Monday, May 31, 2010

a Cherry Velzy Jacobs

well, i don't know where to start. i'll try to be concise and not too lofty. perhaps i'll start with a story:

Dan Forte of Dano surfboards told me that back in the day Dale Velzy went through a 2 year period where he didn't pay for any of the wood he used to make his boards. Velzy was going to the Long Beach harbor and plucking the discarded Balsa Wood they used for packaging material out of the water and then letting it dry out. Stop signs in the beach cities were made with redwood post around this time. Allegedly Velzy would use the wood from the stop signs as stringers for some of his boards.

well, i don't know if this board is from the wood in that story, nor does this board have a stringer. i do know this... this board is AMAZING. Gene Cooper found the board at a swap meet. He called me and told me I NEEDED this board. It was at a time where I couldn't have scrounged up money for something like this no matter how many couch cushions i lifted up. there was a twinkle in his voice that had me CONCERNED. he ended up buying it. time passes, and he brings the board to my Jazz the Glass premier at Hurley. I wouldn't go near it. I didn't even want to touch it. I NEVER thought i'd have the opportunity to call something like this mine...much less have this be the board i ride. time passes, my wife buys the board off gene as a present to me. WHAT??? i can't thank her and Gene enough. the board was in great shape, considering. it only has 4 pieces of wood. it is INSANELY light. it seems about the same weight as my usual boards. it was solid when i acquired it from gene. however, it needed a little freshening up. gene said i should just grab some isotalic resin and get her done myself. he mentioned he would help me. time passes, he is super busy with various art shows and shaping sprees. i get impatient. enter john cherry. well, not only was i impatient...but not in a million years did i believe i could EVER honor this board. i do NOT have the skills required to freshen up such a significant board. yet, I know john cherry does. my buddy introduces me to John, the rest is here. I am going to be sliding this board at sliders for a while.
glass cancer removal
tail prep.
tail detail
a jig John had to build to precisely remove a horrendous ill-repaired ding.
the fin before it met John Cherry.
the fin during it's meeting with John Cherry.
the fin after it met John Cherry.

check the video!


  1. Balsa must have an entirely diferent feel than foam, when you ride it, its probably a little less boyant with a little more glide because it is denser, might ride lower in the water, a little slower acceleration and a little cleaner glide, hard to say...going to be interesting to ride... What was the swamp meet price, and how can Cooper be so lucky?

  2. The ultimate gift for a surfer, a new board from the wife and a Velsy-Jacobs Pig at that. Congratulations. I remember seeing a photo of Jackie Baxter with one years ago in Longboard magazine. They are rare...enjoy!!!!!

  3. Cool thread Mike. Cool video. Funny, between being a bit obtuse and a lot preoccupied at the time I didn't know you were shooting the video.
    These are also some really nice stills of the "after" version of the board you posted.

    Important boards like this Velzey-Jacobs deserve the kind of final home that your intense love and enthusiasm for the board will give to it.

    I'm so stoked you looked me up and allowed me to assist with the conservation of this extremely cool board.

    I will send you the 30 or so photos I took during the process as soon as I catch a break down here.

    Thanks for your special part in keeping the history of these sacred crafts alive.

    Sincerely, JC

  4. JCWC,

    thank you!

    a million times thank you!

    I am so stoked you honored that board. thank you for taking pictures during the entire process too.

    it was great to meet you and thank you for bringing so much to the surfing community.

  5. I really guess that board could find better hands for such of a make up. Enjoy that piece of surf history.

  6. Bad english, I wanted to say