Open Minds - What it's Worth

Open Minds - What it's Worth

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This post is the first in a series we're calling "Open Minds" which will highlight people, organizations or events that embody values we admire. Starting with the understanding that we all come to our values by different roads and - as a result - are maddeningly unique from one another, "Open Minds" peels away what's different and looks at those values we may share. There've been a lot of changes in the way people have thought about surfing and surfboards over thousands of years, but everyone usually agrees that the "right" board is only right for that surfer, on that wave. You can't think of a more subjective, personal choice than the one a surfer makes for his or her board. Experience, body weight, wave shape and speed are obvious among the factors to be considered in evaluating the "right" board. But there's something else, too - maybe it's spiritual, maybe it's just that you built it yourself, or that you got it on that magic surf trip. Roy Stewart - the New Zealander that you see online everywhere people are talking about surfboards - definitely has thought all this through. Vocal and unrelenting in his perspectives, but thoughtful, serious and industrious, his affinities for bright wetsuits, white surf helmets, vigorous no-holds-barred debate and enormous, parallel profile surfboards draw a lot of spirited commentary. But one of the things we admire about people like Roy is that they're thoughtful about the way they want to surf - not for contest judges or to please their peers - and are forging new paths using design principles gleaned both from ancient history and from modern engineering. Last year, by advertising the "world's most expensive surfboard" at $528K, Roy's gotten some very vocal challenges to claims he's made about the beautiful and unusual boards he builds. But as he describes it, his notion of "pure surfing" is all his; all about capturing a personal feeling. The price of the board? Think of it as more of a statement than a price-tag: Roy's making a proud, loud clarion call to all of us to value the quality of our life experience above everything. To him, riding boards he built himself is worth a half a mil. We can relate. Grain Surfboards - It's OK to stand out.