My kick-ass Honduran super lets me store and repair some boards in the basement of my Brooklyn apartment building, but no way am I going to get away with mowing foam and glassing a whole deck down there.
Enter Greenlight Surfboard Supply, known by word of mouth to surfers on the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic coast mainly as a place to order supplies. Having heard from some Philly surfers about this cool dude who runs it out of New Jersey, Brian Gagliana, I ordered some resin and a few odds and ends last year from his tiny 500 square foot warehouse to repair my boards. Little did I know they had bigger plans for 2012.
Now at a new Manasquan location, with a showroom, a shaping bay, and ample space for everything from finished boards, blanks, supplies and lessons, if you're within striking distance of the northern Jersey coastline, the argument against at least trying your hand at shaping is pretty much devastated. For around the going price of a new board, you can get a blank, materials, space, plus one-on-one instruction, and shape and glass your own.
Matt Henderson (photo at right) explained how this process encourages people to experiment, and shape things you might not find on the racks of your average surf shop.
"It's nice, because we get to try out a lot of stuff. For example, Kevin Rider (photo above) has been shaping double stringer shortboards, and you don't see a lot of that out there. Everybody's trying to add a little something else."
What I saw in the shop would seem to bear this out. Such as this fruity double bump number. True, it looks like a popsicle (do they still make the "Bomb Pop" that used to rule back in the pre-GWOT days?) but check out them rails!
Some chunky old school single fins, fins with winglets, a fat Simmons-style quad, a gorgeous step-deck log, and even an elegant asym model give this place a refreshing experimental feel, like a handmade east coast Skunk Works, minus the military industrial aroma.
The one thing they're missing is a teleporter to skip the turnpike and tolls (course given all the juice they'd pull, it would be a hard sell to my super without a third in Tegucigalpa).
Let's face it - this place freaking rules. Let a thousand backyard shapers bloom. I wonder if they'll let me pitch a tent in their parking lot.
You can find out more at greenlightsurfsupply.com