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Todd Glaser’s Ryan Burch Archive

Once middle school classmates, now creative collaborators

It’s funny, right? How most of us can’t unanimously agree on the surfers we think are great. There are a couple dozen iconic names we all hail as gods. Most carry decades of history, except maybe John John and Dane. From there, the list gets highly debatable. But there is one other guy, especially within the last few years, whom you might not expect but whom you would nod your head in agreement at the mention of his name: Ryan Burch. Ever since Psychic Migrations, Burch has received total admiration and never-ending accolades for his performance in the now famous “Chile Section.”

Now, a lot of people are tapping the Burch tree, or at least tapping into his board design. “He’s one of the few people in this day and age who is designing, shaping, glassing, and riding his entire quiver, from small waves to the big stuff. What I admire about him is his ability to conceptualize an idea for a quiver, design a handful of different variations, and take that quiver to the location he had in mind to test them. Then he’ll come home and do it again for the next place. It’s like a wine and cheese pairing, but with boards and waves,” says photographer Todd Glaser.

Long before Todd picked up a camera, Todd and Ryan were just two kids in the same middle school attending the same Cardiff-zone stomping grounds. Todd remembers Ryan back then surfing competitively, notably on a “classic traditional thruster” and logging when the surf was small.

When Todd picked up the camera a few years later, he immediately turned it toward local talent like Burch. “Burch is an artist himself, so it’s nice to have someone you can bring an idea to, and have him know what you’re trying to execute photographically and have him put his own twist on it,” says Glaser. Enjoy this photographic showcase between Todd and Ryan — two artists continually molding their own crafts all over the world, in South America, Tahiti, Fiji, Hawaii, and up and down the California coast.