In the summer of 1955 Bob Krause had his first encounter with the ocean. As a young boy, he and his stepfather lay sleeping on a beach near Morro Bay where they were awakened by the rising tide. They found themselves wet, cold and very embarrassed. What Bob remembers most about his first night in California though is the smell, the sweet smell of the ocean. "The ocean smelled good..." he remembers, it is a smell he never forgot and he has been attracted to the ocean ever since. Bob Krause was born in Washington D.C. at Langley Air force Base on May 29th, 1947. Bob, known to many as BK, has been surfing the coast of California and Baja since the mid 1950’s. His first encounter with the ocean came early. It was during his first nights stay in California camping on the beach at Morro Bay with his step father. He got "washed" by the nights high tide. Bob,though wet and cold, said it "had smelled good", it was a smell that he never forgot. He has been attracted to the ocean ever since. Bob moved around for a period of time. First to Hollywood Beach in 1956 where he and his older brother (Pat) learned to "tread water in the thermals" (warm spots) then when a wave came they would body surf and find another thermal to keep warm. He then moved to Goleta and to Santa Barbara before "doing time", as Bob puts it, in the Valley in 1961. During his "time" in the Valley Bob and his friends took road trips to the coast and surfed on "foamies", beaded Styrofoam boards they would buy for $4.95 and break within weeks. Bob says he would use " whatever he could get his hands on to surf". The first "real surfboard" Bob owned was one he bought used for $35.00 when he was about 15 years old. It was an Mike Lyman 8’8" with a glassed on wood fin and a sunrise laminated on it. He then used a series of boards and started doing some repair work and shaping. He would "strip the glass off longboards and reshape them". Bob enlisted in the Navy in 1967 and did "real time" for one year in the Philippines where he surfed every chance he got. He says that it was in the Navy that he "realized where waves came from". He was caught in a typhoon in the South China Sea where the wind was blowing 110 knots in the face and where 18 - 25 foot seas pitched around the 300 foot vessel he was in "like a rowboat". Bob says, "he surfed it in stride" but will never forget it. He was later stationed in San Diego (32nd Street) "...that's a blur..." where he again surfed as much as he could. Once out of the Navy Bob moved immediately to Isla Vista, "not to go to college...but to surf". He surfed, started shaping and saw the bank burn. Bob started doing glass work for The Zog of Mr. Zogs Sex Wax. He used to make boards called "The Zog". Later he took over a shop that pro surfer Chris Browns dad owned in Goleta because his Mrs. Brown was pregnant with Chris. He shaped boards called "Good Boards" and sold them at Blues Surf Shop in I.V.. He drew cartoons in pen and ink for the logos. Some of these boards are still showing up at swap meets today. Bob continued shaping, working odd jobs and surfing before giving up shop and moving to Oahu and Maui in 1974. There he met Bob Hakinson and started working for him and did what any twenty plus guy wanting to surf does. He later met up with Al Merrick and started getting serious about shaping. This is when he first saw windsurfing and "laughed at it". He said, "God that looks boring...". With little interest in trying windsurfing he almost had a chance while on a surf trip in the Virgin Islands, but the wind died - Typical! The first time Bob actually did windsurf was in Santa Barbara, after he moved back to CA, where a company called "Clearwater" gave Bob some lessons. Bob used their boards and equipment and...was hooked. He sailed on borrowed gear until 1983 when he started making his own sailboards. This lead to him making boards for his friends including Rick Funnich and Al Treabeek. About this time along came a kid named Peter Trow. Bob started making boards for Peter and helping him gain exposure and sponsorship. Peter and Bob are still good friends today. Bob also continued to refine the "surf strap", a longer rear strap that allows the sailor more rear foot mobility and added safety for the knees. He has perfected the original idea, from Mike Waltz, by making it stiffer. Locals Mike Dunmire and Peter Lansberg are among those using Bobs "surf strap" to their advantage. I have also recently started using one and, I must agree, it makes a big difference. Bob has an interesting philosophy toward surfing and windsurfing. He doesn’t exercise other than surfing and sailing. He states, "that no other exercise can duplicate another. Just like dancers dance to stay in shape, gymnasts do gymnastics to stay fit...I surf and sail to stay in shape for what I do". The draw to surfing and windsurfing is just that, surfing and windsurfing. "That keeps me in, ...such as the dance, the energy, the rhythm and coordination of the whole thing that is happening." He states, "it’s like in meditation ...it’s getting centered". He goes on, "...we are basically making a dance, such as the early natives danced, with the elements, which incites enjoyable fleets and feelings that take you away from the drudgeries of daily life...". Bob continues, that "surfing has three parts - the rider, the wave and the board... windsurfing just adds another part to the dance, the sail (wind)". When all the parts are working together, you have a good dance..." and BK can dance! He is too old to risk self and too responsible so he has to make the dance more involved. He says, "I don’t sail as crash and bang as I used to, but I can still be rad". The surfing world has treated Bob Krause good. It has allowed him to, as he puts it, "play with boards". He feels he is more of an experimenter than a "production guy". Bob needs his boards to do his kind of dance. The people who have him shape boards for them have certain needs for "their dance" which Bob hopes to fulfill. Bob’s house is filled with photos of surfing and sailing photographs, he has 9 boards in his bedroom and wetsuits hanging in his closet. There are stacks of surfing and windsurfing videos piled next to his 32 inch viewing monitor, a box of wax by the front door and many interesting artifacts from his travels. Bob now shapes for Channel Islands Surfboards in Santa Barbara and does custom work for interested individuals under his BK Logo. If you haven’t had a chance to spend time with Bob I encourage you to do so. I had the unique experience of traveling to San Carlos with him recently. It was like taking along the guy who wrote the AAA Guide to Baja. Bob lives life to its fullest. He eats well, with his own special concoction of "natures tonic" that he squirts on everything. He says, "it keeps the bugs away". Bob is "into what nature offers... with minimal hangovers". On our trip to Baja Bob amazed us with his surfing in the morning, sailing throughout the day and stories in the evening. He definitely knows how to enjoy life and have a good time. He brought along his prize collection of tunes (a Trip Hop collection including Massive Attack and Portise Head and Primus and Black Sabbath tunes) that one could not truly appreciate unless they could see the look in his eyes, and the joy in his face, after he did about 200 off-the-lips earlier that day. BK is working on new designs that will be lighter and more maneuverable on the wave face. He continues to make boards to meet his customers needs. Now, with the help of Eva Hollmann "The Board Lady", turn around will be much faster. Bob inspires me. I can only hope to enjoy life as much as he is when I am his age. When Bob is on the water he is in his element, he is enjoying the dance, BK’s Dance. about the author: Derek Turner is a co/founder of the Full Sail Windsurfng Club. He was taught to sail by Todd Waltz, Mikes brother, in the Newport Harbor in1980. He has been hooked ever since and sails every puff he can at C Street.