Coal Coast book launch


Join us to celebrate the South Coast launch of 'Aloha to Zen' at Finbox in Thiroul.
5 to 7pm this Friday the 1st of August.
Vinyl by 'Vintage Stylus'.
Art installation by Fern Levack.

Star Jamer twinzer quad.


Some time ago I found this rough but intriguing twin fin / twinzer. 
Originally I was interested in it for its unique, 80's Aussie, cultural value.
But as soon as I got it under my arm I became fascinated by its design and I'm dying to ride it.



Hand drawn XXXX beer character laminate and hand drawn Advance Australia Aussie flag laminate from a time when blatant Australian nationalism was rare as opposed to today's plague of southern cross tattoos that pollute the line up.


They take their beer pretty serious in Queensland






'Splayed' channel bottom design.
A bit of work to do, but I'm keen to get this in the water.



5'10" number 005. They didn't make many of these.


What revived my interest in this questionable board was seeing this second Star Jamer appear for sale recently. If I bought this one I would 40% of the worlds entire production of Star Jammer twiner quads.



Bahne


Whilst in California a while ago my friend Mark and I had the privilege of getting a tour of the Bahne fin factory in Encinitas by founder Bill Bahne.


I love fins as much as I do surfboards and its interesting to see that their creation is as much art as it is science, the same as surfboards.




It was nice to see Bahne putting their original hand laminated fiberglass skate decks back into limited run production.






Templates from shapers from all over the world






This is how you get your foil on.


Trapped in glass.



Aloha to Zen- The Art of Surfing and Living on Earth.


After working on this project for 3 years in Southern California and another 1 year on the South Coast near Sydney, my beautiful and talented wife's master work is complete.
'Aloha to Zen' is an illustrated encyclopedia of surfing, permaculture and radical eco-politics.


Barefoot tree house artist, Fern Levack






The book has been getting a little bit of love from all around the world, from Dave at Almond in Newport Beach CA.


To Deus Ex Machina in Sydney, LA and Byron.


Its loaded with obscure surf history and design references.


and has a whole section of 'thoughts to hang out with'.
Its so good, it literally brings me to tears each time I read it.

I love you Fern!

www.alohatozen.com.au


'Miasma', the Cholera epidemic & where to put those rubber flippers.

Steve Lis inspired Chris Christenson keel fin fish on the road to Trestles

The road to finding a good, functional,  design solution is a long and winding one. Throughout history some of the greatest problems have been solved by actions that were originally set about to solve an entirely different challenge.
The problem of the Great Stink in London in the summer of 1858 occurred when the smell of untreated human waste and effluent from other activities was so strong it crippling the business central London and almost shut down the house of commons. 
Cholera epidemic had became widespread during the 1840s. The causes of the Cholera were not known; the most widely accepted notion was that the disease was due to air-borne "miasma", that the disease was spread by bad smells. Because of the miasmatic theory's predominance parliament which, after rejecting many schemes for "merciful abatement of the epidemic that ravaged the Metropolis", accepted a scheme to implement sewers proposed in 1859 by its chief engineer, Joseph Bazalgette. The intention of this very expensive scheme was to resolve the epidemic of cholera by eliminating the stench which was believed to cause it. As an unintended consequence the water supply ceased to be contaminated; this resolved the cholera epidemic.

Steve Lis was trying to design a short, mavouverable, kneeboard that had some where to put his rubber flippers, or 'trolley wheels' as they are known to surfers. 
He split the tail of the kneeboard producing a large deep swallow tail big enough to keep his rubber training wheels from dragging in the water. As a consequence he produced a design that operated as effectively a board with 2 drawn out pin tails. When put on edge the whole rail is used and the board has a lot of hold due to one of its pin tails being driven deep into the face of the wave. Out on the flats or on the shoulder the board rides flat on the watter and is fast and loose.

The whole concept, that essentially revolutionized short board design, was originally developed to solve a whole different problem.


Young Einstein


The 1988 movie 'Young Einstein' made a great impression on me as a teenager. After seeing it for the third time at the cinema I actually started wearing workwear shorts with braces over a white singlet with Blundstone boots, 20 years ahead of the faux urban woodsman look that was to come.
I loved pretty much every concept and joke in the movie, but I was particularly tickled by the idea of a young Albert Einstein conceiving of the thruster design surfboard and then carving it from a solid log.



When I saw this board advertised, badly, I got tingles. 
Could this be the actual board from the movie that Yahoo Serious worked with and then surfed, quite well, that by some mysterious circumstance, has appeared for sale very very cheaply?


My mind raced with fantasies of a junior workman from a demolition crew at the now defunct Hard Rock Cafe or Warner Brothers Movie World pulling this out of date movie prop from a skip and posting a picture on eBay. 
It could be possible, better and more famous boards have come from the tip and rubbish throw outs.













Or could it simply be a promo item made by the dozen for movie theatre foyers and video store to promote the renting of VHS and Beta max copies of the movie?
While the board was waiting for me to pick it up on my next trip to Melbourne I wrote to Steve O'Donnell to see if he had any memory of making just one or many many copies of the board.
He wrote back, he only remembered the one.
Wow, this could be it.
I felt like I'd found Gerry Lopez's red Lightning Bolt pin tail that he shaped and rode in Big Wednesday.


All would be revealed once I got my hands on the board.
If the "Young Einstein" logo was a sticker or painted on the outside of the glass then I would have found a unique piece of Australia's cultural heritage.
If the logo was under the glass then I'd have a worthless promo item.

The bad news is the logo is under the glass.
The good news is I now have a lovely late 80's thruster with hand foiled wood laminate fins shaped by respected Hot Buttered shaper Steve O'Donnell, ready to ride.