You’re watching a TV show and see a couple of surfers come out of the water, run up the beach then plunge their boards into the sand before sinking down onto a towel next to a beautiful woman. If you are watching the show with a surfer, odds are they will at least cringe, if not yell at the TV that this is no way to treat a surfboard. The one that yelled probably knows how much love goes into making a surfboard by hand.
If you’ve never seen the process, you’ll have a chance during the Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic surf contest and beach party, held Friday, Sept. 13 through Sunday, Sept. 15, where the final day includes the new “Coastal Craft” event.
“Six of the Pacific Northwest’s best surfboard shapers will be working live on new boards,” said organizer Lisa Macy-Baker. “They’ll be in mobile shaping bays; two shapers in two-hour increments, so there will be people working all day. We’re also going to have other surf shops with local shapers that people can talk to. This is to not just to celebrate the craftsmen but also that relationship between the people who make surfboards, the shops that sell them, and the community that enjoys them.”
Mike Hall of Blackfern Surfboards will be one of the craftsmen. Hall has been shaping for roughly 10 years and is a leader in the eco-board movement, where more environmentally benign materials are used.
“Knowing the attributes of the customer means you can create a board in a precise manner and my customers get more of an experience by working with me,” Hall said.
“This event is a fun opportunity for the shapers to open people’s eyes about what goes into shaping and for people to see it being done.”
Surfboard making is completed in two major stages. The “blank,” is what a shaper planes and shaves into something best suited to the conditions the completed board will be used in and contains the signature style of the shaper. The finished blank is then coated with fiberglass and sealed with resin; this is when the color and design are added.
Each of the six handmade boards made during the event will be up for grabs in a silent auction. But since the boards are only being shaped at the event, the lucky winners will have to wait to hit the waves with their new prize.
“All of the glassing is being done by Brad of El Brado,” Macy-Baker said. “He is donating all the glassing and all of the materials; it’s pretty awesome.”
The event includes a surf contest, live music, a brewfest, silent auctions and raffles and is open to the anyone.
“We definitely invite people to come that aren’t part of the contest,” Macy-Baker said. “All the extra things we’ve been adding are making it even more entertaining for the person who is coming just to watch.”
The fun starts Friday at the registration party, with music, a bonfire on the beach and a beer garden with food. The contest starts in the water on Saturday morning, but things will still be happening on the beach.
“Our brewfest is on Saturday and Coastal Craft is on Sunday,” Macy-Baker said. “There will always be something going on in and out of the water.”
The contest continues until 4 pm on Sunday and the awards ceremony starts soon after.
Organizers, supporters and donors are all hoping that this year’s event will put them over the top on their fund-raising for skate park in Pacific City.
“We have the plans and the engineering done,” said Sean Fagan of Moment Surf Company. “It would be great if this year we raise enough to get it finished.”
Dreamland Skateparks is the designer for the project, which will be built on a 2.5-acre lot that was donated to the community. The skatepark will occupy about 10,000 square feet and will share space with a playground, volleyball courts and parking.
“There are also going to be a few boards in the silent auction that were donated to support a local surfer who’s been going through some hard health issues,” Macy-Baker said. “You can get some really great things and feel good about where the money is going, so it’s a win-win.”
All events happen at the Cape Kiwanda parking lot in Pacific City at the end of Cape Kiwanda Drive, or on the beach directly in front of the lot. For more information, go to www.capekiwandalongboardclassic.com or call Moment Surf Company at 503-483-1025.