Rake clothing and surfboards, from Torquay on Victoria’s west coast, have a pretty good jumping off point for a brand: the 70s surf culture, which can honestly be claimed as Australian. During this time we witnessed the short board revolution and watched it develop into extremes – like the crazy short fishes and high-experimentation with fins and channels, lengths and widths. It was a connection with the water and the lifestyle, and this continual search was just a way of trying to get the most out of the ocean.
Rake is no different. Their boards may be one thing, but they continue with great graphic design that’s somewhere between retro and surprisingly fresh; it’s artwork that’s in harmony with their passion but avoids cliché and predictability.
You’d still be excused for thinking they’re stuck in a time warp, but I think with the benefit of hindsight the Rake crew have managed to combine what they love about the era while embracing current trends, in essence returning to the glory days of surfing with modern eyes.
It’s not all fish tails and quad fins though; other beautiful touches include cedar fins, shovel noses and logs (longboards) in colours reminiscent of Les Mason’s Epicurean Magazine. The graphics employed by Rake have an amazing sense of familiarity, something that feels warm and welcoming but is unique to their brand. Others might have mishandled it, but here it works like a badge of experience and heritage – something very important to those wanting to lash out on a new board – and has a halo effect on the rest of the product line, such as the great boardies my dad might have worn and t-shirts that continue the contemporary twist of the familiar.
The real catch is what to do with such beautiful things; they are created by craftsmen with obvious skill and will no doubt do what they are meant to in the water, but wouldn’t they look just as good on your wall?
Future classics maybe?