On Scientific Developments in Surfing (etc.)

For our next Blogpost, you will have several options to choose from.  The main idea here is to riff a little on some of the material we’re covering during Unit Two (on the science and technology of surfing).  But we also wanted to give you the chance to back up a little and talk about a really key element of our course that we haven’t done much with during classtime:  our fieldtrip to the New Jersey Surf Museum at Tuckerton.  All told, then, you should let your thoughts go and see what there is to see with regards to TWO of three topic options.  For each topic you choose to tackle, you should write a paragraph — so, two total paragraphs is the goal. 

Here are the three topic options that you might choose from:  1)  Follow up on our class fieldtrip.  What do you remember most?  What did you learn?  How did it help to illustrate or raise additional questions about stuff we have been doing in class?  2)  Address the age-old question of whether shaping is truly an “artform.”  You might consider such things as:  Is board shaping really an “art”?  Why or why not?  And who cares if it is “artistic” or not – what difference does it make? Is it “wrong” somehow to ride a mass-produced surfboard?  3)  For your final option, you should consider the controversial “Surf Ranch”.  What do you think of Kelly Slater’s famous man-made wave (and others like it)?  Is this technological development the latest, greatest example that surfing today has “lost it soul”, or does it represent an ingenious example of forward progress? 

32 thoughts on “On Scientific Developments in Surfing (etc.)

  1. 1. From our field trip I most remember the wooden board in the center of the room, and off the side by the entrance. In class we have only seen pictures, but seeing a hand carved wooden board in person is a different experience to me. For example, I could closely see all the little details, lines of the wood, and small screws. Today you never see small details like the wooden board had. While, the one by the entrance had a totally different shape, I still notice the small details of the grain of the wood. Therefore, seeing two different styles of wooden boards opened my eyes to all kinds of boards. Before I had never seen wooden boards, and had trouble imagining them because all I have ever seen was white, fiberglass or composite boards. From there, I saw the development of boards overtime. For example, colors changed overtime, tail shape, thickness, and logo placement. I noticed that farther back in NJ, there was more names of shapers on boards; however, more recent boards are more logo of shapers. This led me to question the business side of surfing. I asked myself questions like: How did surf shapers use their boards to market? How do the colors influence the time? How does the market/economy change or influence shapes? I also noticed how shapers who were friends had somewhat similar shapes, or how each decade influenced the next. Then, I asked myself, what other influences changed during the decades that would have affected surfing?

    3. I think Kelly Slater’s surf ranch is awesome. To be honest I did not know it was controversial. All the surfers I follow on surf media love his ranch and other man made surf ranches. I think the technology there highlights how technology can be used in an advantageous way, rather than consuming teenagers’ brains. Likewise, I believe once one technology advancement is created, more follow. For example, after the space race, multiple technology advancements were made open to the public. Hopefully the surf ranches can bring technology advancements to some type of energy source or help the environment. Also, I believe the ranches help the economy because they create jobs, and bring tourism to wherever they are located. For example, if someone builds a ranch in a struggling town it could boost their economy. Therefore, I believe surf ranches can push surfing to new levels, while maintaining its root soul. For example, one of the biggest parts of surfing is getting that “stoke”, and if you live landlocked or somewhere where there are no waves, surf ranches can create that stoke. Also, surf ranches can be designed or decorated to preserve the surf history. With all the technology we have today, I believe there are more options to retain the soul of surfing rather than the disadvantages of surf ranches.

  2. 2) Surfboard shaping can be an art form if it is done by hand. The mass produced boards that are glassed in Taiwan to me are not art. A good example of a board that is not art is a Firewire. I do not see a Firewire the same as I do a Tyler or a Greg Noll. The craftsmanship that goes into a handmade board makes it a work of art.
    3) Kelly Slater made surfing cool then ruined it with his stupid wave pool. Surfing in a pool takes the whole chasing waves aspect that makes surfing different from other sports away. Kelly is a hypocrite. He’s all eco friendly but how many gallons of water does that pool waste. Kelly is a business man. His clothing line is very expensive. He’s no longer in it for the world titles. He’s all about making a profit.

  3. 2) I believe personally that shaping is an “art form”. Shaping is not something anyone can do it takes years of practice and and experience to become really good at it. It is a craft, you are building something with your hands. When building is involved I consider it to be a form of art. When shaping a surfboard you have to determine whether the board is going to be ridden by a male/ female/ child etc. Each surfboard is built to accommodate your body. Although I believe board shaping is great and an artistic ability some hold, I don’t believe it is wrong to ride a mass produced surfboard. I think it really depends on whatever suits you best and the waves you are riding it in. As well as how much money you are willing to spend on the board considering a customized board is going to be much more money. The part where they are making the foam for the surfboards I don’t see that to be an art I believe that is its own skill in itself.

    3) I think personally that Kelly Slater’s famous man-made wave is very unique and something that your average person would not be able to come up with and bring to life. I think it is something that should be used for practice for surfing, for example if you are a beginner. Or, if the weather is not the best and the waves are not the way it should be. I think having Kelly Slater’s “Surf Ranch” is excellent for those circumstances. But, I also view surfing as allowing your body to be “one with nature” and with this being man made I feel like it defeats the purpose of the waves naturally happening on their own. The “Surf Ranch” 100% shows how far technological development has come but I do believe it has its pros and cons when thinking about the real idea of surfing and where it has come from.

