Uh, o.k.



Interestingly, a picaresque in the Spanish literary tradition has a strain of sarcasm running through it. Probably not intended here, but worth noting. Wonderful footage and great editing on the trailer. Be on the lookout for the alaia barrel.


Boiled Linseed Oil

I put the first coat of linseed oil on my alaia. What a mess.  

I have never worked with linseed oil before, and was surprised at how runny it was.  I tried to spread it around with a rag, but that didn't work very well.  I ended up using a stiff piece of cardboard to spread it around.  Drips fell off the board onto my drop cloth.

Linseed oil has a propensity to spontaneously combust.  It says so on the can.  I also talked to my father-in-law, who has worked with wood for the past 40 years, and he reminded me that linseed oil spontaneously combusts.  He told me several stories of witnessing such fires.  So, with that fear in the back of my mind, I made sure to apply the linseed oil in a well-ventilated location and was sure to thoroughly dry the rags and the cardboard before tossing them in the trash can.  (Maybe paying $600 for a Wegener alaia at the Patagonia surf shop in Cardiff, CA, is not such a bad idea?!)

The application process is such a mess that I think I will try a marathon 3-4 coat application during a single day.  The oil seems to soak in and nearly dry within 1 hour, so if start at 7am and turn the board every hour, I should be able to complete the entire sealing process within one day.


Anyone who has done this before and can give some advice (including telling me that my marathon session will or won't work), please post a comment.


Great trailer. Anyone seen the movie? Alaias, olos, single fins, fishes, longboards . . . it's all here.


Musica Surfica

I know that I have posted about this before, but some great music and great alaia and finless footage here. I wish the tour would come to southern California. If anyone has any info, please post a comment.


Cargo Bike

The perfect thing for transporting your alaia:

By Richard Peace

It’s a sign of a bike's success when companies in the Far East start producing cut-price copies of it – and that’s just what’s happened with the classic Dutch ‘bakfiets’ design.

At this year's China International Bicycle & Motor Fair Show in Shanghai, Ningbo Nanyang Vehicle Co. displayed a complete range of carrier cycles which were difficult to tell apart from their made-in-Holland counterparts.

The powerhouse of bakfiets sales (bakfiets literally means ‘boxbike’) is still the Netherlands. But, even though the design seems to have been around for ever, sales have exploded over the past few years.

"When we started six years ago, we sold about three a week," said Jan Rijkeboer, head of Azor, which manufactures bakfiets big enough to transport two or three small children. "Now, we sell thousands per year... and we export a containerful to the United States every three months."

According to Rijkeboer, the average bakfiets buyer is a young parent in the upper-middle income range – but not always. "For some it is a display of wealth but some, like my single-mother clients, don't have a choice," he said. "It's still cheaper than a car."

The trend seems to be catching on in the UK too. Huw Salt of the School Run Centre, Cambridge, specialists in bakfiets called Cargobikes, says sales have taken off over the past couple of years, and the last three months have been 100 percent up on the same period of last year.

Cargo bikes can be used for carrying goods as well as children, in this case in coventry: cargo bikes can be used for carrying goods as well as children, in this case in coventry

Cargo bikes can be used for carrying goods as well as children, in this case in Coventry

What’s behind this mini-surge in popularity? Salt says: "While Cargobikes have always appealed to those with a green conscience – we actually sold one to Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth – the rise in petrol prices last year and the credit crunch have made Cargobikes especially appealing to those looking to replace the second car on the school run."

Perhaps surprisingly, 99 percent of Salt’s bakfiets purchasers opt for the two-wheeled version rather than the tricycle option. "Despite what people might think about difficulties in handling a heavily loaded two-wheeler, they soon realise a tricycle – loaded or not – requires a whole different set of skills to riding a bike," he said.

While sales of bakfiets are strongest in flatter areas, especially in the south-east of the UK, Salt thinks there is potential for the bikes in hillier areas now that his company has started selling an electric version of the Cargobike.

Richmond mp susan kramer with members of pedal power for parents: richmond mp susan kramer with members of pedal power for parents

MP Susan Kramer with members of Richmond-based Pedal Power for Parents

One particular bakfiets project has proved a long-term success. The Richmond-based Parents for Pedal Power Project was given £5,000 funding by Transport for London to provide four bakfiets at Stepping Stones nursery in May 2007, to be borrowed by parents for short trips.

Jessica Anderson, one of the project founders, uses a bakfiets to carry her children, Jemima, four, and Hugo, three. She said: "The bikes have changed our lives and the children love it. We have a cover for when it rains, and while I might get wet, the children are cosy. I've used it for grocery shopping, getting to after-school activities, trips to the park and even to the recycling bank with a load of cardboard and bottles. It's the ultimate eco-friendly people carrier."



Surf Donkey Canadian Alaia Madness

Okay, if you have never seen a Surf Donkey episode, check it out. A surf video that opens with 12" of fresh snow and a surfboard stuck into a snow bank is worth a look. Also check out the alaia sliding on a homemade pine plank starting about 2m00.