We all know that the surf can be crowded during the day. So, some guys have decided to take the night shift, with the help of a talented and innovative shaper: Prz Surfboards.
Of course, this is way easier to even consider in sharkless environment!
I’ve been lucky enough to shoot this really cool WSL supported event, the ”Anglet Surf De Nuit” (translate: Anglet Night Surfing). Most of the best French pro-riders were present for this airshow. Unfortunately, the super small and mushy surf did not help. And despite the rain, the crowds came in huge numbers to see this unusual kind of surf comp’.
If only this could’ve happened a day later: a real big swell has hit the Basque country shores. A Winter swell in Summer. But this is for the next episode.
We’re back, after a bit of a forced break. I’ve been on a few different assignments in Europe (France, Italy & Spain), running around like a headless chicken for most of July. I have been missing our usual sunrises, but I’ve been enjoying the heat and long days of the European Summer. We’ve also used this time off to improve some features on our website (more info soon). But I am glad to be able to resume the newsletters: from today until the start of Spring we should be able to share with you 1 to 2 newsletters per week. And for today’s up-date, I’m really stoked to be able to come to you with something different from the usual.
Since the waves were almost totally absent from the coastline of the Basque shorelines, I had made an appointment with a living Australian surf legend: Bob McTavish. In the last years, Bob has been sharing his time between shaping at his Byron workshop, and Oiartzun, in the Spanish Basque Country where the Pukas‘ headquarters produces some of the finest foam work in the world (Taz Yassin, Axel Lorentz, Matt Biolos or Chris Christenson…to name a few).
How did I feel after spending the day with 72 year young Bob McTavish ? Well, I almost felt old next to this fresh soul. Bob is loaded with the most incredible energy, sense of humour and mint love for his work/art of surfing & shaping boards.
I’ve spent quite some time in different workshops over the years. The thing that stroke me with Bob is the minimalist approach of his shaping bay. Only the minimum number of tools, all laid out on the shelf in the right order of use for each board. His gestures are precise, effective and efficient. His hands are incredibly accurate tools and act as foam volume sensors. The work looks effortless, just like when you watch an amazing surfer draw some smooth lines.
During his first 5 days in the Pukas’ factory, he had already shaped 95 boards (!!) straight out of the airplane, on the tools from 6:30am to 8:30pm regardless of the jet lag.
Bob is a real hard working machine with a great soul and a kind heart. An inspiration. A true legend.
We’ve had such a great connection that I hope this black and white series with translate in picture his skills, his experience, his kindness and his youth.
I’m sure our paths will meet again. I think I know who’s gonna shape my next boards…