Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shadow boxing

Charles Loiselle form Hawaii was asked a while ago to make a retirement shadowbox, a traditional Navy gift that is usually kind of like a picture frame-box which one can display all their goodies from their service.

"I don't really do shadowboxes, but let me see what I can think up".

So...this is a wooden surfboard, made basically the same way I'd make the real thing, but with a box built into it and a nice hinged frame around the box part. Redwood and fir, with mahogany frame around the box part.

A nice idea for a special person.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kiwi Hydro Simmons

 Good mate Justin Tilly in New Zealand made this board for his uncle Roddy Carter who I grew up with and went through school with. Justin is a skilled carpenter and cabinet maker turned farmer. I designed the board and sent him the files to get it cut in NZ. It took a while to happen but the outcome is great. Japanese Cedar he milled from a tree on the farm and Paulownia rails over EPS.

 Roddy was presented with the board at this years Cove Fish Fry at Waipu Cove where Roddy and I surfed when we were kids at school. Great story and nice to be a part of it.
The Japanes Cedar is a nice wood and seems pretty light weight

Catch some waves on International Surfing Day! 21 June 2015

International Surfing Day takes place on 21 June 2015 – time to grab your boards and start riding those waves!
This annual, global event is held around the world to mark the beginning of the summer and let everyone know surf’s up!
This special day has been a great way for people young and old to go to free events and learn more about surfing, whether you’re trying it for the first time or you're an old pro!
Organising the events are the EuroSIMA (European Boardsports Industry Manufacturers Association), Surfrider Foundation and SAS (Surfers Against Sewage).
Working worldwide the groups will hold events to help everyone discover surfing and find out the difference it can make to you and your community as both a sport and a culture.
Throughout the day there will be a whole host of events held in hundred of counties.   From surf lessons to beach clean-ups and surf contests, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy, with beach BBQs as a reward for all the hard work!
Look out for something in your area or just go for a surf and enjoy the day.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Wooden board building class in the Philippines May 1 to June 14

For more details contact : ;
actually the workshop will be held at Auqui Island we just dubbed it as  "skull island" because of a certain rock formation on the island. Click on the poster to enlarge

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Beautiful 1958 Bill Walace Balsa to be at this years Wooden Board Day

 Ronny Silcock has restored this beauty and will be bringing this piece of history along to share with us on Sunday 2nd August to Currumbin. Thanks Ronny.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Martin's new simmons

Martin Turkis just sentthese pics of his new board. " It's 4'0" X 23" X 3". Mostly flat/slightest of hull entries, with single concave running back from the front foot and a bit of vee in the tail. My own shop-made fin boxes which allow a bit of fore/aft fin adjustment. XPS core, poplar ply skins, redwood rails, finished with spar varnish.

I've ridden it twice now, both front and backside, and it's a lot of fun."

A great looking board that would be a ton of fun to ride. Nice job Marty and thanks for sharing.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A new look at getting those rail bands on

Sergi from Flama Surfboards in Spain just sent these pics to share of a new way that he has come up with to get his rail bands on.The board is cradled on edge and this enables you to access the whole length of the rail at a good working height. Get them glued and set up and then strap them down.

" I also made it double, like for working with two boards at a time. It holds firmly the board sideways and there are hooks aplenty to tighten the straps, which is specially useful for the more curvy areas in nose and tail."
 Looks like a great way of doing the job. I use good quality masking tape myself.

Sergi has just sent an update to share -  " I'm adding an image of the plan I made to build the TASAWUWAGI-Rack (Take A Siesta And Wake Up With A Great Idea). haha!
It might be useful for those who want to try."

