Your favorite tripped-out surfboard art competition, the Resin Roundup, is back next week when you’ll be able to feast your eyes on some of the most beautiful abstract resin designs by world-class artists and vote for who poured it best. The first matchup features legendary glassers representing two of surfing’s most iconic surf shops and board brands: Hawaii’s Town & Country Surf Designs and New Jersey’s Heritage. Let’s meet the artists behind the boards, shall we?
[Above: if you think this Brian King-glassed craft is pretty, just wait to see his entry into the competition]
Brian King For T&C
When T&C entered into this year’s Resin Roundup, they recruited a pinch hitter — err, pinch pourer? — in Brian King. King runs his own glassing operation on the North Shore and is one of the most respected laminators around, glassing boards for some pretty heavy hitters. Like John John Florence, for example — perhaps you’ve heard of him? Oh, and fellow world champ Tyler Wright, too. “I glass a lot of boards of consequence,” he says, and by that he means boards ridden in waves of consequence, often with things like elite-level contests and world titles on the line. So, yeah, he knows his way around a glassing bay. He should, he glassed his first board 42 years ago and has been a full-time glasser for more than 20 years now. Want to get a board glassed to tackle serious North Shore action? Give King a call, maybe ping him at his IG account, @BraBraSurf.
King is also great for stories about “The North Shore”. No, not the place (although probably that, too), but the 1987 movie. He’s part of the inspiration, along with legendary sander Charlie Walker, for the character Turtle, played by John Philbin. He also helped write the movie. “I’ve stolen girls from Philbin, been in fights with the guy, but we’re friends,” King says. You can either credit or blame King for Turtle’s pidgin speak in the movie too. When you’ve been imitating Turtle, you’ve really been imitating King.
The Hawaiian-born haole moved to NYC for a time, competed in East Coast comps and wrote ad copy before heading back to Hawaii after 9/11. Since then, he’s been glassing, and doing some shaping, at the iconic Waialua Sugar Mill.
“Support your local shaper,” he says, when asked about ordering boards from the North Shore just to get some of his glassing wizardry poured onto the foam. And more and more, people seem to be doing that, even in the no-nonsense, hard charging North Shore board buying public; King’s pumping out more fancily-colored boards than clear these days. But he recommends giving your glasser some idea of what you want, if you go the resin art route. “Telling me I can do whatever I want scares the hell out of me.”
As far as his Resin Roundup entry goes, King jokes that he “farmed it” on the board (Turtle-speak for “blew it”). When you lay eyes on the moody red and black craft, it’s clear that the opposite is true – the board is straight-up gorgeous.
Brian Wynn For Heritage
If you surf in New Jersey, you know the name Heritage. Whether you’re a silver-haired lifer who’s been surfing Manasquan before wetsuits, or an air-reverse-throwing grom who’s never heard of a longboard, it doesn’t matter — you know Heritage. Brian Heritage runs the family surf shop now, but his dad, Dan Heritage, started Heritage Surf and Sport decades ago. The two of them have been inducted into the New Jersey Surfing Hall of Fame, the ultimate in father-son bonding.
So when Brian Heritage, who mows foam for the family crest, picks his glasser for boards bearing the family’s name, you know they have to know how to pour. Heritage tapped Brian Wynn for this contest, and he created a beautiful little orange and yellow swirled number.
Wynn has been around the sanding block. He started building surfboards in New Jersey back in 1994, then set out for San Diego in 1996. After 10 years of making boards out west as a small fish in a big pond, Wynn went back home, but not before he’d developed a serious affinity for getting weird with resin.
“Joel Tudor helped me do my first abstract resin art,” Wynn says. “Tudor getting into resin color, especially as he was getting people interested in old board designs and styles, helped bring resin art back into popularity.”
Now, though he won’t explain what they are, Wynn’s got his own proprietary techniques when it comes to resin work, light years beyond when he mixed his first color-swirled coat. Wynn feels like there’s plenty more to learn with resin, and that the art form has ample room to grow and provide opportunity for glassers to separate themselves. As long as you’re willing to test yourself, to try something new — even if it’s on a board from a brand with as precious a reputation as Heritage.
“I love it when a customer comes in and says, ‘just do something, cool, I trust you,’” Wynn says. “Those times when I have complete freedom to go nuts and do whatever comes to mind, those are the best boards. Always.”
[Be sure to head to SURFER’s Instagram on July 16 to watch the first matchup of Resin Roundup. For more artist profiles, click here for Jasper Heyne for HIC and Mark Petrocelli for Faktion/Pilgrim, here for Austin Walker for Wave Riding Vehicles and Mike Hurrin for Hansen Surfboards, and here for Son of Cobra for …Lost/Catalyst and Dustin Bernard for SurfRide. The Resin Roundup was created by SURFER and Dragon to celebrate the artistry that inspired Dragon’s Resin Collection of sunglasses.]