Web comic "Surfer Joe"

Finding that Magic Board (#077)

Magic Board

The Magic Board is different for every surfer.

Surfboards come in all shapes and sizes. Each one behaves differently in the waves. Some boards are naturally faster and work better on weaker waves. Some are slower but work perfectly in more powerful, hollow surf. Different surfers have different tendencies and preferences when it comes to the kinds of boards they like to ride. When one finds a board that complements his or her style, the relationship between the two becomes magic. Hence the term “Magic Board”.

I’ve never experienced the phenomenon myself, at least not with surfing. I have found more than a few pencils I was fond of though. You can have two pencils, same brand and model. One pencil will be amazing and the next will be a dud! I’ve even felt that way about sketchbooks. I have some that are loaded cover to cover with drawings I love, and others with just a few pages of awkward scribbles. They end up collecting dust in a corner somewhere full of blank pages. I come back to them now and again. I can’t let all those trees die in vain, after all. But sometimes it just doesn’t work no matter how much you want it to.

When starting out it’s pretty difficult to tell the difference. One tool works just as good as the other. You haven’t had enough time to try a lot of different things, so you can only tell the differences in broad strokes. Long boards are different than short boards like a 6B pencil is different from an HB pencil, but that is about the extent of it. It takes a lot of experience to be able to tell the minute differences between two HB pencils, or between two Channel Islands Fred Rubbles. A lot of the time preference comes down to instinct, and it’s hard to put into words why one works better than the other.

But when you find that “Magic Board” you cherish every moment you get to spend with it. Until it’s gone and you search for a new one.


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