Right Coast Dispatch No. 3
Dispatch Number Three: High Fliers
Each of his boards has been a chance to add some personally challenging detail or modification that makes his collection a chronicle of his growing board-building chops. Fair to say that Bob’s hooked, and when building the boards becomes just as fun as surfing them you know you've been injected with a passion that'll last a lifetime.
On the last couple days in Wrightsville, we had a crew of kids come out to build hand planes. It was really cool to look around and see half a dozen of them, all strangers to one another and under the age of sixteen, shaping their own wave riding machines, each hand-plane featuring some creative, personalized detail. I was stoked to look around the table at these young artists and wave riders very quickly mastering the use of shaping tools, though I couldn’t help feeling a little fearful that high-fliers like these might someday take my job.
Whenever a window of time opens up where we are not working with students or prepping or making repairs, we're in search of waves. Waves or pizza. On one of our recent missions to find swell, we luckily looked down instead of up, to find a copperhead on the beach, a snake that would put a serious damper on our afternoon had we not seen it long before we got within striking distance.
After a nice session on Cape Hatteras where we do our own flying down the faces of some clean knee-highs, we camp at the base of the sand dunes where Orville and Wilbur Wright first took to the skies. It strikes us that everyone's life is full of chances to do great things, and we feel proud to be bringing that opportunity to surfers up and down the Right Coast.
Matt Entwistle and Nolan Collins will be reporting from the road until their return sometime before summer. Matt's going to be sending more dispatches which we'll post here in the blog... but for a daily dose, keep up with their progress on Facebook and Instagram.
Time's flying... It dawned on us - as we were setting up for our third workshop in Wrightsville Beach - that our Right Coast Road-trip was already half-over. But there's still lots to do, and during the class held in Lighthouse Beer and Wine's beer garden, we took care to separate tasty beers from sharp tools so the only casualties were some local microbrews.
More than good beer brought us to Wrightsville Beach though... part of it was our old friend Bob B., himself a commercial pilot and long-time Grain student and wood surfboard lover. In this class, he worked on his tenth board with Grain, which means he's built a board for every year that we have. Good enough reason to hold a workshop a stone's throw from Bob's house, where his quiver of Grain boards stands organized and at attention. Walking into his garage is like walking into a museum. Bob's a highly focused guy who's not one to rest on his last achievement, but always pushes himself to greater heights. His boards are archived from the first and simplest he built to the spot he's saved for his most recent project, a 5’10” fish which he modified himself to have a sweet winged rail (appropriate!) Since he's running out of space, it's likely he'll build a shed just to house his collection of beauties.