Photo: After laying on a little glass...
Photo: The board is beginning to take shape!
Paddlesurf.net: Was there any point at which you were worried that the project might not get completed?
Kelly: Yes definitely, at one point we were having trouble "seeing eye to eye" and I didn't want to bring that negativity into what we were doing with the board. So I let the idea go of having the board and instead just was happy I got to work on it as much as I did. Things worked out. We forgave each other and it was a big accomplishment on both ends to continue to work together. We created something we both loved…and saw that work and experience as a symbol and analogy for our relationship and even life in general.
Photo: We even hand cut and finished the fin.
Paddlesurf.net: At what point did you start to see a surfboard being born and how did that feel?
Kelly: After we put the first layer of glass on it- that's when it seemed like a surfboard- not just a project. I took it out on the bay to see how it felt and it was so exciting to think that the work we were putting into it was actually turning into something real.
Paddlesurf.net: How did you decide on the paint scheme and fabric inlay?
Kelly: I went to the fabric store and got swatches of a few different fabrics that I really liked. We then put resin over them to see how they would lay, to make sure it didn't bleed, and to see how the color would change when it was glassed- then chose the best from there. Although the one I liked best was a "crinkle" fabric- so it didn't lay perfectly flat when we glassed it. If I did it again, I would choose a flat fabric. For the paint- we just got creative! I knew I wanted to be bright and colorful. We had some red, yellow, and orange paint and mixed them together to create the "tangerine" orange end product- it matched the fabric perfectly!
Paddlesurf.net: Would you do it again?
Kelly: Absolutely! I am very very lucky I had the opportunity to do it in the first place. It made me appreciate shaping in a new way and I learned so much. I love what I created and am proud of it- but like any new hobby/skill - there is a lot of room for improvement and it would be great to keep practicing, keep learning, and keep trying to be better. It was just an amazing experience.
Paddlesurf.net: If you could give three pieces of advice to anybody hoping to make a board what would they be?
Kelly: 1. Patience! Take your time and don't try to rush through it. Its much harder to go back and correct your mistakes. 2. Find a good teacher! This information is invaluable… Or if you don't have someone to teach you- reach out to as many sources and websites as possible to ask for advice. 3. Just have fun! Don't expect perfection because you won't get it. Just appreciate what you have made. And take lots of pictures.
Paddlesurf.net: I see you have a label on the board- would you care to explain what it's about?
Kelly: The label on the board says KHAMA which is the Pali word for forgiveness. "the Pali word for forgiveness-khama-also means 'the earth.' A mind like the earth is non-reactive and unperturbed. When you forgive me for harming you, you decide not to retaliate, to seek no revenge. You don't have to like me. You simply unburden yourself of the weight of resentment and cut the cycle of retribution that would otherwise keep us ensnarled in an ugly samsaric wrestling match. This is a gift you can give us both, totally on your own, without my having to know or understand what you've done."
The reason for the name is two-fold. One, the act of forgiveness is a very important aspect in my life so the word is meaningful to me. Two, I made the board with my ex-boyfriend part of making this board together had to do with forgiving each other….and out of forgiveness- a paddle board is born!
Paddlesurf.net: Are you already dreaming about what you'll do differently for your next board or is this a one time deal?
Kelly: I am dreaming!! If this was a one time deal, then I will appreciate it as so, but if I had the opportunity again…..I already have ideas of what I can do better.
Thanks, Kelly, for sharing your story- what an amazing board and project. We'll need to know how it paddles and would love to know what kinds of adventures you and Khama have gotten into. And if I ever see a tangerine board go whizzing by me at San-O I'll know who it is- see you in the water!