Former SURFER Editor/Author

The Inertia

Lucia Griggi’s Road Photos: Seattle to La Jolla, January to February, 2013.

365 Surfboards is a project commissioned by a publishing company in Minnesota. MVP Books are the same company that published The Surfboard: Art, Style, Stoke. That book sold well in hard cover and continues to sell in soft cover, and they believe 365 Surfboards will also do well.

The book is simple in concept: 365 surfboards laid out chronologically, with 200 to 300 word captions detailing the provenance of the board, but also linking all the boards together to narrate the arc of the surfboard from olo and alaia to Thrusters and carbon fiber.

But even a simple book is not so simple. The challenge with 365 Surfboards is to collect as many boards as possible from surfers, shapers and collectors and organize them so all the important, “Mount Rushmore” surfboards are represented. There aren’t 365 of those boards, so the gaps will be filled with historic, experimental, artistic, oddball and whatever surfboards we can dig up.

Writing books is a lot of work but Jack Nicholson taught us: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So to start this book off right, we had a 365 Surfboards road trip!

Road trips are fun. The original Blues Brothers movie was all about a road trip, and that was a lot of fun.

ELWOOD: It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark…and we’re wearing sunglasses.

On January 15th, Lucia Griggi flew into Seatac from Orange County, with about 10 metric tonnes of baggage that included her full photography kit of Canon D-Somethings with all the accoutrement. No sooner had she arrived then she was whisked away to the Queen Anne sector of Seattle, where she photographed the first of many portraits of surfers with their favorite surfboard(s) – this one was of Matt Warshaw, now living in Seattle.

Later that night, Cory Bluemling landed at Seatac on winter break, and feeling awfully glad to be away from the University of Delaware where he is working toward his Masters in Fine Arts, specializing in ceramics. Cory didn’t have a surfboard with him because the airline wanted some outrageous amount of money to ship it to California. But he did have two single-handed fly fish rods and all the accoutrement.

Cory was ready for a road trip. So was Lucia. We were on a mission from God – fish as many rivers as we could find from the Olympic Peninsula down to the stock tank at the J2. And for Lucia – photograph as many surfers, shapers and collectors as we could find – with the boards of their choice. For a book called 365 Surfboards.

Rental cars are cheap these days and we got a Chevy Malibu for almost three weeks for only $400 – such a deal. All that fishing and camera gear and accoutrements just barely fit and on the morning of January 16, that Chevy Malibu had a full tank of gas, my clothes reeked of cigarettes from staying at my mom’s, the sun was out, the sky was blue and Cory loaned me a pair of polarized sunglasses so we could see all those hog steelhead we were going to catch.

Led Zeppelin has a song for every human emotion and every facet of the human experience, and that morning, “Misty Mountain Hop” was the theme on the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, with the snowy Olympic Mountains beckoning.

But enough of this yakkin’. To shorten a story that is 7,000+ digital images, 4,000-miles, three thousand dollars, two broken rods and zero steelhead long, the following photos and captions give some idea of how the trip went.

Learn more about this project and check out IndieGogo to make a donation and help it come to life!


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