La entrevista del año, es un hecho. Hablamos con Donald Brink, nos ha contado cosas tan interesantes que no hemos querido ir a Google Translate y arrancarle la magia. Hemos optado por una entrevista diferente como son sus tablas asimétricas y su forma de entender el mundo.
En CS estamos encantados de recibir a este tipo sencillo y creativo, es importante leer lo que expresa tras verle surfear, darle forma a un corcho o divagar sobre los viajes astrales.
Hey, tomen a Donald y denle un Brink, esto es un lujo.
LE LLAMAN: Donald Brink
PASEA: Sudáfrica y mundo mundial
OFICIO: Shaper, Surfer y Poeta
¿De dónde y de cuándo eres?
From where and when are you from?
I was born and Raised in South Africa. I started surfing in Cape Town and traveled around the country and then the world with Music. It was a wonderful place and love the variety of influence and culture from art and design to music and nature there. I now reside in San Clemente California, its become a wonderful home and I enjoy it with my wife and two children.
(Donald nos cuenta un poco de su vida, de sus pasiones y de sus influencias artísticas desde su llegada al mundo en Sudáfrica)
¿Cuándo y cóomo llega el surf a tu vida?
How and when does surfing arrive to your life?
I wanted to surf before we relocated to the sea, I plugged in right away and began learning all things on my own. It was an overwhelming endeavor and yet I loved every minute of it. The waves were generally wind swept and wild, usually no one around in a small cove where we stayed. I was 15 when I began surfing and have been surfing way longer than i haven’t in life now. It’s changed everything, it seems to bring an element of reference and fragile vulnerability to the day in and out rhythms. The technical breakdown of riding and design and the utter simplistic beauty of being in the ocean together are irreplaceable to me.
(Su relación con el mar, nos habla de ella desde sus inicios con la tabla bajo los pies y de cómo ha cambiado su vida)
¿Y el shaping?
I have always been fascinated with how things are put together and how they are made. I started painting at a very young age and found a normality in being creative and understanding design, mechanics and art. When it came to surfboards I approached them much the same. To me the details and difference of design seemed fascinating and I longed to know the cause and effect of the envisioned lines desired on a wave through design.
(Como hace tablas de surf, nos cuenta con detalles todo aquello alrededor de un artesano de la mascarilla y el polvo surfístico)
¿Recuerdas como fueron tus primeras tablas?
Do you remember how were your first boards? Did they work?
I remember them very clearly. My first board worked really well, the nose looked a little thin but i was seeing things most never would. I was so involved and tuned to it. It took me about 6 hours to shape.I built all my boards start to finish for many years. I began glassing and doing dings etc, spent years being around boards and factories to get to witness boards being shaped. When it came time to pick up a planer I had a pretty good understanding of what i wanted to do and how to get there the difficulty lay in the skills of the craft. I enjoyed these and they were a pleasure to explore. David Van Ginkel of DVG Shapes was very instrumental on letting me observe his process and let me use his bay to build my first few sleds.
The second board came from the first, a guy tried it in the water and ripped two to the beach paddling back with a broad smile and unmistakeable sense of having fit the wave well and gone faster than usual. It was a 5’5” twin Fin with a single Swallow and panel vee down railer. I quickly tackled performance boards after that, they sucked, but i learned a lot. I still enjoy shaping all kinds of craft.
(Sus inicios en las cabinas donde se hacen las tablas, con quién se introduce en este mundo de las tablas hechas por y para, pues ahí nos lo cuenta.)
¿Quién o quiénes te inspiran en tu día a día? ¿Has tenido un mentor?
Who inspired you on your day by day? Did you have a mentor?
David Van Ginkel was hugely instrumental (DVG shapes), Robin Fletcher Evans who I met in J-Bay was another talented guy who gave me shot to observe and learn. There really weren’t many board builders around then. I loved it and was fortunate earn a place to learn, doing tasks and jobs of all kinds in between.
(Se mete en temas del maestro Miyagi, sus mentores y sus profesores de siempre, todo retropectiva)
CS- ¿Explícanos para que son realmente y como funcionan las tablas asimétricas?
Can you explain us how does it work the asymetrical?
Its a concept. Every one has their own interpretation like any board i guess, but for me I generally build boards to help you surf the way that you stand, so they are stance specific boards. A heel side and a toe side, married together to promote good surfing both ways but suited to the way in which you are standing. The leverage points of ones feet and off set weight distributions are obvious, there fore your ability toe side and heel side can be felt, designed around and even embraced to get more out of good sections and help the common pitfalls where technique and position usually fail.
(Camisas de once varas y tablas asimétricas, esas que no compras si no te dicen que la ha hecho Donald, las cosas del avance del temita para los que quieren saber todo. Él te lo explica)
¿Tiene algo que ver con tu stance? (goofy o regular) ¿es más importante si vas a surfea izquierdas o derechas?
Does it has something to do with your stance or is more about if you are surfing left or rights?
Stance. Even if you surf a specific wave when you commit to either rail, always one at a time the benefits of the changes can be enjoyed. In other words as a regular footer going right the round house cut back could be made tighter with a greater pivotal transition back to the toes on the rebound and tighter arc leaning into the heel drive with twisted rocker off set fins and varying plan shapes. Heel rail, toe rail, see it that way.
(El mundo bipolar de los pies al norte o al sur, si es al este será también al oeste. Donald se hace un lío y nos comenta lo de ambidiestro a diestro y siniestro).
¿Cuántas tablas haces al año?
How many boards you Shape per week? And per year?
