Tule Surfboard
2012
Tule Reeds, Lashing
6' x 22" x 12"

 

The 36th Hour of my long winded stay, rotary style on grassy pasture, surrounded by whims of cattails, local hollering, bright skies, crisp weather, a diverse reach of ranchers and earth ecstatic rugged life-folk, I found myself birdman style snaking through ponds filled with various valuable, murky, and beautiful reeds on one of those hot Idahoan mornings.  Fresh, mossy and extraordinarily clean. I was taking a knife and a fairly sharp one at that, grabbing the Tule reed at its base, telling the reed, this is going to hurt and thanks in advance in case that helps.  Lining the knife across at a diagonal angle and cutting the stalk free of the root. I stacked the cut reeds in various places afloat throughout the pond. Miraculously, yet unsurprisingly the bundles floated around me contentedly showing off their inner layering of hollow, yes, hollow reedlike buoyancy. I carefully meandered so as not to take too much from each patch and spied the duck hunters camo-ing up in the mud patch across the way.  I laid the rushes in the sun to dry. 

A native Hawaiian, who came to California years ago to teach primitive skills, showed me how to lash the reeds as the Ohlone of Miwok Bay had done to make their fishing boats. Because of my love of surfing, we lashed the reeds together with two bundles and shaped them with rocker and tail.

Traveling on the road, through midnight skies, torrential rains, game commissions, in and out of houses, piled into and on top of the car, this now beatnik symbol came to reflect so accurately and intertwine among trips to the beach and new ventures in surf lifestyle.

Stopped by agricultural control at the border of California to check that the rushes had dried. We made it down to the Southern California coast and put it out on the water.