Grain Surfboards Heads West - Peaks, Valleys and Homesteads
photo: Andrew McGill/Brooks InstituteThe water was crystal clear, dolphins were surfacing just outside of us in the kelp beds. We arrived at sunrise to some chest-high peaks and off-shore winds. A few of Mattâ€™s childhood friends made the trip to get on the Grain so it was rad to have all the boards in the water all morning. It was really an exciting moment to see as many wooden boards as foam in this pristine Pacific line-up. Mattâ€™s friends Kili and Fred were very fluid and soulful surfers and felt right at home on the wooden boards. We were happy to see the boards getting tested by some great surfers in good conditions, as well as get positive feedback on the feel of our boards. Matt and Randy were trading off waves on the fishes and loving it. Matt was stoked to share one of his favorite spots with his east coast friends. Randy had the opportunity to surf the bamboo-glassed 6â€™0 quad wherry and came back to the RV amping on the way it felt. He said the extra weight from the bamboo cloth (it holds a bit more resin than fiberglass) turned into nice drive on the steep drop-ins at Jalama and the flex was really warm and responsive.
photo: Andrew McGill/Brooks InstituteTwo other stand-out visitors to the demo were John and his friend Gunner, a couple of homesteaders living on property Gunnerâ€™s family has owned since the 1800â€™s. There they have geodesic domes and makeshift houses set up and an amazing woodshop where they reclaim wood to make furniture that has both beauty and the environment in mind. They were as stoked on the boards as we were on their set-up, perched perfectly just above a right point break. Once in Santa Barbara, we first stopped at Surf N Wear Beach House and were received with a warm welcome. The response was super enthusiastic. They had the largest collection of vintage surfboards weâ€™d seen thus far so we felt right at home. They loved our wooden surfboards and were really stoked on the idea of the kits. Sounded like there were a lot of young kids in SB that werenâ€™t afraid to get their hands on a woodworking project. We stopped to see the Channel Islands guys for a moment as well and again were happy with their responses. It was awesome to continue to see next generation kids hooked on the idea of building their own wooden surfboards. We ended the day with a mellow session at Rincon. The waves were small but Matt and Greg managed to squeak out a couple nice long rides while Randy and Mike manned the demo and spread the wood. Afterward, we drove the RV on a crazy road to the top of Rincon Mountain where Matt is currently living in a yurt on an avocado farm. His place was unreal, with a great deck looking out over a 360 degree view. All the Grain boys slept well that night under a dome of a million stars.