The Semi-Conductor

Shaping boards for smaller waves is groovy. The ouija-board dance of wave, wavecraft, and rider is vast, and projecting what lines the surfer will take is an exercise in limitlessness—over the wave, under the wave, on top of, through, around, out, in, whatever.
It’s a different experience in the shaping room with a bigger-wave board on the racks. The lines a surfer takes on gun or semi-gun are more prescribed, the choices fewer. The drop. The turn. The race for the shoulder. The paddle back to the peak.
Rather than possibility, the bigger-wave board is about the experience itself. The fierce, watery thing of it. It’s about size, and about the fingernails-into-the-palms grip of fear and adrenaline and pure marine energy.
This 7’5 for MendoShredder BigL isn’t meant for the biggest our coast can handle, but rather for long paddles through coves thick with urchin-encrusted rocks and kelp. For thick, riotous masses of salwater pumping onto rock reefs that are about 600,000 years shy of perfect. And the cold of the Northcoast--not just the fog or the wind or the rain, but the cold of not knowing when the next cleanup set is coming through or how long you’re going to float, legs dangling, in water as dark as iodine for the right wave to come.
And, of course, the warmth: the joy and relief of putting the head down and feeling the unmistakable surge of water pushing surfboard. The moment when everything is crisp and decided, and the head only chants, quietly now, “go, go, go.”