Surfboards as Art
“These look too nice to surf, I would just want to hang it on my wall”
This is a statement we hear fairly often, which is one that is somewhat affirming that we are doing what we intend to do, make the nicest surfboards we can; but it also begs the question of “aren’t surfboards meant to be ridden?”
I always tell customers that I don’t mind if someone buys a surfboard with the specific intent of hanging it on their wall. This may be viewed as surfboard-building blasphemy, but it is my genuine belief that a surfboard that is bought and hung on a wall now, will someday be removed from it’s position in the living room, and introduced to the Sea. Whether its this generation, or the next, the temptation will get the best of someone.
That said, the subject of surfboards as art in the home is one I have some opinions about. It can be done extremely well, and it can be done very poorly. A surfboard hanging on the wall runs the risk of looking like a prop for a Hawaiian-themed birthday party, or a dorm room. As with most things, the key to using a surfboard as decoration is simplicity. It’s already a surfboard, so the statement has been clearly made. It’s far better to error on the side of subtle and understated when it comes to the look and presentation of the surfboard. Understated single color tints, with polish finishes tend to be the most palatable. There’s a lot less opportunity for it to clash if it’s only one color, rather than two. If you know me at all, you know that I largely prefer understated, muted colors. That’s my preference, but I’d rather not have a McDonald’s red and yellow surfboard in my dining room. For lack of a better example, here is a Lumberjack hanging in Coast UK, which is admittedly a store and not a home, but it looks nice. I’ve seen surfboards hanging in everything from log cabins to modern lofts, and it can certainly transcend architectural styles. I often compare surfboards to guitars and cars, in that they have an undeniable visual appeal. It certainly speaks into your interests if you’re willing to dedicate 120″ of wall space to a $1,300 longboard.
If you’re going to hang a surfboard in our home, it really should be clean and brand-new, or have an awesome story to go along with it. Either way, someone someday will probably pull it down and wax it up anyway, but that’s the nature of surfboards.