TransWorld SURF Chats With Scott Bass About The Upcoming "Sacred Craft" Surfboard Expo In Ventura, California…
TransWorld SURF: So tell us how the idea of Sacred Craft came about.
Scott Bass: What we wanted to do was put surfers in front of their local shapers. It seems to me that you can go into some retail shops and you not find boards from the local shaper that you were just surfing with out at D Street or wherever. Like if you go into a local surf shop, you're not going to find a Rat Surfboard, and that guy needs to live—that's his business. My idea was like, look, lets put the surfers in front of the regional shapers and celebrate the surfboard. And that's really the impetus for the show. To lift up surfboards and their shapers and just put our culture back in line
So you're looking to showcase the little guy?
Surfing culture is sort of broken down into regions, into communities. You know like San Clemente, Encinitas, La Jolla, etc. And all the different regions have their regional shapers, which are the fabric of the surf culture in their communities. I think if you lose that, then we're losing a real sense of self, and identity, and our culture. So my concept is look, lets bring all the surfboards in front of all of the public. Get some insight, meet these people, and recognize them by face.
A lot of surf shops are like Wal Mart—they're just like mall stores. They're run by people that are moving clothing. They don't really give a crap about the culture; they're just trying to move fashion. Back in the day, when the ancient Polynesians were surfing, they were more concerned with the surfboard then the fashion, and that's what we're trying to do. There's nothing wrong with the fashion, I mean, you and I are wearing it right now. But at the end of the day, you can go surfing nude as long as you have a board and a wave.
How did you come up with the name "Sacred Craft"?
Sacred Craft was an epiphany out at Swamis. I was talking with a friend and he was like, 'How about 'Sacred Toy?' and I was like, 'No, no, no. These things are way more important than that.' The term has two meanings: There's the craft that we ride, our vehicles, the magic carpet. Then there's the craft of making the board. So the term "Sacred Craft" has two meanings so it seemed to fit. Both of them are rather sacred.
You mentioned guys like Mike Diffenderfer and some of the other "Masters Of The Craft". And while lot of the older surfers might recognize these names, what are you doing to draw in a younger crowd?
One of the things I've always tried to do is highlight younger shapers. The first year we did it we had 18-year old Chris Cravey shaping, and at each show we try to highlight at least one of those young guys. For instance, in Del Mar last year we had 19-year old Ryan Burch shaping. This year I'm trying to get Andrew Doheny, who is on the PacSun USA surf team, to do some shaping. The thing with the young guys is that they have some anxiety. Like Andrew, he's made like 30 boards, not 1000's. But you have to start somewhere. The bottom line is that you're actually doing something that's unique. No one is expecting something amazing to come out of each blank. We want to celebrate the young surfer and the young shaper. There are tons of young surfers—the guys that are buying these boards—and it helps them that they're there, meeting these guys who are making their boards. It helps them to understand the concepts and designs. Even if they don't, they just want to get stoked.
Surfboards are the ultimate stoker. If you're into cars you want to go to a car show, if you're into surfboards you go to the surfboard show, and if you're into boats you go to the boat show.
So aside from shaping, there will be music too?
I like the idea of surfers playing music for surfers. I'm talking about shapers, guys that are into surfboards, and just hardcore surfers. There are a lot of musicians out there that are like 'Oh yeah, I surf!' But I'm talking about guys that are surfers first. Their job relates around surfing more so than trying to hit a record deal. So we have some great musicians this year; Ashley Loy, she just shaped me a surfboard. She's a young woman who is really creative, great musician. Will Jobson, the guy who has been credited with basically creating the "Twinzer" concept—he's a great musician. The guys from Rhythm—the perfect sponsor for the music stage—have a band that they sponsor; Roman Alexander & The Robbery that are really good.
The Sacred Craft show evolves each year, and while it evolves we have to add festival elements to it, but its core will always be surfboards. But we want to make it fun and exciting for everybody as well so we'll have surf artists showing off their work as well as a TV lounge where we're gonna be showing short films.
We want to let the creative juices flow at the expo. We have the collectible surfboard appraisers, they'll give you some insight into what you own—we completely ripped off Antique Road Show! So basically you have the most beautiful surfboards ever lying around, people making art, playing music, and it's all encompassed within walking distance from the "Magical Morning" surf demo at C-Street in Ventura. It's a one-stop shop and all paid attendees get a one-year subscription to TransWorld SURF. We're also giving away a week in G-land, no airfare, but 6 nights 7 days at the surf camp.
Tell us about the "Tribute To The Masters" shape off.
Renny Yater is sort of the Skip Frye of the Santa Barbara area. He's legendary, untouchable, yet a super classy guy. When ordering a surfboard meant a trip to the lumberyard, that's how long he's been around—but he's also on the cutting edge of technology. Because he's an engineer, he's sort of the first one to go 'What's next? What's new?" He's not stuck in some sort of surfboard dogma. There's $1000 on the line and we've got six shapers from up and down the California coast attempting to replicate a classic Yater spoon, with the winner getting the money.
We've also got live glassing demonstrations going on, so there will be guys laminating boards with this Solarez that has this crazy quick UV thing in it meaning no added junk into the air—its all clean and green. We've got a seminar that we're doing that will examine the ethics of stand up paddling in the line up—that promises to be rather salty.
While there's something for everyone—it's not just limited to one concept—it all centers around two things we care about as surfers—waves and the equipment to ride them with.
For more information go to surfboardshow.com