As Neil Everett, ESPN’s SportsCenter anchor, likes to say on Top Plays, “She’s a beauty that number nine”. Born in the dead of a Carolina winter, she measures in at 8’6” and has the shape of a mini nose rider. Draped in a vintage photo from the North Shore of Oahu she strikes an alluring pose. Her name, “Legends in the Dark”.
Her creator has won six East Coast surfing titles and lives on the OBX of North Carolina. He’s a superb chef, preparing and presenting home cook meals to mouth-watering perfection. He’s married to a charming red-haired beauty—his cooking sold her! His guitar licks lay down complex melodies and are backed with strong vocals. And he’s one of Wave Riding Vehicles’ master shapers. His name is Jesse Fernandez.
Jesse and I were ready to start on a 15/15 board when Hurricane Irene turned his world upside down. Tragically, he lost his older brother in a surfing accident during Irene. I went ahead with boards 7 & 8, but the collection still needed a long board and I was committed to having Jesse shape it when he was ready. I contacted him again this year and with the go ahead from the WRV team we got started.
While well known for his long boards, Jesse is an accomplished shaper of all style boards. We agreed on the specs of this board and after much deliberation the photo selection was made. The image must complement the shape and also add artistic appeal. Legends captures a sublime moment that accents the long, smooth curves and throw-back nature of the board. The entire process, save for the printing of the image, is done by hand. Jesse’s talent and attention to detail made working with him a pleasure.
The glassing was done by Dave Rohde, a legend in his own right and a fine storyteller to boot! He brought his expertise to bear with the ‘battleship’ grey he chose for the bottom which matched perfectly the mood and color of the deck image. Then he surprised me. By using dual pin lines, one black and one white, and reversing them on the two halves of the print, he added the kind of individual touch which has made all the home-grown boards in the collection unique works of art.
Legends in the Dark… She’s a beauty!