Peter - Client Surfboard Story
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now reside with my family on a small island in south Puget Sound. I’m a father to four young boys, the youngest of which are mirrored identical twins (5 yrs). We word hard to raise them outside as much as we possibly can.
They’ve been in the water since birth, learning to surf, swim, crab, and fish. As a result, they’ve developed an intense curiosity about the ocean, which makes me a pretty proud dad. They know their way around a boat; and on occasion they surprise us by coming home from the beach with dinner in hand.
I worked as a commercial mariner (tug captain) for the first half of my career, eventually transitioning to my current position at a naval architecture firm in Seattle (Glosten). We provide design and engineering services for research vessels, passenger vessels, tugs, and workboats. As the in-house captain, I draw from my operating experience to help clients with complex marine operations; though, lately, I’ve been focused on the development of new vessel designs to bring to market – mainly tugs.
Your Board Connection
The board was commissioned after the purchase of our new home on Fox Island in 2018. I’ve always wanted a sleek single-fin gun on the wall, and my wife finally gave me the OK, on the condition that it match the black & white theme of the interior design.The inspiration came from a vintage 10’10” Waimea Gun by Dick Brewer (attached), which I actually tried to buy from a North Shore collector; but, ultimately, he couldn’t part with it.
That’s when I reached out to Chuck Andrus for a custom shape. It worked out well, as I preferred a late 70’/early 80’s design anyhow, and Chuck is known for doing them well. He was a pleasure to work with.
The laminating, color, and finish work was done by renowned North Shore glass man Jack Reeves. Jack is a bit of a perfectionist, and the end result reflects that quite clearly. Black tinted resin isn’t easy to work with, and there are literally no noticeable imperfections in the finish.
The board was completed in May 2019 and retrieved in person from Reeves’ Sunset Beach workshop on a drizzly Saturday night. To my surprise, Owl Chapman was there for the handoff, sipping Guinness and cracking jokes as Jack helped me wrap the board for the trip home. It was an unforgettable experience for both me and my wife, making it an even more meaningful addition to the house.
Your Surfboard Connection
I started surfing at 13, after a visit to the Gold Coast left a big impression on me. I bought a board and wetsuit as soon as I got home; but there wasn’t a whole lot of guys that surfed up north in those days. I didn’t even know where to go. My mom connected me with a contractor she knew that surfed and he was cool enough to give me a few rides to the beach and get me started. Everything was quite different than I expected, but I grew to love and appreciate the mysto setups, sizey winter surf, and lack of crowds.
I spent most of my twenties in California, Oregon, and Hawaii. I enjoyed it, but eventually moved back home to Washington State and got my career going. In 2004, after working as a captain for several years, I connected with Australian surfer, Chris O’Callaghan, who owned a surf charter business in French Polynesia with local legend Moana David. They were operating 10-day charters in the remote Tuamotu Archipelago. I flew down to interview for the job and that was the beginning of one of the most memorable periods of my life.
I worked for Chris and Moana for only a couple of seasons, but in that time I met incredible people, saw more than 40 sparsely inhabited islands in the central pacific, and got to surf places that were basically empty, ridiculously beautiful, and good! It was a challenging place to surf, and to run a boat, and I improved in both respects.
Today I’m pretty focused on my job and teaching my kids to enjoy the ocean. Most of my surfing days are spent pushing them into waves, or paddling around with one of them on the nose of my longboard. On occasion, I sneak off to grab a few by myself. We also make annual trips to Hawaii that satisfy me for a while. One day not too long from now, the boys will be able to surf circles around me.
Your Board’s Display
This unique collector, commissioned by the Soles family in 2018, was hand made by respected Hawaiian shaper “Uncle” Chuck Andrus, with laminating, colour, and finish work by renowned North Shore glass man Jack Reeves.
I wanted to display the board vertically on the wall of our new home, but was struggling to find a mounting system that was both attractive and able to fit the non-standard dimensions of the shape. I discovered the Ghost Racks Apparition online and sent a quick message to inquire if it might work. Within a few hours I received a direct call from one of the co-founders at Ghost Racks, who showed genuine excitement about helping me with a solution. He asked for a few basic measurements of the fin and the nose and presented a custom variation of the Apparition about a day later. The finished product arrived from Australia in less than week and did not disappoint. The acrylic was thick, crystal clear, and very nicely finished. The bolt pattern was well thought out, and the measurements dead on. Installation was as simple as it gets and the board was on the wall in less than an hour. From start to finish, I could not have been more impressed with the Ghost Racks team and the product itself. They were responsive, professional, and fun to work with. Going forward, I will use Ghost Racks exclusively for my displays.