“Maybe we should just burn it,” joked woodworking artist Jay Nelson, looking at the gorgeous wooden A-frame structure that he had built with the help of a dozen or so of his fellow Vissla Creators & Innovators.
Ending the trip with a fire ritual would have made a strange sort of sense, as there was something Burning Man-esque about this particular adventure in Northern Baja. The wooden sculpture sat on a bluff overlooking a dazzling stretch of the Pacific and was flanked by a mobile shaping bay just a few yards away, and a glassing tent a stone’s throw down the hill from there. The entire headland had been a buzzing hive of activity all week, with an eclectic group of creative surfers working together on art projects and shaping and glassing surfboards.
There was a late night resin rave, when master glasser Alex “Superwolf” Villalobos did abstract laminations while the rest of the crew watched through Mexican lager-tinted lenses and blasted strange music. Boards with names like “The Pschadelic Cow” and “The Sphinxster” came into being. Donald Brink made a set of fins that could probably be used to hunt wild game if civilization crumbled and you needed squirrel meat bad enough.
But just as fascinating as the things being built on land were the lines being drawn in the water, as the crew assembled each morning at the cliff’s edge, surveying the swell, selecting their craft and sharing some glassy peaks. From Hawaiian Cliff Kapono’s timeless knock-knee approach to filmmaker Jack Coleman’s finless joyriding, there was no shortage of aquatic inspiration for the group to feed off of.
Press play to watch highlights from the truly unique meeting of the minds in Northern Baja, featuring Derrick Disney, Cliff Kapono, Donald Brink, Thomas Campbell, Nick Melanson, Jay Nelson, Evan Marks, Jack Coleman, Alex “Superwolf” Villalobos, Jeff McCallum, Mitch King, Travis Reynolds, Jason Woodside and Danny Hess.