I love surfboards. I am a surfboard collector/horder who has amassed and sold many collections of boards. I love innovative designs (the Hyptro Krypto, Tomo’s Evo), retro designs (keel fin fishes, single fins) and some standard shapes too (sometimes you need a standard thruster). I really love cubic volume measurements but that is a discussion for another post. Ever since I started surfing and my mom bought me a very 1990s, fluro green, 6’6” Canyon shortboard, I’ve loved riding and buying different boards. I’ve been looking for a “magic board” for much of my life.
The goal has always been to find the perfect board for the waves I am riding at that time. I must admit, I have often failed. I’ve bought boards that I couldn’t ride (like the Canyon) or that do not suit the waves I am surfing (to this day I cannot ride a shortboard or anything thinner than a fish at Windansea). I’ve sold boards that I loved to fund adventures. I still get sad thinking about a certain red and white Xanadu and a bright yellow Larry Mabel keel fin fish that found new owners. But in the end, like many of the best things in life, my most magical board was free.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have many really great surfing buddies and the source of my magic board was one of my most favorite surfing partners thus the story of my magic board cannot be told without telling the legend of the one and only All-Day Abel. Abel surfed every single day at Windansea, a reef break located in La Jolla. Sometimes twice, three times; sometimes all day. Abel lived in a cubby house with a loft bed over his tiny living space in a friend’s yard a block from the famous break. An original Tiny Home before that became a thing. And he was on it. He earn the nickname; he was out all day. Whenever you checked Windansea, you would see Abel flying down the line of a righthander with style and grace.
We became fast friends based on our love of surfing Windansea. I would go over to his house in the morning and drink a glass of chia seeds with lemon and talk shit. We’d suit up – in full suits and booties or swimmers and wetsuit jackets depending on the season – and run down the street to shred. Surfing with Abel was always full of laughing, snaking each other and paddle battling. He really knew how to surf Windansea as good as anyone and he knew what boards worked best for the wave.
Abel gave me two boards. One left my hands in Nicaragua because I was out of money to pay boardbag fees. The second is my magic board. It’s a 5’7” Seagraves swallow tail, fish-like shape except for the tri-fin thruster set-up and it’s thick. It catches waves like a fiend. It can handle a drop and bigger, faster wave (Abel rode it at Uluwatu) like no other fish can. It is my go to for surfing the La Jolla reefs but it also worked super well at the point breaks down in Baja.
I surfed my magic board at Windansea yesterday and had a blast. It’s yellowed, dinged and Abel and I both have moved away from La Jolla to foreign countries on different continents but the magic survives right down to the Clark Foam core. The history and the good vibes in that board transcend time and space and are always here for me in my old board shed every time I step up the jet from Australia. Thanks, Abel for being out there all day, errrday and sharing the magic of surfing this board!