This collaboration was a fun / intimidating / exciting one.
I met Travis at the GreenRoom Festival in Japan. He was a fellow artist in the festival as he was displaying some of his boards. I knew his name because I owned a board of his in California (the sunflower board if you know my surfboards). So I was excited to talk and meet him to say the least.
On the last day of the festival I asked if he would be interested in doing a board together, and he was stoked on the idea. He works with other artists and is familiar with the process. So a couple months later I sent him a text, and five weeks later I was having a sand-colored laminated 9’4 pintail longboard delivered to me in San Clemente. The second Bobby and I unwrapped it from the bubble wrap and plastic, I wanted to start putting my art resin on it.
Now let me tell you, this is the fourth board I’ve glassed, and the seventh board I’ve painted...but this was the first board I did on my own. I didn’t have a master glasser with me to help me with the small details. To say it’s a perfectly glassed board would be a lie. I’ll go into the imperfections in a bit.
To give some background for those that don’t know the process of making a surfboard (A longboard), it’s a long arduous process especially when you are wanting it to be functional, beautiful, and a true testament of work to all those that put time into creating it. It goes from a blank block of foam, to being shaped, scrubbed and symmetrical...to then putting on the fibercloth with resin sealing the foam from moisture and setting the fins/leash plug. I may be missing pieces of the process as I’ve never shaped and laminated a board before. But I know that after all of that is said and done, it’s time to add my resin on top. Deciding to either wrap the rails with my art or to have the resin stop at the middle of the rail. Am I boring you yet?
Well, for this T. Reynold’s shape, I wanted to create a board in colors that I haven’t done before on a board. I chose to work with a color I’ve been adding to a lot of my colorful beach scenes lately - green. I also did a daring move and made the deep water at the nose of the board instead of the obvious tail. Maybe that part was a mistake but, I want whoever riding it to see the detail of the artwork while sitting/surfing the board. Some mistakes are that I did a white paint pin line instead of using resin for the pin line. I still haven’t mastered the amount of resin to pour on a board, and the deck doesn’t have as many resin coats as the bottom. I guess what I am saying is that I’m still really stoked on how the board turned out as this was the first time I didn’t have a glasser or shaper by my side while I did it. I have leaps and bounds to go in the art of making surfboards, but that’s just part of my journey as an artist.
So when all is said and done, do I sell it? Do we keep it? Do I sell it and encourage the owner to display it as a work of art? Or say go have fun riding it...just don’t ding it (haha).
We have a bad habit of keeping the boards I paint because surfboards are really the only material possession we love to collect, so time to break that habit. Gotta think this one through ;)
Anyways, thanks for reading if you’ve gotten this far. Thank you to Travis for collaborating. I’m excited to do more of it in the future, and thank you to Leon for driving it from Central California to Southern. Big thanks to Bobby for being my constant assistant and to all those that are rooting for me on this journey.