How far we goin’ back? Way back, and it go a little something like this…..

SUP izzy 2

Back to the 1930’s and 40’s when surfboards and paddle boards were made out of plywood! This is my daughter Izzy on her new “SUP” or stand up paddle board. Today was the maiden voyage, and she loved it. I made her the board for her birthday after being inspired by a picture my wife brought home recently (below). I got to looking at the boards and thought, “those things are plywood”. Then I thought, shoot, I can build one of those. I did a little research and found some old plans for hollow core surf/ paddle boards and the rest is history. I can knock one of these out in a few hours.

blake girls

SUP izzy 1

I even added a hatch I had laying around so she can store shells and junk she finds in the water, or snacks 🙂 Now everybody wants one so I guess I have my work cut out for me. My next will be a pintail, should be pretty cool.


Rest in Peace Al, thank you for your service

Al passed away about a week ago while on duty at the fire department, working to save someone elses life. Thanks for your service, and this is a great song. My condolences to his family, his fire department family and friends.

DIY surfboard bag <$20

Here is a short video on how to make a nice simple surfboard bag with no sewing skills at all.

The project only took me about an hour and I think it came out quite nicely. I look forward to making a few more.

My New Surfboard

shuler vs blunt w text

I finalized the order on my new surfboard today! Then I opened my mailbox to find the new issue of Surfer Magazine with the buyers guide inside… never shop after you buy. After reading through the buyers guide and reading surfboard dimensions for an hour I started to wonder if the board I ordered might be too big. This prompted me to get out my tape measure and head out to my board rack in the garage. I then measured all my boards and came back in and created the scale picture of the boards you see above. The larger Shuler Crackerbox is the “shortboard/hybrid” I have now and the …Lost Double Blunt is the board I just ordered. As you can see the new board is significantly shorter and narrower in the tail section, this should make the new board more maneuverable, which is what I want. There are many other factors that affect the way these boards perform but covering all that could fill volumes.

For this new board I worked with the good folks at Catalyst Shop in Florida. They were able to advise me on the selection of the board and help me to choose the appropriate sized board (or so I hope). When I “went in” with a friend on the Shuler, he placed the order directly with the shaper, the problem is he is 6’4″ 240 lbs. and I am 5’11” 170. This resulted in a board that I couldn’t even manage to turn as well as a single fin long board. So… I never wanted to ride the thing.

Moral of the story, surfboards, like skis and many other sports tools are very individualized. If you are going to invest in one, take the time to work with a professional and get the board that fits you and the breaks you surf. I will follow up in the near future when the board arrives and I get a chance to put it to work.

For spring break this year we loaded up the kids and took a surf trip. We rented a house in Manzanita Oregon. The house was called the Sea Slug. It was a dated but charming old place with one of the biggest patches of Skunk Cabbage I have ever seen. The house also had a record player, complete with an old record collection that even had a few jems in it, such as; Santana, Steve Martin “wild and crazy guy”.
We spent the first two days surfing Short Sands and Indian Beach, the conditions were good, so we surfed until we couldn’t walk anymore… literally. By day three the conditions got pretty bad, and half the crew had to head back up north. For the next two days, remaining four members of the intrepid eight had fun taking little trips around the area, playing guitar, eating ice cream and drinking beer (the kids drank juice… mostly).
Day four we got kicked out of our rental house so we moved to a beautiful new condo on the beach in Rockaway for two more days of fun. From there we explored some more, and even discovered a new surf spot (only to be revealed in my surf journal).
On a side note: I have a bit of a problem… when the surf is up (or the snow is falling, or the rock is dry, or the skate park is dry and empty) I cant possibly take two seconds to get a photo or a video so we improvised with some drawings my daughter did in a restaurant in Astoria on the way home. I am working on this problem, as evidenced by my “three amigos” video.


Snowboard ad pics

andys bindings

andys lib top

noll with lib

So I agreed to help my cousin (and life long adventure buddy) sell one of his snowboards to finance a new pair of backcountry skis (completely self serving on my part). I had a little fun editing the pictures in GIMP. If you havent used gimp for photo editing it is pretty rad, basically like a free version of photo shop. Anyhow I thought people might enjoy the pics. The last pic is a reference to legendary big wave surfer Greg Noll. This is a HUGE snowboard and in the ad I made the bold claim that if Greg Noll rode a snowboard, this would be the one

Natural Mystic Fly Rods

I am currently with the fam on the Olympic peninsula. The Port Angeles, Sequim area is “supernatural” (to borrow a term the the B.C. tourism board). The salt waters of the strait lap against the side of the beautiful Olympic mountain range, while salmon stuffed rivers slip between the mountains into the sea. This is the home of Damon Ingle and the rest of the Ingle clan (our wonderful hosts for the fortnight). Damon hand crafts really nice fly rods, under the name of Natural Mystic Fly Rods. Here is a little taste of the fly rods he makes in his home studio.

the rack



tying flys

Approach bike

This bike came into my life as a Mongoose Sycamore in the late 1990s while living in Glacier National Park.  At the time of purchase it was a decent bike, a entry level “bike shop” mountain bike when “hardtail” wasn’t a subcategory of mountainbike, but rather the only category of mountain bike.  Since its adoption the bike has been converted (by yours truly) to a commuter bike, a weedeater motor powered motorbike and now finally back to a mountain bike.  Its almost done.  The latest iteration has been a nearly complete rebuild including the following:  new head, new derailleurs, new brakes (front and back), a new paint job, new pedals, and a new chain.  If you are considering such a re-build its important to realize now that your motivations should not be economic in nature,  It almost certainly would have been cheaper to buy a good used mountain bike.  However if you just like to build stuff you can ride, a bike is generally a satisfying project that probably wont end up in a “good project” post on craigslist.  My idea is for this bike to serve as a vehicle to cover the “approach” to mountain climbs and ski tours, a couple I have in mind are the North Twin Sister, Three Fingers, and Gee Peak.  There seem to be more of these climbs each year as forest service roads are abandoned due to lack of funds.imageimageimage