Checking In w/ Donald Brink | Goat Cheese, Barrels & French Asymmetry – Vissla AU
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Checking In w/ Donald Brink | Goat Cheese, Barrels & French Asymmetry

Checking in with Donald Brink on a recent tour, shaping in France and Spain:

"I’m not sure if writing dreams into journals is what makes them come true but when they do it makes the journey traveled mean so much more and the tastes and sounds more memorable than ever.

Europe has a fascinating lure and the familiarity of certain colonial ties makes my youthful days ever fresh in the mind. Flew into Spain and made my way up to Hossegor in the South of France. It’s a beautiful setting and the Basque country hosts a beauty and history that demands reflection of the times and cultures established years ago and still serves as a border for nations. Vissla Europe is situated in Hossegor and they were the reality of a family to a traveling soul.

Work began soon after a couple pumping Atlantic barrels, served with a brisk dose of off shore winds and a wrapping fair swell. The work and concepts are so familiar yet it seemed surreal to be getting to shape and perform these tasks I so enjoy on these foreign shores. Perhaps it was the croissants and cheese for breakfast or the drive past the old cathedrals on the way to the surfboard factory through the winding roads and tight arc traffic circles through towns, corn fields, forests and beaches all seen along the way. The stick shifts and two lane roads constantly reminded me of South Africa and the forests of pine trees stood tall casting dappled shadows across the land scape through the entire long summer days. There was a large variety of shapes on order and it’s these things I most enjoy. Serving the vision and fascination for any wave rider on any coast. The small wave models seemed ill fit for these shores with reference to my first couple surfs. It’s well known though that the tidal range and smaller days are often on tap and the asymmetrical advantages that can help you surf the way you stand will be the best addition to any stance specific rider.

Vissla threw a party at their flagship store and it was packed, the community of surfers around the world is much like a tribe. Whenever I travel and share waves shapes and stories with like minded locals its a refreshing assurance that this life was created to be shared together and the joys of its fruit can be cultivated and bring balance to any vision where pure fascination drives progression. As surfers we are creators and innovators and with these things we can bring good life.

Moved up the coast to some shops and continued sharing the stoke, shapes and stories on the beaches with demo sessions and good times. The closing run found our way back to Spain and ended at he Cosmic-Children festival where the Spanish put on a real show for the hospitality as a culture and ability as surfers and shapers.

Thanks to every one who made this first trip so productive and rewarding. The memories are forever etched in my mind and the benefit of details of designs gleaned from so many surfers and shapers along the way will be forever referenced and applied to your visions in future shapes along this path.

The details in the sweet and savory nuances of goat cheese from the mountains can be difficult to articulate, but the motivation for excellence and an the applied vision can be imagined. Shaping surfboards is a beautiful thing and the details involved are endless. I look forward to continually applying thoughts and design toward building you the most excellent craft to suit your vision for the sea."

Enjoy Your Water,

Donald Brink