Simon Buttonshaw on the beating heart of surfing

Stu Nettle
Talking Heads

One of the many events sidelined by the COVID-19 lockdown was a planned exhibition by Gash surfboards. It was to be held over Easter in the old Gash factory in Torquay.

Called '7Blades' it was, as the name implies, seven surfboards exhibited on a wall. Yet as with everything that Gash do, one must look below the surface coat to make sense of it, below even the rich colour palette and the striking iconography. There you'll find a group of friends with a shared belief in what surfing is, and also, just because they're opinionated bastards, wasn't surfing isn't.

The beliefs propel their creative efforts: Greg Brown mowing foam, Paul Cousins glassing, and Simon Buttonshaw adding colour, images, and ideas. However, the 7Blades exhibition brought others into the fold, others who shared their vision of surfing. Cuzzo's son Will polished all the finished pieces, Simon's son Shyama helped paint them, while the exhibition was conceived and curated by Josh Rush. Josh is the guy who, as Simon puts it, "created the architecture in which the ideas can live." 

Meanwhile, Tom Cole worked the online interface, the significance of which increased when the lockdowns came and the exhibition had to move online.

Swellnet spoke to Simon Buttonshaw, who's worked as an artist for many decades, about 7Blades.

Swellnet: The Gash exhibition doesn't arise out of a vacuum. You guys have been at this for a very long time. In the beginning, it was a reaction against what was happening in surfing, which may be called the debasement of surfing. Is that the way that you saw it?
Simon: Yes, though debasement is a fairly powerful word. Nonetheless, on a very specific level, when Gash was formed I was still working with Quiksilver and the CEO at the time came up to me and said, "We won't be needing artists anymore, we can just do these collegiate versions of the logo and we're printing money. You'd better look for something else to do down the track."

And considering what Quiksilver had come from I thought that was very silly.

Because Quiksilver had been creative and original up to that point..?
Yes. So I literally went home, got a piece of bamboo, carved myself a pen and started drawing.

And that's the truth! That's what actually happened. It was the early days with computer, and I was really disgusted by the debasement...or the mediocrity, that'd be the word I'm inclined to use - the mediocrity of everything. I mean, collegiate fucking logo, you've got to be joking?

And, well, I had a name - Gash - and I had the images, I'd been turning all that shit round inside me for years, just waiting for the right set of circumstances to give them life.

So yes, there was the reactionary aspect to Gash and I just wanted to talk to the part of us that's got more grit and more guts. Do you really want to look like someone out of a college in Southern California? Is that really what we've come to..?

Now jumping forward to the present day: What's the purpose of the current exhibition?
One thing I'll say very clearly, is that our motivations haven't changed one bit. It's exactly the same motive. I mean right now, the institutional and industry side of surfing is spiritually bankrupt. It's never been worse. There's never been more people interested in surfing, yet never been less people interested in the brands, the contests.

So...the exhibition, Josh Rush and I worked together at Quiksilver. We'd worked together very closely, over many projects, over a long period of time. Then this opportunity came along and we decided to bring our talents together, if you like. Josh and I have a very fruitful range of skills, and we both care about where surfing has lost its heart. We're a generation apart, Josh is half my age, but that's something we really share.

Our intention was to shine a spotlight back on the craftsmanship and the quality of commitment that lies at the heart of the surfing culture.

There's not one person that doesn't need to go to a surfboard maker at some point so they can go surfing. It's fundamental.

Josh and I looked at the current landscape and we thought...well, fuck, it's not that different to when Gash first began. If anyone cares about this world, then it needs to be significantly renewed.

And you're not going to renew it from the top down, you can only renew it from the heart up. The heart of any...OK, bear with me here. The word 'surf industry' is something that rolls off everyone's tongue endlessly, but the only industry I take seriously is surfboard making.

The other things are just fashion, not integral to surf culture the way a surfboad is.
Exactly. You can wear whatever the fuck you like, you can buy your clothes in Coles or K-Mart or anywhere, you can get them out of the op shop. It doesn't make any difference to how well you surf. And, high performance boardshorts, you got to be fucking joking! Made out of the same fabric, with the same design, the same silhouette, everything else as what's in K-Mart. It's just bullshit.

