Friday, September 15, 2006

Meeting with Steven Walden

Today is actually the last day of my week-long So-Cal solo surf trip. I must say that this trip has been so phenomenal.

Some highlights of this trip includes;

Two solid days of South Swell fun surfing at Cardiff. I could not ask for better. I had so much fun both with my new Xanadu board as well as a rented 8'6 South Point board. i was really be able to put all my skills I have acquired to this point to to my own best version of ripping and shredding, and surfing by my own meant that I get up when I felt like, I was not dictated to eat meals exactly when everyone is supposed to eat at noon and 7 PM. (I can hold out for food when the waves are good), pick and choose when and where to go without coordinating shopping center or district logistics. (Note that I am not complaining about it, rather, I am saying that I could operate on a different mode for a change.) Pure surfing from the morning to the end of the day! And to top that off I got to see world's top surfers like Kelly Slater, Taj Burrows and Andy Irons up close for the first time, and then spoke with Mike Walden himself, and as a result, I now have added a Walden Magic 9'0 into my quiver.

This has been a recurring theme on my trip, and when I talk about that I am not just talking about this trip but about the life long trip for being a surfer. Surfing is really a mellow sport. What other situation allows you to be up close with the world's top athlete, shoot photos etc., then the next moment you get to get a surf board purchasing advise from yet another world-renowned surf board shaper? I have met people or even exchanged few email messages and shook hands with people like Matt Warshaw who was the editor for the Surfer Magazine, and Steven Pezman also was the Surfer Mag guy and runs the Surfers Journal, and you see him on bunch of surf documentary videos! So that's how down-to-earth surfing is. I am really glad to be participating in this sport.

Anyhow, when I walked into Mr. Walden's shop, and he was explaining about a board to another customer, and he notices me checking out the boards. He says, "You've been in here before, right?" I don't know whether that's his regular line or not, but at least that made me feel really comfortable. I think I would use that line at some point in the future; a very good idea.

Like many surfers, he is a short statue guy like me and a whole lot of surfers, but he just can explain so much about the boards he makes, and he also started to manufacture his own EPS core boards. I was asking about whether there are any differences between his glass boards and the new EPS ones (note that I am a big fan of EPS boards because of its strength). He said that the board behaves a tiny bit high-floating than his glass boards, but otherwise they all perform the same. He took an EPS board on his last trip.

He was just so friendly and so enthusiastic about surfing, and when I explained to him about me living only a walk from Mavericks he asked me about Devil's Slides and his last trip from HMB to Wise Shop in SF... all familiar stuff.
Long boarding is really fun, and I know I am going to enjoy it. That's what I told Steve Walden when I left the shop.

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