Surfer, Shaper, Poet

People 02.18.20

Paul Schmidt finished making a new 9'5" long board in the days before the Mexico trip. It’s an impressive plane of foam and fiberglass even before it’s in the saltwater—one of the bevy of boards hoisted on top of or inside the 1980s VW van and Jeep Wagoneer that we’ve borrowed to get everyone to beaches near Sayulita. Paul started making boards when he moved to Rockaway Beach, NY many years ago—testing each one on local waves and making refinements. 

It was a personal project at first, but friends requested boards, too, and he eventually founded Paul Surf to create and sell the handcrafted surfboards that he designs, shapes and finishes. In Mexico, he leads a quick clinic for some of the group who are new to surfing, and he talks through the basics of standing up on a board. (He prefers to sweep around in a fluid sideways move—kind of Spider-Man-esque—rather than hop up suddenly.) And while surfing is already soulfully poetic, Paul studied poetry in graduate school, and his own works include a number of deer poems that he shares one night during the Sun Sessions.

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