Monday, April 20, 2015

This years Wooden Surfboard Day will be Sunday 2nd August

Sunday the 2nd of August is set down as the date for this years Wooden Surfboard Day to be held in the park at Currumbin as in the past years. We look forward to meeting other budding wooden board builders and the projects that they have been working on through the year. Each year peoples experience grows and the level of skills and finish of boards is a testament to the long hours and effort being put in. So if you are working on a project at the moment or thinking of starting one, now you have a reason to get started or stuck in to finishing it for August. Please feel free to send pics and details of any boards you are building to share with others to wet their appetite. As you now know it is a gathering of like minded people who enjoy being challenged by spending countless hours in the shed building wooden boards. A great time to meet others with the same passion and to see what they have been up to. If you don't build boards but want to find out more you could not be in a better place to ask all the questions you want. There are many ways to build a wooden board and they will be on display on the day. So bring your boards and go for a surf. The Alley in winter is often at it's best for a slide across the banks on a wooden board. And there is nothing better that being on one you built yourself.
Looking forward to catching up with old faces and welcoming new ones. For any more info contact me  :

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Sam Bolitho for ABC News: Surfers in Papua New Guinea are going back to basics and learning the traditional Hawaiian techniques of timber surfboard building.

The boards produced at workshops in Madang province earlier this month were made from locally-sourced balsa trees, and carved out using a combination of hand tools, axes and machetes.

"It's a bit of work, a lot of man power and a lot of sweat," PNG Surfing Association president Andrew Abel told Pacific Beat. "You can imagine they don't have the benefit of hand-powered tools and planers and things like that which would make it a lot easier.

"A lot of the village people were actually using their traditional axes and bush knives to carve these balsa wood planks."

The training was offered by renowned Australian surfboard shapers Tom Wegener and Bryan Bates. Members of the Tupira Surf Club were taught how to build boards in the Alaia style, which were ridden in pre-20th century Hawaii. The thin boards feature round noses, square tails and often do not have fins.

"They're very difficult to ride but a lot of the lightweight kids had no trouble whatsoever in hopping onboard and ripping those waves up in Tipura," Mr Abel said.

Mr Abel, who founded the PNG Surfing Association 28 years ago, said the workshop was a reminder that surfing in PNG dates back hundreds of years. He visited many communities where village elders shared oral history of how young children had boards crudely carved out of 'splinters' from broken canoes and felled trees.

"So what we've essentially done is taken those ancient belly boarding skills and enhanced them with the modern surfboards of today," Mr Abel said.

 "Our Pacific Island brothers to the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean [in Hawaii], have also been doing the same thing. But unfortunately over the course of the last hundred years that culture has been lost."

Mr Abel said he hoped the surfboard shaping training would be the catalyst for a new era in PNG surfing. "It enables them [local surfers] to capitalise on the balsa wood timber that's in abundance in the jungles of Papua New Guinea ... that they can use to surf but also sell to tourists and raise money for their respective families."

This article is from Pacific Longboarder Magazine

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Board building in Berlin

I first met Jan Dressler when he came and saw me 3 years ago while on a family holiday in Australia and decided to change the way he builds his boards. He organised a shipment of Paulownia to be sent to Berlin and has been crafting SUP's and boards in his 4th floor apartment in the city of Berlin.Getting the SUP's down 4 floors proved a bit of a deal so he has rented a ground floor studio as his workshop. Here is his latest board on the go. A hand shaped EPS blank with the first rail bands going on. I look forward to catching up when he is here again in couple of months with some mates for a surfing hloiday in Byron.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Grain boys are on the raod again.

Right Coasters: The Time is Nigh (or Neigh, or something...)

Farmers have a knack for predicting weather and this year they really got it right. We haven’t seen a day over 15 degrees in weeks and the snow's piled up against the windows.  You could say we're a little more than ready to head south for the kick off of our East Coast Road Trip.

You also might say we’re being further influenced by our farmer friends as we've been setting up our east coast rig using a great old Ford step-side coupled with a double-axle horse trailer. It's rugged, good looking and multi-purposed for when we’re back here on the farm.  For now though, we're gonna stuff that trailer with sweet wood board-building gear and a couple of sleeping bags and see how fast we can get below the Mason-Dixon.

