DEL MAR — The Sacred Craft Consumer Surfboard Expo was back in Southern California Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 as thousands of enthusiasts descended on the Del Mar Fairgrounds to view unique, subtle innovations in the surf industry.
Considered by many as the premiere one of a kind surf expo, Sacred Craft celebrates the art of surfing —from design to shaping and everything in between.
“This is a lot more of a laid back atmosphere,” said Trey Peters. “I go to some tradeshows and it’s so commercialized you forget it’s even about surfing.”
The Sustainable Craft Shaping Bay showcased various shapers holding court and working their craft.
“It shows a lot of people what goes into making a board who might otherwise just think it comes off the rack readymade,” Tad Miserhold said. “It’s like knowing where your food comes from, it’s getting to the source.”
Scott Bass, founder of Sacred Craft, has said there is a movement to get back to the roots of the surf culture. In fact, history played an important role in the present day expo. Six shapers fabricated asymmetrical-styled surfboards in the Tribute to the Masters Shape-Off, which honored locally based veteran shaper and La Jolla native Carl Ekstrom.
Known for his asymmetrical surfboard designs that allow a surfer to ride one board that
works for both the front and back side, Ekstrom built his first board at age 15.
“These old-school guys really had a lot of freedom to build whatever worked for them,” Patrick McKinney said. “Now we are sucked into buying what’s popular.”
Kimball Taylor’s T-shirts and hats displayed at The Randominium booth showed the lighter side of commercialization.
“We poke fun at it all,” he said. With slogans like “The surf industry stole my culture and all I got was this lousy T-shirt,” Taylor has his share of fans.
The Sustainable Craft Showcase highlighted environmentally friendly equipment and services. Rey Banatao, co-founder of Entropy Resigns.com, showed the crowd how versatile industrial pine and non-food grade vegetable oils are as he painted a surfboard. Nothing went to waste as Evocal artist Brett Walker took the leftover paint from Banatao and created a work of art on the spot.
Brothers Pat and Fabi Muirragui, local entrepreneurs who launched boardhunt.com, a virtual marketplace that allows local shapers, as well as the general public, to sell new and used boards.
“We’ve got all kinds of user-friendly features built in to help people buy and sell their boards all over the country,” Pat Muirragui said.