Saturday, November 27, 2010

Hope From Helen

The annual Hope From Helen Christmas Auction is happening this coming Friday night. There are so many cool things in this auction, even the old surfer guys walk into this room full of surfing memorabilia frothing like little groms with big wallets. My donation is not signed by any world champs, but they are cool nonetheless.

I've donated a custom made J Sun Alaia and a recycled hand made body surfing hand plane. So come bid on them and win yourself a whole heck of a lot of fun!

The Hope From Helen Surf Silent Auction is set for Friday December 3rd 6:30pm-9:30pm at the Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach.

Click here for a list of Auction Items!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wooden Passions


The local Star News here in Wilmington just published a really awesome article today about ...well... me. Brian Tucker, of the former Bootleg Magazine, interviewed me a few weeks ago and then I met up with one of their staff photographers at Wrightsville Beach a week or so later. From the very front page, to the main section, to the web version the title implies that I live both of my passions, which is completely and unabashedly true. I neither take this fact for granted, nor do I fail to recognize how a life such is mine is carved by hands completely outside of myself. I am convinced that it is not without the constant support of family friends faith and community that one can live a life such as this. Honesty, accountability, apologies, constant self reflection, aspiration, discipline, successes and failures are all parts of the equation but I also find it important to try as hard as you can to not be a jerk, which I've done many times in my life unfortunately, don't panic, and never leave home without your towel. But never mind that...I'm getting off track...

Everyone, from my all 4 of parents, to my wife Jada and sister Danielle, to my employer Rick Civelli and the WB Surf Camp family, to my friends like Matt Scheier, Russell Brownley, Josh Eddings, Luke Pearson, Evan Vetter, Josh Garrels, Bonnie Monteleone, Richard Prause, Julian Kehaya, Tommy Mann and Joey Connolly (just to name a few) give me the opportunities and everloving support to be able to do these things. So from my little sub-atomic particle of cyberspace, I just wanted to say thank you to them because I feel like this article and this story is just as much about them as it is about me.

I'm blessed, I'm stoked, and in my 30th year of life I think I'm at a place where I can recognize and appreciate that fact more than the actual article itself. But thank you, Brian, for the opportunity and hopefully there will be more to come.

www.starnewsonline.com

Monday, October 11, 2010

Power Couple

My beautiful lovely wife and I have gotten to spend a lot of great time together lately. A 5 day trip to Illinois for my cousin's wedding and a collaboration article for Eastern Surf Magazine.

Along with all the great photos Julian Kehaya has shot so far this past fall and Jada's articulate and dynamic writing style, we put together a really great article that was posted up on Eastern Surf's website. A great fresh perspective on surfing and sliding from the spouse was pretty fun to work with. Some of the best photos are still in the vault awaiting the next print issue of Eastern Surf. But here's the link and some photos to keep you frothing...

Eastern Surf Magazine: Reduce Reuse Recycle

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hurricanes Galore...

You may be wondering where the photos are from the recent run of storms to pass us by...

You may be thinking, "He finally got back on his "normal" board so there won't be a blog post...

You may not actually care and you are bored at work looking for sweet sliding photos or more info on how to build/ride these boards...

Regardless, there are photos. They are pretty, but I can't reveal them yet. They are so sick that we are actually waiting on a couple of surfing magazines to run them. Once they do we can release them to the public...For now, I'll just leave you with this...ESM just posted it in their second installment of The Earl Swell...

Thanks again Julian and ESM!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hurricane Colin


So a few weekes ago we got our first taste of ground swell in a long time. So of course I took my alaia out! Even got a couple cover ups. You can almost see it in the first pic, but either way it was truly an epic session and believe or not I even rode my shortboard for awhile and actually had fun again! Don't tell my alaia shaper though! It was an epic session for two reasons. First it was epic...due to the waves. And I got to surf with my old friend Brad and my sister who can be seen in the foreground trying to avoid splinters since I have no problem sliding over people who paddle in my way...apologies to the kid in Kitty Hawk who I floated over last weekend. Thanks to Ed Potter and Brendan Palmer for documenting this day!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

First swell of the season...

So of course no one documented the epic back to back barrels I slid into on Saturday...

But even better was having my good friend Brad in town to witness it and lose his mind enough to where he actually paddled out on the plank. I did eventually get some waves on my thruster, but it wasn't nearly as fun.

The next morning was an epic sunrise followed by 500 people at Masonboro all frothing for the few waves that came through. Once again Julian Kehaya was on the scene and shot this beautiful photo towards the end of the morning session...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Burned!!

Thanks to Julian at Kehayaphoto.com I've got evidence of local grom shredder, Mason Barnes, burning me during my test session a couple days ago at sunset down at the south end...

J Sun Hand Planes: Good for sliding and disciplining unruly grommets!

Thanks Julian!
Paddling the groms at WB!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

4' @ 9sec...Went sliding




A successful sunset slide session with my lovely assistant. Got a few barrels and even did a couple airs on the new paddles. The groms didn't exactly understand why I was out there without a surfboard and I feel sometimes the community at large thinks I'm out of my mind, but I guarantee I'm having more fun than any of them and besides, I already know how to surf. I'll get back on my thruster when the waves get REALLY good, but for now it's REALLY fun trying new approaches and feeling the wave in its entirety around me and pushing me. (Secret bonus: no fins means I can slide in the swim zones, and technically I'm not required to wear a leash, but I do anyways)

I mean, who doesn't like getting barreled and throttled in the shorebreak?!

Friday, July 23, 2010

4' @ 9 Sec...Going sliding!


I just finished creating my new body surfing hand planes. I'm frothing cause there is some sweet ground swell in the water right now. Who knows maybe I'll pull out that old dusty alaia and do some hacks as well.

Be back in a couple hours. I think the wife might come and shoot water shots for documentary purposes!!

Stoked!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Reduce Reuse Recycle Mr Smith!

So in an effort to Reduce and Reuse before Recycling, I took poor little broken Moli and gave it new life. The top half I rounded into a giant nose rocket/bodyboard for planing out in front while body surfing. The bottom half I used the contours already there from the single to double concave and created two sweet little handplanes for hardcore bodysurfing summertime shorebreak. They are only raw shapes at the moment but I'm probably going to lacquer them and attach some little handstraps for maximum tube time.In another effort to learn to Reduce, I took a few inches and ounces off of the 6'6" slider I've had at Surf City Surf Shop as the demo board. It's not pointy exactly, but it's much more slender than before and so far it's awesome!!! Less nose diving and I'm finding it easier to angle into the lip and down the face when pumping. I even almost pulled an air on it yesterday. Of course you don't have to believe me, but after riding my 6'0" In The Eye shortboard back home in Hatteras last weekend for the first time in a long time I got motivated ( I admit when I got some real waves under me the thruster felt good! Solid turns, flying through the air...you know, the normal stuff) to start punching the wooden limits and after losing the 5'10" to some gaping barrels I have to work with what I've got. S-Turns almost saw a completed aerial on the 6'4" as well on Friday. I'm not claiming it yet. I did think about entering the Reef Pro this weekend and riding the plank. Unfortunately I have to work and can't cause any trouble down there...oh well!
In other awesome news I've recently picked up Smith sunglasses as a new sponsor. Surf Camp summers are harsh if you aren't protecting your peepers with some polarized goodness. I'm super stoked on the new relationship as they've supported Surf Camp for so long and are now working with me personally. I'm even more stoked at their efforts to use sustainable methods of productions hence their Evolve line of sunnies made of recycled materials!!! Freaking awesome! So go to your nearest surf shop and request them specifically if they don't have any in stock. They come in most of the normal styles as well. Good on ya guys!!

Now it's time to go premiere Tom's Creation Plantation in my living room!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kind Words & Leash Plugs

This is the guy who shot the cold water photos of me sliding back in the winter. He wrote some really kind words about the boards and that day at his blog called "upbeatsitdown".

In other news... I've broken the sacred laws of sliding, so that I'm not breaking the actual laws of Wrightsville Beach. I realized the other day while out on the only real swell of the spring that a few of guys around here that I really respect have worked really hard to keep surfing open and legal in this part of our fine state. Even if I pride these boards as not being "modern surfboards", they're still used to stand up on and catch waves. So I found some bio-plastic leash plugs, bought a new drill bit, mixed up some epoxy with some brown food coloring and have made them street legal. Maybe more people will try it now too...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Broke Down Melody


We actually had waves this week...at least head high or bigger on Tuesday. I caught some great ones on the Lil Moli 5'10". Got pounded a couple times, but it was fully worth it. Unfortunately the swell dropped Wednesday but even still the low tide Masonboro barrel machine was working It was working so well it claimed the life of my number two. I had been singing all day long about how good that board was going. I even swapped with one of the local groms before the wind picked up. The rain and side shores cleared the 400 person lineup and as they all jumped in their boats and headed for land the sky turned orange, the wind went light offshore and the swell jumped two feet...just in time to snap the Lil Moli in half.

Yes, I was bummed. But I know what works for sure now, and the first wave I got upon hopping on my ol' faithful 6'0" In The Eye was a GRinDinG 5 second right hand barrel that just blew me away. I know for a fact that there is no way I would have made that wave on the alaia backside...sad but true. So while they aren't a replacement for the good old thruster, they are a nice challenge when the conditions get good, but the kind of challenge where if and when you do get barreled it feels 10 times as good!

Met a really cool guy out there named Julian Kehaya who snapped this little photo while the waves were pumping and the 5'10" sliding machine was still in one piece....also check out his website... http://kehayaphoto.com/

Monday, May 3, 2010

Update...

Well unfortunately there's not much to update on. I've been riding my planks around here when there's been waves and am now letting my back recover from sliding behind a boat with little sliding grom Jack. It's been a solid 2 or 3 weeks since I've been in the water, aside from a surf lesson and an injured back "well I guess I should try to surf" surf, which is a bummer because the weather has been so nice.

So to curb my boredom and give all you sliders out there an update, I threw together a little video to document and encapsulate my experience with riding the alaias as the 6 month mark has hit. It's nothing special and definitely does not include my best sessions, but it's fun and let's you know what to expect if you ever want to give it a try. Thanks to "Son House" for a bluesy spiritual in the background...enjoy!


Riding my Alaias: The first 6 months from J Sun Productions on Vimeo.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Finally home...





After a long stint of teaching in paradise I'm back. As beautiful as it was, it doesn't compare to seeing my wife's beautiful face waiting for me! After catching up on things today I managed to get some laundry, receipts and other business done today. With a little bump on the water, offshores and relatively warm air, I got out for a slide and remembered how stoked I am for all the support Rip Curl has given me. After riding my planks for the past few months I've contemplated burning Rip Curl Logos into my boards, but have decided against it. So instead, here's a flurry of photos from just before I left, and a big Logo here for all to see. The photos are courtesy of a random beachgoer and surfboard enthusiast named Thomas Page....Thanks man!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Still testing...






I love it here...that's all for now. Awesome!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

British Virgin Alaislands



After spending a week with our Surf Campers in paradise in fairly gentle clean conditions, we saw the surf start to slowly pick up a couple days ago. Saint Paddy's Day gave us the biggest stuff we've seen yet. The beginners sat it out, our veterans charged, and I paddled out on the plank. Sitting alone on the lefts down the beach in Pirate Bay I was able to watch the regular footers screaming down the big right walls.

The wave here is perfect for the sliding, but the wind never really went offshore yesterday so it was a little frustrating, shifty and bouncy. But, here's a little taste of paradise for all my brothers and sisters freezing through the winter...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Surf City Here I Come!





Exciting news for the J sun Alaias...Surf City Surf Shop here in Wrightsville Beach, NC will be carrying a couple fresh Alaias for me. Mike Barden, the owner, is an awesome guy and has more surfboard knowledge as far as design and history go than anyone I know. Suspended from his ceiling are boards dating back through the decades. I'm honored to have them proudly displayed there at his shop and as soon as I get back from our Surf Camp in Tortola (Its for work and testing purposes only, really!) I'll be keeping my newly treasured 6'6" in there for demo purposes. So anyone in the area wanting to give it go can take it for a slide...and if your stoked Mike will have a couple in stock, or better yet you can custom order one through the shop.

On display now is a beautiful 6'6" similar to my 5'10" Little Albatross. Smooth knife rails with a deep double concave and a flared tail for a good hold. There is a 6'4" drying in the racks in my shaping cave waiting patiently to see the light of day and should be ready by April. Good wood comes with time! Here are some photos of it for your drooling pleasure...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

30 and Loving Life


So today's my birthday...my parents came in last night from Hatteras, my wife and mum made an awesome chocolate chip pancake and fresh fruit breakfast, and now everyone else is on a morning run to chip away at the massive amount of sugar and carbs we consumed. I am not. I plan on paddling out into the 45 degree flatness in a little while to freeze the calories off. Maybe I'll ride the new 6'6" Demo I just finished...
...maybe I'll take out the 42 Special my wife got me for birthday and shoot some underwater dinner items...first I'll have to finish drinking my cup of French Pressed Costa Rican coffee courtesy of my parents birthday gift...Life is beautiful and I feel completely surrounded with love and warmth partly due to my new Surf Camp birthday sweatshirt from Rick, Chelsea, and Erica. Most people get anxious and depressed and all sorts of emotional about getting older and hitting milestone birthdays, but I welcome it! I feel a sense of accomplishment thus far, well traveled, in love with an amazing wife, wonderful friends and family, sense of purpose passion and desire. Creative outlets, blessings, and salvation abound. I guess I'll just have to keep paying it forward and go shape another board...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snowlaia




So we got our one day of snow today which was pretty awesome. Jada and I threw snow balls at each other and built snow creatures which promptly melted before the sun went down. Her Snow Ness Monster chasing the swimming snow person was definitely the best, and my snow dude got in a sliding session before he collapsed into a puddle of water. Happy Snow day everyone!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Demo Board

Sliding with Brian Weiler in Myrtle Beach during the Gum For My Boat premiere tour...

So many of fellow wave sliders here in Wilmington have seen me out and asked about the alaias...I even had the honor of writing an article for Local-Sessions Magazine which just came out. Some of my friends have even been brave enough to try it, but unfortunately only once. Since having just one wooden plank to ride just won't suffice (I left the 5'6" Pipe Bomb in Costa Rica for the ticos at Witches Rock Surf Camp) I reshaped the very first one my friend Richard made me. He gave me permission so no worries. I was going to just leave it for posterity but that's no fun. The pinched rails seem to be key in making the boards hold. The profile is a bit different though since I was only using what I had. What came out was a very narrow tailed board with very straight rails. It will be interesting to see how it goes with quite a bit of concave through the bottom.

The demo board I'm going to ride a few times, but will be going in Surf City Surf Shop down at Wrightsville Beach. Mike Barden has been kind enough to allow me to put a couple in there and see if anyone is willing to really give this a go, or at least hang it on their wall...yeah right!! They better not go on a wall! Once things start warming up, get your slide on!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gum For My Alaia

So Jesse Hines and I have been on the road the past few days premiering my good friend Russel Brownley's latest documentary "Gum For My Boat". We saw some good friends in Charleston thursday night at Christ Church in Mt Pleasant and surfed the washout at Folly at about head high straight onshore and pretty chunky, but super fun and cold. I almost puked after the first few duck dives from the shock of 50 degree water after a week and half in Costa. No hood...bad idea. Last night we had a phenomenal show at Beach Church in Myrtle Beach. Brian Weiler put on an awesome event and we about 300 people come out. Gave away clothes, a skateboard, surfboard, watches, and had a killer time. Even got to surf Murrel's Inlet this morning waist high and glassy on the Alaia.

Tonight we play Kefi's down by Wrightsville Beach but at the moment we're just hangin at the house rehearsing with our old pal Hank on the stand up bass. Lots of wood today shredding waves and making music! Things should settle down soon and I can crank out some more boards. In the meantime go check out Russ's film...www.gumformyboat.com

Monday, February 1, 2010

Costa Ricalaia

This will be short since i'm typing on Steve's iPod touch, but awesomeme nonetheless. As everyone frothed at the tablas
maderas, I caught some of the longest and funnest waves yet on the planks. I got so
Ludi's kids in Ostional to try them and they slid around a little but they loved it. Ludicrous has a super sweet place for guests to stay and Ostional is well known for their sea turtle population. It is truly one of the last gems In Costa rica just watch out for the huge bull sharks.

I fly home tomorrow but it's been an amazing trip. The camp was full of simply wonderful amazing people, pure joy and relaxation. I think I Learned a lot about the boards and had a killer time. I must admit I'm ready to get home to
my wife get back to snuggling throught the coldest month of the winter, which also hAppens to be the
month I turn 30...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Not enough time in the day...

There never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything you want and ride/shape wooden boards. With only a few days left before I head to warmer waters to "test" the first batch, I have a lot on my plate. Rehearsal tomorrow, show Thursday, stop by the airport to confirm that they'll fly my boards (they sounded positive on the phone), still trying to get a decent quality version of Charlie Moore's talk at UNCW online, and an attempt to pump out 3 new sliding machines.

I got the master template shaped up and ready to go, and have ordered some sweet organic corn bio-plastic leash plugs. Now the leash plug is somewhat controversial in my mind. The leash was the greatest advancement in surfing in the past 50 years...other than that not much has changed until now. Going back to the wooden planks with raw linseed oil, no fin, no rocker, no wax, no leash. There is something sacred about it and it is obviously not for everyone, but it forces you to get it right. It hones your ability to ride to a much finer level. And almost eliminates a huge swath of those who can actually do it.

BUT...we here at Wrightsville Beach have what's called a "leash law". So as a socially responsible surfboard maker, I've decided to install leash plugs into the boards I'll be presenting to the public.So at least they have the option. Plus, if it weren't for leashes I wouldn't have the best job in the world at Surf Camp and leaving for Costa on Friday...Check them out at Greenlight Surfboard Supply. They have some crazy bamboo cloth as well...

Until next time...here's some education for your listening enjoyment...

Captain Charlie Moore @ UNCW "A Sea of Simmering Synthetic Soup" from J Sun Productions on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paulownia Is Beautifulownia


No matter what it is, it's always exciting to get home and find a big brown box fresh off the Fed Ex truck waiting for you, but when it's Paulownia Wood it's even more exciting!!! Just finished unpacking 6 fresh planks for 3 new boards. It felt even better knowing that, after hiking through New Hanover County Landfill yesterday, there will be no waste associated with these planks. The cardboard gets recycled and there is no plastic or foam wrapping...just pure wood fiber and saw dust. Awesome. Back to the Man Shed to begin the process...someone called me a mad scientist the other day...I'll take it....I'm feeling pretty crazy and full of froth at the moment!

I'm really excited at where these are going as well...can't tell you yet. But I can tell you at least one of these boards, once finished, will be available for the public to demo!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Deltalaia

So living in Wilmington has many advantages. Great beach, great downtown, 5 minutes from the airport for international jet setting, etc. But within the last few years both Delta and US Air have decided they don't like flying surfboards out of Wilmington...Huge discrimination and loss on their part if you ask me! Although there was that one time I talked US Air into letting me bring my Dakine World Traveler to the Canaries (for over $500!!!) after telling me I couldn't bring it at all. I could have just bought a plane ticket and gave it the window seat for what they did to me. Funny how they didn't charge me coming home...Thank the Lord! Anyhow, I've learned to forgive them at about the same rate that my lovely and justified wife has been forgiving me for that trip. Sorry honey.

Now, we all know that you can easily fly boards out of Raleigh and Myrtle Beach on practically every airline, but instead of complaining about it, I've come up with a plan. I'll let you fellow Wilmingtonians and Wrightsville Beach Folk know if it works. Just so happens that I have a few "boards" that don't look like surfboards. They look more like sculpture, art work, something you'd hang on the wall....right?! We'll see. I'll be directing WB Surf Camp's adult camp to Costa Rica in two weeks, and I'm going to attempt to execute my plan and see if my theory is correct.

New shipment of Paulownia should be here tomorrow and the mill said that the pieces look pretty outstanding. Only Premium Grade for your viewing pleasure!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Present and the Plank


A movie that has changed my life and will continue to resonate and inspire this movement was premiered here in downtown Wilmington one summer evening at Level 5. Thomas Campbell, the creator of Seedling and Sprout, put together this master piece with the Malloy brothers and Patagonia called "The Present".

If you haven't seen it, go pick up a copy and sit back with a good snack, your favorite beverage (which for me right now is mint hot chocolate with the howling NW wind and 25 degree wind chill) and be amazed! But before you go, here's a few photos of me testing out the new Little Albatross...photos courtesy of Keith Ketchum!