A short exploration of shared values and distant realities with Trimcraft Surfboards, Ryan Lovelace, Dedi Sabatilat, Phil Browne, Simon Murdoch, Joseph Yee, Erik Paulson, Michael Carson, Surf In Mentawais, Ryan Toomey and James Clower. Hand craft is at the heart of what we share with each other and the world. Relatable Form is a 10 minute short film exploring the relationships between our place and craft in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
Film by James Clower, Joey Dwyer and Timmy Dwyer
Interview with Ryan Lovelace by Joey Dwyer:
What does form and function mean to you?
Never cutting one in favour of the other is the definition of success to me. To lessen form for the sake of function is less a sin that the opposite if I had to choose one way to side, but ultimately as an artist and rather visual person, the melding of form and function into one is the definition of art - when you can't separate one from the other, when they are perfectly balanced and lending themselves to the other.
How do you go about creating a study of surfcraft for the perfect but wide variety of conditions in the Mentawais?
I wonder how many boat trips get put together with that wide a variety of surfcraft - we had EVERYTHING it seemed like. So many boards that we didn’t even get to ride them all, and that says a LOT given the amount of waves on tap in the Mentawais. Consider that for a moment - so many different types of surfboards that even 10 days in the most prolific wave garden in the world didn't offer enough time to legitimately utilise all of them.
How did you guys come together for the trip? Shapers, glassers, sanders etc…
How we all met is a few page story in and of itself! loosely put, Phil Browne (North New Jersey) and I connected a number of years ago over surfboards for his shop - we've become pretty invaluable pieces of each other's lives since. I met James (OBX, NC) through him while I was visiting and shaping a pile of boards for Phil's shop - James was working at the glass shop sanding and cranking out boards, it doesn’t take long to figure out that James is good people, so when the opportunity to come along on the trip came up it was a no-brainer. Joe Yee (Santa Barbara, CA) was one of my first customers ever, he was in his early teens at the time and learning to surf with one of his teachers, who was a customer of mine and my life coach/mentor, farther down the line. Joe started shaping a number of years ago and I kinda brought him into my spaces to try to help foster that endeavour and play with surfboards together. Simon Murdoch (Santa Barbara, CA) and I met years ago also through my boards and mutual friends, his surfing is hard to ignore and watching him surf my boards was a constant inspiration for years - seeing him join up with our friend Gregg Tally to make a few boards in the garage has been great fun, the pair of them are priceless human beings.
What did this trip mean to you as a surfboard craftsman?
I'm still having a hard time wrapping words around the experience - we so rarely get out of town together that going THAT far was a really special moment in time. I've had this type of trip on my bucket list forever, and with the passing of my father last year, and the culmination of this crew for this trip, I knew I couldn't put it off one more day, or miss this opportunity. Being so far removed from your everyday, with or without your friends, I think is key to a well-rounded human experience.
I’ve thought a lot about seeing their boat building and their approach. As the world shifts and moves, water remains a constant; our own cultural relationships with it are separate, yet we all have to approach it in similar ways. Its no surprise to me that we share so many curves and basic theories; what is fascinating to me though is how storied and longstanding their designs are - tried and true over who knows how many generations - to compare surfboards to that lineage is impossible. There are similarities in shape and form because were dealing with the same medium essentially, but the story and the tradition behind the two are completely their own.
What did you take away from such an experience?
If I learned one thing on the trip it was that the crew is key to your experience. A lot of money and a lot of trust is put in these guys, and Dedi and his crew are the definition of priceless. I could never have hoped for a warmer, more gracious host and guide; the energy and love he has for his place and his people is immense and obvious every day.
He and I shared a session on a pristine, hot, sheet glass day at what I suppose was the smallest wave we found - what would have been a lay day turned into one of my favourite moments when I saw him getting ready to cruise around the reef; I asked if he wanted to ride my 7'4 since it was the biggest board we had, when he accepted I was SO stoked, I grabbed a 7' (the next biggest board left) and paddled out with him alone - so stoked - to what would have otherwise been a surfless day. We traded waves for a while and just enjoyed the little doubleups over the reef. As a shaper its great to see shredders on your boards, but to share a session with someone you admire and have a profound respect for, on a board you made, is the top. That was a proud moment and a truly beautiful session.
Rhythm Radio Sounds
Ch 81. Relateable Form
A short exploration of shared values and distant realities. Hand craft is at the heart of what we share with each other and the world. Relatable Form is a short film exploring the relationships between our place and craft in the middle of the ocean, these are the sounds that brought it together.