Browsing Tag

California

Gear, Surf

Almond: 2013 Lookbook

February 19, 2013

Almond has a new bag of goodies for 2013. The new Almond menswear collection is made in California and draws inspiration from the state’s rich surfing heritage. Almond’s goal is to create timeless, quality pieces that reflect their commitment to being the premier lifestyle brand of the Surfer + Craftsman.

These items, and more… are available in our shop.

Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Dave Allee: Almond Surfboards & Designs

June 19, 2012


Dave Allee is the proprietor of Almond Surfboards & Designs. Almond is a brand modeled for those of us that like our stuff made the old fashion way; by hand.

Where did you grow up, and when did you start surfing?
I grew up in Newport Beach, California.  I was actually born in the hospital across the street from the Almond shop.  I didn’t surf for the first time until 5th grade… and got my first board when I was 13.

Ever surfed in the Pacific Northwest?
I have not surfed in the Pacific Northwest, although it is definitely on my bucket-list.  I spend some time in Northern Idaho every Summer with my Grandparents, and the lake up there is always so glassy that I have spent many afternoons day-dreaming about surfing with a backdrop of pines and mountains.  I’d really like to surf around Victoria, BC someday… seen some breath-taking photos of the coastline up there.

When did you start shaping?
I started shaping my first board at 19… and solid balsa singlefin with five 1″ redwood stringers and a glass on redwood fin.  After that 12-month long project, I decided a foam/fiberglass board would be a bit easier… so I shaped myself a 5’10 twin fin fish that became the inspiration for the Sandia model.

How did Almond Surfboards come to be?
Once I made a board for myself, a few other friends wanted one… that’s when I started putting “Almond” on them.  About the same time I started shaping, while I was in college, I started to formulate a brand-concept for Almond… I felt like there was a gap missing for a lifestyle brand around the stuff I was interested in… I would use my ideas for Almond as a filter for the stuff I was learning in school… which helped me further develop some of my ideas.  When I met Griffin Neumann-Kyle in 2008 it really set the stage for us to be able to grow, because he was looking to shape all day every day, and I was more interested in the big-picture dreaming and business side of things.  Once we started working together, things really started to click.

I understand that your brother Jeffrey & cousin Taylor also work at Almond. What’s it like working with family?
My brother, Jeff, helps me run the shop during the day… which is great.  It’s a different dynamic being older brother and boss… but he’s a willing worker.  My cousin Taylor does our accounting stuff… because it takes a uniquely gifted person to stay on top of all of the incoming and outgoing invoices.

Do you have a favorite board in the Almond quiver?
My favorite is changing all of the time… but this Summer I think it’s the Almond Joy.

Are there any other shapers out there you would like to collaborate with?
There aren’t any other shapers I’d like to collaborate with… Griffin and I have a good thing going.  We’re like yin and yang… he’s like 90% function and 10% form and I’m like 90% form and 10% function. He’s always trying to make them work better, and I’m always trying to make them look a certain way.

I am all-for collaborations though… and we have a number of new collaborations coming down the pipe.

What was the best thing before sliced bread?
The bread-knife.

You have a lot of items on the Almond menu…boards, fins, wetsuits, apparel…Any new branches planned for 2012?
The Almond tree is always growing… deepening our roots and expanding our reach.  Keep an eye out for more Surfer+Craftsman collaborations, projects and profiles coming in 2012.

Stoke Harvester is proud to be an Almond dealer. We will have a few Almond boards, t-shirts & fins available through our store, in the next few weeks.  :)

Cheers,
-Shawn

Connect:
Almond Surfboards – Official
Almond Surfboards – Facebook
Dave on Korduroy

Film, Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Steve Cleveland: A Paradigm Shift

June 15, 2012


I was first turned on to Steve’s work about three years ago, when I picked up a copy of Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables. Recently, he worked his way back in the tube with A Paradigm Shift.  APS has a killer soundtrack and includes some of my favorite surfers; Kassia Meador, Alex Knost, CJ Nelson, Dane Peterson, Tyler Warren, Chris Del Moro…and more. Here’s our interview with the man behind the film.

Where did you grow up, and when did you start surfing?
I was born in Redondo Beach Ca. That’s the area where I had my first experiences with the ocean. I was like a moth to a flame; I was just drawn to the ocean. I remember my aunt would take me to the Palos Verdes cove when I was 4 yrs. Old, and I’d wade in the tide pools. My family moved to the Big Island of Hawaii when I was 7 and that’s where I started riding waves…body surfing and belly boarding. We moved back to the mainland (Redondo) when I was 11 or 12. That’s when I got my first surfboard; an old Velzy/Jacobs 9’3″ balsa, for $20. That must of been around 1963 or 64.

When did you first get involved with film?
I got involved with filming in the early 70s when I was taking photography at Maui Community College. That was my foundation. I started my first surf movie in 1989. It was called On Safari to Stay, and featured a 13 yr. old Joel Tudor, Wingnut, Donald Takayama and Skip Fry. I made it with my good friends Chris Ahrens and Greg Weaver. Spider Wills was a consultant.

What was it like working with Greg Weaver and Spider Wills?
That was a kick in the arse mate!!!!!!!!! So many stories that I can’t tell ya all… but when I’m with Joel and Wingnut, we always relive a couple of the episodes. The stories keep gettin better and better. Weavers da bomb mate, and Spiders a total legend. I learned a lot from Greg and spider! I’m very appreciative of that experience

.

Your most recent project is A Paradigm Shift, can you tell us about that?
Well, A Paradigm Shift is a relatively fast paced, tightly edited movie with a bitchen soundtrack. It’s a bunch of great surfers in I guess what you’d call “the alternative” vein of surfing. Ya know…great surfers riding all types of boards, in all types of waves. We shot it in Australia, Hawaii, Mexico, Micronesia, and California. I worked on it for a little over 2 years and am stoked on how it turned out!

How do you go about picking the surfers for your films?
I have been very fortunate in that regard! The surfers in my films are people that I’ve met over the years… friends; guys and gals that I get along with and work well with. It’s not that I pick them, really…because they all can pretty much work with any of the alternative surf filmmakers out there. My crew of surfers is a pretty eclectic group. They are relationships that I have developed organically over time. It’s a symbiotic thing! I feel lucky and blessed to get to work with the “A” list surfers in our longboard/alternative (longboards,fish,hulls, eggs, retros, alaia’s ect.) genre. For what I do, it’s all about the surfers. You can have the best surf in the world to shoot, but if the talent level isn’t there then all ya end up with is a bunch of bitchen waves being ridden by so-so surfers. Nobody really wants to watch a film like that, do they?

Any favorite surf flicks?
Yeah, I really liked Ozzie Wright’s 156 tricks. It changed the way I looked at what I was doing at the time. CJ Nelson turned me on to it. In the beginning I was also influenced by Bud and Bruce brown’s films. Mac/Freemans films are also always a good watch… many others too!

Any other filmmakers you would like to collaborate with?
I respect a lot of the film makers out there, but for now I prefer to do my own thing…. but if Steven Spielburg came calling I’d be all ears. ha ha

Any hope for a third Safari movie? :)
Funny you should ask, thinkin about it…. Looking for funding… anyone out there want to be an “executive producer?” Call me, well see!!!!!!!!!

What’s next for Steve Cleveland?
Like I just said, thinking about going back to my roots. A story driven movie? Ya never know…just doing my own thing, with a lot o help from my friends!

Check back in a few weeks for Renick’s forthcoming review of A Paradigm Shift. You can connect more with Steve over at SurfCraft Media’s Official site.

Cheers,
-Shawn