Monday, July 14, 2014

NEW FEATURE!!! Craft Feature: Dutch Surfboards of San Clemente, California

I've recently reached out to some folk about their Surf Craft and their Story. Look forward to seeing this new segment, The Craft Feature. You'll see our fellow Brothers and Sisters of Stoke, come from all over, and that there truly is a Different Stoke for Different Folk! Please enjoy Craft Feature No.1 with Dutch Surfboards!

Craft Feature No. 1
Dutch Surfboards
San Clemente, California 

DSDF: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Where you are from and what company/organization are you with?
My name is Ryan G. Kloostra and I am originally from Michigan.  My surf brand is Dutch Surfboards (  I grew up in a small town in West Michigan where your life generally revolves around two things: being Dutch and Lake Michigan.  In West Michigan, it seems like everyone is dutch.  Hard work, frugality, windmills, wooden shoes, last names starting with "Van" and ending in "stra" - these are all things that are very close to me.  When I chose a brand name, I wanted something related to my upbringing and values.

Though I didn't surf until I moved to California in my mid twenties, much of my life in Michigan was centered around the beach.  My parents were both teachers and we spent our summers along Lake Michgan.  The most exciting days were the days we got waves, and we would play in them all day long.  Even though we didn't surf, we would skateboard, snowboard, wakeboard, even sand-ski on the dunes.  Looking back, board-riding was almost always a part of my life.  When I moved to California, the transition was quite natural. 

Craft has always been in my blood.  My grandfather was a finish carpenter and could build just about anything.  My dad is a natural craftsman and master at refinishing any type of wood.  When I was young I was allowed to to mess around in his workshop and make anything from skateboards to little ramps and funboxes for skateboarding.  He was very encouraging and gave a lot of freedom.  I pounded a lot of nails into his work bench for no reason other than pounding in a nail. I think there are still old fun boxes stashed in the woods behind my parents house.

Later, when I wanted to learn a craft when I was in California, surfboard building was a natural progression.  After speaking with a few people and spending a lot of time on the internet, I found that there were very few people who wanted to share the craft of surfboard building.  That was when I came across Terry Martin in an article in The Surfer's Journal.  He seemed wise, full of joy, and willing to spread the stoke.  I also gleaned from the article that he was a Christian - this meant a lot to me.  So I wrote him a handwritten letter and he called me up four days later to talk about spending some time together.  The rest is history.  Terry was, and still is through his legacy, a huge blessing to the entire world of surfing.
 DSDF: What Surf Craft(s) do you make/offer?
I love to make surfboards, bodysurfing handplanes, and paipos.  My wife, who is pretty talented also, creates amazing bags for the handplanes and all sorts of other sewing creations. 
 DSDF: When and How did you get into Surfing?
Well, I kind of got into it before, but when I moved to California from Michigan I actually brought a surfboard out with me.  I had never ridden it, but I brought it out and knew that I was going to surf.  It was a 6'3" Carl Schaper thruster that my dad found in the trash at a library in Pentwater, a Lake Michigan beach town where we have a cottage.  I had no idea how wrong it was for a beginner.

After getting an 8 foot funboard off craigslist, I dedicated myself to learning to surf.  As a Christian school teacher, I had no money, so I would drive to the beach to surf and sleep in my Ford Explorer at night to save gas money on the commute from Pasadena to the beach.  It was slow learning, but I loved it.  
 DSDF: What is your favorite form of Stoke (SurfCraft)? Why?
I love the glide of a good singlefin longboard.  That's as good as it gets.  That being said, I love everything that involves sliding down a wave. Handplane.  Paipo.  Fish.  Quad.  Transitional shapes.  Whatever.  It's all stoke!
 DSDF: Any specials projects or events you'd like to share or start?
We'll be at the Deus Ex Machina Surf Swap Meet on August 2 in Venice.  We went last year and had a blast selling mostly handplanes, but we have a lot of cool stuff for this year. Come check it out!
           Also, on September 6 I'll be competing in the Straight Outta Wompton bodysurfing event at    the Wave House in San Diego. It's a freak show.

DSDF: Where do you see the Culture heading in the near Future?

