Designing a custom Srizzil surfboard

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know that this year I’ve been trying to learn how to surf. Right at the end of December I had a lesson with some friends and then sporadically we’ve been hitting the beach to catch some very small waves. Unfortunately not having my own board made it far more difficult to learn. My friend had to be keen, and then when we were out there we’d have to take turns in using the board. It’s not exactly ideal.

In May, my amazing dad found a second hand surfboard online for just R350 (Approx. $44). We drove up the coast to check it out and bought it on the spot. It had a small crack and its fair share of bumps but otherwise it was in good nick, perfect to learn on. Soon after we got the board, and my dad had begun patching it up, I saw an interesting competition brief on the internet to make an advert for Adobe. My dad and I had discussed painting the board, but I now had the idea to do a great design on it and film the process to use in the advert.

The clock was ticking, and with my dad doing all the prep work I took to Photoshop to come up with a design for the top of the board. I thought having a cartoon strip on a surfboard would be both unique and eye catching. Playing on the concept from our Fat Free Beaches video I had a surfer and his overweight friend go to a beach with no waves and then had the overweight friend create some waves. I didn’t want any words on the board, I wanted it to be completely visual. I had to look at some Asterix comics and a comic on the internet to get an idea of how to draw somebody jumping in the air and how to make a few lines look like a wave. I titled it Making Waves, something which has inspirational connotations and can be taken literally. Needless to say I was very impressed with myself.

After patching the board my dad added a base coat and then sprayed the bottom Srizzil blue and the top white. I then set out drawing on the cartoon strip grid. Armed with a pencil and my printed out Photoshop design I copied the design onto the board by hand. Once the pencil drawing was on I was able to use a paint marker to go over the pencilled drawings and make it more permanent.

My dad created a Srizzil stencil with some large stickers by tracing printed letters into the stickers with a knife. He then sprayed the Srizzil logo on in white. He then added some pinstriping along the edge where the two different colours meet to add that professional finish. Due to the rush of filming I had to get all my shots in at this stage, without the final coat and before the pinstriping was done. During this period I managed to drop the board onto a small fountain thing in our garden which left a horrible hole in its side. My dad got to work patching it up and we finally sprayed on the final clear coat.

Although nothing came out of the competition I finally have a surfboard and a great looking original at that. Unfortunately it’s now winter in SA, and although I’ve braved the icy waters once, my manhood has requested I wait until it gets a bit warmer before I try again.

The video from the competition is above, I had to change the music and ending because the Adobe logo and the music are not my own assets, however you do get a general idea of what the advert would have been like, and you get to see some of the creative process.

A very special thank-you to my amazing dad who worked so hard on this board with me, in fact he did most of the work. I look forward to our next project.

Marc Williams

Some say I'm the most handsome man in the world (my mom), others tend to disagree, but one thing is certain - I love to entertain. Whether it be through music, writing, or film, seeing people respond with a smile is worth more than a bag of gold. Figuratively obviously, because smiles are free and gold is very expensive.

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