  4. When it comes to defining art, someone can’t do it objectively. By this I mean that art is purely based on someone’s subjective view of art. With the increasing number of “artists” in the world it seems that everyone wants to use a blanketed objective definition of art to say that one form of personal expression is art in comparison to another. So, for someone to say that painting a few lines on a canvas is art and shaping a board isn’t, is really them showing their subjective view on certain art forms. In my personal viewpoint I believe that shaping a board is an art form regardless if it will go on to be mass produced or remain a singular custom board. When it comes to surfing it doesn’t truly matter if your board is custom or mass produced, it matters what you put into it. You can ride a beautiful custom board but still be a kook, just as you can be an amazing surfer and using a basic machine-made board. Since its truly the surfer using it that matters there is nothing wrong with using a mass-produced board. People can moan all day that it strays away from the roots of surfing, but evolution is an unstoppable force, and failing to embrace us will stunt the growth of the sport.
    Considering the Surf Ranch controversial is confusing for me as it doesn’t have any true effect on someone personally. For those who surf the waves they can hone their skills in a controlled environment. There is no way that it would nuisance those who want to “stay true to the roots” and only surf in the ocean. Since it has no true downfall or repercussion from it, it should not be deemed controversial in my opinion. This new development will allow the sport to become much more evolved with more technical moves, and aerials since athletes will be able to practice it consistently. To make this a point that is hard to argue, if there was an amazing surf spot that always pumped out consistent waves would you stop surfing there? Say that pipeline always had ideal conditions and swell, should people stop going there because its not as inconsistent as a different beach. Now I don’t mean that inconsistency isn’t fun when it comes to taming the waves. When you’re looking to perfect a maneuver would you rather wait for the perfect wave to try it on which could take hours, or try it multiple times in one hour? After developing the technique, you can take it to inconsistent waves and implement it. It is in no way a replacement for natural swell, it’s simply a training exercise.

  5. When it comes to defining art, someone can’t do it objectively. By this I mean that art is purely based on someone’s subjective view of art. With the increasing number of “artists” in the world it seems that everyone wants to use a blanketed objective definition of art to say that one form of personal expression is art in comparison to another. So, for someone to say that painting a few lines on a canvas is art and shaping a board isn’t, is really them showing their subjective view on certain art forms. In my personal viewpoint I believe that shaping a board is an art form regardless if it will go on to be mass produced or remain a singular custom board. When it comes to surfing it doesn’t truly matter if your board is custom or mass produced, it matters what you put into it. You can ride a beautiful custom board but still be a kook, just as you can be an amazing surfer and using a basic machine-made board. Since its truly the surfer using it that matters there is nothing wrong with using a mass-produced board. People can moan all day that it strays away from the roots of surfing, but evolution is an unstoppable force, and failing to embrace us will stunt the growth of the sport.

    Considering the Surf Ranch controversial is confusing for me as it doesn’t have any true effect on someone personally. For those who surf the waves they can hone their skills in a controlled environment. There is no way that it would nuisance those who want to “stay true to the roots” and only surf in the ocean. Since it has no true downfall or repercussion from it, it should not be deemed controversial in my opinion. This new development will allow the sport to become much more evolved with more technical moves, and aerials since athletes will be able to practice it consistently. To make this a point that is hard to argue, if there was an amazing surf spot that always pumped out consistent waves would you stop surfing there? Say that pipeline always had ideal conditions and swell, should people stop going there because its not as inconsistent as a different beach. Now I don’t mean that inconsistency isn’t fun when it comes to taming the waves. When you’re looking to perfect a maneuver would you rather wait for the perfect wave to try it on which could take hours, or try it multiple times in one hour? After developing the technique, you can take it to inconsistent waves and implement it. It is in no way a replacement for natural swell, it’s simply a training exercise.

  6. Derek Kettig

    2) Address the age-old question of whether shaping is truly an “artform.” You might consider such things as: Is board shaping really an “art”? Why or why not? And who cares if it is “artistic” or not – what difference does it make? Is it “wrong” somehow to ride a mass-produced surfboard? 3) For your final option, you should consider the controversial “Surf Ranch”. What do you think of Kelly Slater’s famous man-made wave (and others like it)? Is this technological development the latest, greatest example that surfing today has “lost it soul”, or does it represent an ingenious example of forward progress?

    The term art is very subjective. Art can be many different things to many different people. However, I strongly believe board shaping is a lost art form today, because of the mass production of boards. Surfboards can be very different from some others and are designed to surf a certain wave sometimes. When trying to think of board shaping as an art imagine the board is a canvas and the shaper isn’t the artist. The shaper can design his board anyway he wants, just like a typical artist would do to a canvas. However, the painting’s on canvas will end up hanging on a wall somewhere, but a shapers board can be used all over the world to surf different waves. People who don’t surf might not care if it’s artistic, but to a wholehearted surfer, it might. When you surf every day it would be useful to have a custom board for how you surf and to put your own twist on it to separate yourself from others in the water. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with riding a mass-produced board. Considering they are cheaper, consistent products, and more available on the market.

