Show Us Your Quiver – Andy Olive
Editor’s Note: This is the first installation of a new regular feature in the Ocean Beach Bulletin, something we’re calling “Show Us Your Quiver.” We’ll be talking with Ocean Beach surfers about some of their favorite surfboards. We are always on the hunt for interesting people who love interesting boards, so if you know of someone who might be a good fit for this, let us know by sending an email to email@example.com
Andy Olive is hard to miss. He’s tall, with a bright shock of red hair that’s a mohawk/afro/mullet hybrid, and he drives around a massive, brightly painted van. Andy is half of the team of the lifestyle brand San Franpscyho, which he runs with his friend and business partner Christian Routzen. Originally named for a series of surf films featuring Ocean Beach surfers at their rowdiest, San Franpsycho has evolved to make a wide variety of clothing, from shirts to hats, and is a staple at some of the biggest parties in the city. Andy also works as a teacher at the Sunset Cooperative Nursery School.
But most of all, Andy is a surfer, and a very good one. A goofyfooter, Andy is a stand-out in the line-up, both for his extremely high level of performance and his chatty, jovial demeanor.
The Ocean Beach Bulletin met with Andy in front of Sunset Co-op on Lawton Street, where he had parked his van, and learned about some of his favorite surfboards. Here’s what Andy had to say, in his own words:
Al Merrick, Rookie model
Dimensions – 6’2” long, 19 ¼” wide, 2 7/16” thick
Andy: This is the board I took to El Salvador [on a surf trip with Surf For Life to build a high school]. 6’2, 19 ¼, 2 7/16. I get all my boards from Al Merrick. They were cool enough to hook me, Marty Magnuson and Matt Lopez up with a team deal through Wise Surfboads years ago, so we’ve been ordering Al Merricks ever since. It’s one of those boards where if it doesn’t work, it’s the surfer, not the board. There’s that phrase, “It’s the Indian, not the arrow,” and that applies here.
This is the rookie model, which is more full on the rails, pulled in on the nose and the tail. It works in waves that are steep, as long as they have a lot of curve to them. In mushier waves it’s not so hot. Down in El Salvador the thing tore pretty well.
I have a Trouble Coffee sticker on the bottom because I go there pretty much every day to get coffee and toast. I put it on there because I like to support them. I ran into a guy in the water once, well, we sort of collided, and the nose of his board ran across the bottom of mine. But it just scraped the sticker and didn’t puncture the board. Had the sticker not been there, I would have had a huge gouge in the middle of my board.
As for the paint design? When we were at the Treasure Island Music Festival recently, the band Heart in Hand was doing a live set, and I ran into a couple of my friends who just got engaged. So I gave them a big hug, and then they hugged my girlfriend, and then we started to group hug, and it turned out to be about 150, 200 people, all in a big group hug. The lead singer even stopped his set and said, “I don’t know what’s going on over there, but I wish I was in it.” So then I got the newly engaged couple in the middle and they started to dance around in the middle of this big circle. And afterward all these people were coming up and giving us high-fives, saying, “That was cool!” “Best part of the festival!” and this one French kid comes up and says, “Zat was unbelievable. It is because of ze power of ze moustache.”
Now that the paint job is pretty hideous, the board is probably gonna last forever. Hopefully it does, because the board works.
Al Merrick, Fred Rubble model
Dimensions – 6’1” long, 19 ½” wide, 2 3/8” thick
I just picked this up from Wise, another Channel Islands. It’s the Fred Rubble model. These are the boards as how they should be shaped for the surfing up in San Francisco, and probably for a lot of surfers up here. It’s got a lot more volume in the nose and the tail, it’s thicker through the rails, which don’t dome, and the tail isn’t flipped up for high-performance. Because it’s shorter and wider, it works in the tighter pockets that Ocean Beach serves up. We have these steep quick little waves, as opposed to long drawn-out faces.
It’s 6’1, 19 1/2, 2 3/8. It’s got the volume really dispersed nicely throughout the nose and tail, so a lot of board is in the water all at once, as opposed to your normal shortboard, where a lot less tail is in the water. When you surf off the tail with this board, there’s still a lot of volume back there. It skeets through the flat sections. It’s really forgiving, kind of like that really nice girlfriend we all used to have, or have now. If you mess up a little bit, your wave’s not done. You still get to get back up into the swing of things, and go for another maneuver.
Whenever I order these boards and go pick them up at Wise, I like to talk surfboard design with Bob Wise, because he knows so much about the design and the dynamics of surfboards. It’s really nice to go in and talk to him about it.
Danny Hess, no model name yet
Dimensions – 5’4” long, 21” wide, 2 7/8” thick
I think this model has 15 different names, like the tongue depressor, bar of soap, popsicle stick, potato spud. 5’4, 21 inches wide, 2 7/8 thick. Danny brought this down to El Salvador, and it was probably the most sought-after board on the trip. I think everyone rode it. It’s pretty much the mid-section of the longboard. The thing tears. Danny’s a big guy, and he tears on it. Holly Beck rode it, she’s small, and she tears on it. The thing just works. I rode it at night and had a blast on it. The thing catches unbelievably easily, really catches the eye of everyone. Everyone wants to check it out, and touch it, and feel it, hold it, ride it. It’s very sensual [laughing].
I’ve got one of these on order, because I want to try and see how much it can handle out at Ocean Beach. It’ll feel like a big success to get a slightly bigger, hollower wave out and here successfully ride it on this board. And then I’ll take it out on those days when it’s really perfect but only like one foot or so.
All photos: Jon Weiand / Ocean Beach Bulletin