It's become more and more and more disconnected from reality to the point where it's imploded. But what's not disconnected from reality are the people who spend their life developing a skillset that allows them to design and make a board at the highest possible quality, and that'll perform at the highest possible level.

So what we really wanted to do was show that these boards are beautifully made and that the excellence of execution is the subject. And it's why we wanted to call it an exhibition: We wanted them up on the wall so people could look at them through new eyes, as if they were a sculpture by Brâncuși.

It's a risk. These days everyone has twenty boards in the garage. It's a form we're very familiar with.
True. But I wanted to help people see them with fresh eyes because those fresh eyes are what will renew the values that underpin the world we're in. And if this world is to go forward, it won't be in the hands of those big companies anymore. It'll be in the hands of smaller groups of people that are working from the heart, just like we did way back.

The Gash story is a classic Torquay story. Gash metaphorically stabbed the lumbering international companies in the heart to highlight what's important: That being a grassroots appeal to your immediate community. There was a human connection.
The word 'human' is very important.

A part of me has been jealous that Gash isn't in my neighbourhood. By that I mean, you put your values on display so like-minded locals know they're supporting the right people. Having that local connection is important.
Yeah, look around, everything is so global and unified and digitally platformed, all very uniform. But if, for example, you go to somewhere like Brooklyn, what you see is communities, very tight communities, functioning in an original, self-sustaining way. 

Compare that to the surf industry, which aspires to reach a level beyond human scale, and it's compelled to, half those companies are public, they've got no choice, but it doesn't really represent us anymore. Who are they talking to?

Quick question: Expansion via public listing...a mistake?
Yes, that was a mistake. I remember hearing an interview with Keith Richards once, and the interviewer was a pretty sharp character and he asked, "Well how come the Rolling Stones never became a big public company because you would have made a fucking fortune?"

And Keith just smiled and looked at the guy and he said, "No, no, no, this is a family company."

Keith was on the money.
Literally. Back in the day Gash was a bunch of friends working together. Wayne [Lynch] is my closest friend, lifelong friend. Brownie was a very good friend, Phippsy [Mark Phipps] was a young kid back then, and Peter Ashley who taught Cuzzo to glass, Peter and I go way back to the very beginning of surfboard making in Torquay.

So it was friendship, but this time around it's generational.

Friends and family. Josh is half my age, Shyama [Buttonshaw - Simon's son] plays a big part in everything I do now and we work together. I mean, I've painted half the boards out of his little factory at Bells there.

So, Shyama is both family and a sounding board for ideas and a great surfer and craftsman in his own right, and he's taken those values forward in a wonderful way. Likewise Josh and his brother, Tom, they both kind of cut their teeth in the industry. They both came out of school and straight into it, but they're bright, and they've looked at it and gone well, it's not all a bed of roses.

We wanted an opportunity to help renew something we cared deeply about. And I think the fact that it is generational is quite special. I think that...I don't want to get too deep and meaningless, but the way culture gets handed on is a very compelling subject for me. The one thing I'm very certain of in our world, is that it's not handed on institutionally.

Why did you choose 7 blades?
In all honesty, it was reasonably arbitrary. The way we did it, each time we did a board, Josh and his brother, Tom, would document the process, and then they'd take my original artwork and produce a T-shirt and we'd sell 66 of them...

Really? I bought one of the Angel shirts but I had no idea it was part of a bigger process.
Yeah. Each run of shirts gave us the money to fund the next board, so each one carried that through to the next one. That's how we financed the entire project, and by the time we got to seven, that was probably the natural kind of limit.

Nothing to do with Seven Deadly Sins?
That's better than the truth - I'll use that from now on!

But it was just kind of a natural point at which the line got drawn. And seven is a good number on a very practical level when you're exhibiting something on a wall. I've always liked a centrepiece with an even number on either side. So it had to be an odd number. Five wasn't enough, nine was too many.

You've used a lot of religious iconography in the past, but one of the more recent pieces isn't biblical, it's the chewed up apple core.
That was another one I'd been carrying around for a long time, and the phrase I put with it, 'What's left when everything else has been eaten', I hope that's reasonably self-explanatory.

It is.
Yeah, it's pretty obvious what we're alluding to.

