Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Grain celebrates 10 years of building wooden boards

 In commemoration of it's tenth year building wood surfboards, Grain Surfboards is creating a limited edition series of "Decennial Surfboards" that reflect the earliest efforts of founder Mike LaVecchia. The first of these is traveling with at least one of the two Grain Surfboards Mobile Workshops as it carries not only the tools, materials and supplies necessary to conduct surfboard-building workshops anywhere, but also a bit of Grain's roots and ethos as well.

With the Decennial Surfboard "on the bus", the Grain Surfboards Mobile Workshops will have with them a modernized example of the first attempts made in Mike's basement to craft a surfboard built as boats are.  Just as the first board had, the Decennial Surfboard has black deck seams, screw-fastening details, and a darkly grained deck of salvaged red cedar.  But unlike that first board, this one has built into it all the advancements that the team at Grain Surfboards has evolved over the last ten years; it's light, strong, and has lifetime construction that Mike never imagined possible in those early days.

Though Grain's steady decade of growth has inspired scattered attempts at duplication of their unique business model and construction techniques, much of what the small, dedicated team brings to the experience of "building your own" is not easily replicated. It's partly vibe, and partly their unusual dedication to putting thought into action that has contributed to the types of innovations in wood surfboard technology that are embodied in the Decennial Surfboard.

This year, Grain celebrates not only their own birthday, but also the growing community of surfers from all over the world who have found in Grain Surfboards an unusual commitment to the way surfers get to experience surfing. "It's only fitting that the Decennial Surfboard is traveling to the Great Lakes workshops," said co-owner Brad Anderson. "Over ten years, we've advanced the way we think about surfboard design, and now we're evolving where and how surfers get their boards. When was the last time surfers got to build their own boards in that part of the country?"

About Grain Surfboards
Grain Surfboards is committed to promoting the benefits of building and surfing wooden surfboards and believes that wooden surfboards can have more impact on the surfing experience and less impact on the environment. All of the wood products used in Grain surfboards and kits are sourced from local mills and forestlands in Maine that practice sustainable harvesting. All wood waste from the production of Grain's boards and kits is actively reduced and creatively recycled.  Grain ships surfboards and complete surfboard kits worldwide and hosts week-long classes in which anyone can learn to hand-craft their own wood surfboard. Grain is co-owned and managed by Mike LaVecchia and Brad Anderson.  For more information, please visit

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Riley Classic Balsa Boards launch new website

Riley Classic Balsa Boards invites you to explore its new website and Social media platforms. The new website has been designed to provide the ultimate user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, allowing customers to access and buy and videos with the option to share information across all major social networking sites.
 - See more at:

"I really love building the most Eco friendly boards available in Australia by hand. My passion for shaping balsa surfboards and sparks a broader interest in this great surfboard material" says Mark Riley, owner of Riley Balsa Surfboards." For good reason, Laird Hamilton states that his most favourite boards are the one's made of balsa. " (see's exclusive interview about Laird). But you don't have to be a big wave lunatic to enjoy the benefits of a balsa surfboard. Lasting longer than a polyurethane surfboard while weighing the same  and being more environmentally friendly, a Riley balsa surfboard is great for all surfers in all surf conditions.

Riley Australia was one of the first surfboard builders in the world to have their own domain name and web site in 25th January 1999. From that day they have been building balsa wood surfboards and sending them all around the world. As you can see in the archived site - Riley has expanded from balsa boards and clocks and added to the mix DIY kits, wood coloured boxes, fin, raw balsa, surfing accessories and shaping accessories, everything you need to build a beautiful balsa board.

About Riley Balsawood Surfboards
Riley Balsawood Surfboards was founded in 1996 by Mark Riley who had just returned to Australia from an extensive surf trip through Central and South America - in tow a container of Ecuadorian balsa wood. Mark now secures his “perfect quality balsa” from Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. Since shaping his first balsa surfboard, Mark Riley has built a reputation as master craftsman and is still involved in the whole operation of selecting from stock of 1000 pieces of balsa wood, grading, cutting, laminating, shaping and finishing all orders.

