Donald Brink is a high-end surfboard shaper and owner of BRINK Surfboards
. His philosophy in life, surfing, shaping and especially board design is to keep things simple, and we agree. Just as Donald envisions the waves as he molds his surfboards to ride the ocean, we built the FIAT® 500L
to ride the road.
We caught up with Donald in San Diego, California, while he was shooting this video for the Grind TV
video series that celebrates our upcoming urban surf parties
taking place nationwide.
As a surfboard designer, you’ve obviously got a keen eye for killer curves. What about the design of the FIAT 500L do you find most intriguing?
Donald Brink: The FIAT 500L is extremely pleasing to the eye. What first stood out to me were the extra mirrors off the windshield and the curve of the roofline. I’m particularly fond of the two-tone white roof with red sides and dark windows. This car has a great driving perspective and ergonomics; nothing was distracting or out of place. Probably my favorite details of all are the subliminal lines in the headlights; they really help lead your eye in.
I spend all day editing design, adding things here, subtracting things there. The overall simplicity of the car causes the bold features that are included to make a stronger impact to the form and shape.
Do you think the FIAT 500L fits into the surfing lifestyle?
Donald: Living in a coastal community, as most surfers do, parking at the beach is sometimes a problem. Parking a car this size is of huge value to someone living in a more densely populated community.
When equipped with a surf rack, the FIAT 500L is the perfect size to easily get a surfboard on and off the car. So many times you see a really nice car with expensive roof racks and together they just don’t look good, but this rack really seemed to flow with the lines of the car. You can tell that the FIAT brand has taken into account what the car would look like with a surf rack attached, so hats off to the design crew.
What would a Donald Brink custom FIAT 500L look like?
Donald: It’s funny; I make custom and new things for people all day long, and so often my design aesthetic lends itself to be a little more rough and textured. I envision the car in a rustic metal, sepia toned, with coffee stains and dents; more abused, with the same lines and modern features.
Want more access to the world of surfing? Be sure to keep an eye on FIAT Backstage in the upcoming weeks to hear from some of the biggest personalities in the surfing world during our series of GrindTV Urban Surf Parties.