Fuck Decorative Surfboards
Time For A Rant (Or Two)
Ed note: the following is the 634th installment of our new weekly email chain called the Stab Fwd. If you’re into it, subscribe here.
In three words: Fuck decorative surfboards.
In four hundred and eighty five:
Let’s begin by defining the term. The decorative surfboard is not a surfboard that has been decorated, it is a surfboard that is being used as a decoration. You might encounter them at palmy cafes serving juice and expensive bowls of frozen berry pâtés, or a bank clumsily trying to lean into the character of its town, or a nautical themed college bar patronized by underage drinkers who will vomit by night’s end. They might be sun-tanned and broken or they might be shiny and new. Some say BUD LIGHT in large blue letters.
I have only a small problem with this type of decorative surfboard: They’re tacky. The aesthetic they’re employed to create is often overcooked. I once saw a board (new, shiny) broken into three pieces and used to create a bench outside of a restaurant bathroom. Wood wouldn’t have sufficed?
Anyway, those boards are not the primary target of this rant.
This rant is aimed at a different type of decorative surfboard. A special board you might see at a surf shop, industry office, or even a friend’s home. These incite rage in me.
Imagine, say, encountering one of Mick Fanning’s old boards on display at a surf shop. For it to have ended up there, you could assume that the board was largely insignificant to Mick. But still — that board left the hands of Darren Handley! It was designed by one of the world’s best shapers, for one of the world’s best surfers, with the intent of prying the World Title from the unrelenting grasp of Kelly Slater.
And yet now, its most meaningful purpose is to collect particles of dust?
Nope. Fuck that. There’s magic in that board, and the ocean is what brings that magic to life.
I feel similarly about decorative boards from iconic shapers like MR or Gerry Lopez. Do you think the 4x World Champ or Mr. Pipeline himself spent hours applying an intricate skillset to a chunk of foam just so your friends might compliment you when they come over? Do you? Really?
I’m filing this as a rant as I believe that rants should be somewhat irrational.
Because I get that there are sides to this. An old Mick board dangling over a rack of fresh DHDs is a great sales tool. A Gerry board might have historical value that warrants preservation. An MR might bring you joy every time you see it, just like any other piece of art you’ve fallen in love with.
But I maintain my position of fuck that. Surfboards are very specific creations designed with a very specific purpose: To be surfed. If you’re fortunate enough to possess one that came from the hands of a great, you’re missing out on the magic if you don’t surf it even if only for a few waves a year.
Do it for Mick.
For the board.
Speaking of surfboards, simple premise here. The collective of grifters employed by Stab can maneuver their way into free boards from pretty much anyone. So, what does one eat at a buffet? Click in for no wall-hangers.
Bobby Martinez’s notorious NYC speech was in 2011, which means it has been reverberating for nearly a decade now. And still, every time we get the chance to watch him surf or hear him speak, we jump on it. Come, enjoy his backhand and candor in the latest episode of First And Last.
Do you care about wave pools? Our numbers say so. The great dystopian/industrial/somehow phallic plunger of Yeppoon has been thrusting its heart out lately and we’ve got the proof. This sodium-free article features photos and a brief clip of Coby Perkovich from a recent hit, with head-high tubes that allegedly demonstrate the pool operating at 75% of its potential capacity.
Four Lokos are a beverage which rose to popularity in the 2000s due to their distinct ability to scramble a human brain by exposing it to a combination of caffeine and malt liquor. They were illegalized within years. What does that have to do with surfing? Well, Virginia Beach. I fired up the alter-ego to write something about ECSC, a professional surf event currently being held there. Yell if you please.
Remember travel? Surfing new waves? Making new friends? Thinking that you could get your boards on the plane for free by being a little flirty then realizing that you’re actually quite homely and having it not work at all? Ah, simpler days.
And do you remember two Fwds ago when we talked about Stoke? Let’s put two and two together and figure out how the term applies to sustainable surf travel.
Last week, I shared a clip of a fellow named Erwin who likes to replace the letter s with a $. Nice. I invited feedback on it and received this comprehensive analysis from a gentleman who identifies as “Stay With Me Baby.” Should the WSL hire him?
Erwin Bliss GET FUCKED!!!
its 2020 how the fuck are crew still getting sponsored for 9min and 58sec of air reverses? with a mini section of them be completed in a short arm wetsuit and booties – call the fucken cops!!!
this shit should be left to the tradies that did a couple junior comps back in the day not promoted on a global surf site and then thrown into a highlights list for additional promotion.
lastly the turn @ 03:04 that editor thought was a good idea to use for all of the social promotion of this edit thinking someone would be motivated to view the edit out of all the better clips in the mix???
stab should have refused to post based purely on that fucken turn!!!
You might find this surfing easier on the eyes. Or hit the link above for a 30-minute film from your friends at Rip Curl. Good laughs and good surfing — you’ll quickly realize that it’s worth the investment of your time.
One last thing:
Earlier this week, fun waves, sunny day. The beach and lineup were both packed. I noticed a few glances as I walked down. Whatever. I was on a weird little quad — see the first link way above — and figured people were just having a look. It took me two waves to realize that I had forgotten to put my front fins in it.
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