It’s really hard to explain how you fall in love with a surfboard …but it happens. It’s like loving your first car …or for some …a nice pair of shoes. My first board was a rite of passage and it wasn’t like I just ran out to the local shop and bought the first surfboard that I saw. I wanted something to reflect my sense of self …my style – even though I hadn’t even started surfing yet. I looked at ads on Craig’s list, on swell.com and talked to everyone I knew that surfed. Then one day this guy overheard me having a conversation about looking for a surfboard and he pointed me to a “Wingnut” that was designed by Robert August and made by a company using epoxy composites called Surftech. I took one look at it and – Boom! it was mine. I was surfing the next day. Of course I didn’t listen to all my surfing buddies who kept saying don’t learn on a new board. Of course I dinged it …and of course I felt the pain of embarrassment when I had to go fix it. But I will never forget that I believe from that point on I got more careful with that board and ended up becoming a better surfer.
I lived in a one bedroom apartment and had an old 1969 Firebird convertible, that I used as a car rack for my surfboard, and went out every chance I could as I spent every spare moment learning how to surf. I could not wait to pull up to Sunset, a local spot just south of Topanga Canyon, and don on my armor, the wetsuit, pull my surfboard from my car, crawl down the craggy rocks to paddle out on my “Cadillac” of surfboards. I would surf until my arms could not paddle anymore or my skin turned blue from the cold. Rain or shine, typical beginner, I was out on the water.
My board was now a part of me daily life and it came time to stop stubbing my toe and tripping over it so I had to figure out how to hang a surfboard. And it couldn’t be just any wall rack that would hold my “wingnut” …it had to be something that I could incorporate into my apartment and my lifestyle. The surfboard wall rack had to be something that would turn my board into a piece of art that would reflect my journey to become a waterman. The surfboard wall mount could not extend from the wall very far, it had to cradle the surfboard to protect it and it had to display the board like surf art. Most of the surf racks at the time had some long extruding post or arm that stuck too far out into space thereby limiting my ability to walk around in my small apartment. So I decided to build my own surfboard rack …and created the Hawaiian Gun Rack. I made it easy to mount a surfboard on a wall in fifteen minutes or less. I made it to hold most types of surfboards and I made it out of wood to look appealing in my home. At the time I didn’t realize it but I was starting a company. I soon discovered other people were looking for handcrafted surf racks to store their board. Now my surfboard racks can be seen all over the world.
That’s how I fell in Love with my surfboard. I still have it. And now I’ve begun collecting …my prized acquisition is a Tom Blake Paddle Board built by the Catalina Equipment Company. I get pictures from customers from all over the world sharing their favorite board. The picture at the top of the page is an autographed Gerry Lopez Longboard on a set of Hawaiian Gun Rack 50 surf racks. The picture below is from a customer in Germany using her board to decorate her living room when she’s not surfing.