Everything is hand shaped. Its growing slowly and ultimately I’d like to be on the tools more, reality is there are many things to do and a business to run.
I usually shape 1 a day, and pace myself through the other details in between. Some days i get to lock the doors and just create away till dinner time do 3 or 4, I like those days too. My philosophy is the right boards for the right people. This makes a difference and keeps surfing real. It’s an honor to partner with people in their wave rides.
(La eterna razón de la calidad y la cantidad, las tablas en números y horas, respuestas y sencillez.)
¿En que momento se encuentra el surf en California en estos momentos?
How is the situation of surfing in California right now?
It’s growing and exciting but personally i feel like there are so many hobbyist surfers that do it along with many other things they invest in. Who am I to judge? However when it comes to being committed to excellence in design and technique and conditions and form its a far cry from the number of people who are really tapping into what surfing can be and those who enjoy it with little respect. I see it as a powerful and yet also not precious element to be cultivated within your life with balance if thats how you are wired.
(Repaso a la actualidad del surf en California, algo que nos importa y gusta mucho leer).
¿Que te parece que una marca como Vissla se fije en un shaper como tu o como Jeff McCallum, Taz o surfers como Derrick Disney, Bryce Young, etc…? Y que seáis parte importante de la imagen de la marca?
What does it mean for you that a brand like Vissla is supporting guys like you, Jeff Mccallum, Danny Hess, Derrick Disney or Taz.
Well firstly i want to thank them for the wonderful opportunity to get to share more of what i am discovering and have been committed to for years. It is a wonderful thing. I never set out to build all the worlds surfboards, but being an ambassador for the benefits of design and the details of craftsmanship is an honor. I think if we all share thoughts and stoke who knows where we can be and what we will be enjoying together in the future. Vissla is a brand dedicated to celebrating all aspects of real surfing and its an honor to be involved with such like minded and talented people. We are all made to create and innovate.
(Un poco de crema en la espalda, algo de contenido de marca y buenas palabras, además de una realidad rompedora como apuesta por parte de Vissla.)
¿Y qué piensas de los eventos de surf clásico y retro, crees que es una moda o que realmente tienen su hueco y aportan algo más que simple espectáculo?
What do you think about all these events of retro and classic surfing, is it a trendy thing or is something that it gives more vibes and culture than a simple contest?
Its both, none are bad. Personally I think its great to set parameters on designs and see great surfing done by talented individual on any waves. What it does is high light three things. Technique, design, and that surfing really is always fun in its most basic concept. If thats what we are doing then thats great. I certainly enjoy it, it would be nice to surf technically as well as many good surfers but even understanding and feeling different designs and how they respond is a wonderful thing. Thats what got me into the asymmetries in the first place. Some boards are easier and more forgiving , some faster, some more pivotal. Understanding the nuances of these things can give room to cohesively join them for amazingly balanced and progressive results.
(La verdad sin paños calientes, el surf de competición aburre y Donald camina por eventos como el Cosmic Children en Cantabria o en dónde sea posible ser feliz dejando en ego sentado en un palco con jueces).
¿Tendremos algún dia un circuito mundial de surf retro?
Do you think we will have a world retro tour one day?
No. I would love to see that thou, personally Id be stoked for that element. I imagine the discrepancies between current modern and retro inspired influences would muddy the waters and it would land up in a logistical cat fight of the crafts authenticity. My ideas have been to level the playing fields and have each surfer on the same board, i guess sit becomes a style contest then. Perhaps the same board different people, video entry parts round the world. What if we just went surfing.
(Un hecho que está a la vuelta de la esquina, porque la WSL aburre sin grandes nombres, y lo vintage viene fuerte, y Donald estaría encantado con un Retro Tour para tipos descalzos que fuman en pipa.)
¿Crees que llegará el día en el que los surfers del WCT usaran tablas asimétricas?
You think we will see one day a WCT surfer riding an asymetrical board?
Absolutely. Why i don’t thing many will always be riding them is due to the number of boards they need and the ability to consistently produce them. Im not sure you could successfully and repeatedly cut twisted boards on todays machines. I don’t know.
I know how i enjoy building them and it seems a sacrifice in design to water them down for consrtubctiond sakes and have them a different way. Time will tell. You win heats on two good waves. If you feel like you can win on something beter than something else, you will ride it.
(Donald cree en la posibilidad de que los CT usen tablas asimétricas, de ahí la calidad a la calidad, con dos buenas cosas diferentes estás en cabeza. La respuesta es sí.)
¿Qué sabes de España?
What do you know about Spain?
Less than I should. I knew Pukas was here and thats been an iconic light house of board building for me for many years, knowing the best in the world come shape there. My mind always tends toward design and music with vibrant culture food and wine. I love the Spanish influences I am exposed to in California and its refreshing to see the bold arrangements alongside classic earth tones. I don’t know much about Spain but I think of passion sports, culture and art. Since visiting my appreciation for the architecture and the enormity of the landscape has been lovely.
(Nos habla de nuestra tierra. El vino, Pukas, la comida y los edificios antiguos.)
¿Has bebido tanto como para hablar con el más allá?
Have you ever drink that much to talk with some one from a different galaxy?
No. I do pray, although I think thats heard right here in this galaxy. ha ha. I really think the loudest voices of inspiration and imagination of heard from within.
(La mejor pregunta y la mejor respuesta. Donald ama la bebida y viaja con su mente.)
Donald Va a estar 10 dias shapeando en Francia e irá al Cosmic Children para el evento de shapers Shred Your Shape
Todas sus tablas son hechas 100% a mano y solo va ha fabricar entre 10 y 15 tablas.