Monday, September 17, 2012

The Whale Tail.

Why the whale tail? And how is Drea such an awesome artist?

MURI PARAOA (whale tail): speed, strength, sensitivity,
and a strong connection to the sea
Nick and I spent a few days in Aguadilla and Playa Jobos during a visit to Puerto Rico last year. We stopped by one of the surf shops, and during a conversation with the owner I noticed a rack of interesting necklaces. Although the necklaces were from New Zealand he told us that he appreciated the surf/ocean themes that they represented, and therefore wanted to sell them in his shop. The black whale tail necklace stood out to me, and he told me that the symbol is associated with speed and strength. I immediately thought about boardercross and purchased the necklace. 

During that trip to PR (and also during other trips to Florida and North Carolina), I realized that I'm very strongly connected to the sea while surfing. As in, may-catch-a-wave-or-two-but-otherwise-spend-most-of-my-time-wiping-out-and-being-tossed-in-waves kind of thing, and for a while I wondered if any other snowboarders had trouble with the 3D nature of surfing. It seems like there may be...Austin Smith was quoted in the September 2012 issue of Transworld Snowboarding as saying, "[s]urfing is humbling, and I'm still waiting for the day it becomes awesome." I'm also waiting for the day it becomes awesome. 

I have some other connections to the sea, and to whales. My Viking ancestors spent some time at sea. And, killer whales were my favorite animal during elementary school...I think it was my 4th grade class that adopted one. My dad and I saw whales during our family trip to the Gal├ípagos (back when I was in high school).

As for how the whale tail is related to snowboarding, I view the "a strong connection to the sea" as meaning a strong connection to water. Opening the definition to all ranges of temperature conditions and phases in which water may exist, included is the ability for water to freeze. Like, snow. The Sea of Powder.

The justifications about the "sea" part of the definition could go on and on, but when it comes down to it, the whale tail necklace is beautiful in its simplicity and inspiring with its meaning of "speed, strength, and sensitivity." When racing and riding, going fast is a good thing, riding strong keeps you ahead, and being sensitive to the conditions and how you respond to them is critical for success. Funny thing is, this also transfers to how I approach my geosciences research, and life.  

So when Drea and I discussed ideas for the Daybreak Carve logo, the whale tail was a priority, along with the mountain (snowboarding, geology). The clouds represent sunrises and sunsets, which are my favorite times of the day. Drea is fine-tuning the color schemes for the final blog logo, so in the meantime I posted the black and white image. Thanks to Illustrator, I played around with some of the line colors to help the logo stand out on the t-shirts that I'm selling to raise money for Strong Women, Strong Girls and to help pay for race travel this upcoming season.

For the t-shirt.

Finally, just a comment on how Andrea "Drea" Fuenzalida is an incredible artist. Drea is a friend of mine from high school (we met in Chile) who now lives in San Francisco and creates some of the most incredible and interesting pieces of art. She translated all of the words and pictures I sent her as example themes for the logo into what the logo is today, and I love it. Check out her work: Moonsquirrel Presents: Drea's Art.  

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