Evolution/Silver Edition Dinner Party

One of the biggest hardgoods surf stories coming out of the San Diego ASR was Evolution, a new surfboard company featuring boards designed by Wayne Lynch. [IMAGE 1]The boards won’t be in shops until the first of the year, but to celebrate the launch, Evolution and Quiksilver Silver Edition teamed up for a dinner party at Buster’s in Seaport Village on Saturday night.

The evening began with cocktails and appetizers, as well as the usual elbow rubbing. After the crowd manhandled the fantastic spread featuring vegetable tempura, penne pasta, and Thai peanut stirfry with tofu, Surfer Editor Sam George stood up and delivered his insights on the new surfboard company.

He told everyone how excited he was when he first flipped through the pages of Evolution’s catalog, which highlights Lynch’s career and shaping thoughts and features a four-page gatefold spread of the entire line — coffee-table material, really. “It wasn’t about wetsuits, it wasn’t about trunks, it wasn’t about watches, it wasn’t about shoes,” says George, “it was just about surfboards. I didn’t think I could get so excited about surfboards. I was a kid in a surf shop.”

And that’s the feeling Evo Co-owner Clark “Beau” Riedel hopes people will get when they flip through the catalog and, more importantly, when they pick up and ride the boards. “Evo is trying to pass along spiritual surfing to a new generation,” he said. “We want to say that it’s okay to be yourself.”

George then went on to introduce the night’s guest of honor, Wayne Lynch. With his casual, laid-back demeanor, Lynch treated the crowd with a slide show that featured old shots of him surfing his home break, the first surfboard he shaped — which, he admits, had way to much vee and was nearly impossible to ride — as well as slides from his current project with Evolution. [IMAGE 2]“I’m allergic to foam,” he said, as a slide popped up with him in the shaping bay wearing a chemical-warfare-like mask. “A lot of people say I’m allergic to work! That’s why you should all pay more for a surfboard — look what we suffer!”

Then he showed a shot of himself going over the falls at Cloudbreak: “This is what happens when you get older!” he joked to laughs in the crowd.

One of the most impressive sequences was the one that showed the process of making an Evolution balsa board, which is designed for wave riding, not wall surfing, says Riedel. It starts with beams of balsa that are bonded and then run through the CNC machine. Then the computer-shaped blank is split in pieces by the folks at the shaping plant KKL, and each strip is routed out to make chambers. Next they are glued together again and handed over to Lynch for fine tuning. “This one took me twelve hours to finish,” he said.

After the slide show, jaws dropped as Lynch played a 10,000-year-old song on the didgerido. It was an awesome crescendo to the evening.