    I think Kelly Slater’s surf ranch is a very good tool for surfing today. The man-made waves are perfect place for professional surfers to practice their lines and maneuvers for tournaments. The constant flow of perfect waves is perfect for people to hone in their skills when they don’t get the luxury of surfing famous breaks like pipeline every day. This shows forward progress in surfing by giving young surfers a chance to get more waves in and get more talented which is very beneficial for world tour competitions. Though it might not be a natural wave it is still a wave. Many other sports use technology to practice and get better, for example, a baseball player will use a pitching machine to get swings instead of a real pitcher.

  7. During our field trip to the New Jersey Surf museum we were introduced to physical momentos that help illustrate the colorful history that New Jersey has to offer. The one piece of history they had on their wall that really caught my interest was this article about New Jersey’s first ever highschool National Surfing Champion. Cooper Fortney was one of the gnarliest riders in the tournament during the 2015 season, but nobody, not even himself pictured he would come out on top and claim NJ’s first ever national championship. This really stuck out to me because I am actually friends with Cooper and have surfed with him on multiple occasions. I first met him during our high school surfing careers when his school Manasquan would face off with my school Southern Regional and we ended re-connecting when we both began attending Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL. At first it was a big deal for him to be the one to bring New Jersey its first national title, as much as he tried to downplay it there really was no way because for many people that was a way of putting local NJ surfers on the map and put the state on the map as one of the best surf states in the US. Even though we were friends I had no clue he was going to have a small section of this museum dedicated to him and his accomplishment, hell he didn’t even know he had a section in this exhibit until I called him after our trip and sent him the photo of his article.

    Is surfboard shaping an “Artform”? In my opinion I believe that shaping is a form of art, because it’s a process that starts with nothing but a block with a flat surface and ends up as a finished board. The art is in the process, you can almost pull any idea / design from your mind and shape it into a rideable surfboard. It’s a tedious process for some but once you start to understand the basics of it you can just let it flow and let your mind run wild with ideas on how you want your board to ride, look, feels, and even the board’s thickness. The art of this really becomes present at the start when you begin to select your blank and you begin the process of cutting it so it fits the height and size you are gonna want. You are taking a blank piece and cutting it into exact measurements and cutting at specific spots so you can literally mold it into the best shape and style for you. The whole process of shaping a board is art to me so it’s very hard to narrow down where the art exactly begins. It’s hard because the whole process can take up to weeks for people and they are really in their workshop battling with this board to help shape it into the perfect model for the rider.

  8. Изготовление и продажа колеса сира

    Низкие цены и высокое качество продукции гарантируем.
    Подробнее о наших Колесах Сира:

    изготовлены из нержавеющей стали
    разбираются на 4 или 5 частей на Ваш выбор
    покрытие ПВХ различных цветов
    есть возможность заказать колесо без покрытия ПВХ

    Сколько времени надо чтобы научиться?
    Выполнять простые движение достаточно криво можно научиться за 5-6 занятий.
    Для того, чтобы получалось красиво нужно от 1 года занятий.

    Какая нужна подготовка чтобы начать?
    Колесо Сира не требует специальной подготовки. Тем не менее вы должны быть в нормальной форме.
    Желательно, чтобы вы были в высоту больше, чем в ширину. )

    Какие группы мышц задействованы при занятии в колеса Сира?
    Все.
    Если точнее — это зависит от того какие трюки вы на нем исполняете.
    Для новичков больше всего нагрузки приходится на руки/спину и немного — ноги.

    Где можно заниматься? Какое покрытие нужно?

    Мрамор или деревянный пол спорт зала — еще лучше.
    Точно не подойдут песок и трава.

    https://sdelai.ru/members/davidodops/

  9. 1) As someone who doesn’t surf, I found the surf museum very interesting. Reading the chapters in our book for class I’ve learned about all of the different sizes and shapes that surf boards can have and why the different sizes and weights matter but going to the museum really helped to see the actual differences. What really stood out to me though was the huge hollow board in the middle of the room. I cannot recall the name of the man who made it, but it was astonishing to see how much hardware was put into the board and how heavy it was, yet the man who made it was still able to take it out and surf with it. I can not imagine being able to have so much control over something so heavy in the ocean. It was also interesting being able to compare that hand made board to the other foam boards and fiberglass boards as well as how the shape and sizes of boards changed throughout even recent years.
    Another little fact I found funny was the story about the man who wanted to surf so bad in Atlantic City that he went back to his mother’s house and grabbed her ironing board and surfed with that.