Globalization and the internet have really impacted surfing whether people like it or not.  On the one hand, we can all watch the surf contests live and stoke out on all sorts of free content on the internet.  We can also learn more than ever on youtube when it comes to the craft of surfboard building.  This website is a great example; we'd never know each other without the internet and social media.  It has allowed a lot of cool, niche ideas to coalesce into movements.  So, in many ways, it has leveled the playing field.  Awesome!

On the other hand, now many boards are made overseas by people who have never surfed a day in their lives.  Also, the internet has moved us from life-defining surf movies that take years to produce to the clip of the day on instagram.  

Overall, I think we are in a really cool time right now where people are rediscovering the value of craftsmanship, originality, and stoke.  It's become cool to be unconventional and think outside the box.  Look at guys like Ryan Burch and Donald Brink, they are doing crazy things these days and people are digging it.  At the same time, classic shapers like Skip Frye seem to be getting more love than ever.  A lot of interesting shops are moving in this direction, too.  My stuff has been embraced at places like Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna and Icons of Surf in San Clemente, but shops like these are everywhere up and down the coast.  These shops understand what's going on in surfing and they are making it possible for shapers and craftsmen to create new things and market them.  Ten years ago, an experimental shape was usually a liability for a shop.  Now, they are welcomed.  It just shows that the consumer is more open than ever.
 Any shout outs, Thank you's, or comments?   
To my wife, Raquel, and all the other wives out there that put up with surf/craft obsessed husbands.  The early wake ups, experimental projects in the house, and messes that I create would test even the most patient people.  
Finally...God's grace in our lives.  The original gospel of stoke!

Thank You Ryan! I appreciate your support with Different Stoke!!! 

Good Vibes!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Join and this Sunday!!!

This Sunday! July 13th 2014- Join Scoots Handplanes and Slyde Handboards in Huntington Beach, at 9th Street, for a Group Session! 8am-12pm. Bring your fins and Surf Craft, and/or try out Scoots and Slyde craft!!! I'll be there to cover the gathering, the guy in the white long sleeve Quiksilver Rash guard, Be sure to Say Hi!!! 
Will be joining in on the Fun this Sunday too!!!

See ya There!!

Good Vibes 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

SPOILER ALERT: Surf Craft Exhibit Pictures for those that can't make it!

So I realized that not everyone would have the chance to visit the Mingei International Musuem, to check out the Surf Craft exhibit...So here are a few more pictures for those that can't make it!! Enjoy!

 Some very early Bob Simmons Hydrodynamic Planing Hulls...Look closely at the second board (almost center of the picture). I fell in Love with the dims and shape of the first board (from the right)

 An amazing collection of Traditional papa he'e nalu (surfboards) from Tom "Pohaku" Stone. The boards are made from Redwood, walnut, and Sequoia. The pictures do them No Justice.

Two Paipo from the John Mazza collection, the first one (from the left) is made from ulu (breadfruit) from the 19th Century. The second Paipo is an early 1930s board made from redwood.

An Awesome collection of Jon Wegener Surf craft, Unreal!!

A Beautiful collection of Carl Ekstrom ASym (asymmetrical) boards. The science and engineering put into these boards is insane! Rockers, Rails, and Tails that flow in different directions? Amazing!

Several beautiful Paipo boards from Hawaii, Japan, England, and even an island off of the coast of the continent of Africa! Stoke from all over the World!

 This Paipo was one of my Favorite in the collection. I have a Dutch Paipo at home just like it! I would've loved to grab it off of the wall and head for the beach!!! Maybe after the exhibit is over?

 Olo board from the Stone Collection- I'd Love to see the ritual and ceremony behind one of these beautiful boards coming to Life. The Hawaiian believe that the Spirit of the Tree exist within the Olo for the rest of it's existence, and that the Spirit actually inspires the shape. I agree.

 An Unknown (maker) Short Alaia from the 1920s, obviously pre Stickybumps or Sex Wax, so the deck was roughed up for traction! Another one of those "If the board could talk"...what a story!

         Bodyboards from THE FIRST Morey "Boogie Board" to hulled and planed Speed Demons!! Who wants to head to The Wedge??? I call the Silver Ekstrom!

Fin Collection and a Hot Curl Takayama...What a display huh? Beautiful!

                                                   Well I hope you enjoyed the pictures!