As we were conceptualising the new project, we felt that was a contemporary nod to the Heart and Dagger, which was the first piece of art I did in the beginning of the whole journey. That was Greg's shaping logo back in the day.

So when Roar got fucked over and Gash was born I used the Heart and Dagger. I did that partly just to stick it up the people that fucked us over. There was an element of defiance. The Core addresses exactly the same subject. You see, with the Heart and Dagger, the heart is still beating even though it's stabbed by the dagger.

And the Core readdresses that subject and says, 'Well, all right, you lot have chewed the fuck out of this, but out of that core you're going to see a whole new vision grow."

Ever defiant.
I'm just an old hippy...who carries a blade! Greg, in his own way, is the same. Certainly that's a mood, a spirit Josh and I have always shared when working together. So we created that little video with it with the boy and the girl eating the apple, gave a bit of a nod to Warhol as a bit of fun.

You know, 'core' is probably the most abused and misused words in the surfing vernacular.

Indeed...
What's the line?....'Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel'. Well, core is the last refuge of a failing industry.

They reach for that word when everything else is falling apart, and I thought, 'fuck that, I'm going to take that word'. So, that's what that was about.

Gash is about much more than colour and the aesthetics, it's what goes on behind all that, giving it depth.
There's a quote on our website: "Thinkers and artists, like surgeons, operate with blades". It's by Peter Conrad. We really wanted it in there at the beginning so people know there is some thought behind it, it isn't just fashion.

Everyone relates Gash back to the late-80s because that's when it happened, but if you go back and look at what fashion looked like in the 80s, Gash couldn't be more opposite.

No, for mine Gash led the way into the 90s.
Exactly.

It was ahead of the curve.
Yes, and working close to the cultural coalface, you become sensitive to the landscape and so that was very conscious. You know, there was nothing accidental about it. I mean, the 80s was all puffed up hair and egos.

Now, the exhibition was forced to go online because of COVID-19, yet when the restrictions are lifted will people be able to come in and view the boards?
Absolutely. I mean, art is visceral. But it'll only happen when we feel that's genuinely a safe thing to do, and we're not putting anyone in harm's way.

I like the way that we've responded to the coronavirus and to the landscape that the pandemic has created. I think we've responded pretty wholeheartedly and pretty creatively, but nothing equals actually having direct experience - of course. And art, more than anything else, demands that.

As we mentioned before, digital platforms have their limitations.
They can only do so much. In some ways it's saved the world from going mad, but we're also seeing what it can't do.

I call it the Mona Lisa phenomenon. You see so many pictures of it that when you go to The Louvre and you stand in front of, it takes you about two hours to get over all the shit you've got in your head and really look at it, to see why it's so famous.

I think the boards are very much like that. In one respect, we felt unresolved with the way we had to do it. The true subjects of the exhibition are those seven boards, and they should hang on that concrete wall in the old Gash factory and people should stand in front of them and look at them.

And when they do, the experience will be so much more rewarding.

Visit 7Blades online, or stay tuned for opening news

Comments

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 3:48pm

Yes. This is the heart of surfing. Graphic art on a toxic pole. Sell 'them t shirts...

onetimeonly

surfnation's picture
surfnation's picture
surfnation commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 4:31pm

Simon what an amazing talent and the sole of Quiksilver at the time. I had known Simon at the fringe when I was president of surfing Victoria and competition in some local events. He always had time for you and one of the globes leading artists in the surf space. His son is the nicest guy out in the water as well. Unfortunately as the story as I know it, Gash was squashed by the surf brands at the time. Would have been a huge underground brand.

helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose's picture
helmet-not-hose commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 4:41pm

Squashed or not Gash is still one of the best stories to ever happen in surfing. If they were american the Surfers Journal would be dining out on the story. Great shaper in Browny, plus legend of the sport (Wayne Lynch), and Simon's art, it's a lethal mix. Like Dora but with a cast of characters and way better graphics.

If they inspire anyone, kids or older crew, to hold the line against the bastardisation of surfing then it's all worth it.

icandig's picture
icandig's picture
icandig commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 8:59pm

I remember when Gash first emerged from the carcass of Beach Crew. Whispers of the new brand had been circulating, but we were stupid giggling teenagers, thinking that the new name was a crude synonym for female genitalia. We saw Browny in the Juc car park soon after the rumours started with his surfboards displaying a red cross through the Beach Crew logo and GASH prominently written on the board. He set us straight quick smart. The whole Gash crew are legends down this way.

