Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Art of Recycling Waves

surf_VinceBroglioResin takes new shape in one local glasser’s hands

In surfing lexicon, the phrase “give a wave” is used on a rare occasion by nostalgic and well-intentioned old-timers who have reached a point of Zen-like surf satisfaction in their lives. Cynics may scoff: that just translates into “give me a wave.” But the more enlightened among us recognize the karmic value in letting the odd peak slide under their longboard to a stoked grom on the inside with an encouraging “Go!”

And while the act of giving a wave is ephemeral, one local surfboard glasser has found a unique way of making a more lasting statement.

Santa Cruz’s Vince Broglio has been laminating surfboards since the ’80s, having worked for both Bob Pearson and Doug Haut before going into business for himself in 1991. Broglio Glassworks is a thriving operation serving Northern Californian shapers, as quality craftsmanship remains in-demand even through the current economic tsunami. Yet, like many others in the surf industry, one hurdle Broglio didn’t anticipate was Gordon “Grubby” Clark pulling the plug on mass surfboard blank production in late 2005. Once his backlog of the shaped foam cores was glassed up, Broglio found that Glassworks faced its first real lull as shapers scrambled to find quality blanks and reroute their supply lines.

At the time, Broglio’s clients noticed that the multi-colored resin in his drip pans “looked like art.” A cartoonish light bulb went off inside his head: Why not cut out and transform pieces into permanently standing waves? His vision, combined with his years spent closely studying waves (from inside and out), transformed the resin waste into translucent works of art. It’s really a cliché, he says, but the hardened resin really “talks to him.”

These days, after chunks of resin are cut out from the long drip trays that collect excess resin below the board stands, he stores them at his ranch and waits for the shapes to reveal themselves. Then he liberates them after several hours of inspired effort with his 5,000 r.p.m grinder, sandblasters and Dremel drills, and hand-sands the tight curves.

Broglio says that while he’s working in “the same medium as glassing boards, the experience is completely different, way more creative and imaginative.” Thriving with this new creative outlet, he acknowledges that “glassing boards is repetitive, but with grinding out unique resin waves you can go as far as your imagination will take you.”

In tapping this source of inspiration, Broglio has been lauded by such surf art luminaries as Kevin Ancell, who said frankly that he should tell his shapers to go “get a new glasser” and just pursue the art.

In a way, Broglio’s art captures nature’s purity in kaleidoscopic colors, be it a slice of a shorebreak or a segment of a Teahupo’o-like slab. They are pieces of wonder that betray the fact that Broglio is actually, ironically, color blind; upright backwashes spray their blue-green geysers skyward, and impossibly vertical A-frames cause one to mind-surf—just wondering for a moment if that one’s makeable. The crisp blue of a sunrise, calm turquoise hue of a protected cove, iridescent shimmer of a wet kelp leaf—all are amplified with renewed electricity in Broglio’s recycled waves.

Is that not the essence of good art, to draw you into that picture, landscape, scene or sculpture—and involve you, if only for a moment? Surfers spend hours, days and years doing just that with the kinesthetic version, and even non-surfers can appreciate the message of the fleeting generosity of Mother Nature frozen in this resin art. Perhaps we should follow her lead and occasionally “give a wave” too.

Vince Broglio’s colorful works of resin wave art can be found in local galleries, including Many Hands Gallery in Capitola, and Broglio will also be taking part in Open Studios this fall on October 3,4,17 and 18.

Photo Credit: Kelly Vaillencourt

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Gold, October 07, 2009
Thank you for this great post! I had a great time reading along. Hope to read more from you.

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location