Surfing and Beach Lifestyle

Custom Boards

One thing about surfers is that we like to be part of a tribe yet be uniquely ourselves. Something that we really get to express ourselves with is our boards. My board is my baby, so I’m always going to treat her right. I got the opportunity the other day to get some custom paint work done on my board, and it came out super awesome so I had to share the story.

I went to try out a new beach a couple weeks ago just to shake things up a bit. I met some new people there and we got to talking. One of the guys is a graphic artist, and he calls himself “The Board Artist.” He told me that he tattoos boards like others tattoo people. He’s got a little shop down on the boardwalk and everything. He told me that he’d do a small custom design on my board if I take it back to my ‘home beach’ and tell everybody about him.

Heck Yeah!

I went up there a couple days later and we got to talking about this one day when I was on vacation and out in the water. A dolphin swam right by me and tried to entice me to play. It was hands-down one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had in my life. Just writing that gave me the chills. So, naturally, I’m telling The Board Artist this story and he gets this “Eureka!” look on his face. He mocks up a stencil on a tablet he’s got with him. It’s this super great looking dolphin in these amazingly bright colors.

I signed off on the design and was crazy stoked about it. He started talking me through how he does it. He prints out a stencil and then pulls all the paint colors he wants to use. Then he loads the paint in what he called a high volume low-pressure paint spray gun. I don’t know what that means but apparently it’s better for the environment and wastes way less paint. He said that because he’s got the best HVLP paint sprayer on the market, he can do designs quickly and neatly and not lose all his profits to paint overspray. I just smiled and nodded because not only did I not know what he was talking about, I didn’t think I’d get it even if he explained it to me. I dunno, it sounded good.

So I hung around for awhile as he did the painting and then once it was dry I headed home. Yesterday I tested it out for the first time and it felt like the same ol’ board, which was fantastic, but paddling out there among the waves, I certainly felt like my long-ago dolphin friend was right there with me, ready to have another adventure. I gotta say, it was pretty cool. Got some compliments, too, so I guess The Board Artist’s plan worked and is going to get some more customers from my end of the beach.