9'6" Hollow Fir /
June '07 -
The 9'6" is a commissioned board...
While I was on my way to Ireland to
teach the "How To Class" I received this e-mail...
-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Jay Leopold"
I have a question for you. I'll try to keep it brief, which is a challenge for
me. I'm with DPR Construction Inc., a young progressive large General
Contractor that, like yourselves, is considered a maverick in an otherwise
unprogressive industry. In fact, a recent business book entitled "Mavericks at
Work" highlights 42 companies in different industries that are re-writing the
rules as to how business ought to be done and we were fortunate enough to get
featured as one of those companies. With that background (you can see more
about us at www.dprinc.com ), here's the
I have responsibility for our San Diego office (we do about $200 million
annually here), and I'm remodeling the lobby area for several reasons, one of
which is to better express our very strong culture by making an unmistakable
statement about our core values. We have four of them, and they are for real.
Integrity, Uniqueness, Ever Forward, and Enjoyment. This strong cultural
statement is going to be done with surfboards...one for each statement that
embodies the essence of our core values. For instance, for integrity, there
will be Greg Noll's "Duke" board, a hand shaped Koa board representative of
that era of surfing. It smacks of integrity, as does Duke.
My homework has led me to Paul Jensen surfboards as a strong possibility for
one of the other four boards, all of which will be prominently displayed in
our lobby area in a pretty special way. From what I can tell, one of your
boards could be perfect for our core value of Uniqueness (defined by us as
follows: We must be different from and more progressive than all other
construction companies; we stand for something). There's no questioning the
innovative spirit of your boards. I'm actually intrigued because I was looking
for something reflective of Tom Blake's innovative hollow wooden surfboards
from the 30's and kind of gave up, and then I came across your company. Your
boards look beautiful, and they as well as your company seem to be extremely
I'm interested in the 10'4" or 9'8" waterlogged (my Greg Noll Duke board is
also a 10' 0"). I guess my ultimate question is that if this is the road I
go, what are the chances of getting one? The catch is that we have an Open
House on May 10. Is there a way to get one by then if I were to go this route?
I'm pretty excited about what we're up to and how one of your boards might fit
in to my plan here. I think it'd be very cool for you guys and very cool for
Thanks for that...
I gotta keep this short, I'm between flights at JFK NY...Today will have me in
London, finally in Ireland where I'll be till May 13...Teaching a "How To"
Unfortunately I can't get you a
board in time...I am sorry, really...But your description of what your
company is and the direction you are heading sounds like someone I'd like to
display one of my boards...
I'll have time in Ireland to get back to you and we can move forward, if you
Thanks for finding a way to get back to me in the midst of your travels.
Missed you in
JFK by a day. So I totally understand, but I also don't want to give up. I'm
in this for the long haul. What chance do I have of just getting my
hands on a loaner for the May 10 event we're having? If I could figure that
out, I could get thru that one evening with the story told and then just hold
that space blank and wait until I get the real thing. Sorry to press....just
looking creatively at ways to pull this off. Wish I'd found you earlier. My
bad but what the heck...better late than never. Let me know if you think
there's a way to temporarily display one of your boards for a day. Good luck
on your travels.
I get back to Jay...
The ONLY boards I have that are available are in Washington State...I CAN
arrange for THAT to happen...I need to have a friend in Washington State ship
it to you...It's not that big of a deal...
The board is my latest, the 8' quad fish...
Let me have as much notice as possible, so I can pull some strings from this
side of the Atlantic...
If we can borrow
the quad fish until we can round up a permanent solution, that'd be fantastic.
I'm pumped and
really appreciate you making an effort to work this out from the other side of
the pond. I think
you will be glad you did this.
You're in good
company. The other 3 boards are as follows:
Integrity: The Greg Noll Duke board
Ever Forward: a Gerry Lopez Patagonia board
Enjoyment: A Robert August Wingnut model board (a la Endless Summer)
Uniqueness: One of your boards
If you're in, so am I! Thanks again for being responsive Paul.
The next few days I made arrangements with
"my people" to get the quad fish to San Diego well in time for their Open
Just wanted you to know that the board made it here safe and sound last week.
Looks perfect in it's display, which I checked out today.
Going to hang it for the Open House on Wednesday when I have the plaques that
go with it.
Thanks again for making it happen. We can talk about long term
solutions when you get back from Ireland, which sounds like has been
Thanks again for coming through!
One more from Jay...
Just wanted you to see how our core values corridor
came out, and the company your board is in. We had a few
hundred folks here last night for our annual Open House and
this whole thing with the four boards was a huge hit.
Thanks so much for working with me. We have a lot of
surfers in our business circle and folks loved your board
and the story it told. Below is what I wrote up and put on
the acrylic sign in front of your board.
context, below are the other 3 core values and descriptions
of why I chose the boards I did.
must be different from and more progressive than all other
construction companies; we stand for something. - Adapting a
technology originally developed by surfing pioneer Tom Blake
in the 1930’s, Paul Jensen now makes these hollow wood
boards as an alternative to the industry’s traditional
surfboards. Using wood and carbon fiber, these surfboards
are unique not only in their construction and appearance but
in their performance.
EVER FORWARD. We
believe in continual self-initiated change, improvement,
learning and the advancement of standards for their own
sake. - This board was shaped by legendary surfer Gerry
Lopez for Patagonia, a company known for setting the
standard in their industry, as did Gerry at Pipeline. Using
alternative materials such as EPS (extruded polystyrene)
foam, their innovations have resulted in surfboards that are
lighter, stronger, more durable, and better for the
conduct all business with the highest standards of honesty
and fairness; we can be trusted. - This board, a replica of
a Duke Kahanamoku 1910 surfboard, was hand carved from Koa
by legendary surfer and big wave pioneer Greg Noll and his
son Jed. Duke, the consummate waterman of his era, is
revered for his unsurpassed skill as well as his
unassailable character. The Duke is synonymous with
We believe work should be fun and intrinsically satisfying;
if we are not enjoying ourselves, we are doing something
wrong. - Robert August and “Wingnut” are best known for
traveling the globe in their quest for the perfect wave in
the “Endless Summer” movies. This surfboard, the “Wingnut”
model shaped by Robert August, personifies their belief and
ours that work can and should be fun and fulfilling .
Thanks again for accommodating my tight time line.
When you’re back in the states and can talk, let’s sort out
where to go from here. I definitely want one of your boards
to take up permanent residence in this spot and would like
to figure out options/timing etc..
So, now that Jay had a
placeholder, I went to work to create a special board...
The deck / bottom is cedar/fir/basswood..
The fins is cedar/basswood...
laminated cork/bending plywood...
Fiberglass laminated on inside of deck / bottom...
Resin Research Epoxy /4-oz.E-glass...
Board 17 is in a private collection in