Roy Johnson isn’t the first person to light up surfboards like a christmas tree. Bruce Irons and Mark Visser have made headlines doing it, but there’s an essential difference between their creative contributions to surfing and Roy’s.
The simple yet genius idea to build a board with lights inside it came to Roy a couple years ago. He’s been physically unable to surf for many years because of an injury, so creating something unique for the rest of us to enjoy has become his way of “staying in the water.” The result looks like something out of a TRON sequel, and even though all you can see is a water bound neon USO (Unidentified Shredding Object), I promise you the smiles somehow get bigger when you’re riding a wave on one of these things. The hoots from other surfers are louder and easier to draw. Somehow, some way, night surfing is even more fun than before.
Roy and Sean Johnson invited me out to share a couple First Point Malibu party waves and draw fluorescent S-Turns because they’re excited to help us see waves differently. Creativity and style are the name of the game for all of us. Making those qualities into something other surfers can enjoy? That’s just flat out art.