A Year in Surf, Preamble


Whether you consider it precaution or precognition, sometimes it makes sense to change things up just when they appear to be running smoothly. I feel very fortunate that my hard work over the years has earned me the luxury of making a living doing pretty much exactly what I want to do, some of which I’ve archived on these pages and on the wowhaus website. But at a certain point, no matter how intriguing or germane, work is just work, and its rewards are tempered by the usual stress and uncertainty of earning a living.

The trade-off for having successfully integrated the idea of ‘leisure’ into my art and design practice is that I’ve also managed to eliminate it from my daily life, and am beginning to feel the effects. So I’ve decided to make a concerted effort to pursue leisure as a necessary adjunct to my work, and will be shifting the subject and tone of my Deep Craft weblog accordingly.

Beginning September 1, 2010, I plan to devote a calendar year to the daily pursuit of surfing, whether on the water, building boards, getting in shape or doing research. Our studio compound is just 11 miles from a gentle fall/winter break, and about 15 miles from two major year-round breaks. I come to surfing as a lifelong bodysurfer, woodworker and beach lover. My plan is to learn to surf by shaping my first board from solid wood, and then develop my technique through ongoing experimentation. I hope you will stay tuned as I embark on ‘A Year in Surf’ and attempt to keep a daily log on these pages.

10 replies on “A Year in Surf, Preamble”

  1. Scott, I’m really looking forward to your Year in Surf. On the same wavelength, I just assigned my architecture students a semester-long project to convert a decommissioned offshore oil rig into a mobile surf station. And the same students will take my research methods class where we’ll focus on doing what you love, in a master’s thesis, an architecture project, or a career.

    I shared your announcement with them and they’ll be following your progress and, I’m sure, be inspired by your work (and now even your leisure) and your thoughts on how to craft the two into a full life. Keep up the good work, and happy surfing.

  2. Hey George, thanks so much for the update- I’m very excited we’re finding ourselves on the same wavelength once again. Your semester’s project sounds fantastic and I’ll be eager to hear more as it takes shape. I invite you or an eager student to ‘guest blog’ on deepcraft from time to time. Thanks for sharing my work with your students. I’m more than glad to share any resources and ideas.

    Meanwhile, I’m teaching a course this semester at CCA called ‘MicroExpedition’ exploring similar themes. I wrote a short piece about it here:
    and expect to track its progress on my blog. I look forward to keeping in touch! Love to Meg and the fam!

  3. Congratulations on “A Year In Surf” – you’ve certainly earned it and you’ll be extremely good at it ! A great life decision – go for it ! Life is much too short to be pressured constantly by deadlines, work pressures, lack of free time, etc. Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy !!!

  4. Some advice from another aged kook.
    • Wear a hood and docs proplugs to avoid infection and surfer’s ear. Its the inglorious and very prevalent downside spending lots of time in the NorCal ocean.
    • Go for the warmest and best fitting wetsuit you can get. It makes a huge difference never being chilled.
    • Take me with you whenever possible!

    Oh. You might want to read Kook – the tale of a guy our age who went from being a kook to surfing big tubes in a year.

    Bon voyage!!

  5. I prefer a 5/4/3 (I have Xcel). If you are sitting on your board fro 2 hours and the wind is blowing its nice to have that extra warmth. But use your 4mm to start off with and get a new suit when the fall comes if you are getting chilled. Booties really help too. WISE surfboards on Ocean Beach has great sales on new suits once or twice a year!!

    I’m a wus when it comes to cold – but its one of the joys of modern surf tech that you can be cosy and comfy while paddling about. Its the plus side that balances the crowd of kooks that now invade every surf spot because of that gear!

    I’ll bring my surf library with me when we visit so you can get up to speed in ‘Surf Theory’!!

  6. Go Scott! I surfed bolinas today…3rd time out for me. So much fun, so much to learn. Come on down sometime- or we can come up. Good luck!!!

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