What is it? Who Made it?
It's a surfboard. I'm not sure who shaped this one, but I'll hazard a guess that it's Matt Parker.
How was it made?
Most boards start as a polyurethane 'blank'. This is loosely surf-board shaped to begin with, and then sawed, plane-d, rasped and sandpapered to final form.
It's normal to strengthen the blank by sawing it in two and inserting a 'stringer' - a wooden divider that runs from end to end. Strength can also come from the material and laminate itself - with some designs even featuring carbon fibre rails that stiffen the board, without the need for a stringer.
To be honest, detailed construction is worthy of a whole post - but after the shaping is done - a board is laminated with fiber-glass cloth and coated in a hard protective resin. Graphics and painting comes after.
Why did I pin this?
I am a mad keen surfer (that is not a claim to skill - only enthusiasm). Board design and board art has undergone a Cambrian explosion in the last ten years. Whereas once your choice was limited to a pearl white thruster with natty decals - now the range of materials, shapes, fin setups and finishes is huge.
This is a good thing. The range of surfing ability is very nuanced and wave variation is essentially infinite - resulting in a personal combination that is unique and always changing. Few sports allow such individual expression of style, and so boards have followed.
The collision of both retro and progressive board design has been led by West Coast shops like Album, Deus and Mollusk. Naturally, broader trends in design influence shapers. The matt finish is becoming more popular, especially in dark shades of black, green and brown. Purely expressive, bold, geometric graphics are also coming through - with less attention on shaper's mark or brand as defining the look.
Of course - the huge caveat that applies to all designs is - "how does it look covered in a scum of wax, wetsuit coloring and sand"? And the matt / gloss combination here is likely fade from showroom condition within a session.
Regardless, what matters is that this board marries both the functional and aesthetic needs of surfing individuality in a powerful way, encouraging both shapers and riders to seek out more possibilities. The "Doom" shape looks fun and playful for the scrappy surf of my local breaks, with a finish that would have me quietly stoked overtime I looked down in between sets.
What did I learn?
I need to go much deeper on this love of mine - but for now - I'm happy to jam on the great work of Album surfboards and do the never-ending idle calculus of when my skill might level up sufficiently to justify this lovely deck.