Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bruce Fowler Speaks

As with many things, the inspiration for the "Stoker V8" design stems from history...

I'm currently evolving the shape some as we go along. A bit more forward curve in her outline and a few subtle refinements to up the fun factor while retaining the original flavor and riding experience.

The inspiration for the Stoker V Machine originally came from the early day "transition" boards.  This was a period spanning from 1967 to 1969 when we came out of a drug inspired era of creativity.  

I know that many people would like to think of it in more conventional terms, acting as though they never did anything questionable in our current new era of 'no tolerance and respectability'. Now that our generation is 'all grown up', their focus is on setting good examples for their children:  heaven forbid they have any skeletons in their closet.  Some of my friends act as though theywere forty from the day they were born. 

I think that is a case of 'convenient memory' if not a downright shame.

If you look at the 60's with my perspective, it was an age of innocence as far as drug use;  not at all like the horrible cartel (and government) backed mega million dollar corporate machine that preys on our youth today. We were standing strong against the accepted norms of war and injustice as we looked at the world around us in a new way, not unlike the way Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet, Degas, Monet, and others embraced impressionism while initially under the influence of Absynth, then without it, as they continued to develop some of the finest art the world has ever known.

To digress a bit further, the 60's was an earmark time for the past century. If you look back at the music, film, literary, and other cultural contributions, the creative elements still hold fast to this day.

The aforementioned claim is much the same in surfboard design. It was as though we broke out of our conventional shackles in an impassioned quest to free ourselves from the old and familiar restraints of our familiar surf vehicles for something new and something fresh.

Born was 'The Short Board revolution', happening almost overnight. The once venerable and familiar beasts we had ridden were stripped of their skins down to the carcass while being fashioned into shorter, lighter, more maneuverable possibilities.

The Vee Bottom design was the foremost design to be born from the previous generation of surfboards.  The expression was FREEDOM and a new way to approach wave riding. That's not to say there weren't challenges, as the foam cores had yet to progress and the surfboard designs of the era had to shape a new future from an old foundation.

But isn't that always the case?

.....and so, this is how the wide backed, lopped off longboard blanks of yesteryear ushered in a new era of frenzied design that lasted all of twenty or so months before we finally took pause, looked back at where we had been, and where we were headed to.

Now, as a mature shaper, I am drawn to periods that are earmarked with fast and furious bursts of energetic creativity;  these spots in time are power zones that can provide new sources of inspiration in which to draw from. Such is the case regarding "The Transition Era" where we moved so fast in a rush to see what was over the horizon that we forgot to take the time to savor where we were at.

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