**edit** It was a Roar logo, but from memory, Roar had something to do with Beach Crew. Might be wrong about that.

Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 11:18pm

Roar was basically beach crew surfboards. Beach crew owned roar and paid browny to shape. Beach crew ended up going bust not long after.

snowy's hydro's picture
snowy's hydro's picture
snowy's hydro commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 7:02pm

New concrete and seachangers but a bit of Boot Hill lives on.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 7:59pm

Watched the clip linked off Interesting Stuff. great to see hand shaped , gloss finish with glass on fins again , what a concept!Real surfboards, shaper not scraper. Colours that only only work down in Victoria , blacks, dark blue and even the blood reds, would melt your wax and delaminate like a vampire in anywhere with hotter (or even slightly warmer) climates. I remember when Greg was charging "down south" not naming spots, making his own equipment, legend! Inspirational to us grommets at the time. Years later I saw a picture of him in Dick brewers shaping bay, him and RB sitting in a boat on a trailer somewhere together, pretending to row with a pair of fairy magic wands with a star at the end, would love to hear that story, classic stuff. GASH "torn from the heart of Roar"

Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 11:25pm

When they first started gash boards were spray painted white as a kind of defiance against the surf industry at the time. You could always tell because the stringer was white, plus it was a slightly different white to foam.
Gash even published a manifesto about 1991. I must try to find it. It's a bit of vain nonsense really but at least it was different to the sliced white bread so cal thing in the surf industry at the time.
One time in tracks they ran an ad with a nazi dagger stabbing a cow's heart and were only allowed to print the word "fuck" in tiny letters due to censorship.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 9:07pm

What a great bunch of characters.
Gash has survived because they didn't get sucked into the mass market fashion industry . Beautiful boards and a real connection with the community.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario commented Friday, 15 May 2020 at 11:28pm

Greg could have sold out and done a rusty or stussy and made millions off the merchandising, that's for sure.

Bell's picture
Bell's picture
Bell commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 7:52am

Based on some loose experimentation I definitely get more waves on a GASH at Winki or Bell’s.

SB

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 9:24am

Yep they were the boards to have in the early 90's, they had the story, the graphics and Greg Brown was a great surfer and shaper, as was the little guy Phippsy. Never had one but wished I did.

sideshow's picture
sideshow's picture
sideshow commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 9:35am

This entire story is delusional. What is so "heart" about yet another surf brand hatched up by an ex-corporate marketing shill who got fired because his art was, and is, so average and dated and lacking imagination that the people preferred the corporate logo to his "art". There is nothing "heart" or "Surfing" or "underground" about some dude trying to make money from surfing, just because he is doing it so badly that it isn't wildly popular.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 11:46am

