Drivers cruising down Fourth Street into Eureka Saturday evening did a doubletake as they passed. On the right, the Red Lion Hotel, stalwart as usual. On the left, in a tiny parking lot outside a building the size of a single hotel room, a band cranked fuzzy-catchy-garage-y tunes into the street. Surfboard-laden trucks took up the side street. An intriguing number of men in shorts and flip flops crowded around a gigantic bowl of bean dip. Women in hoodies laughed and passed the wine. It must have looked like a most excellent party – and it was.
The small shop on the corner is home to Marc McClendon's Flying Fish Boardworks. McClendon, a Eureka native and former Coastie, shapes and makes his own boards on site, plus sells a variety of other boards, wetsuits, leashes and all the random bits a surfer needs before charging out into the cold, rocky, shark-infested North Coast surf.
..Which leads me to interrupt this blog post with a Public Service Announcement: Big waves today, folks! The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory. Stay away from the ocean – if you want to experience the wild side of the ocean's moods, do it from afar. The top of Trinidad is a nice spot, and you can get a coffee and cookie at the Beachcomber Cafe, too. This concludes our Public Service Announcement...
McClendon was celebrating the second anniversary of the shop's success, no small feat in these troubled economic times. But McClendon's always catered to the working class, making boards for the blue collar folks without sacrificing quality. In fact, his boards are some of the best examples of functional art on the North Coast.