The Voices/Harmed

A legendary SD rocknroll band for 30 years, The Voices will be playing with His Eyes Have Fangs at Sano’s in Ensenada on September 5th, to benefit WiLDCOAST. I made this edit about a month ago. RIP Nate Upton, Michael Nunez, and Mark Scales.

The Voices members playing on this track:

Peter Kenvin, Tommy Andrews, Matt Lynott

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what it’s not

Travels with Tony 2009-2011. Alva’s rumination on surfing and skating, partial. Music is by His Eye’s Have Fangs, track is called What it’s not.

His Eyes Have Fangs are: Anne Rainwater, Matthew Rain Water, Tony Alva, and Vulcho Bonev

His Eyes Have Fangs will be playing a benefit show for Wildcoast at Sano’s in Ensenada on Saturday September 5th, along with legendary San Diego band The Voices. Hope to see you there.

For more info contact

Clips in the edit by Ryan Field, Richard Kenvin, Patrick Trefz, and Jeff Tatum. Edit by RK.

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A Tom Curren Sighting In Mexico

A Tom Curren Sighting In Mexico.

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Gordon Clark’s speech at the Surfing Hall of Fame

Believe it or not this is my first speech to a surfing audience since the 1960’s. I rarely gave interviews. This was part of a very successful business strategy. Do not compete with your customers. My customers were all competing for recognition and publicity.

I am not here for my surfing. There are some awesome surfers represented here.
I want to make it clear that I am not here for the promotion of surfing. I never did any of that stuff – zero. No sponsorships, no contests, no movies, no surf clothes, no organizations.
I am being inducted into this Hall of Fame strictly for the development and production of the core of the sport itself – the surfboard. I believe this is a first for this hall of fame.

Being inducted just for the development and production of thing you are standing on when you are riding a wave is actually a great honor. I will try to explain why.
Most of the people writing about the development of the surfboard get it wrong. The modern surfboard was actually developed for the most part in small steps and an awful lot of people have been involved. An incredible number of materials, construction techniques, and designs have been tried. Some worked and some did not. Some things were used for a while and then discarded. There have been steps backward. I give a lot of credit to everyone who tried. Ultimately the very top surfers tell us what works best so in a sense they are the final designers. To be a top surfer it is obvious that you must ride the best surfboard.

It would take hours to explain all of this so I will give an example that will shock you.
In the late 1940’s Bob Simmons, the first guy to use fiberglass, had in his shop all of the materials necessary to build today’s latest high performance shape so-called epoxy board. The board would have been a brownish color but comparable in weight and strength. The fiberglass was not a strong as todays but the brownish resin was actually stronger. The extruded polystyrene foam was invented by the giant Dow Chemical in 1941 and has changed little over the decades.

It was not until about a decade later, 1958 to be exact, that enough of the pieces were put together to make a commercially available, shaped foam long board that actually surfed better and lasted longer than balsa. It used a different resin and different foam. That exploded the sport. It was yet another decade or so until there was a short board due in part to improvements in fiberglass and polyurethane foam.
I will give a more contemporary example of the aggressiveness of the research for a better surfboard. Simmons did not have a computer controlled shaping machine. The first one was invented in 1980 before there was an IBM PC or Mac. Bill Gates was still writing basic computer language code and Steve Jobs was just moving out of a garage.

Anyway, considering the number of people involved in the development of the modern surfboard, it is a great honor to be the first one picked for this Hall of Fame.
I am 82 years old. When I got to watch surfing grow from a small number of surfers in California and Hawaii to what it is today. I got to watch most of the modern surfboard development unfold.

Here are a small number of highlights: My first surfboard weighed 90 pounds. I got my first job building surfboards as a teenager. It was working for Tom Blake. Tom invented the fin for the surfboard and the hallow board. The fin – kind of a big step one might say. My second job was working for Hobie. Hobie’s incredible lifetime record of achievement includes several things that are still used in a modified form in the manufacture of today’s surfboards. Hoyle Schweitzer and I built our first surfboards together in our college dorm room. We were trying to copy the great surfer/shaper Matt Kevlin’s balsa prototype of the modern long board. Hoyle later went on to invent and be granted the patent on windsurfing. In 1969 Dimitrije built his “winterstick” or the first snowboard out of some high-density surfboard foam I made for him. He glassed it like a surfboard. Bruce Brown was my next-door neighbor when he made blockbuster “The Endless Summer” movie that spread surfing around the world.

One of the most fascinating things I got to do can is best understood by watching old and new surfing movies. Notice how the improvements in surfing and improvements in the surfboard are tied together. My job was to apply my limited resources to follow this development. To do this I got to communicate with several generations of board builders, shapers, and some of the top surfers. I learned early not to ask “what do you want” but instead had to dig far deeper, talk to many people, studied statistics, and then make a decision where to apply my resources. I surfed a lot, had worked in every step of board building, and had a great college education so the communication and understanding the design theory was easy. Eventually I developed a wealth of knowledge based on information from many sources. For me this was very stimulating. I loved this part of my work.

