i have vivid memories as a 10 year old girl, the younger sister of two boys and daughter of a surfing guru, of swimming and surfing on the most pristine light aqua waters of a white-sand beach in Esperance, Western Australia. its the most clear memory i have of learning to surf, although i’d been in the water, i assume, since birth. these early pictures that are etched in my mind just stand to document the beginning of a little Gidget’s growth.
my dad used to take me surfing on saturday mornings, to a small local peeler called Kiddies Corner. we’d eat bacon and egg rolls when we’d get home and i’d sit in that post-surf daze with great gratitude in my heart, for the ocean, for my dad and for BBQ sauce. when i didn’t go with him, the other Grey Loggers would ask where Gidget was.
unfortunately, as i grew my passion for riding the waves didn’t really. i still did it, and do today, but not with that great stoke or eagerness. i am still eager to be in the ocean though, swimming and sometimes surfing.
it wasn’t until one year as we approached christmas that i was thinking about what to make my brother, still a surfer and still very keen. my sister in law, knowing that Dave’s true mistress was the ocean often losing him on a saturday morning to her siren calls, suggested i try and make him some fins from glass. it was a good idea. it was great. one that i pondered and worked on. i drew fins, took templates from some of my favourite shaper’s fins online and began making the first woodGLASS fins. the colours had to be bright and clear, like the water in Esperance. they had to move and flow, like waves that move over the sand.
they were beautiful, the way they felt in the hand after firing, and the way that the light danced through the ‘windows’ in the glass. it was a brilliant idea, and one that i still love and work with today. the designs have spoken to plenty of different people. wives with husbands like Dave. or mothers with frothing groms at home. i’m currently working on designs for some pillars of Australian surfing culture. i’ve sent them to Europe, to stoke up a british kid who’d learnt to surf in Sydney.
so, my friends, please enjoy the ride as i continue to make one of my favourite objects. The Fin.