Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Oct 22nd
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

 

Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay