Tuesday, May 29, 2007

As I stood watching a few of the boys surfing one day on the island, I spotted Derek right behind me, sitting, thinking.

Pondering the curves of a cuttlefish and wondering, I think like we all have at one time or another, what would something like this surf like?

What really struck me though, was this rare moment of calm.

We all need moments like this.

A chance to ponder, or think of nothing much at all.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Below are a few of the boards from Musica Surfica, or the Deconstructivist Adventures of DaDa Derek as I think it could be called.

Shot 1 has some of Tom Wegener's beautiful explorations in our older history, with the olo and the three smaller alaia. These boards surfed well, fast and were legitimate surfcraft. Give Tom a call for something very rootsy in your quiver.

At back, two of the more successful ideas. On the right a Bushrat finless round pin. So why did it work? Jed did his homework, talked to some yachties and they all said 'laminar flow'..ie: make the water wrap. So it's a round bottom, round deck, no edges,... and voila, it held a trim.

Next to it is one of Dane Peterson's boards. As you may be able to see, deep fluting in the tail and a long but shallow fin-like edge on the back quarter. This board worked well too, and you could do the gentlest of bottom turns. It also allowed spin if you could control it.

In the middle, one of Warren Pfeiffer's Dale Solomonson mats. Warren is rated up with Greenough as a mat rider, he's a pal of Georges and a lovely chap...talks a bit like Yogi Bear on valium with a soft Australian accent...if you get my drift.

In the second shot is, from left, Richards board adjusted in the DH style, another experiment in laminar flow from Mike Richmond, this time as a finless fish, and another Bushrat experiment, along the same lines.

Richard's board worked well, then snapped in line with the front fin boxes,and Derek proceeded to rip on it at the reduced length of about 5'1". Work that one out.

The other two were OK 'ish but the mistake a lot of people made was, I think, to do a lot of boards at fish lengths...as the most successful of all the boards, apart from Derek's discs, were the Dane Petersen's, some of these amended later in the DP style, and the old style Hawaiian boards of Tom Wegeners's and the Koko'o's from Sage and Paul Joske.

I will add that the bottom board with the striped deck, again from Bushrat, proved popular too as it had a split flex tail, with a slightly dropped rail, that everyone managed to get going pretty well.

On another note I found out why all Derek's boards have the red and blue stripes.

Seems he asked Skip Frye to do some sort of original decoration on a fish he made for DH and Skip, for want of inspiration, dipped his brush in a couple of paint tins and there you have it.

More boards later.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I know, I know.. bloody sunsets, but gee it was pretty down there.

More shots of boards and design talk when I get two minutes to scratch myself.

Monday, May 21, 2007

For some reason, and for the first time, I've been informed people are having trouble posting...thanks Doc.
So this is a test, and for the sake of popping something on, here's some shot's of the delightfully sunny dispositioned Tom Wegener..
What a lovely guy.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Back on the mainland.

What a week. This has to be a quick post because I have to now go to a school camp with my son.

Below is a precis of the shots I took on my snapper.

The waves were, on average, pretty bloody fantastic. The surfing, for the surfers, a mixture of frustration and discovery as finless is a whole new medium with two schools of thought. Trim and Spin. Derek has both mastered as his style revolves around instantly finding trim from a low forward stance, and using electrifying spins to swing into a subtle rail carve that generates speed. He would have to be the best surfer on the planet at this stuff. His first wave of the whole event saw everyone hooting in disbelief. He's also fucking mad... and I mean that in a caring way.

The whole event was fun madhouse, with organisation all over the place, all due to DH, much to the frustration of Michelle from the ACO, who's job it was to try to find order amidst the chaos.

To give you a taste I'll take you through the shots below

Number one is a poster put up by Wire, the key local, to advertise the concert put on for the locals.

The shot is of Belinda Baggs at Martha's, a truly remarkable beachbreak. We didn't get it big, but what I saw was wild. Parked in a quiet corner up the bay was Wayne Lynch's trimaran, him having crossed the straight earlier in the week to catch a few quiet ones.

Belinda was great on the finless. The board she favouredwas shaped by her soon to be husband Dane Peterson. It featured a heavily fluted tail area, with a fine long edge on the back third.

The second shot, the best beachies we got, big A frames that really tested the crew.

The third shot, yesterday morning before I left, not all the boards, not everyone, as some were in the water, and DH had disappeared somewhere. The loooong board is Satu's, (our beautiful second violinist) a DH original that she rode while the rest surfed finless.

Then TC and the "Dragon" board.

He started with all the fins, and gradually removed them. To watch such a power style adapt was enlightening. The talent in that little body .... he adapted well, and rode most boards, right up to Tom Wegeners alaia, but I think Tom, when given a choice, would go for something that allowed him to give a bit of grunt to. It's just him.

The final shot is of one of the concerts put on for the locals. The background was painted for some other concert , a bit Tale of Two Cities it seemed, but entirely appropriate.

It was a magical evening, with a repertoire ranging from folk to electric Paganini...Hendrix on steroids as Richard busted out a black and blue carbon fibre space violin and let rip.

More pics later, my apologies as these are all taken on my digital snapper and so no decent surfing shots, but Sean Davey (mad bastard) was banging away and you'll see some rippers from him in due course.

As more come my way I'll post, and try to give some detail..ask me questions.

PS: The Maurice arrived late, I forgot to get a detail snap, but it featured a three fluted rail and twin concaves in the back third...it ended up being one of the favourites, with Richard claiming it as his own and wanting to buy it from Maurice.

A great result.

So many ideas generated by this...

Now I have to cut it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Well... still on the island and what amazing time.

Two more days to go, some great surf, and a very steep learning curve for the surfers.

The boards we thought would work often didn't, and a couple that were written off actually worked. Surfers here include Tom Carroll, Richard Tognetti, the violinist, Tom Wegener, DH, Dane Peterson, Belinda Baggs, Dale Egan, Dane Beavor, Jed Done, Mike Richmond, and more. I'm rushing this as we're off to another session, so sorry for the lack of detail.

Best performers include, surprisingly for me, Richard. He's spinning three three-sixties in a row, finding trim and controlling the uncontrollable. He is very much in the DH school of finless, with Derek an absolute master of the
medium. He uses the spin to develop speed, it's really hard to describe, but it works, but the whole thing is incredibly difficult. Picture Tom Carroll looking a complete kook, then next day getting pitted.

I've been given the wind up, gotta go to another shoot, so much to say, sorry to tease.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It's all moving quickly now.

Yesterday, a visit to Sydney to finalise filming arrangements.

Walking into the offices of the Australian Chamber Orchestra is the last place you'd expect to see boards piling up, but that was what greeted me.

A 9'8'' 'thing' - an 'homage to BK' as Derek called it, lay along the floor.
Out the back, in Richard Tognetti's boot, was his 5'4 is finless experiment.

In his office, 'the violin'.

I snapped a pic...sorry, but I shook.

The instrument is
a 1743 Guarneri del Gesù, the twin to the Cannon Guarneri owned by Pagannini. It's worth $10,000,000 Australian. Possibly the most valuable instrument in the world still being played.

This is a surf trip like no other. I hope the swell hangs in.

PS: DH is picking up boards this afternoon in Torquay. I may have another post before I go. Otherwise, I'll try and find an internet cafe down there.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Last Thursday I got a call from Derek Hynd asking if I could ferry a couple of the guys delivering boards to the docks
back to the airport for their journey on to the Island.

On arrival I discovered these monsters on top of the van, accompanying a further 20+ boards inside.

The olo is massive and scary looking, weighing in at 150 lbs and well... better them than me.
The alaia is quite lovely, and really looks surfable.

Check the parabolic rail at back. And just oiled wood, no varnish, glass, zip.

Took the guys to the airport, had a great chat and I really am looking forward to this thing... though I'll be working my bum off.

Over the weekend, caught up with Maurice Cole, and he loaned me his board to take for a run. We had swell, up to maybe a very grunty 6-7' at one spot, and this thing is so powered up it's not funny. It took me three surfs to start to get a handle on controlling the speed and grip he's managed to shape into 6'3''x20.5x2.75". The thing fangs.

The number of times I felt like a windmill as it accelerated so hard out of a turn, well I don't have the fingers.

He is on to something, there are some issues just in controlling the speed and power generated, but to drop into a 10' face on a 6'3' board and feel comfortable is a genuinely new experience.

And those of you with a technical bent, look closely at the fin placement.

More just before I go.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Yes I am alive. Last week was a week from hell but Louie's funeral was un-bloody-believable. Must have been close to 500 people there. Yes, she was a much loved lady.

This week the finless thing is on. In the morning I'll do a post with some more details... just thought I'd sign in.