A unique event happened back in October at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego, California. Dubbed the "Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo" it brought together surfboard shapers and the surfers who appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of hand-built surfboards. Fletcher Chouinard Designs and the crew from Patagonia’s Cardiff surf shop were on hand for the show. Devon Howard, manager of Patagonia Cardiff, sent us his take on the show in words and video.
This wasn’t just a get-together for people to buy "stuff." It was a gathering of dedicated surfing enthusiasts. Everyone that came to check out the show was genuinely into surfboard and wetsuit design. They came armed with questions and curiosity. I think they also got a lot more out the experience than they thought.
A large number of the best shapers in the world were there, allunder one roof. Looking one way you could see Gerry Lopez, then theother way Phil Byrne and then Rusty and Chris Christenson and MikeHynson and Robert August then Fletcher Chouinard and Tom Wegener andMichel Junod. Honestly it just didn’t end. It was so inspiring.
I think this show is important to help educate people that thesurfboard is unlike any other piece of "sporting equipment." It’s not atennis racquet or a bike. It’s a piece of art, crafted by hand –crafted by everyday surfers, made for surfers. The fact that 4,500people came to see and talk to all of us in the surfboard business isencouraging. It tells me that there will always be a place in ourculture and our community for domestic board made by hand.
[With thanks to Roy Coffman for filming and Dylan and Micah for the tunes in the video.]