Recap of the Sacred Craft Surfboard Expo
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, all under one roof. Looking one way you could see Gerry Lopez, then the other way Phil Byrne and then Rusty and Chris Christenson and Mike Hynson and Robert August then Fletcher Chouinard and Tom Wegener and Michel Junod. Honestly it just didn't end. It was so inspiring.
I think this show is important to help educate people that the surfboard is unlike any other piece of "sporting equipment." It's not a tennis racquet or a bike. It's a piece of art, crafted by hand -- crafted by everyday surfers, made for surfers. The fact that 4,500 people came to see and talk to all of us in the surfboard business is encouraging. It tells me that there will always be a place in our culture 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.]