The week began heavily after hearing that legendary waterman Mike Doyle had passed away. Doyle, who lived in Encinitas for much of his life, was a legendary surfer; complete with his public statue gracing PCH in Huntington Beach.
Next came news that former World Surfing Champion Sunny Garcia was in a coma.
Things had to get better. Thank you Scott Bass for lifting our hearts.
The Bass brainchild known as The Boardroom blew out 12 candles last weekend as it celebrated the surfing and board building of our favorite mid-’60s legend, Australian Wayne Lynch.
As this year’s “Master of Foam” the show was built around Wayne’s progressive surfing and the egg-shaped board he began his journey on.
His rising star was already lighting up the southern hemispheres when, at age 14, he shaped his first double-ended surfboard.
A combination of this new design and reflexes that would make my cat Henry look slow made the Victorian goofy footer the most talked about surfer in the world by the time he reached his first peak at age 17.
The surf movie “Evolution” starred Lynch and another major player of the “Shortboard Revolution,” Nat Young.
The rest of us followed as closely as possible, cutting down out longboards and vainly attempting to follow.
However, while a few were able to match Nat’s power and speed, nobody at the time came close to equaling Wayne’s vertical moves, a trip from which we have never recovered.
Humble, kind, articulate — everybody loves Wayne Lynch.
One of the most popular features of the Boardroom is the “Master’s Shape Off,” where a field of surfboard shapers are allocated an hour to replicate the originator of the genre, which, as I may have mentioned, was Lynch this year.
When I left the show, 29-year-old Ryan Burch was still in the running, competing against his close mate, Australian born and bred Shyama Buttonshaw.
Whoever said there’s too much to do and too little time could have been referring to the Boardroom.
Turn any corner and you might run into the Surf Shed’s Bird Huffman, Pipeline master Gerry Lopez, Surfer’s Journal publisher Steve Pezman, surfboard coinsurer and pro surfing pioneer Randy Rarick, ocean artist Wade Koniakowsky, or painter of the coast, Matt Beard.
Beard’s new art book, “Painting The California Coast Volume I” was prominently displayed at his booth along with his original artwork.
This proved a conflict for Matt’s many fans since they were unable to decide between a fine canvas or one of his coffee table masterpiece.
I am not covetous by nature, but those paintings and the hundreds of resin lollypops with their various outlines and fin combinations ruined me.
It is in times like these that I am grateful to be independently poor as I was unable to finance a polluting plastic bottle containing a nickel’s worth of water for five bucks.
Can we please boycott this nonsense?
Thankfully some are fighting the plastic wave, like Arctic Foam’s Marty Gilchrist who is about to release new algae-based surfboard foam onto the market.
As I wandered the isles one final time, I was left with a lovely reminder of the agony and ecstasy of the life aquatic as I viewed a Hansen Mike Doyle Model and mentally reviewed his fantastic life and quick departure.
While we’re saying our final alohas to Doyle, let’s not forget to offer prayers for Sunny, whom I heard opened his eyes a few days ago.
Come back to us, Sunny.
Much love, dear friends.