 
that aren’t crowded where I can enjoy surfing similar 
to how it was back then—with my son Eli—now.” 
And so it goes—the spirit of surf stoke gets passed 
along to the next generation.—Gabe Sullivan 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A neat little 9'0"

Shaped a neat little 9'0" Today.

Dim's  read: 9'0" x 18"x 23 1/2" 16 1/4" 3 3/8 "