Good Vibes

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mingei International Museum: Surf Craft

This morning my wife and I headed over to the Mingei International Museum at Balboa Park to check out the Surf Craft Exhibit. We paid our $8 (each) admission and strolled on in. You're first greeted by two Hobie Surfboards, from the mid 50's. One of Balsa and the other an early Foam core and Resin construction. If only those boards could talk! Could you imagine the stories they could tell? As you proceed into the rest of the exhibit, you realize that it is truly dedicated to all (at least most) Surf Craft. The pieces in the collection are in amazing condition, and displayed very well. We enjoyed the fact that everything was not enclosed in a case or roped off, allowing you to see small details in the board designs, signatures, and even notes from the riders or shapers. 

I enjoyed seeing Traditional boards from the 1900's through the 60's and 70's, then into the Modern High Performance boards of today. Starring into the worn grains of a Paipo from the 1900's, and imaging who enjoyed this little board over a 100 years ago. Who shaped it? When? Where? It is questions like that, that have inspired me to start this blog. I then found myself Awe Struck by the magnificent Olo Boards. Seriously, Awe Struck...the sheer size and weight is amazing. The idea that someone created such an awesome work of art, then paddle out off the shores of Hawaii, and would ride these glorious Beasts in? That is amazing. Once you've see one in person, you'll never see those Google images the same again. For you Science fans out there (ME!), you 'll enjoy a brief history lesson on Hydrodynamic Planing Hulls and Simmons. I had read once how a project to design faster assault craft for WWII, eventually led to many of the features we have seen over the past 60 years of Surf Craft. Who would've thought Stoke would have roots in War? 

So, How was it? We Loved it! To see the hard work and innovations from Hobie, Wegener, Takayama, Ekstrom, Greenough and Surf Craft from all over the World and over the last 100+ years!!! Definitely worth a visit! The Surf Craft exhibit is open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm through January 11, 2015. There are a few special events coming up with the Surf Craft exhibit  as well. There will be a Shaping Demonstration July 10th, with Jon Wegener at 5:30-7:00pm. July 17th there will be a "Handcraft to Industrial Craft" exhibition with Tomo Surfboards and Firewire Surfboards. Lastly, July 24th 5:30-7:00pm The History of Surfing in San Diego. So get over there and check it out! I took a ton of pictures, but I didn't want to spoil it for you!!! It's a Great way to spend a few dollars and a little more than an hour or so of your day!

Good Vibes!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    • encourage or incite (a strong emotion or tendency).
      "his composure had the effect of stoking her anger"
    • informal
      excite or thrill.
      adjective: stoked
      "when they told me I was on the team, I was stoked!"

      STOKE? So what does it mean to You? We all use the word to describe that feeling we get when we drop in on that one great wave of a slow session, the feeling we get when we hear of a building surf report, the excitement of trying a new board? On and on I can go, but we all know what it is. However, do we all agree that Stoke is more than Surfing with a Surfboard? For the last 50+ years, the quintessential American "Surfer" had to have three things in order to call oneself a Real Surfer. 

      1. Good looking and athletic 
      2. Live in Southern California 
      3. Surfboard. 

      Well...there are plenty of folk out there that fit that bill, but there is more to it then 1-2-3. That is where I found my inspiration to create this blog. I wanted to share with everyone the Stoke I have found through more than just a surfboard and Southern California (notice I left out the Good Looking/Athletic part). Every time I walk in or out of the water with my Surfboard, I'm just another Dude with a surfboard. No one pays much attention to each other until we all start paddling. However, when I show up with one of my Paipo or Handplanes, there is a shift in the universe? What is that? Where did you get it? Is that one of those ________? Smiles and Questions from young kids to Men and Women clear through their 70's! I've had folk tell their stories about growing up and using such Surf craft, then they tell me about how it all just disappeared? Just the other day I had an older couple chat with me as I was walking in the water for an early morning session with my Hawaiian Paipo Design XL, and after answering a few of their questions...they walked away saying how I'd "Made their day.". So I thought, if I can chat for a few minutes and make someones day, by sharing something I Love? Then why not share it with everyone (YOU!)? I'm excited to post my first story soon, and I hope you will follow and help spread the Stoke!!! Stay Tuned!

      Good Vibes