Friday, October 2, 2015

Grain Surfboards ReEvolution report

Donald Brink was part of this years gathering and this is his report on the weekends events ...

"The re-evolution festival in York Maine is a fixture on the local's surf calendar. I was invited to attend this years 5'th annual event and began my trip arriving in Boston. It's a fascinating city steeped with history and architecture from which the founding fathers of this country paved ways forward, from which we have thrived and can bring value to their legacy walking the granite paved side walks still there today. Quick visit to the Boston public library, a look at some point breaks up North along the way and some introductions to the crew setting things up at the Grain surfboard's headquarters.
The farm is beautiful and would house the hundreds of stoked folk the following day and night for the revolutionary date. Perhaps the name Re-evolution suits the concept well. We rode waves at the beach sharing craft of every kind. The waves were not large but there were opportunities for all to slide the long walls on belly or foot.
Back at the Farm Andy Davis shared his collection in the barn, it was an ideal setting as a gallery and with local food and craft beers being catered the gathering got real.
Live workshops for the kids, chit chat with friends from afar and a scheduled lecture series in the main workshop area on various topics concerning surf, boards and sustainable design.
It was an honor to be invited to share my thoughts and concepts on the asymmetric value of design and why it matters. With standing room only we began a conversation. Thanks to all those who engaged in the dialog and beyond boards and rocker the value of surfing and the fascination of its parts as an asset to our path is something we can explore any day and be better from its thought.
Jon Wegener conducted a workshop leading up to the event at the Grain farm. The students enjoyed their finished boards with us at the beach and I really enjoyed getting to share some thoughts and stories with Jon. He is a master craftsman and watching him work and riding his designs were great things on so many levels.
Thanks to the wonderful community of Maine the family of Grain and the welcome invitation you gave with open arms to see me return. I look forward to more North Eastern adventures.
Enjoy your Water"

Donald Brink

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Got to love what this lady does

Jess Lambert from Byron Bay coulkd dress up your board. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ever thought of building a wooden board - just do it

Just have a go it is a great learning experience.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Grain Surfboards host - Surf Re-Evolution


At the Grain Surfboards workshop on a farm in coastal Maine, a day-long outdoor event called "Surf Re-Evolution" will be open to the public and held once again on what should be another beautiful fall day, September 26th.  This event, growing in attendance every year, is popular with surfers and non-surfers alike, is kid-friendly and well known for the insane variety of activities that are included in the price of admission.

The Grain crew is joined by friends, shapers, sustainable product developers, environmentalists, artists and more, who come together from all over the country to celebrate the creativity, processes, and material advancements that are bubbling to the surface of the surf industry these days.  The goal?  a super-fun day filled with food, music and creativity, all while learning together about applying current technologies to some of the past's greatest ideas: Re-Evolution.

The day kicks off with a beach demo on Long Sands Beach from 8am -11am where attendees can try out boards of all shapes and sizes. The gates open on the farm at 1pm for the rest of the fun.
Among the activities planned are a series of presentations from special guests invited to share their knowledge about their re-evolutionary efforts.  Question the experts on topics like these:
: The impossible dream of biodegradable and organic epoxies - happening today
: How to employ (and give back to) rural villages in Chile while making skateboards from beach trash
: How ancient Hawaiian finless surfboards have been reborn for today's surfer;
...and other initiatives helping to change the formerly dirty business of making surfboards into a model of sustainability for the world.
Wander around amongst visiting shapers and visit the DIY art stations, block printing table, wood-stove-fired surf-wax making exhibit, collage works, tarp surfing, and a showing in the hay-barn-turned-art-gallery of the works of renowned painter and surf-artist Andy Davis.

Enjoy two live musical acts, Atlantic Clarion's 10 piece steel drum band from Blue Hill Maine and music from local favorite, Tiger Belly. The event wraps up with two surf films projected on the side of the barn and a big bonfire to warm up by as day turns to night.

This year in addition to some delicious food provided by local restaurants like Flatbread and White Heron we’ll have great draft beer from Dogfish Head and Smuttynose.

Mike LaVecchia, co-owner of Grain Surfboards calls this event "my favorite part of building surfboards".  Everyone's invited, tickets are available at the gate and discounted online. Ticket-holders for the Wall-to-Woods charity paddle event are admitted free.
Surf Re-Evolution
Saturday September 26th 2015
Long Sands Beach: 8am - 11am
Grain Surfboards, 60 Brixham Rd, York Maine: 1pm - 9pm

More Information:
Surf Re-Evolution Information:

Wall-to-Woods 18-mile Ocean Paddle Charity Event:

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Great little body board from Anthony

Anthony and I had been in touch about him building this board and it being unglassed and this is his story.
"I spoke with you some time ago about using lanolin and FMP 200 glue. I was finally able to purchase the products. I applied the use to off cuts of balsa and paulownia in making a foam core body board.
The glue worked a treat.
I applied three coats of lanolin to balsa and paulownia offcuts (approx 30cm long) to observed the colour variations. Nil issues. I noticed both samples turned a honey colour. Used a bit of elbow grease and wiped the samples which made them smooth again and reflect a satin finish.

I then went to the beach to wet the samples. Both went waxy after a little while. That was great.

I then completed my body board (attached some photo's to the email). I made my own leash pug using aluminum off and stainless steel pin.I applied three coats of lanolin to the deck allowing it to dry between coats. i used an epoxy resin to the rocker and rails as I was trying out a new resin.

Today I did a one test hour run in the surf (approx 1-1.5metre waves). The board performed better than I anticipated. You may notice two strips of red cedar along the rails. Something different and no issues in making turns.