The website was created with the user experience firmly in mind, the website has been designed using the latest technology so the site is compatible with today's browsers and mobile devices.

For more info check out -
Riley Classic Balsawood Surfboards
156 President Ave.,
Miranda 2228 NSW
Phone - 0412 376 464
Email -

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wooden knee boards by Mike De Heer to be tested at Skeleton Bay

"I was introduced to making wood boards by Patrick Burnett in Cape Town 2 years ago when I built a board on one of his board building courses.  Since then I have tried a other few methods, including chambered, I have finally settled on the EPS with parabolic rails method. I have found this gives me the best weight to strength ratio. They surf great and really enjoy the flex properties it gives me. My rails and tail blocks are a combination of cork and either Japanese Cedar or Obeche. I have used Walnut and Maple for deck/bottom skins but am settling on Koto for my last few boards."

" You will note quite a few kneeboards as I am a keen kneeboarder. "
"For 2016 I have set myself the goal of building one board a month every month and have started the first three. I will send you pics once completed.  I am also planning my secound surftrip to Skeleton
Bay in 2016 and hope to have a quiver of 3 kneeboards ready for the trip.
Skeleton Bay is an insane wave and can snap boards like twigs so I will need them to be strong and shaped for the barrel. But I hope to claim "first wood board surfed at Skeleton Bay" status. Will let you know how I get on."

This is Skeleton Bay...

"Thanks for a great blog, the information shared in your articles has helped me refine my techniques pushed me to build better boards."

Mike de Heer
Dust Wooden Surfboards

Monday, December 28, 2015

First time bagging a board.

Adam Lloyd in New Zealand has been building framed wooden boards and was keen to try bagging wood over EPS as an option. Here are few shots he sent me of his progress.
I helped him with a design in AKU and he had to convince his local shaper with a AKU machine to have a go at cutting the file for him. It is much easier to give someone a straight forward file that is thinned out for your needs with normal rails cut as well. And then it is a regular cut for them. That way it will fit with their work flow and you get a result that is easy to use. So here is the cut blank from H grade EPS. Next is to scribe the rails and cut off 10 or 15mm that will be replaced with laminated Paulownia.
Get the rails nice and square and then glue on say a 3mm strip of Paulownia. All you need is good quality masking tape, no clamps required. Do this both sides and across the nose. And the tail if you want depending on what finished shape the tail design is.
Once you have trimmed the 3mm Paulownia on all the way round the blank, you can set it up on a level bench and place some wood under the blank as you rocker bed. Check you rocker from the design / cutting file and make sure it is still there. Cut your deck and bottom skins about 5mm oversize all round and you are ready to get some glue out and laminate it all together.Slide it all in the bag on top of the rocker bed and suck it down for a couple of hours.
You can pull some pretty tidy concaves and deck roll with the bag that is for sure.
Once out of the bag you can trim it all up and you have encapsulated the foam in wood.Very simple and very efficient. Now all you have to do is laminate the rails on with masking tape once again. Simple and cost effective.
 Looks like it all came out well. The board can be finished in fibreglass if you use say 3 or 4mm deck skins.Or you can use marine or floor grade varnish depending on the thickness of the deck skins and their ability to take your weight.This is a lighter and cheaper option compared to getting someone to glass the board for you.
Looks like a fun board.
If you want to get more info from Adam check out his site :

the timber board shop

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wooden boards by Jason Oliver

Jason has been building a range of different wooden boards for some time now. He is well known for his great looking boards with nail holes and rust stains, as they are skinned with recycled pallets. His use of tints and colour with wood as well.
Performance fish, recycled pine pallets over eps core with tint on foam rails.
3 piece custom travel surfboard, PU blank with Red cedar and pigment
9' 6 longboard from recycled Western Red Cedar, Red Cedar, Pine pallets and Paulownia.
 Check out what Jason is up to on ...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Board building classes in Europe 2016 with Arbo Surfboards.

