Noll & Son and author Kampion signing new book at SoCal surf shops & galleries
Greg Noll: The Art of the Surfboard is a tribute to the life’s work of one of the great creative masters of surfboard construction. Authored by veteran surf-writer Drew Kampion, the book is part life story, part history, part how-to, and part fine-art portfolio. It tells the full story of the surfboard as realized through the hands and mind of this surfing legend, who has been hand-building surfboards for over 55 years.
To celebrate the publication of the new book, Jed and Greg Noll and writer Drew Kampion will be signing books at about a dozen Southern California surf shops from April 20th to 29th.
A legendary big-wave surfer of the 1950s and ’60s, Greg Noll went on to become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of surfboards. He sold his business in the early 1970s and moved to Northern California where, for the past 20 years, he has been crafting re-creations of ancient and classic surfboards of the past for a growing clientele of collectors and surf aficionados.
The book also tells the story of the emergence of Noll’s son Jed as a next-generation craftsman of unique surfboards and surfing-related art forms.
Author of several books on waves and surfing (including The Book of Waves, Stoked: A History of Surf Culture and The Way of the Surfer), Drew Kampion is a former editor of Surfer and Surfing magazines. He is currently the American editor of The Surfer’s Path, the world’s only 100% “green” surf magazine.
“Every surfboard is a reservoir of potential,” states Kampion. “It’s a unique vehicle that leads its rider to powerful, often life-changing experiences with the sea and with fellow surfers.”
From simple balsa boards built for Malibu’s small waves in the 1950s to sleek, streamlined dragsters designed for the giant winter surf on Oahu’s North Shore, Greg Noll (working with Jed) has lifted the art of the surfboard to a new plane: utilizing rare and ancient woods (like koa and redwood) to re-create the classic and important boards from the past.
“A surfboard is often perceived as an extension of the surfer, but it’s more than that. It has long, flowing curves, an attractive symmetry, a cute smile …” kidded Kampion. “But it’s true that the dance between a surfer and a wave is mediated by the surfboard, and the perfect board will allow that dance to be spontaneous and fluid and natural in a way that feels magical. Thus, a special bond forms between a surfer and a surfboard. Whether the feeling is mutual, who can say?”
Greg Noll: The Art of the Surfboard by Drew Kampion, just published by Gibbs Smith, tells the whole story in a beautifully-photographed and diverse volume.
“The Art of the Surfboard … captures the many facets of Noll’s contributions to surfing and also resists the overheated surf-magazine puffery. Noll emerges not as a god, but as a talented guy good with both his hands and his brain. And his heart is in the right place, too.” – Burl Burlington, Honolulu Star-Bulletin