Tom has just cleaned up from hosting a wooden board building class and talks on sustainable surfing at The Noosa Festival last week and jumped on flight to New Guinea on Monday.
"I'm presently on my way to Papua New Guinea for a
surfing festival with the WSL Longboard Tour. We're going to the Tupira
Surf Camp where I've been twice before, to make wood surfboards with
the locals. It's pretty remote and the inspiration for this distant
location is to mix the culture of modern longboarding with the very
ancient wood surfboard makers of PNG."
"This complements the normal WSL longboarding
competition by contrasting the modern with the very old. The visiting
surfers will compete against the locals on their wood surfboards and the
locals are welcome to ride the modern surfboards. "
"The idea is to capture a sharing of surf culture. My
involvement will be to help the local kids integrate into the ways of a
modern surf contest as well as to work with the WSL webcast."
As you can see Tom has been there before and left his mark with the local surfers and keen shapers.
The PNG Peanut for sure
Thanks to JB for some of this copy from Pacific Longboader Magazine
Guys if you are looking to be part of a great event in April this year then this is a good one. It is on Sunday the 2nd of April in the Thirroul Surf Club (A Northern Suburb of Wollongong) approx 1hr South of Sydney. It is part of a seaside festival with markets, etc etc.
Lisa Fahey, an avid artist and board builder who is one of the organisers of the event says "This is our 3rd year, last year we had about 60 boards, but it would be nice to get some more sydney siders etc along this year to share the love."
This years Wooden Board Day was part of the Byron Bay Surf Festival and it was a long hot summers day in the park. But heaps of interest in what we do as a hobby and the quality of boards on display goes up each year. A big thanks to the guys who came along and those that travelled a long way, it was much appreciated. We had people who had flown in for the weekend just to catch up and see what we were doing and ask questions about wooden board building. It was interesting in that I had a number of boat builders and carpenters who surf and yet had not thought of building a wooden board until recently and the weekend was the catalyst for them making a commitment to make a start. Lots of us start with very few wood working skills or tools compared to these guys. As I tell people, if you love your surfing there is no better feeling than paddling in on your first wave on a board you made yourself. And of the millions of people who surf world wide, very few surf on a self made board, letter lone a wooden one. "We are a splinter group".
Amazing art by Gareth Smith from Wollongong
He was at it all day long. Great guy.
Flat bed router work by Mike Grobelny from New Zealand. Inspired by bees and lots of machine time. Hand painted and varnished board by Grant Newby.
A nice lineup of wooden craft
Wooden Anchor stand.
Some nice hand foiled wooden fins
Hollow framed raw wood waiting for rails
Wooden Anchor frame kits on show.
Andy from Wooden Anchor giving all his secrets away.
The talented James Robinson fro Bound By Sea getting quizzed on how an earth he does what he does.
Bound by Sea
The insides of a hollow fish
A lot of skill and hard work
A couple of clean boards by the " Wooden Buddha " Torsen Kofler
A nice selection of chambered boards by Tyron Morgan
Steve Hann from the Sunshine Coast with some very clean modern shapes.
School teacher Trent Palmer from Hillbrook school in Brisbane with a sample of the boards he has taught his students and parents to build. Helping set kids up with a sustainable outlook on life and surfing.
Some of Tom Wegener's Paulownia botton / cork topped ,very flexi boards he has been working on and developing.
Seeking shade on a hot day.
Fin Wegener holding the fort while Tom signs his book at the book launch.
Tom and his wife take sonme time out
Free hand and straight into it on the spot.
A lot of time and detail by Gareth Smith
A nice selection
Some of Tom's "Corkies"
Some very light weight hollow Balsa boards by Nathan Grey from Bondi.
Nice detail by Stuart Bywater
Tyron Morgan looking for shade on a hot day
Great finish on a couple of Stuart Bywater baoards
Here are a couple of great looking boards by Andy Wallace of Freedom Surfboards from Old Bar.
He selects the wood for each board to give them each a different story and character.
Nobby came out from Japan to teach wooden fin making and pass on his skills and knowledge
The history of the belly board.
Nobby and local baord maker / wooden master craftsman Mike Connor
Nobby from Japan is a fine artist in wood craft.
Lots of interest from people from all walks of life and ages all day long.
Jun from Surfers Country had a couple of his new wooden wares on display
All shapes and sizes. Even a Paulownia canoe
Duke replica hand carved from one solid piece of Paulownia
Camphor Laurel board by Stuart Bywater just shone.
A great way to get to the beach
A couple of nice boards by Heath and local board builder
Tom Carroll dropped by to talk to Trent about the program he has created at the school for the kids to learn new skills and set them up for the future. "A huge wrap goes to Gabe Kelly, current year 10 student whose board caught the eye of Tom Carroll. He was impressed with his shaping skills and was wanting permission to take it for a spin at Wategos Beach!"
This years Wooden Surfboard Day will be Sunday 7th August
Poster for 2012
Poster for 2011
Poster for 2010
Poster for 2009
The joy of wood and water...
Wooden surfboards have been around for a long time and it was probably on a simple piece of wood that man first enjoyed surfing waves somewhere in the world. It may have only been a crude piece of driftwood found on the beach that served as a way of catching that first wave, but the joy and connection felt with the sea then is no different from what we feel today. As someone who has crafted a surfboard from wood, taken it out and caught a wave on it, I can tell you that the first time you paddle in and get to your feet, is truly a timeless feeling of joy and achievement. I hope that in assembling this list of talented people will inspire you to have a go at building your dream board and also experience that feeling for yourself.