The rains have ended, I can again return to laying out custom stringer combinations for two Ka po'e a'ea Models.
This is a concept that I brought to life for myself, I wanted a board that was the epitomy of what Brewer or Diff would have made as as semi-gun in 1964, my graduation year from Arthur W. Radford High School in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The rockers were modernized, but the plan shape was North Shore geev'um bra'. The rails are high in the nose, with a slight belly under the entry rocker, mid section eases off with a gas peddle area under the front foot, the rails go to hard in the tail with a rocker that was gleened from the 9'5" Clark, 10'4" Barnfield, 9'1" Brewer private collection. On first glimpse, the tail rocker looks a little extreme, but once the board in into a wave, it becomes alive with it's ability to fit in critical sections.
During the first few years on the North Shore, I had been riding it with a Yater 9" fin, the board rode OK, but I felt I was more hanging on than surfing this board. It was not until an epic summer swell at Malibu while assisting in filming a documentary about ancient board designs, that I got to ride this board with a different fin. I borrowed a super raked 10" fin from my body guard, Brad Schaffner, black belt, ultimate fighting champion, Corn Bread Mafia enforcer, spiritual adviser. Malibu had been 3-5 feet for a week with not a let up in the swell, the winds stayed light all day and the late afternoon had an incoming tide. The very first wave, I knew I had been riding the WRONG fin set- all along, this board now was one of those magic boards, drive into the bottom and carry the turn around the section, pump along the wall and set the rail for a wrap around cut back onto the lip and white water. As the waves started to approach the inside and run along the beach, bowls would start to form ahead of the curl, perfect set-ups for floater re-entries.
It was a great session, to be an old man, in perfect waves, light crowds and some of my best pals out with me. Rode that board again last fall with the same bunch of pirates at Scorpion Bay, when one day I am gone from this life, someone will ride this board and be as stoked as I have been.
The name of the board........ Ka Po'e A'ea......... "The Wanderer"........... We were a school of mainly military kids, all of us from different corners of the globe, all of us Wanderers