    2) The act of shaping a surfboard should be considered an art form, although only if done by a man or woman and not machine. Surfing began as a culture and a way to connect one’s self with the ocean and nature. Hawaiians considered creating a surfboard as ceremonial and held rituals during the shaping and creation of their boards before they could even touch the water with it. Therefore, if someone is going to consider the history behind shaping a board and actually do it themselves, by hand, it should be considered an art form. I think this only really matters though to people who care more about surfing than just a sport.
    On the other hand, in order to reach the masses and spread the invigorating feelings one can have from surfing a wave, boards cannot be restricted to only being handmade. It is simply impossible to hand make millions of surfboards and spread them across a country or even the world. Although one who comes from a cultural background of surfing may think of mass-produced boards as a disgrace to the culture because they don’t have the same meaning and feeling behind them as a board made by your own hands. I can agree though that the first person to design and make the first board for manufacturing could consider that time and effort put into the board a form of art, but every board that is made in the factory from the mold of the original is just a copy and paste and the mass-produced boards are no longer art.
    All in all, I do not think it is wrong to mass-produce surfboards, but I think that is when it loses its form of art.

  10. In my opinion, art is different to everyone. Art can be paintings, novels, poems, videogames, music, movies, dancing, etc. It’s anything that captivates the observer/player. Art is supposed to inspire us and it’s all up the viewer what they consider art to be. For me, I don’t get emotionally attached or mesmerized by the shape of a surfboard. So, for me, I wouldn’t look at a surfboard and consider it art. For some people, shaping is an art. They’re fascinated by it and put in time and effort to design the board they desire and while picking out a board, the shape is a huge factor. If that’s the case, then shaping is an art to them. If the object/activity emotionally connects with you and you’re passionate about it—it’s art. There’s no single definition of art, it’s a feeling. All in all, shaping a board is an art to some people and not to others. In my eyes, mass production is not an art because no effort was made into the creation of the boards.

    I’ll admit that Kelly Slater’s wave pool is very unique and a brilliant idea. I think the existence of pools like his won’t stop surfers to driving to their local surf spot and going on road trips in search of the perfect wave. If anything, I think these pools will thin the crowds. However, I believe that “Surf Ranches” will destroy the soul of surfing and it stirs up many environmental concerns. Surfing is supposed to be about connecting with the ocean. It’s about waiting for the perfect wave, not pushing a button and having it appear. It’s about counterculture, tuning one’s inner self to nature. These artificial wave pools make surfing like every other sport where you can show up and expect the same conditions. Obviously, it’s pretty cool. I can’t help but think that it’s too perfect and that will make it boring. You’ll know what to expect wave after wave. When you go surf in the ocean, so many things have to come together, sometimes frustrating yes, but it makes those perfect days all the more precious. As cool as this is, I think it will eventually not be surfed. All in all, how the pool was built and how the wave is generated is amazing. This is a great civil engineering project.

  11. 1) I personally do not view shaping to be art, rather it is more of a craft, skill or collection of skills that stems from a specific skill set. I do believe that shaping can be viewed as an art because of its specificity and authenticity, but it is not a true form of art. To define the shaping of a surfboard as art implies that any craft can be seen as art which generalizes art down to the point where art becomes unimportant or vague. In a way, art loses its intrinsic value. When everything becomes art, art becomes lost within itself, effectively making art no different or special then things we do in our everyday life. 

    2) Regarding the Surf Ranch, I believe that this type of surfing does devalue surfing in both its connection with nature and the connection with oneself.  Essentially, the surf ranch effectively gets rid of surfing’s soul and makes it into a generic, photonic sport that has no external connections other than the physical action of surfing. Although, I do see the importance of the creation of the surf ranch because although, it may kill the beauty and natural state of surfing it allows for surfing to happen regardless of whether the waves or good or not and gives surfing longevity because you can surf whenever you want regardless of any external factors.  

  12. 1.) From our field trip, I was very intrigued by all the different surf boards in the room we spent most of our time in. While in the room , we were even able to stand on a board and balance on it on the floor. I do not surf, but I appreciate the sport and lifestyle so I was intrigued by all the artifacts. I learned a lot about the ancient surfboards and it out into perspective for me, how heavy they actually were. It shows that surfers needed to be able to handle one hundred pounds plus in wood to steer their boards. This helped me learn about the evolution of surfboards in class, which is something we are currently covering.
    2.) A more intense debate from this week in class was whether or not shaping a surfboard is considered art. The term art is extremely broad and makes this question too subjective to have correct and incorrect answers. The idea of shaping a board is considered art in my eyes. Yes, it could be just using the shaper to cut the board into what you need but there are more factors that go into it. The dimensions have to be perfect, and the board needs to be sanded down evenly. There is no debate on whether or not the design going on the board is considered art. Art begins with creativity and the designers for the boards need creativity.

  13. 2) according to the dictionary definition of the word art means “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” By that definition surfboard shaping more than qualifies as an art form. You have shapers spending hours upon hours shaping boards made out of different materials and techniques to perfect their technique for anyone who is lucky enough to ride it one of their masterpieces. Shaping steaks volumes about the sport as well. Riding a hand shaped board you made yourself has a way of making you feel even more one with the sport than you would with a mass produced board. The board you made is a part of you and it rides the way you mad it too. With that being said I don’t personally see a problem with mass produced boards. I think the spread of the enjoyment of the sport is more important than the artistic creativity that comes with the hand crafted board. Especially when you consider the price of hand crafted board when compared to a mass produced board, at nearly double the cost if everyone had handcrafted bards the sport would no longer be available to every citizens because the cost of a board would outweigh the “possibility” of becoming. Surfer. Imagine paying 1500 dollars for something to only ride it once.

