Is the end nigh?
There is, likely, no surfer in our universe as iconic as “Mr. Pipeline” Gerry Lopez. No? You disagree? Well, I would say that you have surf goggles covering your eyes and are not seeing things correctly. Lopez’s mark is everywhere, from our favorite wave to our favorite movie, and now his mark is inside big box discount retailer Costco, partially covering the “stringer” of a Gerry Lopez signature model sotftop surfboard.
When I became aware of this truth, late last night via secret message to Derek Rielly then forwarded to moi, it surprised. I assumed the Gerry Lopez model was part of the Wavestorm line. As you know, the ubiquitous VAL steed is produced in environmentally dubious Chinese factories very near even more dubious Chinese factories producing exotic new diseases. As you also know, Gerry Lopez is a Patagonia brand ambassador. Very ecological etc. and I was having trouble synching his involvement with Wavestorm.
Well, as you continue to know, I am a surf journalist of rarely seen integrity and before writing the title “Seventh Seal: “Mr. Pipeline Gerry Lopez releases signature Wavestorm softtop surfboard at Costco!” first Googled “Gerry Lopez Wavestorm” and discovered a treasure trove of information on the discussion website Reddit.
Went to Costco to get a wavestorm (reserve your judgements, they’re great for what they are) and was surprised to see only 8’ white soft tops bearing Gerry Lopez’s surfboard logo and his face in the packaging. That was weird on a couple levels. This board has a fake stringer painted onto it. Fins are removable/different from wavestorm’s. Felt slightly heavier than a wavestorm too. As someone who already feels a little conflicted purchasing a surfboard from Costco, I couldn’t stomach buying one of these.
Anyone know what’s up? Are wavestorms a thing of the past? Anyone surf one of these Gerry Lopez soft tips? Do they surf differently than a wavestorm? I’ve got a pink fin that I put on my old wavestorm and it made the thing surprisingly fun/able to hold in steeper waves. Don’t think it would work in the new one….
The comments were mostly sad about how Gerry Lopez did naughty, collaborating with the devil etc. UNTIL…
Yes, that’s our board!! California Board Company. We’re out of Vista CA and have been making soft surfboards since Scott Burke was making BZ softops back in the 1980’s. Gerry felt it was time to put his name on a softie – he’s a legend as you know, and he hooked up with us for 2020 to compete with WaveStorm. We chose to do fin boxes instead of the screw/plug version. Gerry shaped the blank, Scott made it a foam board and our business partners at the factory did the rest. We’d love to hear your feedback!
I immediately gumshoed straight over to California Board Company’s website and smashed the “View Surfboard” button many times but apparently it is broken. Still, much good surf journalism, no? You disagree? I would ask that you please remove your surf goggles and take another look.
But quickly, any opinions? It seems as if Lopez’s board may sell for $400 while that Wavestorm is a cool $99.
I think California Board Company might make “The Sushi.” You know, that foam board that looks like sushi?
Much good surf journalism.