A couple years back was my first visit to Byron. It didn't disappoint. Unlike so much of Southern California, it felt surf authentic, the real deal. The now defunct Artpark brought me over for graphic design lecture. I met the wonderfully talented surf artist Paul McNeil, and one of my first ever surf heroes, Bob McTavish. What a pleasure to meet and hang. Bob took me all around the area, showing all his favorite breaks and old parking spots. Learning of his early surf/woman days, and much more, what a joy. Some 40 years earlier, I had , as did the whole east coast of America, a new "v bottom". A direct influence/copy from Bobs explorations that launched a huge season of massive board sales in America. I asked Bob about the famous v bottom. Without out skipping a beat, he said 'oh those didn't work at all, I rode mine once" that was it. So much for that surf myth, dismissed in a flash and a smile : ) Still searching, I asked about the distinct shape of the deck side of the tail on the v bottoms. What did they do performance wise for the board? "nothing” Bob said, "just a trademark". An honest, sincere, warm human being this infamous surf bloke i thought+think. At 70 I was impressed to hear Bob say he would continue to surf as long as he "surfed as well as i currently do” - nice, and inspirational. His underrated son Ben made me a magical board to take with the one his dad shaped me, back to the Caribbean (Ben shaped and finished it in 3 days) both with amazing Paul McNeil art.
I really enjoyed Byron. I wasn't there long enough to get jaded or complain about traffic. I was in no hurry to leave.
During my stay an article came out by a semi well-known surf journalist, who should wish to remain nameless, commenting on the fact I had done a bunch of logos potentially for the WSL.....he commented something silly like "oh jeez Carson doing their stuff, you'd be like trying to read something , saying ah, is that a 7 or 9”. McTavish designer at the time, Freddie Hentonnen, said to me 'hey there's your art for the board, just put something bout 7 or 9" So i did. btw it was such an ill-informed comment, one I've heard other versions of, something trying to imply my work was hard to read or unreadable, which was never true, well rarely anyway.
I really enjoyed staying at the Linnaeus Estate while I was there. While there I went out to shoot a few baskets, and next to the pool I was surprised to see some snakes near the water. I had been warned by the caretaker to roll the windows up in my rental car at night as large snakes might climb into my car otherwise.....anyway, next day I noticed snakes around the pool again, but they had moved and were hanging out in a different spot….later, I asked the groundskeeper what kind of snakes these were I had seen.... "ah mate, those would be rubber snakes" he replied, put there to scare away other varmints...and moved everyday to look real......oh i said.