When fine artist Alrik Yuill was only 5 years old, he would collect discarded surf wax he’d find in the sand at his local beach, warmed malleable by the relentless heat of Southern California. With his sand-caked medium, he would sculpt little figurines. This, you could say, was one of his first forays into the art world. Now, a few decades and a very thick beard later, Yuill now works a full-time artist out of his studio in Costa Mesa creating many things–among them beautifully forged abstract bronze sculptures which begin as, funny enough, melted wax.

Yuill spends much of his time sculpting abstract pieces based on the human form. He also, thanks to an obsession with the ocean, creates a few surf-themed sculptures, capturing the complex movement required to ride a wave well. Last year, with the support from our friends at Vans, we commissioned Yuill with the task of creating the trophies for the 2018 SURFER Awards. Each award featured a bronze surfer figurine looking like the Ancient Greek “Spear-Bearer” sculpture, which, in Yuill’s mind, pointed to the challenge that the best surfers in the world greet when they enter the water to achieve truly great things.

The trophies were so well received that we asked Yuill to design and sculpt something new for this year’s SURFER Awards. And sculpt he did. In the edit above, Yuill breaks down his process for making each trophy–an ancient method that that has been used for thousands of years.

The trophies, which were carefully transported from Yuill’s studio to the North Shore of Oahu this week, are currently at Turtle Bay Resort, waiting to be given to their rightful owners tonight during the 2019 SURFER Awards. Be sure to tune in tonight at 8 PM HST to find out who gets to take home these gorgeous works of art.

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