Last I would mention that surfing is the most fun thing I have ever done. That was my biggest trade secret. I knew that what we were making worked well and if we improved the surfboard it would be more fun.

(posted by RK)

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Surf Craft at the LongHouse Reserve, East Hampton, Long Island, NY

Post by MB: It’s been over a week since the opening of Surf Craft at the LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton, Long Island, NY. We are extremely proud of this exhibit on the East Coast and  so grateful for the opportunity. There are so many extraordinary boards on display at the LongHouse–some of which have NEVER been on the East Coast–boards such as John Elwell’s dual-fin Simmons planing hull, two George Greenough spoons and Greenough’s mold (loaned by Stanley Pleskunas).

LongHouse_Surf Craft_5Other highlights–gosh, there are so many–are one of the first Mini-Simmons (or Casper as the original guys knew it; loaned by Chris Gentile of Pilgrim Surf + Supply)…

LongHouse_Surf Craft_3

…and the display of Carl Ekstrom’s asymmetric surfboards–goodness! Carl is a master craftsmen, design genius and all-around great person. He makes 1/4 scale models of each design before he make them full size. Carl shapes the board,  glasses the boards, and even handcrafts all the fins. When you see his boards up close, you can see why they are masterpieces. Each board is perfectly shaped and glassed. Carl has thought out every cut, every slice, every angle, every texture, every placement, every everything before he does anything. Carl even performs laminate stress tests to measure the thickness of the materials he uses for strength. Carl even took one of Jack Larsen’s (well-know textile designer and founder of LongHouse Reserve) fabrics and used it as an inlay on one of his boards in the show. I could go on and on about this board–the fabric testing, the outline/color testing, etc–but that board deserves a whole post to itself.

LongHouse_Surf Craft_4

There are so many stories behind the boards and behind the men who made these boards that I’m going to have to ask Richard to take over where I left off…local guys such as the late Rick Rasmussen and Joe Falcone, to the alaias and breadfruit board, to the European bathing boards, to the Sting and Laser Zap, to Ph. D. and mathematical wizard Terry Hendricks (RIP) and his kneeboards…

LongHouse_Surf Craft_18

Of course the support of our close friends at Firewire Surfboards, the lead sponsor of this exhibit, was extremely appreciated. And also happens to be quite fitting as the curator, Richard Kenvin, purposely included two Firewire boards in the Surf Craft exhibit–both designed by Daniel Thomson (aka “Tomo”).

LongHouse_Surf Craft_19

Firewire also has a pretty rad display just outside the exhibit under an amazing white tent designed by fabric artist and designer Bill Moss (yet another story), which was suggested by Jack Larsen, no less. I love this tent, and it perfectly covers the Firewire boards.

Our other friends, Pilgrim Surf + Supply (owned by good friend Chris Gentile) was instrumental as a sponsor. Pilgrim has a shop in Amagansett Square. Chris has been a supporter of Hydrodynamica since the beginning. Of course, we can’t say enough…

As much gratitude goes out to Main Beach Surf Shop who sponsored the exhibit and was instrumental in organizing a Firewire board demo!

Basically, it took a lot of people to open this show, from the installers, (thanks especially to Michael Rosch and Scott Bluedorn–local bad asses) from the loaners to the sponsors to all the people at LongHouse, to the curator, etc. etc. we will never be able to include them all in this little story. We can’t even include all the stories about these boards–though we will try…

We hope you are able to view the show (open through October 10th) and enjoy the rich history of these inspiring and extraordinary surf crafts as much as we do. –post by MB

LongHouse_Surf Craft_8

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Have you seen Surf Craft in the Hamptons yet??

–post by MB

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 5.12.52 PM

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Surf Craft in Architectural Digest

John Elwell always told me ‘Simmons developed the surfboard architecture”. Guys like Tomo understand this and have developed board architectures of their own from Simmons original “blueprint”… -RK (post by MB)Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 5.09.17 PM

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Good luck at the Huntington US Open, Stu Kennedy!!

We dropped by the loft to wish Stu good luck at the U.S. Open. I got a shot of Stu and Tomo with the board Stu is going to be riding in Huntington. Also pictured is the first Tomo board Stu rode in the contests in 2012. –post by MB

Huntington open_stu, DT

Tomo, RK and Stu reviewing some rad waves in Oz:

Huntington open_DT, RK, Stu

–post by MB

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Ekstrom short 2007-2013

This is a short Hydrodynamica edit on Carl Ekstrom that Alastair and Sean put together a few years ago. Surf clips were filmed by Ryan Field. We looped this edit at the Surfcraft exhibit at Mingei last summer. – RK

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Spirit of Akasha U.S. Tour


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