Surfboards As Art

On a day trip to Folly Beach near Charleston South Carolina, my surfing buddy and I sat it out for a while after being pounded to a pulp by waves hard as cement.

There was a storm offshore that day, I forget which one, but everybody raced down to the coast to surf.

Except for myself, I brought a board but was present mainly to chill beside a cooler, doing my thing as Surf Director. Not that I was ever a real good surfer. But this time I had an excuse to lay low except for  a few sorties out to pee in the ocean and make it look like I was jumping waves. I was still recovering from a broken hip. By that I mean a hip socket crushed like a saltine cracker, not a grandpa-type break, not a help-I’ve-fallen-down-and-can’t-get-up thing.

Anyway, the sound of crashing surf pummeled my ear drums in sync with gulls ,screeching, I’d been feeding crackers to.I watched my friend walk down the beach with his board, saying he was going to give it another try. Then, in the other direction, I watched another guy limping along carrying his shorty in two parts.

I wondered what he planned to do with it. If it was me, I’d have saved it as a wall hanger, a trophy of sorts, a Metal of Honor for fighting the waves that day instead of just sitting, drinking, thinking about nothing, accomplishing nada except my bag of empty cans.

As we were driving home I thought about that ruined surfboard. The image of it in my mind, for a reason I didn’t understand just then doing 85 on I-26, made me decide that one of these days I’ll paddle out there and try to stand up again. Keep the dream alive even if it’s broken in two.

Good art does that. Makes us turn in directions we’d given up or never considered in the first place.

* * *


Check out what others have done –re-purposing surfboards as art. Article:  (Old retired surfboards get a new life as artwork.)

* * *

— Tim Bryant
Author of Blue Rubber Pool
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill

Back to Folly Beach –Beyond the Bikinis

Yours Truly hopes to make another “Surf Director” run to Folly

Folly Beach, South Carolina, is considered a day trip from Pineapple Hill

Beach this week. It’s an easy job: Sit in a big canvas beach chair next to a cooler. In the foreground, my blown out knee. Beyond that, 20 yards of hot sand dotted with bikinis or at least bikini bottoms. Out beyond the bikinis, Malibu Nick will be on a wave or under one. And beyond him, the thin pencil line of my horizon: worlds I left behind and others that await.

It’s good to listen to the sea (aka Jimmy Buffet’s “Mother Ocean”). Usually, we pick up right where we left off. A familiar voice. Familiar dialogue. Familiar points of view. Mother Ocean and I go way back. Splitting up when we did a few years back was a necessary evil (it turned out my first wife, from Cleveland/Philly, absolutely hated “The Sunshine State”). O well.

Malibu Nick’s my brother-in-law. His wife/my sister wants me to bring binoculars for spotting the kind of sharks that eat surfboards and surfers.I’m not going to. That would be spying. What happens on Folly should stay on Folly.


Besides, if a fin or two actually popped up out there, Malibu Nick would never hear me, never see me waving my arms. And it’s not as if I’m going to run up and down the beach upsetting the tourists, not as if I’m going to call in an air strike.

At that point, a trip to the Folly would no longer feel like a day away from the office.

PS:  Apparently there’s a band of thieves on the loose disguised as middle-aged housewives from North Dakota…

Now I know what happened to my other sandal last month.

And I owe Malibu Nick an apology –guess it wasn’t him that drank my last two beers.

# # #

If you see me surf directing on Folly, don’t be afraid to stop by. You won’t be interrupting much. You can have a melted peanut butter sandwich. We bring a big bag of them and some peaches too.

# # #

Tim Bryant
Surf Director at Pineapple Hill