    3)forward progress in technology and popularity in the sport has driven surfers such as Kelly slater to open up their own persona wave pool in order to hone their skills. Personally i feel it takes the soul out of the sport because every wave is longer a force of nature its just another thing made by man.thier is something peaceful about being out on the water, man versus nature, surfing naturally formed waves. You feel as if you’re accomplishing something, conquering even. The creation of artificial waves may allow for the perfect waves to pratice on and get a form of consistent waves but at the end of the day, it is going to change the sport wether we like it or not. What surfer in thier right mind would give away the opportunity to ride the perfect wave whenever they wanted? I know I wouldn’t.

  14. 1) I was unsure how the field trip was going to go since it was only going to be an hour long, but I ended up really enjoying it. My favorite part about it was seeing different boards from different time periods so that I could see how they progressed. It was also awesome to see the replica of an original surfboard, and how massive it was. But the best part was walking around the room and seeing that most of the boards were ridden by professionals , and you could see how weathered down they were. It helped put an actual visual in my head from what we have learned in class. I could finally see what different types of short boards and long boards actually looked like in real life.

    2) Art is a very vague topic, and when it is asked, what is art? it become difficult to give an explanation. I think that if someone considers something art then it is art. For example if I draw a line on a paper and show my friend and tell him that its art, then its art to me. But my friend doesn’t have to agree, it may not be art to him. It is conceptual. When it comes to board shaping, I do believe that it is an art. I believe this because someone actually physically made the board and designed it themselves. They also had the idea and used it to bring it to life, therefore its art. But when a machine makes the board there is no hands on work being done, therefore I don’t see it as art.

  15. 2)I think surfboard shaping is an artform depending on the circumstances involved in it. Surfing is a sport where can you make your own gear using the most minimum of equipment and use in a short period of time. The act of finding material for a board is not a form of art, but taking the time to design and shape your own board is a form of art. I do not think it is wrong to ride a mass produced surfboard. If you buy a board that comes from a factory or overseas, you can still make it yours by adding better fins, a new leash, or stickers to make it more unique. I have a deeper level of respect for those who have shaped their own boards and think that this is much more time consuming and should be appreciated.

    3)I think that Kelly Slater’s surf ranch is a unique option to get in the water and try surfing in a closed area. However, I think the surf ranch takes out a lot of the visual and natural aspects that come along and should be included in the surfing experience. The surf ranch is reported to have costed millions of dollars to design and build. This proves that surfing has become a sport that revolves around making money. The surf ranch is hard to reserve time in and very expensive to visit which supports making surfing a commodity rather than keeping it simple as well. I am not against the surf ranch and the opportunities it brings to those who want to surf, I just do not believe it gives the same experience as surfing in the open in nature.

  16. Following up on our field trip to the Tuckerton Surf Museum, each display was intriguing to me, but there was one main aspect of the whole environment that stood out. The fact that in one room filled with surfboards, we could see how innovations took a toll on the surfboards and how they evolved over time. We saw wooden boards that looked as if they were a display item instead of an actual surfboard that could have been used at a specific time. There were boards in the room that have been donated by popular surfers that are as old as my parents today but kept in pristine condition which is just a cool topic to ponder about, the thought that someone had that board in the ocean shredding waves before my parents took their first breath of air is just interesting. Any board that was commonly smaller in the room had dates that were closer to present day then ones that were an average length. Also by just getting up close to the boards you can tell by the marks left on them that the material used to create the board was most likely more durable or strong than in others. In all the display of the boards made it very eye-opening to anyone who viewed them on how evolution and innovation changed the course of surfing.

    With recent debate in class on whether shaping is an art, I would like to stand on the idea that board shaping is not an art. I feel this way because although there is a set definition of the term “art’ which is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” Although the definition touches on a few standpoints, I feel as if the definition is too bland. Art in my eyes is crafts or images made purely to be displayed for pleasure to whom is viewing it. Yes a surfboard could have art added to it or created on it but the shaping process is not art. A lot of big surf brands that create and shape surfboards usually have machines that do the process instead of it being done by hand. How could a machine doing all the work to shape the board be considered art especially when there are artists who paint murals with enough detail in their art that it looks like an actual photograph? Another debate topic I feel should not even be up for debate, is the question is it wrong to ride a mass produced surfboard? Anyone who ever claims it is wrong to do so needs to evaluate other aspects in life other than what others are doing. Each person has their own particular reason for purchasing and using a specific object, there may be other aspects that those who are not familiar with one person would not know that factor into the purchase and use of specific items. For example there are factors like cost, preference, style, and reputation. Some mass produced boards that are popular may make it easier for beginners to use and learn how to surf, some boards have a specific style that one surfer may prefer over another, and simply some people do not have enough time on their hands to go make and design a surfboard, and would rather purchase one premade. In all there should never be an argument against people enjoying the mass produced boards because those who purchase it have their own reasons for doing what they do.

