Nick Palandrani deeply entrenched in Santa Cruz board culture
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 October, 2015 - Surfing is an ever growing populous. In an industry increasingly headed mainstream, the words art and artist are married with anybody who owns a paintpen or wildly strums a few guitar strings. The marketability of doing “something different” is popular in the current surf culture, an over crowded genre with more participants in each fleeting social media blitz.
I’d argue the act of surfing in itself is an art form. Each line we choose to draw as unique as our thumb prints. We can agree on the greats, and observe the potential of the youth. The push and pull of thoughts from the beach come and go as the tides. Who’s depicted the best rendering before your eyes on that last set? What were they riding?
“Nice board!” Kevin exclaims as Cooper dries her off at the Stone residence, post surf.
“Beautiful, isn’t she?” Nick beamed as he watches Reilly and John’s delight in inspecting such a fresh specimen.
The crew at Source Surfboards © Ryan Struck
We’re standing just up the street of 38th Street at John Stone’s place after an evening go in Santa Cruz. His son Reilly, and Reilly’s best bud Cooper White, are joined by Kevin Miske. The bevy recall the waves for Nick. Sunny and jammed, they maneuvered the thick surfer colony with ease. Kevin’s drop knee style begging the youth into remembrance of style’s importance in wave riding. Cooper’s high spirits and willingness allowed him to find the nose, sleuthing plenty of hip-high peelers.
Reilly is diligently performing his post surf rituals, as the rest of us shoot the shit: drying and packing his board away with the family quiver. He readies to shower. Despite peak tourist season in the NorCal mecca that Santa Cruz is, the kid found plenty of opportunity to turn heads. Though, he didn’t notice.
The next day we awake to a heavy dose of marine layer and barely give the waves a second look. Reilly surfs for 45mins, just to scratch the itch. We pile into Nick’s van as we head over to the West Side. An irie jam permeates the air that I can’t quite place. Nick slows the van so we can watch a few waves come through The Lane before motoring further up the road.
Beautiful board © Ryan Struck
“Mitchell’s Cove was a great spot,” Nick explains as we cruise towards the Santa Cruz Board Builder’s Guild. I’m riding shotgun and Reilly wedges his lanky frame amid the freshly shaped boards we’re dropping off to be glassed. As we rumble down the road the boards gently rub, sounding like markers on a dry erase board.
“I spent plenty of years in the water up here. It was one of those deals where you get into work early, work and lunch break you grab a surfboard and you just go surf out here.” Nick brings me through his early career in setting and chronology. Under the tutelage of the late Mike Walsh, a legendary glasser, Palendrani learned how to build a surfboard. With Walsh’s guidance, Nick honed the art of glassing, shaping, polishing, sanding… everything. Walsh instilled a fundamental foundation of learning with in Palendrani, of with clearly remains with him today.