Where the focus is on making things cheaper and replaceable there’s an undercurrent that ebbs in the opposite direction. The reemergence of artisanship is one wave that flows backwards instead of forwards, a desire for simplicity and sustainability. Some people seem to suggest that this nostalgia is rooted in a form of escapism, but not all nostalgia is narcissistic.
Rather nostalgia can lead to a creative and generous life. It is human to remember the past and to reflect on the people and the experiences that have positive impact. These memories are a source of encouragement and can be a swell of vision. Nostalgia draws attention to beauty, which inspires new forms of beauty. It is a treasure chest of lessons from the past, a tide of poetry that has potential to influence present-day form and function.
Mason Dyer, embodies this vision in his southern California company, Dyer Brand. Based in San Diego, Dyer Brand draws from the rich heritage of the hotrod and surf culture of the post-WWII eras of the 1950’s and ‘60s designing, manufacturing and selling men’s clothing and surfboards. Following the growing trend of American-made goods, Dyer Brand is committed to a meticulous craftsmanship that emphasizes durability, aesthetic and performance. His attention to the former ways of life is charting new courses in the surf industry, reminding an instant gratification culture of the values of hard work, growth through failure, joy and the Aloha-spirit.
Inspired by a positive view of looking back at the past, I recently teamed up with Dyer Brand, to create a photographic homage that captures the texture and vibe of board design from the 1970’s. Called the The Spirit of ‘72 and shot over the course of several days, this project documented the shaping, glassing and polishing a 7’2 single fin, midlength egg model inspired by period surf films like Evolution and Sea of Joy.
The Spirit of ’72 is the embodiment of traditional surfboard manufacturing techniques that emphasize craftsmanship and is as much a piece of art as it is a finely tuned, highly functional surf craft.
Dyer Brand is American Made Nostalgia. To shop Dyer Brand surfboards on our web store click here.
Photos and Story by Mark Carter