  17. 2) I would definitely have to say that shaping is truly an artform. The people that do shape boards start out with a vision of what they want their final product to look like just like a painter or sculptor. While they shape the board they put in time and effort to and their own unique touches on the board to make it unique, make it theirs. They take this big, blocky chunk of foam down to this slim and hydrodynamic surfboard that they first imagined in their mind. I also don’t think that is wrong to ride a mass produced surfboard. Some people don’t really care about who shapes their board, they just want a reliable board that they can surf on and I think there is nothing wrong with that.

    3) I think these wave pools are an astounding feat of human engineering. The fact that these wave pools make and recreate the same wave perfectly time and time again is just amazing. I really believe that this is a step forward for surfing for multiple reasons. Firstly, it takes the unknown out of surfing because you know the size and shape of the wave you are surfing before the wave is even made. These wave pools compared to ocean surfing are kind of comparable to baseball and softball. They are both very similar in that they are accomplishing but there are few differences between them. Of course there is a distinct feel to each of them but no matter which one you look at you still surfing either way.

  18. 1. What I remember the most from our field trip was the time we spent in the surf history building that was filled with boards from. I thought their collection was interesting in the way it was filled with all different types of boards from long boards to short boards, fish tailed, fin-less, etc. I don’t feel like I learned very much about the history of surfing in New Jersey because it was hard to follow what our guide was saying but I do remember our guide mentioning Duke Kahanamoku coming to Atlantic City to surf. I was very surprised to learn this because I figured a large figure in surfing like the Duke would stick to Hawaiian and Californian breaks because the waves are a bigger than hear in New Jersey. I feel like my experience from the field trip didn’t really help me in class at the time we went but now that we are in our board shaping unit I can take from some of the boards I saw in the museum to help in my understanding of shaping.
    2. I feel that shaping a board is absolutely an art form especially if you are shaping a board for your own personal use. Shaping a board for your personal use would create a more personal bond and connection to your board and I feel that would cause you to feel a more personal attachment to the artistic values with shaping, designing, and coloring your own board. I also feel that shaping a board for commercial sale is artistic but not as artistic because the creator isn’t going to have as much connection to the board as a result of making it for sale, which would also lessen the artistic value of the board itself. As far as producing boards for mass production using a template I do not feel that it is an art-form. The consumer of those boards really have no say in how the board is going to be shaped because the machinery used to make it is already pre-programmed. As far as writing code for the machinery I see it as a science not as an art. Lastly, the chemistry of the foam used to make the board isn’t art because the employees at the board production factory didn’t invent or discover a new formula for the foam, they are using a formula that has already been discovered. To conclude, I see shaping a board with your bare hands is an art form but having the intent to only shape boards for commercial sale lessens the artistic value. And mass produced boards have no artistic value to them unless you alter the board yourself after purchase.

  19. 1) There are a few things from this field trip that really stuck with me. One of them, being our instructor Jack. He was a very cool, relaxed, and slow paced guy that had a lot of interesting information and stories. The other thing I took an interest in was a board. This specific board was a 1966 Hobie Gary Propper styled longboard. A few years ago my father was up at one of the great lakes and stumbled upon the same style board from the 60’s. He bought the board for about fifty dollars not knowing it’s background. We went to a fee local surf shops and went online to see about it and it was worth a few thousand dollars (recently asked, not fifteen thousand). I wish I had that board still today so I could bring it in class, but at the time I needed a new board for my surf team and so we sold it. Seeing that board really made me realize how drastic the style of boards have changed compared to now.

    2) I believe that shaping truly is an artform. A lot of things can be considered an artform. For example, my father taught me when I was a young boy, the art of fly fishing. A lot of people consider it a sport, but to fly fishers, it is an art. Every fly fisher had their own unique style of casting, and mastering your own special cast is art. It all depends on the person performing or creating this “artform”. I think that if someone creates an artform, it is them and only them that decides if it is considered art or not. Like the example of Picasso’s painting that you two gave in class the other day, everyone had mixed thoughts. Everyone has their own opinion on things, and they have that right, especially on the topic of art. I think that Picasso is the one who gets to decide if that 15 second painting is truly art or not. Almost anything can be considered art, even things like shaping. I don’t believe that mass-produced surfboards are considered artwork, at least not all of them. To me, only the first board that is sketched out and created is art, not the copies. I took an AP portfolio art class in highschool for three years, and I don’t think that there is any better place than that to learn about all types of artforms. The most important rule in that class was never recreate someone else’s artwork. In order to submit and sell your art, it needs to be changed fifty percent from the referenced photo used. This means that it is illegal to copy another piece of art, and if you do so, that work isn’t considered art. Connecting this to my statement before, the copied mass-produced boards are not considered artwork, only the first. That is also why personal hands on shaping is considered an artform. With them, they can never repeat a board they once created, something will always be different, even the slightest detail. To me, art is something that can never be recreated, it is something that is being expressed from the feelings one has inside. Mass-produced boards do not qualify in my definition of artform.