I see where your coming from sideshow. Although I reckon Simon is a good artist, I’m with you to some extent. Some of these guys - or more their “followers” mythologise their work and put it on a false pedestal. There is really nothing very unique about any surfboard on the market. The surfboard has been around for centuries, and the basic designs out there today are all very similar - a tweak here or there with volume, length, concave, rocker and rail and that’s about it. Lots of shapers know what works for different waves and types of surfers, given their weight ability and sort of waves they ride. Where it becomes MEGA Bullshit mythologised is where some shapers think that their boards are “THEIR SHAPES”! They huge egos blind them to the fact that they have taken most of the fundamentals of what they have put into their shapes from looking at and riding other boards. And they had to learn - nearly everything they know about the fundamentals- from looking at OTHER boards. So they are not so unique at all. In my view, what makes a great shaper is that they understand what’s going to work well on a wave and they craft it into a board, whether for mass production or personalised.
There are mass produced boards that are awesome to ride provided you are in the right size, weight and ability profile.
But the real magic of the LOCAL shaper worth his or her salt, is that they know what works really well in their local neck of the woods and they often know the surfers there ... but even if they don’t, they know their craft well, so when you tell them your ability and give them your weight etc, and tell them what waves you like riding and what kinds of turns make you really happy, THAT is all personal information which is intimately connected to you personally and to the local breaks etc, so then if the shaper is good at the craft, a very personalised board will emerge - not for the masses - but crafted just for you, the way you like to ride waves. That is the organic relationship type culture which does have a heart in surfboard production. When you ride a beautiful board like that, you almost feel the companionship of the shaper with you, so it’s very related stuff. I have ridden epic barrels on a couple of my custom boards and held them later looking them up and down and I got the feeling that I had shared the barrel with the shaper - it’s like they were there with me, and in a physical sense they kind of were in the board.
But something I dislike about some of the shapers out there, is that they think they have come up with their shape on their own. That is total crap. Let’s get real, they got nearly everything from others. And I can think of one young shaper I asked to help my son once. My son had shaped a couple of boards and actually they are better than anything else in his quiver so he’s actually really good at shaping - but I asked this shaper to meet with him and look over the lines of his boards and discuss the shapes and design factors with my son so that he could learn more about what other shapers think of various dynamic features of the board and their translation on the wave. This guy replied to me that he “didn’t feel comfortable” helping my son out and that it would be all HIS design if he talked to my son about his boards. Haha, what a fucking ego tripper! I would never have suspected it, but it said volumes about him that he was not ready to share the deep culture of surfing with someone as dedicated as my son, who has surfed all of his life from the age of two and had taken a real interest and shaped and glassed his own boards by the age of 13. He was getting all protective about what was “HIS”. So my point is that these ego head types get it into their heads that they OWN the knowledge of surfing and the culture of it. But they don’t own it at all. I’m just really grateful that I know enough other surfers and shapers, that have been really helpful with their time and knowledge in passing on the time and effort to teach my son the deeper aspects of surfing culture that lie in the craft of shaping boards. He has learned a lot over a few years and is super grateful to those people who ready to share knowledge. It’s not your knowledge or my knowledge, it’s cultural knowledge and the more it gets shared, the more it will lead to new breakthroughs and innovation and that’s really positive for everyone. But definitely I am also very grateful to people like Simon Buttonshaw for pursuing his creativity and sharing it with others - we need creativity and art to experience the richness of culture and explore its deeper meanings. I don’t know Simon, I’ve seen him about and chatted with him a few times, but he strikes me as a searcher - someone who searches the inner world. I like this, and it comes across in his peaceful demeanour.

Barrelrider

Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 6:53pm

The mistake you made was in not sending your son to the factory and getting him to be the ding fixer and work his way up. That is the master/apprentice dynamic in shaping and shapers need their arses kissed regularly in order to maintain the sensei-like air of mysticism. The closer the shaper got to shaping for a world champion the more they need to be feted by adoring hangers on.
The weird thing is the only guys to make it big and stay big were Al Merrick and Rusty. All the other shapers, even the ones who were famous ended up broke due to bad investment decisions or blowing their minds on drugs.
I reckon you can just about buy a board off the rack these days and find one that will work for you. There hasn't been an innovation in shaping since the single to double concave and that was what, 25 years ago. Asym is where I think we'll see innovation but which shaper out there is going to stick his neck out and shape absolute dogs that don't work until he cracks the code?

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 7:51pm

Josh Dowling for Assym...he knows the territory and also a master of fin types and choices...you pay a bit more, but you get the professor and a man who is the modern day Da Vinci of board construction invention...

Barrelrider

morg's picture
morg's picture
morg commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 8:47pm

Joshua James on south coast NSW makes great Asyms. They are a real surprise and great to ride. The weird thing about them is that they are asym but feel so right when you ride them.

Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario's picture
Ageing Lothario commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 12:14pm

Well you're kind of right but also kind of being a dick about it.
Simon did a lot of the famous art for Quiksilver like ghetto dog and that other one with the tribesman face (forget what it's called). Now you might think it's shit but Quik ran with it for years so maybe just take a chill pill.
The corporate shills were the surf reps who got rich off commissions for doing nothing more than tallying up x number of t-shirts on an order form (usually adding stuff you didn't order); they were the ones who thought their shit didn't stink.
But yeah it's a bit pretentious to be 'core' and then go make a bloody art gallery showing of your 'core' art with a price tag that is over $200k for all 7 boards.
But hey that's the surf scene and in places like California and Japan where they lap that shit up, it will probably sell even with another zero on the price tag.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 1:25pm

Oh come on maaaaate!!! It’s a good price no? Only $28,571 for each board!! Holy crap man, WTF!! Yeah, I won’t be waxing up either! I wonder how much they are selling their blocks of wax for??? So 28 x $5, yeah that’s around $56 for a block of wax...haha! A bit rich hey...

