The 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers—aka 15X15—project was completed in August of 2015 when the 15th surfboard was shaped and finished by Bob McTavish and his team in Byron Bay, Australia. However, two more things needed to be done to properly conclude the project. The first was a book, something I had not planned on. Not until late into the project, after amassing a large collection of images while documenting the making of each board, did I begin contemplating the idea of a book. It seemed inappropriate to not give proper documentation to the work that went into 15X15. Thus… Continue reading 

Surfboard art #15 – The Beginning, the final chapter in this saga known as 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers. I stood looking down at the board that Bill McLean had just finished glassing and became emotional thinking back to how far this project had come. It didn’t start five years ago with the first surfboard, Firo’s Pipeline. No, it goes back much further. Back to when my father bought me a surfboard at the age of 13 and I fell in love with surfing. Back to when he gifted me my first camera, an amphibious Nikonis III, for graduating a… Continue reading 

It was not an easy day. It was a long, at times cold, other time scary and constantly challenging day. Furthermore there was no reason to put myself through this ordeal. After all I was skipping out on my responsibilities of work, you know the kind that puts food on one’s table and furthers a career. Instead I was working on self-indulging my physical and mental senses, not to mention copping an adrenaline rush. The payoff? A day of rejuvenation, of feeling alive, and maybe a bit of creative reward. The alarm sounded at 6 a.m. A check of the… Continue reading 

I’m not sure if I should refer to the hand shaper of board #14 in the 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers project by his name, Jim Phillips, or his alter ego, ‘The Genius.’ In actuality there is little that differentiates the two personas, though I do believe there is a transformation that happens when a piece of wood or foam is placed in Jim’s hands. It is at that time that one witnesses a true genius at work. Prior to meeting and working with Jim I asked the previous shapers in the project to suggest a top shaper/craftsman from Southern… Continue reading 

The 3 Amigos – the unlucky lucky one Believe in it or not, #13 is significant for its unpopularity. After all, tall buildings skip the 13th floor all together. But where exactly is the 13th floor? I mean how do you go from the 12th to the 14th with out passing through the 13th? Is there a black hole that passes through time and space, that defies gravity and three dimensions simply so that we don’t land on #13? I don’t know, this is all fascinating but honestly what does it have to do with a surfboard, even the one… Continue reading 

Like most who have witness the effortless gliding of pelicans through and over the trough of waves, I am spellbound by the beauty and grace of their formation flight. I have never made a conscious effort of photographing this spectacle of nature though I have captured numerous images of these birds when by happenstance a camera is in hand. However, one thing I’ve done only once or twice in my career is photograph them from a water vantage point of view. Seeing them as a surfer would and photographing them as such has always been a goal of mine. Of… Continue reading 

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