I'm 69 years old and live in Braunschweig/Germany, which is 1.000 miles away from the nearest surf spot - Lacanau/France on the Atlantic coast (my 'local' break). I first came into contact with a surfboard at the age of 26 while on a motorbike trip along the Atlantic coast. At home I just did a little roller skating and skateboarding.
I immediately became "addicted" to surfing and in 1978 I spent 8 weeks in Southern California (Encinitas) and in 1980/81 eight weeks on the North Shore Oahu as a backpacker with a tent.
This was the time when M.R. was the world's #1. The first surf movie I watched in California was "Free Ride" and I subscribed to "Surfing Magazine" in the early 80s. I got married in 1982, we had 2 little children and I started my job as a teacher in Braunschweig.
For more than 30 years we went to Lacanau in our summer holidays and whenever we could we watched the 'Lacanau Pro', which was part of the WCT for many years. With a family and a job Hawaii was out of the question.
Your Surfing Connection
I always had my own surfboard, but I could only surf in my summer holidays (4-5 weeks). My winter holidays were reserved for skiing. After my wife and I retired from school teaching in January 2014 we finally had the time to go to the North Shore again in December to watch the Triple Crown and especially the Pipe Masters.
It was then that I had the chance to meet M.R. at a talk story event and I learned that he had become a shaper. Since he does not ship his boards to Europe, he recommended Phil Grace in Hossegor/France to shape a board for me (which Phil did the next year).
Your Board Connection
In 2017 we were planning a trip to Australia in 2018 and since I often visited M.R.'s website I knew about his Retro Boards. So I contacted M.R., ordered a personalized "Free Ride" board and arranged our itinerary in Australia in a way that I could pick up the board and take it home.
The good thing about it was that the airline did not charge anything for the board plus I had bought an inflatable board bag two years before that came in very handy for my boards safe transport. The plan has always been to put the board up on the wall in my home as a piece of art and not to use it in the water.
Your Board's Display
I already have another board on a wall rack, but I had to remove the fins. Since the "Free Ride" board has fixed fins I couldn't use this rack. I checked the internet but there was nothing I really liked. So I asked M.R. for advice and he recommended 'Ghost Racks' to me, and here we are. The board is now displayed in our home on your racks and it really looks beautiful. My wife, who is the expert when it comes to art & design, is full of praise and so are my friends and everybody who comes to visit. An M.R. Free Ride board on Ghost Racks in the middle of Germany - I think there aren't many people who can boast of that.