Surfboard stories volume 11 • Wakefield RI photographer

This is the story I've most wanted to do since I dreamed up my project.  Carlos.  My project initially was based on my own surfboard, but this man is the one who started my love of old surfboards, who yelled ARCH YOUR BACK while I paddled into waves years and years ago, and who is the best surfer I've ever watched.  He says I say that because I love him but he really is the only person I've ever seen surf (at least in person) who looks like he is actually part of the wave.

He brought his blue Wardy with him.  When I first met him, he rode this almost all of the time.  It is his favorite board by far and has been fixed a number of times.  About five years ago it suffered a life-ending injury when he got dropped in on at the lighthouse and hit The Rock.  I still think he should fix it, but he says it will never be the same.

I was surprised by how short his description is of his favorite day on this board.  He's told me lots of times about that day (Thanksgiving 2001) at Swami's and it's a great story.  He's often a man of few words, though...and I won't lie, he was a little tired when I asked him to fill out his questionnaire.  He's as enthusiastic as ever in his photo.  Check out his photo and his answers below.

What's your name?  Carlos

Do you have a superhero name or any superpowers I should know about?  None but I wish I could stop the senseless wars all over the world.

What board did you bring with you today?  9' 6" WARDY from the 60's.

Why did you bring this board?  It's my favorite board.  I rode it for 15 years straight.

Where did you get it?  Bought it from Edgar at his house.

Do you remember the first wave you ever caught on this board?  Yes, at Matunuck.  Inside at the Point.  I didn't like it much because it was a hard board to ride.

Do you remember your favorite wave ever (or favorite day ever) on this board?  Oh, yeah!  Swami's on Thanksgiving day!  Really big swell and way outside.

Do you have a favorite place to ride it?  In my mind now because it's so beat up.

Any final words?  Anyone have a Board Cloning Machine?

(Epilogue from your photographer)  One evening almost 13 years ago, I took the photo below (note the nice fade from it being up on the fridge in a magnet frame for so long).  It was a late summer evening and a swell had come up; Hurricane Erin had been out in the Atlantic for over a week.  I went down to the beach to watch the waves.  There were many people at the beach that evening.  I couldn't surf well enough at the time to ride anything too big.  I had an old film point and shoot with me and took random photos of the waves.  When I got the roll of film back I noticed that there was a man walking with his surfboard but I didn't know the man.  About eight months later I would meet the boy next door and realize that he and his Wardy were in the photo.  So this is the first photo I ever took of Carlos.  It was taken on September 11, 2001.