Surfing has always attracted artists who represent the visual arts because of the beauty and variety of its breaking waves and the individual artistry of the surfer’s that catch these natural wonders. I’ve been extremely fortunate to meet such artists who have become good friends as we’ve worked together to produce memorable images that tell stories and touch emotional chords in surfer and non-surfer alike.
I met Bob Barbour along the sandy shores between Sunset Beach and Pipeline in the mid 70’s, but really didn’t work with him on a regular basis until I ran into him again when I moved back to Santa Cruz in 1990. From the early 70’s Bob was always one of the best surf photographers in or out of the water. He’s also a legitimate green thumb, and a trek into his backyard quickly transports you from a mid town Santa Cruz Victorian to a tropical Hawaiian garden.
Thomas Campbell is an artist who usually avoids the spotlight and expresses his passions and desires with paint, sculpture, film and music recording. We met in my shaping room discussing a log for his friend and business partner in Galaxia Records. We continued to develop our relationship in the line-up, around my factory and shaping room, and in his studio. While planning his third 16mm surf film, “The Present”, he asked me to be the mature (old guy) surfer/shaper to venture along with Alex Knost and Dave Rastavich to West Africa. We spent the month of February 2007 grooving to the sounds of West African rhythms and scoring large winter swells out of the North Atlantic. There were days when the swell was up that reminded me of the North Shore with strong off shore winds, beautiful peaks and long walls. It was very exciting to surf with friends in such uncrowded conditions. It was an adventure I’ll never forget.
Thomas has also been a Godsend by designing my most recent logos. It is a real privilege to have an internationally known artist take an interest in my craft. We’ve also collaborated on surfboard designs such as the Pignar and the Nowski models. Because we both live in Santa Cruz, it is easy to keep in touch and throw out ideas on design that keep things fresh and lively. The “ride everything” movement has sparked interest throughout the surfing world to fine tune previous design movements and incorporate various design aspects of these movements into new exciting shapes that bring unique experiences to the curious and adventuresome surfer.
PHOTOS TOP TO BOTTOM:
Sequence of Inside Curl at Steamer Lane; late afternoon speed run. 1993
From Surfer Magazine article form April 1995; “85 Reasons Why We Surf”
Trimming with 10 toes over 1996
Postcard from Nine or Nothin’ clothing and online store.
Thomas, ready to test drive his new Pignar.
T-moe doodling on another Pignar.
Small day and big swell at Ali Baba’s
Me at Ali Baba’s on my 7’0” Startail single fin. February 2007
The crew in Cabo Verde: Alex Knost, Jacob Stuth, Dave Rastavich, Dave Homcy, Thomas Campbell, Shannon Carroll, Michel, Scott Soens
Shannon and Dave with West African drumsShannon, Chris Berry and Dave going over some music with Senegalese drummers.