Aquisitions and Mergers

Scientists, teenagers, horticulturists, surfers--it's in their nature to merge. To see connections between two unlike things and make them like.
Sonoma County has a long history of slapping two unlike things together with impressive results. In the 1860s, European vineyards succumbed to the damned dirty phylloxera louse, a sap-sucking insect that snacks on grapevine roots. An estimated 80% of The Old Country's wine vineyards were destroyed, and the rest were looking pretty shabby.
The solution? Graft North American rootstock (phylloxera resistant!) to European grape vines (delicious!), and enjoy.
Closer to home, local horticulturist Luther Burbank, who made a tidy sum selling his hybrid legume, which later became known as the Russet Potato (from which McDonald's fries are, um, 'made'), carved a career out of crossbreeding plants. He is credited with over 800 new strains of plants, including the plumcot (plum crossed with apricot, also marketed as pluot), and the contradictorily-named white blackberry.
His contemporaries in the sciences panned him for being 'unscientific,' and 'unmethodical.' He extended to them the proverbial finger as he continued grafting, hybridizing, supporting education and social causes, and marrying local lovelies. I love it when a local guy sticks it to the academy!

This is where Luther Burbank lived, loved, and grafted the hell out of things.

Working with North of the Bridge surfers has allowed me to try my own hand at hybridization. Local shredders who want the glide of the single fin combined with the vertical possibilities of a Thruster. Big fellas who want the float of a longboard melded with the turning ability of a shortboard. Noseriding templates grafted onto fish tails. Potato chip rockers merged with egg planshapes. Crazy fin combos, rail shapes, bottom contours, and foils all thrown into the mix to produce something new. Something different. Something unique and special for the surfer, the shaper, and our local waves. Like the pluot, only with less likelihood of being annihilated by deer.
This week saw a couple of mergers head up to the Fattyshack. One, for a local legend, saw an eggy planshape blended with a pulled-in nose and a fishy tail for maximum float, snap, and carvability. Five fin boxes create more possibilities for fun than a backpacker hostel in Reykjavik.

7'11" of spiciness.

Next up was a 6'1" Achy-Breaky Board (ABB) for student-turned-hellman Ben. Ben likes reading German Idealist writer Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and flashing come hither looks at large waves. He will be riding this ABB starting next fall at UCSD, where he can practice both aforementioned diversions to excess.

You see, the Achy-Breaky board is all business up front.
However, in the back, there's a party going on, and Ben is definitely on the guest list.

The board's name is derived from original Achy-Breaker Billy Ray Cyrus who, although didn't quite invent this hybrid of hairstyles, certainly took it to new places.

Keep Rockin' Billy Ray!

I know it's problematic to use the word 'break' in a model name, but I'll take a page from Luther Burbank and one from Billy Ray Cyrus and forge on, undaunted.