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Portals of Stoke
By John Severson

John Severson Portals of Stoke

In my longboard comeback I had a nine-six, shaped by Ed Angulo. In the way of polyurethane, it had entered the slow-motion deterioration program.  Ed and I both liked the board, so he borrowed it back to make a mold and a redwood/balsa lamination model for his Thailand repro-program. I was in the lifetime favorite stick supply line. And for a bonus, there would be a ten-six model perfect for crowds, choppy days, and long paddles.

On my first nine-six day and my first wave, it revealed itself as son of original—all I could hope for. Dropping in, off the bottom and top and bottom and top and WHAZZAT? A turtle ahead—I couldn’t miss it—WHUMP; turtle, board and me in different directions. Swimming to my board, I discovered the fin box jammed through the tail and all the aqua-dynamics down the tubes. It couldn’t be fixed, but in the nature of mass production, another awaits. I couldn’t throw “turtle bash” away.

A year later I am trying my new ten-six out at “Killer Rocks” when the leash snaps; board on the rocks. Bent in half, another mint issue goes to the sidelines.

Attrition accounts for another laminate beauty, and then came the call for a gate at a rental we have with our daughter. Up went the boards as gatekeepers, softening the entry to an Island experience. Every time I drive through, my heart skips at these beautiful boards--portals of stoke.

John Severson, original publisher and creator of The Surfer and then Surfer Magazine, lives on Maui where he practices his art. His art can be found at surferart.com. The property described above can be found at coconutcovemaui.com