  20. 1) I always have a large appreciation for local history as it is very interesting to see that where we are today had a form in shaping the world of surfing. To be able to go to a new site and see what our unique state has to offer & has to contribute to the world is very cool. What I remember the most is the wooden ironing board which was used by an Atlantic City Local to surf the waves after being inspired by watching the Duke. I also liked flipping through the collection of articles and reading up on Ron DiMenna, Nj Native and owner of Ron Jon surf shop. He is a very unique character and had an amazing story of how he started his business and it would have been nice to see it better highlighted in the museum. I also enjoyed seeing the handcrafted wooden board in person so that I could relate it to what we had been discussing in class. it made visualizing more vivid for future discussions.

    2) I truly believe that art is in the eye of the beholder. It is something that you can create and be proud of. Although that means that the definition of art is different for everyone, at the end of the day it only matters if you are happy with your work or purchases. In my opinion, shaping can be easily seen as an art form because of the time and skill it takes to master and create. Shaping boards is not something the average person can easily pick up on such as throwing a ball. It takes time and practice to make a board that not only looks and feels good but also surfs well. I don’t see any issues with riding a mass-produced board, especially if you are just starting out and have a higher percentage for error. The only time I would have an issue with the hand made vs mass-produced is if someone is trying that it is handcrafted when in reality it is mass-produced. Money should be spent for the time it went into a board and if it only took an hour opposed to days or weeks then it isn’t worth as much to me and shouldn’t have a higher price tag.

  21. When surfing first became popular everyone was shaping their own boards. As the years went on company began to mass produce surf boards and most surfers stopped shaping their own boards. At one point the process of shaping the board was just as meaningful the surf itself, but many question if could be considered an art form. There are several aspects to shaping that could be considered an art including molding it to a specific shape and size as well as the actual design on the board. Their boards represented who they are and were custom made for only them to ride. Board shaping is definitely an art because they are creating an original piece of work fit perfect for them to enjoy the sport they love.

    After first learning about Kelly Slater’s “Surf Ranch”, I thought it was taking away from the sport in the sense of taking the sport away from the ocean for the first time. Going out and waiting for the perfect wave is a big part of the sport itself. Although, the surf ranch could be a great place for intermediate surfers to improve their skills as well as all ranges of surfers to enjoy consistent waves. With a 100 mile long stretch, there is always a wave to be caught. Big stars including Tony Hawk have even tested the waves and pushed them to the limits. The surf ranch is a great place for all surfers to improve their skills and have a fun relaxing day on the waves.

  22. 1) The field trip to the New Jersey Surf Museum was a very memorable and educational experience. All of the things that we learned in class about how original longboards were made and how they looked was put into perspective to me when we saw the longboard that they made at the museum. It was very interesting to see how surfboards have evolved throughout the decades and how technology has changed the design and overall shape of the surfboard.
    2) In class on Tuesday we had a very heated discussion on whether surfing and surfboards was an art form or not. Personally, I think that surfing has some artistic value to an extent an example of this would be a shaper shaping and designing a very custom and personal surfboard. However, there is an aspect of craftsmanship when it comes to surfing and surfboard design, and those who are good at it have mastered their craft. When it comes to the mass produced surfboards, I do not believe that there is any artistic value or hands on craftsmanship. Granted someone did design the original model, I do not think that the copies show any form of art they are simply bland and cookie cutter.

  23. 1) From our field trip to the New Jersey Surf Museum at Tuckerton was quite and experience. The trip was pretty much a more physical experience to what we have learned in majority of Unit 1 of the course. At the museum, we were able to walk around and take in information while getting a visual and physical experience with it. Personally, my favorite part of the trip was the tiny building with all the surf boards and the giant wood surfboard that was placed in the center of the building. Here in this building, we were able to physically touch and balance on the boards while still learning about some of the boards in the room and their differences.
    2) Personally, I believe that board shaping really is an art. Just as much as a craft or skill, it gets worked into a piece of beautiful art. This is because it’s all in the strict attention to detail that goes into making a board. Being able to shape a board is almost like sculpting. Not just making sure the shape is perfect, when it comes to board shaping every detail speaks. Lines, grooves, etc. all make the board into an intricate piece of art.

  24. 1) Follow up on class trip:

    Besides dying on the way to the museum, it was interesting to see the actual Hobbie Surf Boards. Learning about the history of surfing while trolling around reading different pieces of New Jersey Surf History while learning about, “Duke The Father of Surfing” and, being able to connect what course materials we have been going over in class was solid. At the time the class was reading about, “woman and surfing.” Being able to see how big and heavy some of the original surf boards were was an eye opener, especially the ancient surf board in the center back. That thing was a behemoth; that being said, one would have to have extraordinary strength to maneuver one of those. The surf boards that were made in the sixties were interesting as well.

    2) Address the age-old question of whether shaping is truly an “art form.”

    After being in class and listening to the different opinions of the students, one has decided that shaping is an art form being the surf board being shaped by hand or by machine. Either way one would have to put time and effort into the design either way. The beauty of these boards are majestic in nature, not only with how some of them look, but by how they perform during a surf session as well. It leaves the customer with an emotion ranging from “Stoked” to “ashamed.” Learning from the last class session, one could see the anger in some students that clearly think that shaping is not an art form when its done by a machine opposed to being hand crafted. As long as the surf boards are selling and, are attractive to different people, who cares if it is an art form or not, the company or individual making these surf boards are profiting off of it. It is okay to purchase mass produced surf boards, who knows, if one gets their board broken during a session and bro has an extra in their car than and, that extra surfboard is a mass produced one that everyone is familiar with than it would be easier to control that surfboard. Opposed to the customs that are specifically made for that one individual.

