One Block of Wood

I recently had the privilege of taking a vacation with my 10 year old daughter to Witch's Rock, a surf camp in Costa Rica.  What a pleasure to spend a week with her, doing the thing that makes her happiest.  Right next to the camp, Robert August has a little studio where he shapes surfboards.  (For those who haven't been forced to see this at least 78 times by a surf-obsessed spouse, here's the trailer and the iconic poster).


One day while we were there, Robert asked my daughter if she'd like to shape a board.*  She was thrilled to get such a chance, and hopped right up.  While they were shaping, Robert mentioned that he'd been using the same piece of wood as his sandpaper block for 25 years.  TWENTY FIVE YEARS.  I can't imagine, with all the traveling he's done around the world, how he managed to hold on to it.  It's worn down in the middle from the pressure of his hand all those years.

robert august block of wood

Those are their hands on the block, covered in the fine (and somewhat toxic) foam dust that coats everything when you are shaping a board.**

Wondering if others have examples of items that are this useful, that have been used for that long.  My snowboard comes to mind, but that's such a ridiculous antique that I'm not sure it qualifies as useful.  We sail on the Laser Sam used growing up… that's still perfectly good.  My grandmother's piano still sits in our house.  Other examples?

Look for those items in your life… and post photos on our Facebook page if you come up with any!

*Actually, what he said was, "Princess, why don't you come help me shape this board?"  And what she said was, "Don't call me princess."  

**I know this not because I've ever shaped a board, but because Sam used to create surfboards at Patagonia, and every time I'd go visit him in Ventura he'd arrive at the airport covered in white dust.  Not actually a great memory.

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