In my (limited) experience, surf shops trend toward either a shopping mall version of an imagined White California, or a museum centered on a 1950’s shaper sprinkled with global brand clothing items (Quiksilver, Billabong, whatever). Not Album. Album is a functional art gallery.
I’m not good enough to ride any of their art nor am I smart enough to understand the science of how they work, but I know what looks good. Those boards look great.
They have somehow found that sweet spot between a late 80’s T&C Thrilla Gorilla and a prop branded by Prada that no serious surfer would ever be seen on. I don’t know enough real surfers to speak to what “they” think of Album but I do not care.
Its like how I don’t need to know real artists to like Van Gogh or know real musicians to like D’Angelo. I like Album.
I have an epic tale to tell, which I won’t get to now, but I must report a part.
The gigantic surfboard was crafted long ago in a Hawaiian garage, meant to carry a large man through the foamy tides of heaven. As the craftsman finished his work he looked up and saw that the night’s crescent had set, giving way to morning, and feeling a wave of inspiration grabbed a pen and gave the board its name- “Half Moon Gone”.
Despite being loved, Half Moon Gone had been retired to a Californian garage where it sat unsalted, replaced by other professionally crafted boards called “custom”.
One day Zeus with his custom craft, observed the ambition of an overweight Icarus struggling to fly on a board Zeus declared much too small for one with such oversized ideas. Deity had compassion on this mortal as he reached into the garage of his heart and dusted off Half Moon Gone, and he gave it me.
With this new board I began to fly.
The two of us, Half Moon Gone and I, looked like the love child of a turkey and condor. A most glorious wingspan centered on a total mess. A happy, soggy, salty, mess.
As this mess began growing feathers it became evident the wings needed a little upkeep. I climbed mount Google, presented an offering in the temple YouTube, then religiously, devoutly, applied sealant, sandpaper and paint.
Half Moon Gone was on its way from Condor to Phoenix. And I was ready to climb aboard and soar to the sun.
The final step required some inter-religious multi-cultural cross pollination, which in retrospect may have been the root of the problem. I left Olympus and submitted a request to the North Pole’s Saint Nick. I asked for a specialized altar allowing me to mount Half Moon Gone atop my car and the fat man, giggling, gave me one gift on which I could carry another.
I was happy. I was ambitious. I was ready.
But over on another peak, in Rancho Kookamomga, feeling ignored, was Santa Ana.
He watched me wake before the sun rose, scoffing as I placed Half Moon Gone upon its altar.
He let me get 25 miles down I-15 before he waved his hand and ripped the entire rack off the roof of my car, sending Half Moon Gone, with the rack still attached,
I am afraid of neither cliché nor dumpster. I may be a little bit afraid of going all Johnny Utah and trying to teach myself how to ride a cliché in Red Hot Chili Pepper infested waters, so I settle for sitting on the couch and painting what should otherwise be a sporting good.
I found it in a dumpster. I saw it as a low rent project that would allow me the tools to learn my next sporting hobby. I had dreams of riding waves and floating just out beyond the break.
Two years later I have ridden very little beyond a sofa and sadly, I float a bit too easily in the pool.
I am impossible to shop for. Not because I have everything, quite the opposite really, but moreso because I generally know exactly what I want. In the following posts I will be highlighting things I think are worth wanting. Some big, some small.
Some of the things I already have, some I will never have, and others I may eventually obtain but whichever or whatever, the list is to follow.