  25. 1) The most memorable part of the field trip was being able to see all of the different types of boards that have been made over time. It was interesting to see exactly how large the boards were the older that they were and the difference in the type of material they were made of. The older boards were larger, blockier, and made of wood, while the newer boards were shorter, smoother, and made of polyurethane. Another interesting fact that the speaker told us was how the large wooden board that was made for the museum, as a replica of the oldest board they have there, had a hole at the bottom of the board to drain the water. They needed this because wood is a porous material so water would get into the board and make it heavier. It is important that the drain hole is there so the surfer could get the water from out of the board or else it would become too heavy to surf with, and it was already a very heavy board, to begin with. It would be interesting to learn more about the different materials and ways boards have been made over time.

    2) Shaping is definitely an art form because it is a set of skills that a person uses to create something from what it originally was and turn it into something new or better. There are many different styles of boards that surfers use, and in order to create those styles, someone had to spend time thinking about how it would work in the water. Once these things are thought of, one must put it into action and make the board fit their specifications. This is when the art of shaping comes into play because they have to carefully shape the board in order to avoid complications when in the water. They carefully look over the entire board, multiple times, and shave a piece off here and round out a place there until it is perfect for them. Then they take it into the water and test out their hard work. If it is perfect, then they just spent all their time and hard work making a product that they can use and admire for as long as the board is ridable. If it is not up to their standards, they might try to fix the board or start an entirely new board depending on how drastic of a change they needed to make. This is important to note because they will still make new boards in the future because it is an activity they enjoy doing and they get a product of their hard work afterward. It is not wrong to ride a mass-produced board because some people may not have the dedication or artistic ability to make their own board, or they do not have access to someone who would make a board for them. Ultimately, the mass-produced boards are not art but based off of previous artwork done by the people who have laid down the basics for them.

  26. 1.) Pertaining to the field trip at the surf museum, the first thing that stood out to me was the speaker, Jack. I felt it was cool for Jack to guide this tour because he was super laid back and relaxed, A.K.A, the picture of a surfer. Also, the room of boards stood out to me because it was the first time i’ve ever seen an authentic wooden board. The coolest thing about the board in my opinion was the ribs that lined the inside of the board. Another thing I found interesting was the story he told about Duke and how he came to Atlantic City to surf.

    2.) I believe Board shaping is a form of art because a person is trying to create or show something hidden beneath. Artist’s are best at portraying their thoughts and showing the world their talents. When someone shapes a board, they see the surfboard in the wood before they carve, just like a medieval artist chiseling a huge block of marble to locate the man hidden inside. It is not bad to ride mass produced boards because a lot of people live in locations where durable red wood, or cedar aren’t around to make their own. Also, boards are modifying day by day to the modern day surfer to make for a better day out in the water.

  27. 1. What I remember most on the field trip were the collection of board in the room we spent most of the time in. There were boards from many time periods and locations around the shore. Seeing all of those boards, some handcrafted was pretty cool because since I am not big into surfing I have never seen so many up close before and I didn’t know how many kinds of boards there were. I learned after reading some descriptions on the boards that surfing literally connects communities together. I am from Long Beach Island and saw some boards from there and also saw other boards/art from other places that were still connected to LBI in some way.

    2. I definitely consider shaping a board art. I consider art some sort of crafted project that you have spent a solid amount of time on to make sure it is what you want and are proud of what you made. I think it matters on what your board looks like because it becomes part of your identity. Since I don’t surf I can compare it to soccer. I get customized cleats to play and people in the crown can point me out by my cleats if they cannot already tell it’s me. When you are surfing I would want people to identify me by the board I made because of all of the hard work I put into it. I also do not think it is wrong to mass produce boards because, some people want to just buy a cheaper board and go out and surf and do not care what it looks like.

  28. Logan Goggins
    Blog Post
    What I remember most about the field trip to the surf museum, besides the very entertaining guide, is the room with all the surfboards and little artifacts of course.This really was such a cool thing to see first hand and it’s just crazy to think about all the history and places that those boards have been. Having taken the class for a few weeks before hand definitely made me appreciate those artifacts more and I felt as if we were already as educated as we needed to be for that trip. Oh and it was fun to get out of the classroom of course.

    The conversation we had on shaping really got me thinking about what art even is. I do believe that shaping in its true form is an art. The second any kind of creative aspect from an individual goes into something it is technically art. Whether or not people fully appreciate it is up to them. Of course the mass produced surfboards have an artistic aspect but if nobody is really putting thought into them then it’s not that meaningful. The main take from that conversation for me was: Surfboards can help create that connection with the body mind and water, and if you are able to craft your own and ride it successfully then you have earned your way in a sense, and I think that whole process is a beautiful work of art in its own way.

  29. Today Surfboard is just a product. It is all about science and personal skill. If you want to taste the art, see old hand-carved wooden boards.

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