Welcome back to Hang 10 with Birdie, where we catch up with friends Birdwell has made along the way, in and out of the water. Today we’re setting up shop with young, innovative surfboard maker Michael Arenal, who lives in Ojai. A Southern California native, Arenal grew up in the water, but didn’t start surfing until age 15 courtesy of a vacation trip to Hawaii’s surf mecca, the North Shore. Arenal shaped his first board, an Alaia, soon after, and was instantly hooked on the craft. A prodigious builder, Arenal has crafted every shape of board imaginable and honed his game with icons including Donald Brink, Hobie’s Gary Larson, and now spending time with Ryan Lovelace. These days, you can find him pushing new styles and shapes of glass at his workshop in Ventura, CA, or testing out his newest creations at his favorite spots at Rincon and San O.
1) Would you rather be able to have night vision or to paddle as fast as a jet ski?
- Night vision. I'm afraid of the dark…
2) What’s your favorite word, or one you use all the time?
3) What’s in your car trunk right now?
- I’m lucky to be living the good life with a van, so pretty much everything to keep the good times rolling. Different boards, wetsuits, trunks, skateboard, hiking stuff, tools, sleeping bag, rain shell, snacks, etc...
4) Dawn patrol or sunset session?
- I’d have to flip a coin on that one, but the day is always better after a morning surf.
5) Longboard or short board?
- I don’t discriminate
6) Favorite wave?
- As far as local breaks go, I mean, Rincon. But I’ll take anything remotely fun and uncrowded.
7) Coolest animal you’ve bumped into out in the water?
- Whales. It’s so rare and such a treat when they come up close to you.
8) Favorite appliance or tool?
The Hitachi P20SB Clark Foam modified planer. I’ve tried skils and I just like the light weight of the hitachi working day in and day out.
9) Last product you recommended?
10) Best memory in Birdwells?
Anytime trunking it on a big board
See more of Michael's work HERE.