Coastal Craft Recap: Celebrating Surfboard Craftsmen Of The PNW

Coastal Craft Recap: Celebrating Surfboard Craftsmen Of The PNW

All photos by Rita Goldfarb (@rgoldphotos)

The idea of Coastal Craft was born after taking a look at the current schedule of events during the Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic and Brewfest and realizing we are missing an opportunity on Sunday to generate more funds for the Pacific City Skatepark. The contest was being well attended on the beach, but the event tent was relatively empty all day. We needed the tent for the awards ceremony later in the afternoon, so it was necessary to pay to have it there. We were also using it for the silent auction that ends up being a good generator of funds. We started to brainstorm on ideas of what we could do to draw people in and want to stick around to buy beer, eat food, and browse through the silent auction and other vendor displays. It was also important to find something that complemented the surf contest and stayed true to our mission of keeping things about community. Nothing could do this any better than a show about surfboards and the local craftsmen who build them!

We noticed there had been a few similar shows in Portland over the years but none of them featured live shaping or included surf shops. We thought that implementing these ideas would help stand us apart and build the connection between shapers and shops along the coast. So we decided to make a few calls to the board builders we already worked with and the response was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone liked the idea and jumped on board to help make it happen. Momentum really started to build after talking with Matt at Fiberglass Supply and Brad at El Brado’s Fiberglass.

Our idea was to add the boards being shaped to the silent auction to help raise funds. Matt wasted no time offering to donate all the blanks and build the custom shaping bays for the event, unbelievably generous! Then, Brad said he would donate all the glassing of the boards! These two guys went above and beyond and deserve a ton of credit for making this event even possible. The list of shapers who were willing to donate their time and skills quickly filled up and we were blown away by their generosity and commitment to making this happen. The pieces all came together and with everybody’s hard work, we were ready for the weekend.

Matt and his team came in Saturday evening after the brewfest closed and built the shaping bays throughout the night. The shapers and Brad arrived early the next morning and started to set up. Dennis at Seaside Surf Shop also arrived with a van full of shop apparel and boards to display from Northwest Surf Design. Brian Anderson not only competed in the contest, but brought a bunch of his boards to check out plus set up a freshly shaped longboard and allowed everyone attending to add their artistic touch to the paint job. Jared Matchniff from Niff Surfboards brought in boards to display and also generously donated one of his designs to the silent auction. Trevor with FCS Fins, Nate with Futures and Christian with Push Fins all set up booths and displayed their goods. Other boards on display were from Murdey, Cubical, Bauer, Russo, Bailey Board Works, NME and Leboss.

The real stars of the event were the 6 shapers that stepped into the bays and displayed their talents in front of a packed house. Each mentioned afterwards that they were a little nervous, having never worked in front of that many people before, but you couldn’t tell. Opening the event were Chris Bauer, who shaped a 5’8 fish, and Travis Yamada who shaped a 4’7 river board. All eyes were on them and everyone held their breath wondering if this was actually going to work, but then a little magic happened, It not only worked, but collectively blew everybody’s mind. The combination of sand, surf, live music and surfboards coming to life put smiles on faces and a buzz in the air. This stoke continued as Mike Hall and Dan Murdey stepped into the bays. Mike shaped a 5’10 fish and Dan did a 9’3 Classic Longboard. I can’t wait to see how these boards turn out after being glassed.

As Jefe’s Fish Tacos continued to be served up, beer donated by the Pelican being poured, and the smooth acoustic sound of Zhug filled the tent, the final shapers entered the bays. Al Ciske from NME shaped a 6’0 Groveler Shortboard and Ryan Leboss did a 7’3 channel bottom egg. Shortly after they started, the contest outside was finishing up and everyone started to gather under the tent to watch the shapers and get ready for the awards presentation. The tent was packed, the vibes were good, and people were scrambling to get their final bids in on the silent auction. All the boards being shaped were sold and each winner met with Brad to discuss glassing options or exchange contact information. How this event was going to go was a complete unknown but overall it turned out to be a huge success. A big thank you to everyone involved who generously gave their time, talents and hard work! We can’t wait till next year and hopefully we will make it even bigger and better!

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