The Dazzling Blue #17 - Every Surfboard Has A Story

Dazzling Blue #17

Every Surfboard Has A Story

Presiding over the Birdwell retail store in Manhattan Beach is a Joel Tudor longboard that serves as a functional canvas for the work of artists Thomas Campbell and Barry McGee. It’s a hot-looking thing—shiny black, geometric patterns, human faces. It’s also a kind of magic carpet, not so much to ride glorious waves (though it can do that) but rather to shoot them. Thomas Campbell explains:
“That board was part of a collection of boards that were made to finance the making of Sprout, and that particular board was made by Joel Tudor Surfboards—a few different people like Joel and Skip Frye and Channel Islands and Chris Christenson all kind of made me a different batch of boards at cost, and then I did art on them, or Andy Davis, or Barry McGee, or in the case of this board, Barry and me together—and those boards were sold to people who wanted to support the film. This was in 2004, very pre-Kickstarter. The sales of those boards trickled through. It took me five years to make that film. It’s a 16mm film and shooting on film is not cheap so just the endeavor of getting one of those made is a mountain to climb.”

Thomas Campbell is the director of Seedling, Sprout, and The Present. Here’s a link to his website— And below are some outtakes from the making of Sprout.





-Jamie Brisick
The Dazzling Blue is a series of short pieces about things we do in boardshorts. It is written by Jamie Brisick. A Fulbright scholar and a lifelong surfer, Brisick has written several books about surf culture, including Have Board Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow and Becoming Westerly. He lives in NYC and rides a 5'10" Channel Islands Pod.