Sharpen the Arrows – Harrison’s DIY Quiver: Part 1/4
Here at the Deus Temple of Enthusiasm one of the things we are most proud of is our ‘Shapers in Residency’ program. The list of names of those who we’ve been incredibly lucky to have frequent the bay is staggering. We’ve had people like Bob Mctavish, Rich Pavel, Neal Purchase Jnr, Thomas Bexon, Ryan Lovelace, Tyler Warren… and the list goes on and on. Besides the beautiful boards they’ve shaped here we’ve had another really unexpected legacy of the program, in that it has presented our riders with the opportunity to learn the artform from a wide and various charter of masters. One guy who has, without a doubt, made the most of the chance when it presented itself, would have to be Harrison Roach.
Funnily enough, it was on a trip to our neck of the woods seven or eight years ago, before he even became a part of the Deus family, that Harrison shaped his first longboard, and he did it in our shaping bay. While he is the first to admit that the original was far from perfect, he did ride it, in pumping surf no less, in that year’s Deus 9 Foot & Single, winning the Log Event. It certainly made mute any critics of its functionality. Not only that, we also saw back then that a passion for shaping had been kindled.
In the years since Harrison has quietly taken note of the diverse styles and processes with which the best of the best Temple shapers ply their trade. His presence in the corner of the bay as Doc planed, Pavel blended, and Neal roughed out, taught him priceless lessons in the artform, and we’re happy to say that these days he’s more than come into his own, even if he’s unwilling to admit it himself. To be honest, this is something we’ve wanted to get Harrison to do for a few years. Constant badgering has worn down the stubborn guy inside and this project is finally happening.
With so much backstory, not to mention all our pestering of Harrison, we couldn’t just drop this as a bundle. Instead, we thought we’d present it to you as a four-part blog series. Oh, and while we’re telling you things, we want to let you quietly in on the fact that there is a short film in the makings too, more on that later.
So to start this off we’re going back to the start where it all began, so to speak, with the shaping of a longboard at the Temple of Enthusiasm.
This recent board, which in actual fact is quite similar to that first board, quite obviously works really well. It is, as Harrison’s puts it, also a lot more ‘prettier’ than the original. It’s characterised by a simple, yet beautiful outline that Harrison was gifted by Thomas Bexon. The length is 9’7” (you’ll find he likes odd numbers), it has a rolled bottom with no concave, has pinched old-mal-esque rails and a glassed-on, ten-inch single fin. The fin is based off a George Greenough template, with moderate flex. He glassed the board (with some help from our own laminator) with a single layer of eight-ounce Volan on the bottom, double eight-ounce Volan on the deck, and an eight-ounce Volan deck patch.
If none of this makes sense to you let me speak plainly. It’s basically a heavy, hard to ride board. But geez, he makes heavy, hard to ride boards look so damn easy, doesn’t he?
Images by Giang Gaw, Damea Dorsey & Andre Cricket