Barrelrider

willibutler's picture
willibutler's picture
willibutler commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 4:07pm

that price I assume is just a random number put up on the sight, since in the past they put up the same boards for like 6666 each which is devils number.

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 5:57pm

Haha, golden comment. Actually I was working it out on $200k, but now realise it was an extra $50k...so yeah $35714 per board!! What a bargain!! If 666 is devils work, imagine how good 35714 is!!

Barrelrider

malibudutchie's picture
malibudutchie's picture
malibudutchie commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 8:55pm

I think the $250K is his "fuckem" price and why not. Some of the best collectable boards like Tom Blakes and Micky Dora's Da Cat go for that price in US$. So maybe he's giving someone a discount by buying 7. Good luck to him.

malibudutchie

SI's picture
SI's picture
SI commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 9:25pm

Yeah I reckon you may be right about the “fuckem” price!! But seriously, just have a look at the boards on the wall. There is no way on earth I would put those boards on one of my walls at home, if it’s supposed to be some sort of artwork; not even if they paid me. I might surf the boards, but they wouldn’t get on the wall. I reckon it’s just weird as an artwork. I know a guy who has a tree with heaps of surfboards in it, like fruits or something - mostly snapped boards, but that is a very cool artistic idea and looks awesome. There is also the shop fence down near Margaret river made out of heaps of surfboards. That’s also cool. But those boards on that wall are not doing it for me at all!

Barrelrider

joeyjojo's picture
joeyjojo's picture
joeyjojo commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 9:40am

Ahhh..........the memories.
That Toilet!
And the stupid amount of Gak that flowed freely!

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 10:40am

Those old ROAR graphics were the absolute duck's nuts.

malibudutchie's picture
malibudutchie's picture
malibudutchie commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 12:00pm

Interesting story Stu with some good background stuff in the links - particularly the piece by Mick on the Roar/Gash progression.
I see the 7 Blades collection is selling as an art piece for $250K - not sure I'd be waxing those up for a paddle.

malibudutchie

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 2:09pm

$250k and it says above they funded making each board by the profits from t-shirt sales hahaha

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 2:40pm

Each to their own when it comes to surfing. I roll my eyes a bit though when someone tries to tell me what surfing’s supposed to be about. For some guys it’s about looking cool and scoring chicks, and that’s about it . For some it’s about seven foot single fins, psychedelic sprays and the 70’s aesthetic. For still others it’s about riding a longboard in one foot surf in a tiny bikini. Whatever, I don’t really care so long as you’re not behaving like a fuckwit in the water.
If someone does feel the need to try to tell me what surfing’s “supposed” to be about, we’ll all good for them, it’s a free country. Just don’t be surprised if people out there have a different take on it.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 1:23pm

+1 X100 - well said

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 2:57pm

I use to love Roar and then Gash and was a fan of Greg, and the video was interesting and the boards are literally pieces of art.

But seriously $250K for 7 boards????

What a joke.

Even at $25K for 7 boards that would be over $3.5K a board and still be highly priced, but appreciate the time that goes into these boards so i could understand $25K but $250K that is seriously just a cash in, but who knows there probably is someone with that much coin to blow.

I appreciate they love doing what they do, and do what they do and looks like little has changed for 25 years or so, but at the same time i now also find it all a bit boring, its basically the same thing, same artwork since early 90s.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

bellavista's picture
bellavista's picture
bellavista commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 3:24pm

I’m always curious and amused by people who post stuff that they think is the facts or the truth about surf industry history
99% of you have no idea , cos ya weren’t there and ya got ya “facts “ From Friday nights at the pub or smoking billies and talking shit with yer mates who didn’t know Either
Hahahah! Makes for interesting reading though , what people think they know .

gearoid's picture
gearoid's picture
gearoid commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 5:50pm

Point 1: I ride custom boards made by Browny and they work brilliantly for me. They are the surfing equivalent of the footy coach that you would run through brick walls for. I don't care if they are objectively better boards or not (they are, BTW), the fact is, I enjoy surfing much more when I'm on boards made by local shapers.