From Paul Reisberg ...
" Hey hey,
Before I'm off to Morocco for a couple of weeks just a quick update on things happening and workshops in early 2016. I've been around Europe a lot the last few months to build wooden boards and help people to make their own.
The next build-your-own hollow wooden surfboard weekend workshops are:

29.-31.january 2016 - bristol/uk
12.-14.february 2016 - düsseldorf/germany
19.-21.february 2016 - hamburg/germany
01.-31.march 2016 - newquay/cornwall/uk
13.-16.may 2016 - hamburg/germany

Additional dates for 2016 are in the planning! Please suggest a place for a workshop if you are keen and maybe even have a suitable space!!
If you always wanted to check out the surf in Cornwall, do so and build a board with me at the same time... there is new accommodation available right where we are based. and yoga classes every night at Lime House Yoga Studio.
Sorry to those who couldn't get a place in of the workshops with me in 2015. let's make it happen in 2016.
Contact me soon if you are interested to take part and want more information.
Custom boards are as usual. Let me know soon if you want a bespoke wooden surfboard for the summer. I have some time in january/february to build you something...

All the best from rainy Cornwall,
Paul Reisberg

ARBO Surfboards
Mount Hill Farm
Mount, Rose
Truro, Cornwall TR4 9PP
United Kingdom

(i'm not always quick to respond but will eventually...)
on facebook: here

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Italian board builder Eugenio Celli of " No Made Boards"


Eugenio builds a great looking board with classical lines and soft contours. 
Check out his work :

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Nice new board by Tony Crimmins off to the glasser

 Nice timber supplied by Stuart Bywater in Brisbane. The resin will bring it to life.
Tony is a meticulous craftsman and builds a beautiful board.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Art on wood always good

Jess Lambert , Byron Bay is the artist - Halcyon - Lines

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Naval camo Alaia

Good mate John Tesoriero has always been fascinated by US Navy dazzle camouflage and how he could interpret it into a project.
"Widely used by the allies in the First World War and then again sparing in the Second, it's distinct erratic line work was designed to confuse the enemy as to the size, speed, direction and angle of the travelling vessel, thus making it difficult to get an accurate bearing to launch an attack."
"Inspired by the work of Carrie Schneider 2008 Dazzle Canoe, I had the idea of applying the pattern to a surfboard, but then realised that there would not be a 'glasser' anywhere in the world who would touch a project like this and so the idea got shelved."
"A couple of months back on Instagram Jon of @mosquito_boat posted a photo of a chest of drawers that he had Dazzled and that photo made me think of wood instead of fibreglass and this revelation drew me to the Alaia, a finless wooden surfboard favoured by the Ancient Hawaiians. Choosing this medium made the whole concept possible and so I contacted Jon and and we worked on several ideas to arrive at a pattern to suit the profile of the Alaia board.

From here I teamed up with life-long friend @Charcoal_Smith, a talented sign writer, artist, ladder climber and hero and got down to the business end of applying paint and loads of masking tape. The final touches was the marking of the 'ships numbers', 44, the numerals of the Papa Nui Combat Beach Battalion."

 Cole 'Charcoal' Smith, artist and sign writer.

"Having finally finished this project and seeing the ideas come to life, it reminds me of the importance of inspiration and that adage that says, 'It's not where you take things from, it's where you take them to'.
All of us need to be inspired but we need to interpret things in our own way, we need to find a connection and draw our own parallels, we need to personalise and individualise and ultimately take ownship of an idea because this is what gives substance and authenticity. There is only one true way and that is in the words of Chris Issacs, "Be yourself because everyone else is already taken".

With Christmas just round the corner it is a good time to plan a project for your self or with the kids and make something special.