The Mojave Project

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The Mojave Project

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Photo: Max Mandell

Words by Forrest Minchinton. Follow @ForrestMinchintonSurfboards

Our objective for the project was to head out to our family compound in the middle of the Mojave, 100s of miles from the nearest ocean. We wanted to combine our love for building boards int the same place we love to ride motorcycles. We wondered if the unique environment would ultimately inspire creativity that we might have not have gotten at home. It was about abandoning expectation and embracing the freedom of doing whatever we wanted.

Photo: Max Mandell

 

Our friend Mark “Madchook” McCormack from Gold Coast of Australia is an amazing glasser as well as a dirt bike enthusiast. Madchook and my partner on this project flew over to California to make it all happen. My Dad (Mike Minchinton) was there for moral support and to make sure the beers stayed cold and the vibes were high.  The boards were all pre sold for Deus Ex-Machina and will be available for sale at their locations in Venice, CA and Bryon Bay, Australia at the Byron Bay festival.

Photo: Max Mandell

We got some custom glue ups; five 5’10” RP’s to make my “Bastard Fish” model and one 7’3″ A to create mid-length single fin.  The Bastard Fishes ranged from 5’5″ to 5’8″ and were all double stringer Appelcore wedge glue-ups where the stringer ended at the swallow tail tips. The bottoms featured a concave through the bottom and out the tail between the stringers, creating a unique design that increases performance. The boards were then graced with marine plywood performance keels that offer a positive flex that generates lots of speed.

Photo: Max Mandell

Photos: Jeff Perez & Max Mandell

 

The sole single-fin mid-length was 7’1″ and had a subtle single concave from the nose through the mid section and with vee out the tail.  From there Madchook took over on the boards and worked his patented marbling and color work along with gold dusting.  It truly was a work of art after he put his touches on the boards.

Photo: Max Mandell

Photo: Max Mandell

 

Photo: Max Mandell

 

Photos: Jeff Perez

 

Projects like this are always a challenge.  There are so many variables that come into play when building boards in the raw with only the basic tools and essential supplies, but thankfully we had companies like Revchem and Foam EZ, and US Blanks who supplied us with the utmost quality stuff and Madchook’s skills to produce the goods. At the end of the day the boards turned out better than we could have ever hoped for.  The boards were shaped there and the glassing bay was nothing more than a carport turned into a workshop. Dirt floors and all, it was part of the adventure, part of the fun.
 

Photos: Jeff Perez

 

Photo: Jeff Perez

 
This was merely an experiment, but ended up being so rewarding and such a unique experience. I would love to build on this project and take it to another level. There was no pressure to perform, no pressure to produce, it was simply about drinking beers with buddies, building boards and embracing the raw landscape of the Mojave desert that was before us and the freedom it provided us.
 

Photo: Jeff Perez


Words by Forrest Minchinton. Follow @ForrestMinchintonSurfboards