Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Nov 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Coming Soon?

blog_surfSacred Craft Expo may tap Santa Cruz as the next surfboard hub

Nothing is quite as thrilling in a surfer’s life as that first blush of romance with a new board. Within those mysterious curves lie the potential to escape the self-consciousness of the daily grind, to fly free, to walk on water. Coaxing performance out of the template, rocker, foils, rails and tails is the job of the shaper, and translating those raw elements into a final three-dimensional shape is part science, part art and more than a little alchemy. Shapers are the high priests of this addictive union of man and nature; masters of a craft—a sacred craft.

For the past few years, director Scott Bass has paid tribute to boards and their foam messiahs by organizing the Sacred Craft Expo, housing a transcendent display of board-building genius under one roof for thousands to enjoy twice a year—Ventura in the spring and Del Mar in the fall. The most recent festival of foam in Del Mar honored Dick Brewer, the principle driver behind the shortboard revolution and mentor to multiple world-class shapers in their own right. Given a voice, who might Santa Cruz nominate as their local shaping master?

 

Bass counts among his closest surfing friendships a number of shapers and says he saw risk of their extinction in the “shift in surf retailing to a focus on apparel over equipment, with generic mass-produced boards favored by non-surfing shopkeepers over local craftsmen.” The Sacred Craft is his way to bridge that gap with customers and “show off local talent all under one roof” at the expo. He is gratified that there seems to be a backlash now against the industrialized approach and new appreciation for custom equipment.

Rumors of the traveling show taking a detour to Surf City north were rampant in Del Mar and Bass confirmed to Good Times that Santa Cruz “is right at the top of the short list” of alternative venues. Picture the Cocoanut Grove Grand Ballroom down at the boardwalk stuffed to the rafters with water craft of all descriptions shaped by local, Californian and international stars. Santa Cruz’s Doug Haut, Bob Pearson, Michel Junod, John Mel, William “Stretch” Riedel, Geoff Rashe, Ward Coffey, Nick Palandrani and more could all display festive models of their latest glossy creations. Buttery alaias, modernized primitive finless wooden Hawaiian boards; sparking gloss-and-polish fishes; high-performance epoxy shortboards; fabric-inlaid longboards … all coexisting in harmony at the Expo, if not in the lineup.

Craftsman Michel Junod has attended every expo so far, making the long trek down from Santa Cruz each time. Yet as a shaper, he relishes the “opportunity to rub shoulders with the public directly, in a way not usually afforded by the standard industry trade show.” Junod predicts the show would draw crowds from Marin to San Luis Obispo and would be embraced by the local shaping and surfing community. The time is ripe for Santa Cruz to break with its underground reputation and debut as California’s northern hub for style, innovation and craftsmanship in board building.

Even as the commercialization of surfing and the co-opting of surf culture by corporate America leaves a metallic tang in the mouths of purists, boards and shaping remain the pure heart and soul of the industry. Some shapers have as few as a hundred boards under their belt, others have thousands, but all have a compelling story to tell if you give them a minute to bend your ear.

But don’t take their word for it, at the expo’s Magical Morning Surfboard Demo you’ll have a chance to grab any board that strikes your fancy and take it for a spin. Perhaps a Simmons-inspired twin fin from the Hydrodynamica Test Pilot Series, a Wegener alaia, a Mirandon “Porpoise,” a tricked out Maurice Cole deep concave Fish, a finless Carl Ekstrom “Earwig” or asymmetrical longboard—don’t be shy. Scamper back up the cliff at the Point and grab another, pausing only to let your sinuses drain and give a little thumb’s up to the Creator.

At the end of the day, the Sacred Craft is proof that the spirit of innovation is alive and well, creeping in from the fringes; ready to embrace those with an open mind.


For more information on the Sacred Craft Expo, go to surfboardshow.com or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Pop Life

The pop-up dining trend is freeing culinary imaginations and creating a guerilla version of event dining around Santa Cruz

 

Over Hills and Plains, Riding a White Horse, Bow and Arrows in Hand

Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 21

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pie Fidelity

A little Thanksgiving help, plus sip and shop locally at the Art, Wine and Gift Bazaar

 

What should be on everyone’s bucket list?

Hang gliding, because you're free as a bird. Jenni, Santa Cruz, Student/Administrative Assistant

 

Soquel Vineyards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it’s time to be thinking about the wine you’re going to serve with that special dinner, be it turkey, ham, a roast, or something vegetarian or vegan.

 

The Kitchen

Chef Santos Majano talks beer-friendly food at Discretion Brewery