Point 2: I imagine the price tag is part of the 'art piece' and, no doubt, a comment on the bullshit commodification of surfing.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 5:53pm

"Ahhh..........the memories.
That Toilet!"
I know Joey JoJo. Before Friday afternoon beers, I'd punch back a couple of Immodium and empty the bladder just to make absolutely sure, I didn't have to visit that thing.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

garry-weed's picture
garry-weed's picture
garry-weed commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 7:08pm

He's the real deal

gary weed

blower's picture
blower's picture
blower commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 7:48pm

Cmon you lot, we all have seen and been among it to some degree in our time but if some cashed up wants to get among it.. bleed em dry I say in the name of art. Surfing as an industry is a fucken pig sty but we need it as always, we need equipment if we don't make it ourselves... Fuck over the new comers if they are willing to keep it going. Making some coin to keep the dream alive is and always will be the cornerstone of the industry in every way. Who wants to head down bum up at some shit, so called 'career' otherwise? Spend up someone, so these guys can keep on keeping on.
Obviously the rest of us will call it for what it is. Fuck me eh, they been at it for long enough and now they want their kids to proliferate the 'lifestyle'... why not. They got the chops, keep it going, someone's got to.

NDC's picture
NDC's picture
NDC commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 7:52pm

Sorry - art might be great, might not ... but just comes across like resentment when you bemoan as a ‘sell out’ what you chose to be a part of until someone told you your ticket on the gravy train had expired

Shape boards, be creative, sell it for $250k if someone’s happy to buy it - Fair play to you - it’s a striking display - no problems - but I personally could do without the holier than thou narrative

Where r u blowin? I’m wondering which side of the fence your gunna come down on this one ...

blower's picture
blower's picture
blower commented Saturday, 16 May 2020 at 8:06pm

Just watched the video.... another in the long line. Remind us to remember soon enough eh Swellnet.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 7:51am

From what I can gather the sale is not what people think it is.

They are looking for someone to stump up - though not sure if it's the asking price on the site - but it's to help them with the completion of the exhibition which will involve the boards being ridden and filmed.

It's an exhibtion in many stages: shirts, wall, surf.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 5:38pm

Gash is saying the price on Swellnet is a misprint. It's $2,500,000 not 250K.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 6:53pm

Is it a wrong number or a prank call?

I swear I can hear muffled laughter on the other end.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 7:08pm

Stop Press etc...

malibudutchie's picture
malibudutchie's picture
malibudutchie commented Monday, 18 May 2020 at 8:37am

Thats better - seemed much too low before. If they're after an astute businessman, I'd like to see Clive Palmer get behind this. Much better spend than hydrooxychloroquine. I'll DM his number.

malibudutchie

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 7:37pm

Haha! Browny is a great shaper, much respect.

(GASH you could possibly structure the boards as a junk bond tranche and sell to the US Fed, 250Mn, I hear they are aggressively buying at present)

WarriSymbol's picture
WarriSymbol's picture
WarriSymbol commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 9:23pm

So there was Roar, then Gash.
Where do the Q Sticks or Quik Sticks fit in the timeline?

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 9:36pm

Quiksilver bought Gash I believe.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Sunday, 17 May 2020 at 10:39pm

Pay for someone to ride them and film them? Ha ha , thats one expensive session however it works out. Send the gun with the angel with the sword on it over to WA , I,ll test drive it free of charge, help save on expense?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 18 May 2020 at 1:16am

Maybe Simon and Roy Stewart could collaborate and charge seven hundred and seventy seven trillion dollars plus a vial of unicorn tears and half a dozen space kittens tuned to 13531 mHz for a one off wall piece never to be gazed upon by human eyes?

Art maybe visceral but is it environmental? One wonders whether Gash would have had the same traction at, oh shall we say, Brooms Head?

1173

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:30am

Stirring the pot, gash. I like it.