The Magic and Mystery of...............

…Of what?     Turning that vision in your head, into a masonite template that will allow you to transfer that vision into 3D foam and fiberglass.          That thing that comes alive, on the surface of a wave, a surfboard.     Some folks do it effortlessly.        A great many can’t do it at all.        I’m not sure if it (that skill) can be taught to others, or if it is something that is an innate talent, that only some are gifted or cursed with.      Did it come easy to you?      Do you struggle, and fight the process?        Are you even able to do it?        Just wondering out loud.

I think it has more to do with desire.  If one works long and hard enough it will come.  I’ve wiped out a few blanks over the years, but I would say yes I can do it.  I’m never 100% happy with my results! but the boards work.  I use to tell my students that “If you can’t achieve perfection, achieve the illusion of perfection”.

It comes very naturally to me.  I just don’t do it enough to keep from getting rusty with the tools.   I do a few boards then don’t do any for 6 months.  When I get back at it in a few weeks I will be quite rusty again.

Although I don’t really consider myself a “Master”, we often hear about people starting their craft as children, in a way that almost seems predestined. They seem to just know from the start that they were meant to do that thing. But is that looking at it backwards? What if it’s just that if you stick with something long enough, you have the time to attain true expertise?

Author Malcolm Gladwell says it takes about 10,000 hours of diligent practice to attain real mastery at something. His research shows that “masters” are often just people who hit the 10K hour mark early in life. I actually hit that mark long ago.

I began building surfboards as a teen. I have been fortunate to learn from what is described above as “Masters”. I payed attention. I did not get to go to college. SURFBOARDS and SURFING were my college. I absorbed as much as I could. I’m still learning.

I do believe to be an expert in design, development and the hand shaping, you must partake in every phase of the surfboard manufacturing stages. I am dedicated to bringing the most functional and modern shapes for any wave conditions and all types of surfing. I oversee production every step of the way from shaping-to-the fine sanding.

Hi Bill. I used to think there were 2 types of people. Those who could shape a board and those who couldn’t . I assumed I was the latter.  I asked a friend once if he would let me watch him shape my board. I’d pay him extra.  He declined, but told me, “It’s just a procedure,Mike. If you can learn a procedure you can shape a board.” Well I knew I could learn a procedure,but didn’t try for another 8 or 9 years.  I’ll admit there’s more to it than following a procedure.  However, there are consistent steps I go through, a procedure, when building boards. So it can be taught and learned.  If you can learn to make measurements, use tools, you can make a decent board. I won’t live long enough for mastery. Mike

  Ahhhh, of that, you cannot be sure.      It may come in a flash of insight, or as the result of a ‘‘happy accident.’’       Or, it may never come.       But be open to it.      It CAN sneak up on you.

If you add up the countless hours spent pulling things apart, repairing, tinkering, assembling and playing with things as a kid then 10,000 hours is easy.
Every one of those hours needs to be included in everyone’s experience because those learning times all add up to your adult expertise.
An additional factor is the brain hand coordination/connection…some have it, some don’t, some develop it, some don’t, some get it, some don’t…and some do it all their lives and still never get it…that’s life!