Surfers in Ventura, and probably elsewhere, use the word ‘quiver’ to denote the group of surfboards that a surfer owns. It’s not unusual for avid surfers to stock a dozen or more boards in their quiver. Some have 50 or more and drive large cargo vans. Waves at each location differ from waves at other locations, at any given time, the particular waves at a given location differ depending on weather and sea conditions. This phenomenon of uniqueness, of only-here-only-now, is what makes surfing so compelling to many surfers: every location is unique and no wave is the same as another. This characteristic is something Robert Weiner, the acclaimed surfboard maker, expressed to us when we purchased two more of his world-renowned surfboards. Bryce and Trent’s surfing abilities have improved over the fall, causing them to want smaller, 5’6″-7″ boards. Smaller boards are more maneuverable than larger, but also less stable. They are easier to duck dive under waves, but not as fast to paddle. Robert warned the boys to not be discouraged by the difficulty they would experience as they learn to control these shorter boards. He said, if they give up, they miss the opportunity to enjoy surfing even more than they already do.
Robert advised Bryce and Trent on their choice of some great used five-finned boards (with five fin boxes at the tail end of the board, surfers have many fin configuration options to choose from, depending on the type of surfing they want to do). Trent picked out the Get-Up G board recently surfed by professional 16-year-old surfer, Nolan Rapoza. Bryce picked out a similar shaped board, a Black Punt, one inch shorter and tad thicker than Trent’s, but no art work. Robert taught Trent how to peel off the stickers Trent wanted removed and how to clean up the left over adhesive with Goof Off. He then instructed Bryce how to prepare and paint his board, if that’s what he wanted. He even offered to paint it for him if he wanted. It’s apparent that Robert wants children and their parents to be excited and comfortable with surfing. He wants surfing to be a positive experience in a teenager’s development. With all of Robert’s hands-on help, Bryce asked if it might be fair to state that Robert was sponsoring him. In response, Robert said that ‘because they only surf Roberts boards, and that he helped them with their boards, they now represent his shop, and as such are responsible for making his brand look good by treating other surfers with courtesy and kindness.’ The boys nodded approvingly. He told them that their upcoming sailing adventure would bring them great wisdom and awareness of the world and other people. He wants from the boys a full report of the best surf spots when they return. I asked if he’d mark up a map for us, letting us know some of the great surf spots that he knew of around the world. He graciously agreed and we returned home to show mom the new boards we just bought.
Although we don’t have a lot of space on the boat, Leslie and I feel the boys’ passion for surfing warrants the effort to find a way to transport the boards. Besides being physically demanding, surfing might inspire the boys to seek out remote beaches around the world, an adventure for the whole family, and provide them instant entree into surfing communities that exist locally, all around the world.
The next day, Bryce drew a design on paper for his board. I read an article on the Internet and went off to buy the supplies. We found them all at Michael’s craft store and headed back to the boat to prep and paint his board. It took nearly all day, but the board turned out great. We just need to add three layers of clear coat to finish the job and we plan to do that today. Working with Bryce to make his vision of what he wanted his board to be allowed me to take time away from working on Kandu. Painting the surfboard provided a great excuse to work with my son and show him how to paint something, a skill he will soon need for Kandu. Painting a surfboard is something I would have never imagined doing, and wouldn’t have done had it not been for the excitement and desire Bryce so earnestly expressed. His eye for color and design impresses me.
While I taped up Bryce’s design on his board, Trent practiced duck diving his new board in the marina in front of Kandu. He loved how much easier it was than with his first board. The last few weeks of surfing brought large waves. Not able to duck dive his large board because it’s too buoyant for his weight, the surf beat Trent up, concerning him that he may drown. He wanted a smaller board that he could duck dive under the waves. It was Trent who first wanted to add a smaller board to his quiver (well, one board may not qualify as a quiver, but anyway . . . ). So after an hour of practice, Trent was ready to try his skill. We reminded him of Robert’s warning, to not be discouraged if surfing the new board wasn’t fun at first, and off he went to Mondo’s Beach, the Waikiki of Ventura. The waves were not large, but Trent’s desire to master his board was. On his first wave, he popped up and away he went, turning and maneuvering like he’d had it for months. Trent’s athletic abilities impress me. His ability to put into effect the training he receives is remarkable.
The boys want Leslie and I to surf too, so I guess we’ll find some room to bring our long soft-top beginner board too as the Kandu family prepares to stock a quiver of memories.