The pieces are falling into place - boards are being prepped, rocker tables assembled and tools inventoried, and our first class at Chesapeake Light Craft is just four weeks away. If you live along the Atlantic seaboard and you’re thinking about signing up for a class, now is the time.  Check the Road Trip schedule on our website and see if you can carve out a few days for an experience no one ever forgets.

Since we haven’t been down the east coast in a while, we’re making the most of it with demos and handplane classes along the way. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for more info on these things as they fall into place. We’re also opening up a few slots in some choice class locations for students to join us for a one-day paipo workshop. The first one will be Saturday March 21st at Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis Maryland. Workshop attendees can join us for a casual day of shaping and sanding and go home with their own paipo. We’ll supply the materials, tools and space, all for the low price of $375 per person.

We’re honored to partner with our friends at Vissla, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Jamestown Distributors. Without their help, this trip just wouldn't be possible. To celebrate their participation, each student signed up for a 4-day class will  get a great little tote bag with some pretty cool stuff from each of them, all things that will help you build a better board.

Left Coasters: Hang On, We're Coming Back
West coast friends: we’re not forgetting about you in all this. We’re heading back out west for The Boardroom Show in May, then for a series of classes from Cardiff to San Francisco and maybe even on to Port Townsend Washington. So keep an eye on our site and watch out for us on the road.

Hope to see you in 2015!


Southern Queensland's aptly named master-craftsman Stuart Bywater: “Well, we’re moving into the year fast it seems and our first class for the year is almost full, with two positions left in our class starting on the third of March.

“Our May class (23rd and 24 th) is filling too, so if you are interested in making a hollow wooden surfboard we’d need to book you in soon.”

“If you’d like to come and have a look at what we do you can catch me at the SaltFest Goldcoast – which is on this year for the first time and coincides with The Quiksliver Pro – to be held on the first of March at the Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre perched on top of a grassy hill overlooking the spectacular Pacific Ocean.

Saltfest is an event fusing surf products, surf lifestyle and surf culture together all in the one amazing location.”

Check out the classes and boards on the Bywater website:

Or for a quick look at the boards Stuart makes check out his Instagram

Stuart is also our go to guy for all thing Paulownia. He is a mastercraftman in furniture design and understands all you will ever need to know about building wooden boards.  

 Surfboard classes link

 Paulownia sales

 wooden boards pricing

 wooden surfboards & furniture  blog

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bjoern Helmhold - dedicated to the craft.

I had just gotten in out of the hot mid day sun from mowing the lawn when Bjoern and Anne rocked up. He had wanted to track me down on his trip to Australia as he wanted to find out more on how I build my boards. Bjoern has just finished a 2 year wooden boat building course in his native Germany with the express intention of becoming a wooden surf board builder.He is about to finish a 3 month surfing hoilday and study trip here in Australia and head to New Zealand for 3 months. After that it is off to California for 3 months. He has spent time with shapers looking and learning along the way. I hope to catch up with them both at the Waipu Cove Fish Fry in New Zealand on the 8th of March.It is great to meet some one who is willing to put in the hard yards and have a plan of what they want to achieve.A great guy and I wish him well.Here is a board he built prior to his trip.
" This is the last board I've done.It's an eps core with 1.5 mm mahogany and balsa wood.
It is 5'2" by 21'1/2  but it's got plenty of volume to suit our homebreaks which don't have much power."

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Boss Hog by Alan Copelin

 Another great looking board from Alan Copelin , this one is a hollow framed Pig style board.
 Cedar abd Paulownia go well together and come alive with the glass job.

Monday, February 2, 2015

What is the latest surf fad ?

This is a piece from the Sydney Morning Herald...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Alan Copelin has been busy

 It looks like Alan is a man with some very good wood working skills and a good sense of humor. A lot of work in the details that he has added to each project.Traditional boards , SUP and classics. Nice to see and thanks for sharing Alan.