Exciting news today – All of my surfboards have been shaped! That is 208 surfboards shaped in under three weeks! Most of them are at some point in the glassing process too. Some nearing completion! Impressive… The head shaper wanted to get home and enjoy the holidays (that’s Christmas, New Years, and Chinese New Years), so he’s been working his butt off over-time and left today for a 7 week holiday. Who would have thought that a Chinese factory worker would get to take so much time off, eh? I’ve emphasized it enough in previous posts, so I’m not going to drill it in again now but… workers are treated pretty darn fair in my Chinese factory, and I’m proud I can say that.
The last 3 boards to be shaped were a few personal boards I’ll be taking along to Indonesia at the end of January. I actually got to finish these boards myself because the shaper had to left to catch his train home. It was so nice to be shaping a bit instead of just supervising production. I think I gained some street credit from the workers too. One of the other shapers watched me shape, and I could tell he liked my technique.
My order is projected to be completed by January 20th, when the factory lets out for a the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, So I will be flying Bali on January 23 with these sweet babies:
The boards aren’t all for me. Two of them are for Jay from W.E. Surf (seems like a good partner for iSurf right?) and Dominic Holland, Director of Photography for DP Dom Holland. Check out the website or his Youtube page – He does fantastic work. Holland is actually going to film a documentary style surf film of our adventures in Indonesia. (Here is a link to Jay’s blog post about it). It should be pretty cool – I’m really stoked.
Well, Christmas is right around the corner. I’m going to celebrate with an old classmate that lives in China. This will be my first Christmas ever away from home – I’m pretty bummed about it, but I’m also very excited for Rina to show me her stomping grounds.
Since all the boards are shaped, I’m going to take a little time out of the factory and do some sight-seeing. People always wonder how I afford to travel so much – Well, I use low cost carriers or frequent flyer miles and stay in hostels or couch surf. It’s really not that expensive at all, and I find hostels to be a much better experience than hotels. Check out the itinerary I put together for myself. Prices are for each flight segment or per night in hostel:
- Saturday 21 Dec: Head to the coast and spend two nights with the factory owner’s friends. Stay in international youth hostel ($9).
- Monday 23 Dec: Fly ($96) to Shanghai and meet up with Rina. Staying at Rock & Wood International Youth Hostel for five nights ($9).
- Saturday 28 Dec: Fly to Beijing ($62) to see Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City & Great Wall. Staying at King’s Joy Hostel for two nights ($6).
- Monday 30 December: Return to Shanghai ($62). I land at 1:40am on the 31st and will probably sleep in the airport.
- Tuesday 31 December: Fly to Shenzhen ($109), near Hong Kong, to meet my factory owner and visit his friend’s surf traction pad factory. We’ll probably stay one night (NYE) before returning to the factory via High-Speed Train (factory owner usually won’t let me pay for anything if he’s around).
So far, I’m looking at ten days in four cities for only $404 transport and accommodation. Not too shabby, eh? I’ve gotten really good at finding the best deals on flights and accommodations. If you ever want to go on a backpacking trip, contact me – I LOVE to search for deals like this. In short, the best low cost carrier in China is China Spring Airlines, and my preferred hostel booking site is Hostel Bookers. I also always use Lonely Planet guide books.
Well that’s it for now. I’ve got some fun times ahead. I’ll leave you with this time lapse I shot from the roof of my apartment building the other day. I love night-photography, and I’ve been experimenting with time lapses a bit in the last year. I combined the two using a new remote timer I got for my DSLR and this is what came out. Oh, and of course I cut it to some Huni music. Enjoy!