It’s hard for today’s surfers to grasp how much the surfing world was rocked by the shortboard revolution of the late 60s. That’s when – almost overnight – a new window of possibilities opened up for wave riders thanks to surfers like Nat Young, Gerry Lopez and Wayne Lynch guiding the way on their hacked-down boards.
Of course, anyone wanting to participate in the fun had to make the most of what they had, and blanks weren’t exactly readily available. Enter the era of the cut down. That’s when surfers stripped the glass off of their old (and sometimes new) longboards and reshaped them from what they could salvage. Hey, desperation is a nice motivator.
Some might say with the tough economic times we’re living in this is idea worth recycling. After all, it’s can be pretty fun. Exhibit A is this clip titled BONUS ROUND starring Cliff Kapono, a filmer and Ronert Patterson a shaper who transforms a beat up left for dead 1980’s relic surfboard into a fun shaped high flying shred stick.
These Hawaiians proved once again one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
GRINDTV: So Cliff, first off tell us about yourself… Where are you from? Any hobbies? Inspirations? What are your favorite things in life?
Cliff Kapono– I am Hawaiian.
What made you want to get behind the lense? How long have you been filiming and where do you plan to take it?
We never wrote things down in my culture. We passed on our knowledge through stories and song. I believe that a lot of indigenous cultures are the same way. It is kind of sad to see how much of our culture is discarded or belittled because it wasn’t written in a book. People are taught what are in books, but with the internet and multimedia, individuals are given the ability to “publish” their stories as they see them online everyday.We don’t need to get our history from britanica anymore, we can get it off google. I really feel that my community can be empowered by this ability to share stories through film. With film and video, our stories can remain authentic and we don’t have to stray from the culture.
What’s the story behind the video bonus round?
My good friend Robert Patterson is shaping boards for our community now. His little brother Brian made a single fin out of half an old longboard and it rode pretty good. The board quickly got the nickname “the bonus round” because he got surprised with an extra board out an old one the same way gamers are awarded a bonus level or round. I don’t know, I didn’t come up with the name. From there I asked him if he would make me a real bonus round. Best request I ever made.
Was this the first time you guys have transformed a board? Who’s relic was the original board?
Yeah. That was the first one. It was a board that I got when I was small. I busted out the fins when I first started surfing and it sat in the garage for a while. We used it to slide down hills and stuff when it rained. I told Rob that I had the perfect board to make a legit bonus round. 7’6x 21″x 3″. Next thing you know we are in his shaping bay like two mad scientists trying to transform this freak of nature board into something beautiful. He was actually kind of bummed that the board was so smashed. It took a lot of work to make her a clean as she is now.
Is that you with the rad hair surfing in the video?
Yeah. Creepy, I know.
Tell us about Robert Patterson and his shaping skills?
He was actually living up in Cali for a while riding for Ezekiel doing the pro thing. I don’t wanna speak for him or anything, but I guess he missed home or something and ended back here. He has been making his own board for a while and ripping on them. I think he made it to like round 4 at last year’s vans pier classic on his own shapes. Mean surfer. Mean shaper.
What are your favorite shapes to surf?
I surf anything. Whatever I can afford. I’ve gotten some great shapes from Mike Walter, John Reinhard, and Matty Raynor.
Tell us about some other projects/life’s works your working on at the moment?
I’m just a regular guy trying to stay close to my roots. I love to film, school, and surf. I have a couple of project goals in mind, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone just yet. Hopefully I can share more stories of life here.
I really appreciate Grind taking the time to ask about the bonus round. Big fan of the site and hopefully you will see a couple more of my stories in the near future cause I am always looking at yours. mahalo e na akua, mahalo e na aumakua, mahalo e na kupuna, mahalo mahalo mahalo.