It's about life - not "lifestyle"
I'm a hacker, not a shaper. Let's understand that right out front. I have no pretensions about this subject. I'm so bad I can't see wasting a new blank; or so bad I see using a new blank as wasting it. This probably isn't fair to myself as far as developing skills, but it gives me an excuse not to go to Orange County...

The top board is roadkill. I drove by it on the side of the Ventura Freeway for two weeks before I decided to pull over and see what was left, which wasn't much as it turned out. Still, there is enough there for a handboard or small paipo or maybe just some weird whittling of foam.

Beneath the roadkill is a sunbrowned Zuma Jay single fin, recovered from the trash in my old neighborhood. We used to live in Yup Central, and every spring there would be discarded surfboards on certain trash days. Some only needed a little glass to become delaminated but rideable, and some were wrecks. I developed an intense disrespect of contemporary surfboards from this period, the limited life spans, built-in material failures, and the attitudes which foster this. There were no world class surfers in the neighborhood, nor anybody close. It was just fashionable consumerism.

It was also a seemingly unlimited source of raw recycled materials for the amatuer garage hacker. Eventurally I moved back to a real working class neighborhood, where nothing interesting is ever thrown out.
The board to the left was a surprise find after the first good winter swell this year. I have several bits of it which were dislodged by big summer surf, although I never found the fins. I assume they were still stuck in the rocks which imprisioned this hulk.

The deck is fairly intact, but the bottom has no glass left at all. It appeared to have come off almost in a sheet. There is a good paipo left in this board, and at least one or two handboards.

My wife used to ask me about the ethics/karma of reshaping something someone else has invested himself in. I figure it doesn't hurt them, especially the roadkills or broken boards. It gets trash off the streets and beaches, and gives me expendable experience. If it hurts anyone it's probably me, just because I put a lot of work into a material which has a couple of strikes against it.

The first benefit from making your own board is to realize how much work it is, and how good in general the commercial boards are. Surfboards are so easy to take for granted, as are the invisible faces behind the various steps it takes to make them. I suspect the second benefit is realizing just how lame you are when first undertaking something which you know nothing about. There is very little humility in surfing these days, and it shows.
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