However I noticed the deck went pale (appeared to lose that honey colour) and did not get as  waxy as the samples. I am assuming more than three coats are needed when covering a larger surface. I have recoated the deck by pouring on the lanolin and spreading with a foam brush rather than using a bristle brush."

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A great story and a bit of history shared

"In early 2006, I was 19-years-old, and shaping my first surfboard. I drew up plans for a 6’5 solid-Balsa single fin with five redwood stringers. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I knew I wanted to take my time. My grandparent’s life-long compadre, and dear family friend, Pete Tresselt recently had his early-60′s Balsa Hobie restored, so I figured it would be worth a quick trip to Laguna to visit Pete and see his Balsa board. I hoped to glean some inspiration and tips in the process, however Pete went above and beyond. After I spoke to him, he called his friend Terry Martin and asked if he could bring me by. I was ecstatic… Terry was possibly the most incredible surfboard craftsman in history…and certainly one of my favorites (and Griffin’s also). Coincidentally, Terry was working on a pair of Balsa longboards the day I went down. I spent a couple hours talking to Terry as he worked. Terry was more than gracious enough to talk me through the basics of shaping Balsa, and how different it was from shaping foam. My time with Terry was memorable, helpful and inspiring… my only regret is that I didn’t bring a camera.
Flash forward to 2014: Cameron, Chad and I made a trip to the Tresselt’s house in Laguna to do a proper interview with Pete, and hear some of his priceless surf stories. Pete lived in Makaha in the 1950′s and shared a Quonset hut with some very familiar names in surf history. He later bought his first lobster fishing boat from Renny Yater. He still has that 1963 Hobie Balsa D-Fin hanging in his living room. This interview includes some of our favorite stories and moments from our day with Pete Tresselt, a true Surfer + Craftsman"

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Silver Paddle Boards

Clayton Sansbury is the talented guy behind Silver Paddleboards based in Vancouver    

He just built this hollow wooden Paddleboard/Artist Collaboration as birthday present. The 11’x30” board is built out of a resawn  Western Red Cedar 2" x12" board with yellow Cedar accents. The coolest part is it artwork was done by the recipients 4 & 7 year-old daughters.

For more info or to order a board :

Sliver Paddleboards creates the most environmentally friendly SUP's on the planet. Custom built for each customer, our handmade hollow wood paddle boards set the standard for exceptional beauty, and timeless style.
All boards are proudly made in Vancouver, from locally sourced trees.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Grain Surfboards , hard core board builders and hard core surfers

The boys at Grain have some up coming board building classes so if you want a trip to the country to join them you need to book soon.

" Labor Day is here and we're looking ahead to autumn after a fast, busy summer. Fall in New England is like gold: in a way, it’s the locals' own summer.  It's a time when the beaches become ours again, the waves more consistent, the air cool, the water warm and the sun, golden. As the days shorten, it’s a bittersweet time of year, but one of our favorites. 

Still looking to join us in Maine to build your own?  There's still two autumn classes with a few spots left, October 22nd - 25th and November 12th - 15th. Seats often get gobbled up overnight, so if you're interested, don’t dawdle. Call the west coast home? Still a couple of shaping stands open for our November 12th - 15th class at Firehouse 33 in San Francisco."

Contact us at or 207-457-5313
60 Brixham Road, York, ME 03909

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Another Paulownia contact for supply in Europe

I have just found this new company that has a range of products that could be used for building wooden surfboards.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Luis Gasper from Portugal finishes his first paulownia over EPS board.

 "I started with an XPS blank, 2m x600mm x10mm"
 He made his own hot wire cutter
 "Previously, using 6 mm plywood, I’ve made two templates with the rocker (deck and bottom ) curves. Using some screws I attached the two plywood templates to each side of the XPS blank, and hotwired the same, creating the deck and bottom curves."
 "After that I’ve marked the outline and using a regular saw, I've cut the outline, following the line."

 "Using a sand paper (80 grit) I've shaped the surfboard."
"With a homemade jig, I marked a parallel outline, from 2 cm of the rails, and cutted this portion out from the blank creating the space needed for the solid rails." 
" The blank was ready to receive the wood."
 "I've ordered the paulownia wood from a company in Spain. And bought the polyurethane glue here in Portugal."
"Using your method as you do, I start gluing the parabolic stringer, with 5mm pawlonia stripes."
 "For the deck and bottom, I glued 5 mm paulownia with a little help of my homemade vacuum pump (created from an old refrigerator engine).

But the final result was perfect "

A happy man with his best friend 
Top and bottom skins now on and ready for the rails to go on.
 "For the rails, with another homemade “gadget”, my steam pump I bent the paulownia stripes for the rails, and glued all along the outline, at the end, I ‘ve used four x 5mm paaulownia stripes each side, and for the tail too."
 "I bought fcs fin boxes and a leash plug. Using epoxy resin, I glued all of them to the surfboard.

To give the right angle to the fins, another homemade gadget and the fin angle was perfect."

 "To seal the wood, after a long research, my option was to use a Portuguese marine varnish water based, appropriated for extreme water conditions."

 "And the final result is this amazing surfboard."

 It has been great to inspire Luis to experiment and try building a wooden board this way. The result speaks for itself.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Paulownia in Spain

I often get asked for a contact for Paulownia in Europe and to date there has not been a regular supply. But I have come across these guys and they have planted a plantation of trees and now have a good supply for you. They are in Spain and inland from Tarragona. They seem to have wide range of sizes and are setup to supply you what you need for building wooden boards either hollow or bagging skins on EPS.
For more information or to contact them :