Clay and I met at the SouthCoast LongBoard shop in OB last Tuesday. Object: to check out their inventory of boards and talk with Jeff, shop manager, about ordering a custom board. We went through a lot of boards on the rack. Pulled out the Old Skool Long Board, a CR3 model and a few others.
Jeff came over to answer questions about the boards, took measurements, pointed out the features and drawbacks of each board as we examined them. Pin tails, squash tails, diamond tails, modified squash tails, square tails, nose riders, gliders, nose concave, v’s, fin set ups, stringer configurations, tints, leash attachments, foam types, new technology, custom artwork for laminates, SC decal types, where they are glassed, availability of Robin to shape our boards. Lots of stuff to consider and ponder.
At one point some local surf rat comes in and is skate boarding all over the shop (which is small and cramped). This is making Jeff extremely nervous because the guy is really close to all of the most expensive boards in the shop and looks determined to knock them over in a big pile.
In the end Clay and I decided that we liked what we saw and were going to order custom logs from the SC crew. Jeff asked more questions and duly noted them on the order card. Clay got Jeff so distracted asking questions about the new Patagoina wetsuit (lined with merlino wool) that he forgot most of what I was telling him for my order card. Jeff finally gets it all down on the order cards and runs them over to Larry Ricci’s office (SC head shaper). Jeff says that Larry will call that afternoon with even more questions and a referral to Robin Prodanovich, our shaper of choice.
I leave the shop with mixed feelings. Excitement mixed with apprehension. Did I remember to mention that I don’t want a lot of nose concave? Was I clear about the stringer configuration? Will the resin tint come out right? Am I color blind? What do I know about surfboard dimensions anyway?
Larry calls later in the day and asks a 100 more questions; questions that I have not really thought about but he walks me through them all. Great guy who seems to understand and appreciate this undertaking.
Later that same day Robin calls. His questions are more about what I like in surfboards, where do I surf, any features on past boards that I liked/disliked? Why do I want three stingers? What is the most important feature? Weight v. longevity of board. Deck patch? Do I knee paddle? Single fin or tri fin set up? Optimal length for me? Am I looking for a noserider or an all round shape that can nose ride if I want?
Robin reviews his philosophy and some of his shapes and dimensions that would seem to work for me based on my answers. Agree that the CR3 template and his longboard curves will work best for me. I tell him that I want to be there when he shapes the blank and he says "sure, no problem. I'll call you as soon as I get the blank".
On another subject, you might want to check out this surfboard parking lot sale if you get a chance. I think it might be good. It is at Swell Stuff Wetsuit repair shop in Leucadia.