Saturday, November 25, 2006

Squiggly Takes Lucas Echo Park

My art licensing operation, Squiggly Studios, is having a little opening down in LA next Saturday. We'll be filling the walls of Lucas Echo Park with our scribbles, limited edition digital prints, sculptures, and a curious pink log, all just in time for holiday shopping. And this stuff is cheap, man. It's part of the little art walk that happens once a month on that trendy little strip of shops in Echo Park, including: Lucas, Little Lucas, Showpony, Han Cholo, Flounce Vintage, and Work.

Who are we trying to kid? This is just an excuse for a big party in LA! If you're in the area, stop by, have a few drinks, listen to some tunes, and invite me out surfing. I'm bringing my board.

Ratatat - Wildcat

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wish I had a few extra inches on Saturday...

My main mang, Festus Porkmeyer, sent some great pics of his own personal Parmenter Widowmaker on Saturday, and I found them in my mailbox when I got home from a surf session where I was slightly undergunned. Good timing.

How many classic sticks does this guy have?

He also directed me to a website I'd never visited before, Wow. Another site to drool over as the rain pelts the roof...

Thanks, Porky!

The Hold Steady - Chillout Tent

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's a Widowmaker?

After I posted about ordering my new surfboard from Mandala, there was quite a bit of commentary about the merits of Manny and his alternative shapes. But then the comment flow died, as all blog chatter does when the topic gets stale. A few days ago, though, Warmjet (my favorite bonzer/music afficionado) chimed in about the 2+1 setup and how it resembles a board known as The Widowmaker:

"Parmenter makes a 2+1 called the 'Widowmaker' that looks great. ( See the Andrew Kidman movie 'Glass Love') Now the 'Swift' movement has a real nice one from Neil Purchase Jr. Manny seems like a good shaper with a artistic sense about him, yet he seems to be on the reproducing end of design and not so much on discovery. Eventhough Fitz is the man for the 2+1's beginning, I'd go Parmenter but I certainly want to wish you good times on the Manny."

I found the above photo of Purchase Jr. on Swaylocks and quickly got sucked into the vortex of surboard design, turning up picture after picture of various 2+1 widowmakers:

I read a comment by a famed shaper on Swaylocks who swore by the widowmaker design, reaffirming the characteristics that Manny described to me when he sold me on the shape:

"The yellow board in the photo is sporting one of the two Tri Fin setups we used at Surf Systems in 1971. We used the PressLock removable, injection molded fins, (invented by me, I might add.) as the sides. We used the setup on semi guns, as well as small wave fun boards. It opened up the upper 25% of the wave to more agressive maneuvers, without loss of control, or spinouts. Also made it easier to turn in, and drive out of, the pitching lip of a wave."
Bill Thrailkill
Shaper since 1958

And again:

"The above photo is of my personal board, summer of '71. With the very wide tail, I had an easy time catching any wave I chose to try for. The Tri-Fins (as we called them then) enabled the same board that I could ride 2' beach surf with on one day, to be ridden the next day in 12' reef breaks, with the same setup. And not just survival riding, but ripping, going anywhere on the wave face that I would choose to go. If I were to build a similar board today, I would increase the board width to 22'', or evev 23'', and use the close set twin fin setup I've shown you before. I'd also tweek the rails, softer, yet with a hard, tucked under, release edge. But I digress. The above board is one of many that I regret ever gitting rid of. Sometimes you don't know just how good a board is until you move on to something else. It's interesting that a new generation of surfers are rediscovering some of the earlier design paths."
Bill Thrailkill
Shaper since 1958

Kye Fitzgerald (Terry's Son), riding an original Drifter in a recent WQS event.

Then I looked at some new photos of Manny's latest 2+1 designs and I was pleasantly surprised:

So the next thing I'm going to do is rent or buy Glass Love to see what the movie says about these boards. Being a huge fan of Litmus, I'm actually scratching my head as to why I haven't seen the film. The next thing, of course, would be to talk to Manny about my forthcoming 2+1. I know he's doing things differently than Parmenter, Purchase, Thrailkill, et al just by looking at the predominantly shorter lengths of his boards and the fluted wings he's incorporating.

This is gonna be so cool...

Rogue Wave - California

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Three days into November, we'd already accumulated more rain in Portland than the whole month of October. And with the biblical downpour came the inevitable storm surf. Twenty-five feet with 65 mph winds and little or no interval. The list of metaphors is fairly played out: "Washing machine." "Soup." "Spin cycle." "Victory at Sea." "The perfect storm." "Absolute liquid chaos with a side of old-growth timber floating in the impact zone." (Okay, that last one is mine.)

On the bright side, my fantasy football team is doing really well... Ugh.

Ratatat - Lex