In The Shaping Room, 1977

Skip Frye

Skip Frye in the shaping room

By 1977 I’d graduated from college and was shooting for anybody that would pay. I was officially over the hill. I’d joined the world. I distinctly recall looking back with a little bit of regret on this day: I felt like I’d moved away from my beach roots and was traversing an unfamiliar world that made being in Skip’s shaping room some kind of sin. I was shooting Ilford FP-4 B&W film. It had incredible latitude – but the very fact that I was thinking about the tonal response of film moved me away from the beach, my surfing friends and the guys that made my boards.

Of course, I was completely wrong. Surfing is almost a meditation that prepares you for the rest of the world. Strength, patience and the ability to read conditions are real-world skills that stay with any surfer, in the water or out.

Skip Frye was one of the last rebel souls. If you wanted a board shaped, you had to know him – his boards weren’t available in shops. His personal chop – the elegant wing design inspired by the Girl Scouts Brownie patch – was a statement of purity. It’s still that way.

About John Durant

Professional photographer in California
This entry was posted in California, Ilford FP4, San Diego, Skip Frye, surfboards, surfing. Bookmark the permalink.

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