Thursday, April 30, 2009

Meet Joe Stasney, Architect, Surfer, Collector, Bad Ass

Interview and Photos By: Steve Thomas

Recently I met Joe Stasney at Jed Noll Surfboards and Gallery in San Clemente. He came in to check out the shop and order some boards. As conversation evolved, I came to find out that Joe has been collecting Greg Noll’s boards here and there for a while and was looking to add to his collection. He asked me if Greg would sign one of his vintage boards. I told him I’d ask Jed Noll to talk to his Dad and see if he could get Greg to come down to the shop. Naturally Greg was happy to check the board out and sign it.

Having had the experience of seeing people bring in old boards for Greg to sign, I thought the board was going to be the usual broken down old board that wasn’t anything much to speak of. The kind of situation where the signature was worth more than the actual board itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen some real amazing boards that people have asked Greg Noll to look at and sign. But I hadn’t seen something I’d actually want to ride that was in excellent condition. Boards are very subjective to surfers. I’m sure you can relate as a surfer. Some boards do it for some and not for others. The board Joe brought into the shop was my kind of girl. Good outline, a nice bottom, personality, not too flashy, wrapped up in natural beauty. The board was clean with a good weight. The thing just felt like it would ride well. I decided to ask Joe a few questions about the board as well as his surfing past. Below are a few pictures with Joe and Greg and the Noll family. Also some pictures with his new limited addition Balsa Da Cat with Koa rails. A nice addition to Joe's Collection.

ST: So Joe, where and when and how did you get the board?

JS: I acquired the board from a guy in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. So yep, it's a Jersey board.

ST: do you know how old it is?

JS: Not quite certain on the age, although from the Logo style it's an early 60's vintage

ST: What’s the significance of the board to you.

JS: It's one of my favorites. I was looking for a slot-bottom, primarily because of it's uniqueness in design. The philosophy behind the slot adding to control is fascinating.

ST: How long have you been surfing?

JS: Been surfing since I was 12. We don't need to talk about how many years ago that was, but yes foam boards were being used!

ST: Where did you grow up surfing?

JS: I grew up on the east coast, and yes, we did have surf. Surfed mostly Ocean City and Long Beach Island (variety of spots).

ST: Where do you surf primarily now?

JS: Primary surf spot now is The Point at San O. Just enough character in the break to make it interesting. Also surf at Doheny, Cardiff Reef, and Blackies.

ST: When was the first time you heard of Greg Noll and or his boards?

JS: When I was growing up in New Jersey in the sixties.

ST: What is it about Greg Noll surfboards that drives you to collect?

JS: Greg's overwhelming desire to ride the biggest and best waves with complete abandon is infused in his boards. The logo, his approach to surfing, just kind of makes it all seem right.

ST: How many Greg Noll's do you have?

JS: Well, let's see, the ones the wife knows about - 6. All total after this summer - 9.

ST: What do you think about Greg passing the Craft torch on to his son Jed?

JS: The aspect of a father sharing his craft with his son just doesn't get any better. It's a special gift that isn't seen very much anymore and should be cherished.

ST: Tell me what your impression on Jed and his craftsmen ship

JS: Jed's got the spark that his Dad had and with his careful approach and attention to details/history, he's on his way to staking a spot in the best of craftsman.

ST: What do you think of Jed Noll surfboards and gallery?

JS: The shop steps up and makes a shop statement. Surfboards, a place to see 'em, a place to talk about 'em and a gallery that speaks to the quality of handmade elements of art. The atmosphere makes it a place you want to be, a place that talks about surfboards without a word being said. Good job guys!

The board Joe had signed

The proof that Greg Noll signed the board

The offical hand shake

Joe and the Noll Family with his New 9’2” Da Cat surfboard made of Balsa with Koa rails - Limited edition of 50 made. Hand signed by Mickey Dora and Greg Noll on the deck, hand signed and numbered by Greg Noll on the bottom.

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