|Since the beginning of launching the Adventure Co-Op membership program, our vision has been to produce less waste as an organization. The idea of selling multiple boards, boats and gear to a single person seemed to be fueling a consumer model that we didn't believe in anymore. We thought, "what if the community as a whole had one pool of equipment they all paid a small monthly fee to access?" For the past 5 years since the Adventure Co-Op took flight, it has been an interesting journey learning to nurture our ever evolving amoeba of an idea.
Through this process and growth of our program, we have noticed a significant increase in repair issues. While some are a part of the normal 'wear and tear' we have grown to expect, while others have become quite baffling. Some damages made us scratch our heads and wonder, how was that possible? We understand the hazards around our launching area, but some damages still leave us stunned. In the beginning, I took it upon myself to learn how to do board repair; asking friends to show me the ropes. I quickly learned that board repair or shaping, is more of an art than most think. After hours of molding ding dough or sanding epoxy, I found my repairs looked more like Frankenstein than Marilyn Monroe. In the end, I had to let go of my ego and give up. I started the search for a board repair professional and I found a few I liked. The trouble was, they took a lot of time and I usually had to drop them off at their convenience!
One day, I was out in the back of our Paddle Sports Center, Santa Barbara location noticing the large stack of boards teetering on the brink of collapse…. I felt defeated. I did not have the time or energy to deal with them anymore. At this moment a man in sandals walked up to me noticing my discouragement and introduced himself. This mellow, laid back guy brought some light to a seemingly bleak situation. With his solid repairs speaking for themselves, the personal drop-off and pick-up, timeliness, friendly conversation and best of all, a dog named Wan made this stranger the ideal candidate. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Timothy Tharp from Coastland Surfboard repair (805) 403-2641 (firstname.lastname@example.org) has become more than just our repair man, he has become family to the Paddle Sports Center team. You can find him ripping on a "foamy" surfboard, paddling an outrigger or talking about the complexities of the soul. His talent with fiberglass has given him the means to live his dream here in Santa Barbara.
In March of this year, after a solid year of surfing together, Tim and I set our gaze on kayaking across the Santa Barbara Channel. We were disappointed after missing a few weeks of epic weather and decided to go whenever the next offer for a free ride to the islands came along. We were dropped in the water at Painted Cave one foggy morning where both a South and West swell played games, throwing waves at us. We gave a short prayer to the Chumash ancestors of the islands and jumped into the water. We were paddling their ancestral passage and felt a strong sense of reverence throughout the day. We paddled in 50min segments followed by 10 min breaks. But after 3hrs of paddling in fog and by only compass, we both began to feel anxious to pull out a GPS to check our location. As we slowed down to pondered the serious blow to our ego and use technology, Tim spotted a Container Ship barreling down on us, about a one mile out. Paddling around these ships that need miles to stop can be tricky; should we speed up or slow down? We chose to speed up and comfortably passed the vessel. After 3.5hrs, the sun came out and stayed with us for the remaining 18 miles or so. By the time we hit dry land, we had spent 7.5 hrs on the Ocean, a distance of 30 miles in the saddle.
From all of this I wanted to give some useful insight on how to keep better care of you board.