Dec. 19th, 2014

Surfboard Art #13 – The 3 Amigos

“The 3 Amigos” shaped by Chris Christenson with glass work by Nainoa

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 after the 12th board in a project entitled 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers? Should I skip #13 and thus re-title the project 15 Surfboards by 15 Shapers–Minus 1? Of course not! Hocus pocus with the number 13; I’m going for it, over the falls, deep into the pit and the hell with the consequences! But just to be safe, maybe I should summon the spirit of those from the past and ask their blessings. Fortunate for me The 3 Amigos did just that.

Being that by association board #13 would be, let’s say, special, I ventured in search for a shaper who in many ways is different from the stereotypical foam mower: a person who has the mindset to think outside the box, who is cocky and edgy and whose style would leave an impression, good or bad. Searching long and hard I found Chris Christenson out of San Marcos, California. I then needed a complimentary image that at the very least would make one pause and contemplate the finished product and the symbolism of ‘13’, the skull decal or any other metaphorical meanings one wishes to dwell into. That’s where The 3 Amigos became the perfect choice to adorn the bottom of Chris’ board.

A portrayal of Chris Christenson
A portrayal of Chris Christenson

Testimonials to Chris' ability, Greg Long and Kolohe Andino
Testimonials to Chris’ ability, Greg Long and Kolohe Andino

It took a while to make this all happen and many times throughout the process there were bumps on the road that made me wonder if I was on the right path. Somehow perseverance persevered and what came out of the hollows of an eye socket is without equal. I try very hard to make each board different from all the others and to make each one unique and equally beautiful. As the numbers go up the more difficult this has become. Add to this the superstition of “13” and this board was a challenge!

With the skill and mind of Chris, the work of his laminator, Nainoa, and The 3 Amigos we somehow met the challenge. While Chris has earned a reputation for building big guns for paddling into and surfing XXL waves he’s also equally capable of shaping a very modern short board. Collaborating with Daniel Thompson, who designed what I call a double-pin, swallow tail with a deep groove channel, Chris shaped a 5’5” board that under the feet of a lightweight and talented surfer would draw radical lines on the face, and above the face, of a wave. He calls this model “Mescaline.” In its design and attributes this board fit the bill of being different from the rest.

The collaborative template behind Mescaline
The collaborative template behind Mescaline

A busy shaper
A busy shaper

The idea for a deep indigo glass tint on the deck along with a polished gloss ‘cap’ (where the board is gloss and polished solely up to the cut line on the deck) leaving the rails and bottom un-polished was Chris’. However it was Nainoa who implemented the idea and took it a step further by not taping off the cut line on the photo and actually glassing onto the print, tint and all. He then painstakingly pulled strands of fiberglass into the print to mimic the graffiti seen in parts of the image and then with a sponge wetted in acetone diluted the dark indigo tint along the edges of the print to perfectly match some of the colors found on the image. Sweat pored from Nainoa as he meticulously worked upside down throughout the long process.

Nainoa laminating The 3 Amigos
Nainoa laminating The 3 Amigos

Deep indigo tint on the deck with free overlap
Deep indigo tint on the deck with free overlap

Fiberglass strands from an un-taped lap line
Fiberglass strands from an un-taped lap line

You know the saying, it has to be seen to be appreciated and whether you like the image and are superstitious of 13 or not you will, I guarantee, be impressed with this surfboard. It is, as are the others, a work of art and while everyone has a different opinion on what is good and bad art, there is no denying that The 3 Amigos is one of a kind. As unlucky as some think #13 is it sure was good fortune that brought together a group of talented individuals to give life to three wandering spirits.

The eyes of the creators
The eyes of the creators

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Marcinha
Marcinha

Tony once more, you out did yourself … Congrats for your beautiful work !!!!

Roger
Roger

That is one unique board Tony! I find “mescaline” very fitting 🙂 Kudos to you
for keeping your project moving along, with each step being so different. You
have truly been up to the challenge!

Patti k
Patti k

Thanks for the documentary! It all makes sense now… I love this board! Very edgey and cool!!