Can I surf that continues!
I’m enjoying this topic I’ve sent myself on.
I’ve been watching bodysurfing movies, getting in the sea to test my handplane and looking into the history of surf culture!!
I think I’d forgotten that I can guide this masters to my interests.

During a tutorial with Stuart he pointed me in the direction of the magazine Oh-So. It’s a female skate magazine and I LOVED the style of it. It’s kind of 90’s but not and breaks all the rules of the grid, adding some flow to its positioning… I guess a bit like skating or surfing.
It really inspired the process I went through to design the logo for this project. After looking at this logo it got me a bit nostalgic about what got me into graphic design in the first place which was surf culture.

So the first thing that would be good to talk about is the newly added handle.
I made the handle out of fishing rope that I found on the beach screwed it into the board and sealed with epoxy resin. This resin is used to repair surfboards if you have dinged them. So far it has proved to be a really solid solution. The handle is slightly tough so it could get a bit uncomfortable after a while but apart from that I’m really happy with the result.

David Carson was huge in shaping the visual language of the commercial surf world with his work for Transworld Skateboarding, Surfer Magazine, Quicksilver and cSkins.
I really like the experimental style, use of textures and layers. As a designer he is definitely controversial and not everyone likes his style. It has undeniably shaped surf style and culture.
I’ve mimicked that style in the logo for Can I Surf That. I wanted the logo to be a bit unreadable I’m imagining that it has been out in the elements, weathered and gnarled to it is no longer recognisable but just shapes.

After a lot of sanding it was time to get in the water, excuse the terrible images but I am delighted to say, it works!! I can’t wait to get back in the water with fins and give it another go. I got in touch with a surfshop that specialises in fringe surf crafts to see if they could give me any advice. I also wanted to know how many hand planes they sell each week.

“It’s hard to say..I guess I sell a few a week. Slightly bigger sell as many are new to it.

We give out boards to demo which helps with the sell.” 

They also gave me a bit of advice on what makes a really good handplane shape: 

“A handplane should have a slight rocker in the front, hard rails and a bit of concave.” 

This was super useful to hear. The rails on the board I have made aren’t as hard as they could be but this can be rectified. 

THE FRINGES OF SURFING

I LOVE how many different weird tangents surfing has gone on. Each style of riding waves has its own culture surrounding it. Surf matts are quite a weird but fun looking thing. I’ve never seen someone surf a matt in Wales but in Cornwall there was a definite scene.

The Wedge, Newport beach is a super famous surf spot. This heavy shallow breaking wave lends itself perfectly to bodysurfers and bodyboarders. Watching the film Dirty Old Wedge encapsulates perfectly how surf culture can be and how it varies from spot to spot. There is always talk of ‘localism’ around surf spots, some spots are much more aggressive than others and it seems that this spot is the perfect concoction of heavy waves, testosterone and amphitheatre style beach where localism would be rife.

On the opposite side of the surfing spectrum is longboard culture.
A much friendlier playful version of surfing. I think this may be because the perfect longboarding waves are way less aggressive and that in itself lends itself to a more relaxed atmosphere…
I guess I’ve gone off track a little. I could honestly spend forever delving into surf cultures and styles but maybe that can be another project.

THROWAWAY CULTURE

There is no away.
I touched on this in my last blog post.
Where I live I think I am more aware of waste, it washes up on the beach every morning, it is brought down to the beach to be used but the poorly made products last a day and then they too are discarded.
It is a part of being human that we produce waste.
What has changed is what we consume, it is no longer just food, we consume items and those items have not got a thought through life cycle.
I buy into surf culture, I have a surfboard that wasn’t locally shaped, my wetsuit is made from neoprene a petrolium based rubber with pretty horrendous manufacturing process. As a consumer it is really hard to do things the ‘correct’ way, or a way that causes little harm, especially if you don’t have loads of money.

I’m really keen for my projects to challenge whatever that is.
Challenge the system we are stuck in yet still allow people to express themselves, have style, have hobbies but also make choices.

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