Friday, February 19, 2010

Become. Be. B Familiar

Coarse toe jam and the promise of new freckles, it’s a pretty picture from where I stand. Cape Town beaches are all ‘wish you were here’ post card moments. Standing on the beach, I’m surrounded by fembots, topless Germans and the irritating little vendor guys selling granadilla popsicles. I’m here to check out a scene that is still ruled by the kids who do it for no other reason than passion, pleasure and mainstream release.
I’m here today to open my mind to the subculture of skimming.

Trying to educate myself a bit, I’ve spent the last few days watching borrowed DVD’s and YouTube clips of skimmers around the globe. Aside from realizing the speed, timing and concentration necessary to pull of the skimming tricks, I am aware of the void of media infatuation that hierarchy structure I find in surging. Tricks on the streets and the snow have now been brought to the water.

Since the late 70’s with Victoria’s inception of fiberglass boards, skimming has since evolved into a XXX sport that’s growing with each high tide. And we’re beginning to see it all around us. And rare, in our capitalist currents, is that this is a subculture determined to keep alive the vibe of the underground – there’s no
space here for egos or media sluts, just plenty of room for reveling in the fun, adrenalin and good times skimming brings them.

I’ve found some guys who are behind this movement. Meet B Familiar, an inniative that’s all about “skim
boards for skim boarders made buy skim boarders”. B Familiar is committed to keeping the beautiful, raw uncontaminated spirit of a subculture breathing, and pushing ‘local’ forward in style.

I caught up with Stew Gardner to get to a bit of familiarity for myself.

Where did inspiration for starting B Familiar come from?

“I have always skimmed since I Young but the product has always been hard 2 get my hands on or a little
pricy .the sport being so huge over sea s I guess we just saw a up and coming market in this sport.”

Who is behind the brand?

Well I’m (Stewart Gardner) the shaper and involved in glassing, spraying and sales. My bro Shaun is handling
the advertisement and design side, and our dad Frank Clayton is our voice of reason and manager of B Familiar”.

What is B Familiar’s ethos?

We stay away from the industry of mass production, putting passion and attention to detail into each of our boards.

What are your boards made of?

They are shaped from polyurethane foam with two layers of 6 once fiber glass cloth on the bottom and 3 layers on the top. We use polyester resin 2 seal the fiber glass

Give me three words that set you apart from others involved in the production and design of the boards?

Quality, aesthetic innovation, strength.

Thanks Stew…

With my arm hanging out the window riding the wind’s current, myself and two skimmers are off to share a beer and make the most of the few hours of sunlight. Looking at them talk in smiles; I realize they are two guys part of a sub culture of friends. The ocean is a part of them, it lives in their veins and shines through their eyes, this was never about the money, and never will be.

Let’s keep supporting this subculture of individuals, who are in it together.

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